Sandbox forum: need advice on washer/dryer please!

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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Jan 22, 2016 1:20 PM CST
Everyone gave me such great advice last summer on buying a new dishwasher! I thought I would ask for some advice on buying a new washer and dryer.

My mom is 90 years old, lives with me and has for 25 years. The washer & dryer we have are her "babies" and they are in the basement. They moved in when she did - so they are getting up there in age. I will soon be 60 and have issues with my back and arms. I have talked to 2 contractors and am waiting on estimates for turning my smallest bedroom into a laundry room. I will also be getting a new upright deep freezer and getting rid of the old chest freezer in the basement that is also over 30 years old. I can't reach into the bottom of the thing and we don't need one that big.

I am "vertically challenged" or in other words under 5 feet tall… so I stopped in to Sears to try reaching into top loading washers and I could not reach the bottom of them. I would need some sort of reaching tool to get out socks or such at the bottom, or a platform to stand on in front of the washer. I think that would be really awkward, and a possible falling /tripping hazard.

Front loaders seemed to be the best option. Especially if they were on the pedestals that are available for them, it was pretty easy for me to reach into them.

However, a friend said that I should "not even consider" a front load washer because it would do nothing but break down and leak everywhere. But, it sure did look like the best option, given the physical issues I am dealing with.

Then --- I see all these options!!! Goodness gracious! Steam, pre-clean, sanitize - geez! The number of options on the washers and dryers was overwhelming. The sales lady that was helping me at Sears happened to be an older lady and she said she doesn't even know what they do. Said she doesn't know why they put all that stuff on there, no one uses them.

My Mom has done the laundry for us since she moved in with me. She "doesn't trust me" with her washer and dryer. Her washer has one of those agitator spindle things in the middle and if you don't get it loaded just right, it's off balance. I think the one in hers is actually bent because it makes a terrible noise when it is in use, has for years. I don't know who she thinks did my laundry before she moved in, all the years I lived here Whistling Rolling my eyes. but it makes her happy to take care of her washer and dryer. I hate her washer, so I have let her do it - but she is just to old to be doing it anymore. It is just not safe for her to be going up and down the steps with laundry at her age. We need to get it moved up stairs, get a new set that works better and more energy efficient. Our clothes have not been coming clean in a long time, but I am not sure if that is because of my mom's not being able to remember (she may not be adding detergent - or may be adding it more than once) … or perhaps the washer is so clogged up with hard water deposits from all the years of really hard water that it does not do a proper rinse any more. I know it takes her hours and hours to dry one load of laundry. Still - she is fighting me tooth and nail on this because the old washer and dryer still work and she sees no reason to get new ones. I see her go up and down the steps and all I see is a broken hip waiting to happen…...

Given that Mom is of the age she is -- it's entirely possible that I would need to be doing a lot of bed linens or other "soiled"… ahem…. laundry in the future. Blinking She has a double bed, and I have a queen bed. It is just the two of us here, though, so there is not a lot of laundry that we do on a regular basis. Not like a big family would.

I am not sure what size to look at, or what options.

Maybe I **should** look at a top load and see about having the contractor build a platform for me to stand on to use the washer so I can reach down into it? Are the top load really that much better than a front load?

Thanks SO much for any advice!!! I can read reviews all day long, but it does not replace advice from people who garden, have pets and who I can type back and forth to and ask questions!!! Thumbs up

Juli
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover
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pepper23
Jan 22, 2016 2:05 PM CST
We just bought a top loader here a few months ago and don't really like it. We feel it doesn't clean as well as the front loaders because the toploader moves the clothes up and down where the front loader spins the clothes around. It just makes us suspicious. Hilarious! My mom is actually shorter than you and sometimes has to use tools to reach the bottom of our washer and has wished she got a front loader since.

I've heard people have issues with the doors but I've also heard plenty of people haven't. A lot of the washers will hold smells so leaving the door slightly ajar will help with smells and making sure the washer dries completely.

Good housekeeping did some tests and reviews on some. Here's their list.

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/appliances/washer-reviews/g1...

Hope it helps some. Smiling
Name: Marilynne Stephenson
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada (Zone 3a)
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MarilynneS
Jan 22, 2016 2:21 PM CST
Absolutely HATE my front loader, and, I am 5'7"
Bending to put in and take out clothes is not easy, and, they fall on the floor !!!
It's a Whirpool .. good machine, but, not ergonomically well designed ..

~M~
~M~
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
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extranjera
Jan 22, 2016 6:35 PM CST
I wouldn't get a front loader because I like to soak things if they are stained and it is easier to fill the machine, add the oxyclean and detergent and then leave the lid open and let it soak overnight.

