Nothing causes more stress and fear in my life that the thought of an appliance not working. Second only to my refrigerator, the washing machine is the most important appliance in my home. The mere thought of dirty clothes piled high in the closet and no easy way to clean them almost makes me weep. So a few months ago when my12 year old washer and dryer started not working fear and trepidation crept into my life. So, I finally decided it was time to stop calling for repairs and get it replaced.
Before I made the purchase, I did some research. Capacity was an important issue because I often wash blankets and king size bed covers. A machine with a minimum of 4.5 cubic foot capacity was mandatory. I also needed to consider the size of my laundry room. Since I wanted a larger washer I needed to remember that they are 2-3” wider than the standard 24” width. Also all washers need to be 6” away from the wall to allow room for water hoses.
My next step was to decide if a High-Efficiency Top Loader, Agitator Top Loader or Front Loader was best. High-efficiency top loaders are great for larger capacities, use less water and are often more quiet. However they have longer wash cycles and are deeper, so a smaller person may have trouble reaching clothes in the bottom. Traditional agitator top loaders are less expensive but they use more water and do not spin out water efficiently. Thus it may take your dryer more time to completely dry the clothes. My last option was a front load washer which are the most efficient with water, can be stacked and they are very gentle of fabrics. Unfortunately they tend to be the most expensive types and often have more problems with mold and smells.
Many washers have cool options such as extra rinse and spin cycles, stainless steel tubs, and automatic dispensers that can hold several months’ worth of detergent. Ultimately I chose a High Efficiency Top Loader with a 5.3 cubic foot capacity with extra rinse cycle options and an end of cycle beep alerts which I promptly turned off because I do not want to hear an appliance beeping all day long!