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Advantages and Disadvantages of a Front Load Washer

Posted by Bob Allaire on May 3, 2019 12:36:00 PM
Bob Allaire
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Front Load Washer - Electrolux EFLW427UIW Lifestyle Image

 

We once had a salesman who I heard telling customers many times that the washer he was selling was the "Laundromat Model." Although he was talking about Speed Queen, which is a commercial grade top load washer, this could also be said about the front load washers of today because many of us remember only seeing them in the laundromat for many years before they hit the consumer appliance market.

 

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Front load washers hit the market strong with the introduction of the Maytag Neptune washer in the '90s. Although the Neptune washer had its problems, the front load format took off from there and has never stopped. In the early 2000s there were some complaints about smelly wash tubs and poor wash performance. Manufacturers improved the tub and door gasket design as well as the washer cleaning cycles to better handle issues with odor and mildew, and the washers now require only basic occasional upkeep to stay fresh and odor-free. Issues with washing performance may have been in part due to the entry of new high efficiency detergents that required consumers to change their habits when it came to loading their washing machines. Using too much of these detergents in low-water washers can result in unsatisfactory cleaning results in any type of washing machine. 

Today, front load washers have become very popular and manufacturers offer many models to choose from at prices that are very competitive with similar featured top load machines. There are several front load washer advantages over other models.

 

What are the advantages of front load washers? 

  1. Front load washers are very attractive, with glass doors and chrome accents.

  2. They generally have larger capacities, allowing you to wash comforters and other bulky items.

  3. They don't have agitators or impellers in the tub, giving you more room and a more gentle washing action.

  4. They can be installed with the dryer stacked on top of the washer, saving space in the home.

  5. They use much less water and detergent than top load machines, and the vast majority are Energy Star rated.

  6. They have excellent washing performance and fabric care.

  7. They are usually quieter than top load washers with agitators.

 

What are the disadvantages?

  1. Front load washers require bending for loading and unloading which can be uncomfortable for many people. There are bases available to raise them up to a comfortable height, but these can add another $200 or so to the washer's cost. 

  2. They can develop musty odors in the tub if not cared for properly. Many front load washers come with dedicated washer cleaning cycles to help maintain the wash tub.

  3. They can take more time to do the wash than many top load washers.

  4. They generally have larger exterior dimensions than top load washers, making them hard to fit in some homes.

  5. Vibration is more of an issue with front load washers than top load washers, although most front load washers have advanced anti-vibration technology that will allow them to perform well and quietly as long as the load is balanced and the washer is level.

 

Front load washers are great products with many advantages for most families. The large capacity allows you to do fewer batches, saving you time and money. You can avoid going to the laundromat to wash comforters and other very large items. The tumbling wash action is gentler on your clothes, cutting down on wear and tear. Plus, there are some steps you can take to keep your front load washer in good shape and avoid some of the issues we listed above.

 

RECOMMENDED ARTICLE:  Washing Machine Buying Guide - 7 Important Steps!

 Advantages and Disadvantages of Front Load Washer - Washer Tub Detail Photo

 

Proper care of your front load washer can avoid problems, increase efficiency and prolong its life.

  1. Always use HE (High-Efficiency) soap and use the proper amount. Front load washers use very little water compared to an older machine. Unnecessary use of soap, fabric softener, and bleach will cause a build-up of soap in the machine which can cause service problems, odors, and poor cleaning results. You can also try out a washer with automatic measured detergent dispensing, like Whirlpool Load and Go, if you want to avoid this issue!

  2. Leave the door open when the washer is not in use. This allows air into the washer to prevent mildew from developing and will keep things smelling fresh.

  3. Wash the rubber boot that connects the tub to the outer skin of the washer about once a week with a mild soap to avoid mold buildup.  

  4. Understand how to load your front load washer. You generally don't want the wash tub more than 75% full. Load items loosely and make sure to have a mix of large and small items for a balanced load. 

If you choose to buy a front load washer, these tips should give you excellent results and ensure many years of use and satisfaction. The small maintenance tasks can be balanced out by the knowledge that your washer is using a lot less water and is gentle on your clothes!

We hope you've enjoyed our discussion of front load washer advantages. Consider a front loader as you do your research on new washing machine options. You can read more about new washing machines in our washing machine buying guide. Please feel free to leave us a comment on this article! We'd love to hear from you.

 

 

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Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in February of 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy as of the publication date noted above.

Topics: Washing Machines

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