Choose the Right Washing Machine for Your Family

Mar 15 09:47 2010 Scott Thomas Print This Article

An overview of the advantages and disadvantages of a traditional top-loading washing machine, a high-efficiency top loader, and a front-loader machine. Also a look at some features to keep in mind when buying a new washer.

Washing machines have come a long way,Guest Posting and are an essential part of a smooth-running household. When there’s a problem with the washing machine, laundry chaos ensues. Choose the right washing machine by knowing the pros and cons of each type, and what features are a must-have for your family.

Top-Loading Washers

Top-loaders were the standard home washing machine for a long time, and many people still use them. They have a door that opens on the top for loading, and an agitator sits in the middle of the wash tub. This agitator moves the clothes through the water to get them clean.

One advantage of top-loaders is price. They are the most economical choice among washing machines by far. Also, the door does not lock on these models so users can throw in forgotten garments after the cycle has started.

Unfortunately top-loading washers typically don’t get the best ratings for effectiveness, when compared to front loaders, or the newer high-efficiency top loaders. If getting clothes as clean as possible is important, you may need to consider other options. Also, top-loaders use the most amount of water, and the agitator can be tough on clothes, sometimes causing stretching and pulling. Washing heavy or bulky items can cause balance problems in the machine as well.

Front-Loading Washers

Aside from the obvious difference in the door location, front-loaders differ from top-loaders in that there is no agitator. Rather than pulling clothes through the water, the clothes are pulled up and dropped down into the water repeatedly. Because the tub does not have to fill up with enough water to cover the clothes for washing and rinsing, front-loaders use about forty percent less water. Because less water is used, less detergent is needed as well (using high-efficiency detergent is recommended).

With no agitator, front-loaders have room to handle a larger laundry load. Many are designed to stack a dryer on top to save on space, and because they spin so much of the water out of the clothes, drying time decreases as well.

A disadvantage of a front-loader is the price, which can be more than twice as much as a traditional top-loading washing machine. It’s high velocity spinning can also cause vibrations that may be disturbing if the washer is near a living area or bedroom.

High-Efficiency Top-Loading Washing Machines

The HE top loaders are the newest creature in the appliance aisle, and thus, has had less time to develop a reputation. These look similar to traditional top-loaders, but work like a front loader in that they have no agitator; they turn and spin to move the laundry through the water. They spin at high speeds to reduce drying time, and use less water and detergent like the front-loader. One advantage over the front-loader is the user won’t have to bend down to get that last sock out of the back.

A typical complaint about these washers is the high spin speed causes clothes to become overly-wrinkled, but the spinning seems to vibrate less than the front-loaders.

Washing Machine Features

Walk though an aisle of new washing machines and you’ll see all sorts of buttons and lights that do different things. Consider some of these features before shopping so you’ll know which ones are important to you in a new washing machine:
Automatic dispensers for detergent, fabric softener, and bleach
Extra rinse cycle (helpful for removing excess detergent for those with sensitive skin)
Automatic temperature control
Manual/dial controls vs. electronic controls
Porcelain lid to resist scratching
Stainless steel or plastic tub to discourage rusting
Steam feature which claims to sanitize
Delay start
Pre-wash or soaking feature

There are an abundance of choices in washing machines today, and each household has different needs. By considering price, advantages, disadvantages, and desired features, families can easily find a washing machine that will work for them.

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Scott Thomas
Scott Thomas

To buy, and to find out more about a washing machine and a dryer, please visit whitegoods online.

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