I think the front loaders were designed to use less water, that makes me suspicious as to how clean they get things as well.

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

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minimouse
Jan 22, 2016 6:46 PM CST
I had both front and top load washers. I am 5'3" and would need to bend down to be sure each item was out of the front load washer...socks, undies. I like the top load because I could see.

Buy the one in which you can reach the clothes. I miss the agitator (thing in the middle).
The front load there was a smell even if the door was left ajar. The rubber gasket around the door I cleaned often.

My mom would rather have top load...no bending but most importantly can see in.

Recently purchased top load without agitator. Working well. Samsung brand.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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daylily
Jan 22, 2016 6:57 PM CST
My goodness! Everyone either likes one or the other!

Hmm, I will have to look up about the odor problem. That does not sound good....

Jonna, you mentioned soaking things. One of the contractors suggested pricing the room to put in a sink. I thought if I needed to rinse or soak anything I would use the master bath which is nearby, but he thought I should try to have at least a small sink.

What about options? Settings? Do any of you use "the fancy stuff?" "Steam" washer? Etc?

And how about dryers?
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover
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pepper23
Jan 22, 2016 7:32 PM CST
No steam use here. On the dryer we quit using the sensor settings and went to timed dry. Seemed like it took twice as long to dry clothes and they didn't always dry. They are just too complicated these days.

Oh, on top loaders you can't fill them up all the way with clothes. Half way up is "full". We learned that the hard way and the tech who came out to replace our motherboard gave us that info which we never got in store.

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minimouse
Jan 22, 2016 7:37 PM CST
I put the washer and dryer on our main level, best thing we did.

Samsung has a top load washer with a basket for soaking. It didn't seem like much of a price difference but I don't have the 'soaker basket' in my machine. An added sink may not be a bad idea if plumbing isn't expensive. I would get a quote with or without.

I did not do fancy. I told the salesperson I have nothing to steam except veggies, dishes and facial.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Jan 22, 2016 7:52 PM CST
Juli, this is the washer I got in March of 2013. I have ZERO complaints. I love it! It had fantastic reviews when I chose it. A few people - short people - had mentioned not being able to reach things like socks at the bottom & I was sort of concerned about that as I'm vertically challenged too @ 5'2". But I thought I could just use one of those little rubbermaid single step thingys. I have never had to. I can reach everything in there fine. Maybe it depends on your length from the waist up & also the length of your arms. Shrug! I know that with you, it could be a particular challenge with your shoulders. It might be a very good idea to have the contractor build a sturdy platform say only 6" high IN FRONT OF (but not under) the washer.
http://www.lg.com/us/washers/lg-WT4870CW-top-load-washer
Now, you're going to see some awful reviews there right at the beginning. Shrug! Personally, I've never had the problems these people speak of. It gets our things very clean. I almost never use anything but the speedwash setting for clothes, towels & sheets-- 35 min. max. I wash everything in cold water unless it's some really unusual occasion. Things take less dryer time b/c it spins the water out so well. I do leave the lid & soap dispenser open when not in use just so air circulation happens. I can put big, heavy loads in it. I love that I can wash our king comforter in it on bulky/bedding setting with no problems at all. It is super quiet -- in fact I can leave the laundry room door open when it's washing & you still can't hear it. It plays the cutest little tune when it's done instead of an annoying BUZZ. I love the direct drive motor -- they seem to be more dependable PLUS easier to repair. It also has a 10 yr. warranty on the motor. It does "agitate" but there isn't the agitator sticking up in the middle. One thing the book said & I have done is to put the clothes in there sort of in a circle as if there actually IS an agitator sticking up in the center. It has different wash settings & soak & extra rinse & things like that but it doesn't have steam or any of that weird stuff. I see no need to steam anything. Shrug!
Without reading all the reviews but reading the 1st couple of pages; I would say my favorites that I totally agree with are by Linda58 on pg. 1 and GSMCUSN on pg. 2.


Dryer
I got this at the same time as the washer. I don't care one bit if my washer & dryer match. I saved several hundred $$ by getting this dryer instead of a matching one. Zero complaints about the dryer. The ONLY thing I will say is the lint filter leaves something to be desired. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I like the old metal screen lint filters. Shrug! With this one it seems more lint "escapes" down the hole.
http://www.searsoutlet.com/d/product_details.jsp?pid=97336&m...
It does the job! And the capacity is large enough that I can dry the king comforter as well as land a 747 in it! Hilarious!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Jan 23, 2016 5:45 AM CST
Juli, I've been thinking.......
Rather than having the contractor build a platform in front of the washer; I think this would work perfectly and be far cheaper too. How about getting a pair of tongs like these? Then you could use them to reach down in the washer to retrieve anything at the bottom?
https://www.happychefuniforms.com/12-inch-locking-silicone-t...
Because they have the silicone tips they would not damage your clothing nor the drum of the washer.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
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ssgardener
Jan 23, 2016 6:08 AM CST
Juli, I got a front-loader about 5 years ago and have never had any problems with it. It uses a ridiculously small amount of water and cleans very well. It also uses a small amount of HE (high efficiency) detergent and is energy efficient, so altogether it costs me very little money to do laundry. My mother has a traditional top-loader, and I can't believe how much water it wastes! I think there are top loaders now that are more water efficient.

I've never had any leaks or odor problems, but I DO leave the door ajar. I think keeping the door closed causes odor problems on some washers.

I've never had to soak anything to get it clean, so soaking has never been an issue.

You don't need a fancy machine with all the settings, but I would recommend one that has a "sanitary wash setting" or something similar if you're thinking about doing heavily soiled linens.

Oh, and I'm also vertically challenged. Big Grin
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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daylily
Jan 23, 2016 11:46 AM CST
I can't tell you how much I appreciate all this info!!!

My Sears store is really small and the lady did not seem to know much about the washers and dryers.

I hope to make it out to a couple other stores sometime this week.

With the information that everyone is giving, I will be able to look up some of the issues and advantages and have a much better idea what to look at.

I really appreciate this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will take all the comments, advice and discussion on this that I can get!!!

Thank You!
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Jan 23, 2016 11:58 AM CST
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my front load washer. Never had any problems with it. It gets clothes super clean with barely any detergent! I do keep the door open when not in use and run the tub clean cycle once a month since I did read long ago they can get a funky smell. I have not had that problem. I used to wipe down the seal after every use, but somewhere along the line I stopped doing that. I love the steam option too. Gets all the stank out of my hot yoga clothes and towels. We got the matching dryer when we bought. It works great too, it senses the level of dryness you select so it can save energy too.

I have LG. I do not know the models. We skipped the platform/drawers. They were outrageously priced.
Name: Marilynne Stephenson
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada (Zone 3a)
LOVE to laugh :-)
Region: Canadian Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Dragonflies Hummingbirder
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MarilynneS
Jan 23, 2016 12:12 PM CST
My Whirlpool front loader .. uses less water and gets the clothes clean .. I find the Tide Pods get my whites/lights very white .. do NOT use pods with darks as I have found it stains things ..guess there is bleach in them ..

SMELL .. yeppers .. if you do not use the cleaner packs once a month, and, there is a 'scum' that will form on the rubber seal .. I wash that off ..

Ease of use .. for me .. no .. I have a crotchety back, so, I use a REACHER Smiling
The dryer is atop the washer .. the reacher works for that too Rolling my eyes.

Got mine at Sears .. took an extended warranty out .. this could be a whole other thread .. READ THE FINE PRINT !!!

~M~
~M~
[Last edited by MarilynneS - Jan 23, 2016 12:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jan 23, 2016 12:48 PM CST
I have a Sears frontloader washer and it's been fine. The only thing I notice is a slight musty odor even though I leave the front door open and regularly clean the gasket. It just smells like mildew or mold. I've rinsed the tub with bleach on occasion, and it hasn't seemed to help. I never had this problem with my top loaders.
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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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daylily
Jan 23, 2016 1:52 PM CST
MarilynneS, I saw in your first post to the thread that you said you had a hard time reaching the clothes in the front load. I wondered if you had them on a platform or not. Now I see you said you had them stacked.

I looked at the stacked, but then could not see the dryer controls. Whistling

I think I will have to get the platforms - I don't think I will have a choice if I get the front load. Even for using the dryer. My body doesn't bend normally anymore. I mentioned maybe the contractor could build one for less, and the sales lady said then you void the warranty. Rolling my eyes.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
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plantmanager
Jan 23, 2016 2:27 PM CST
[quote=" I mentioned maybe the contractor could build one for less, and the sales lady said then you void the warranty. Rolling my eyes. [/quote]

Ridiculous! We once bought a new mattress from Penney's. They tried to sell us a very expensive mattress cover, and we didn't buy it at the same time. After thinking about it we bought it later that same day, and before the mattress was delivered, but they told us we had voided our warranty by not buying it at the same time. That was the end of us shopping there. Grumbling

Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
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ssgardener
Jan 23, 2016 2:27 PM CST
It is rather awkward to reach in there if you don't get the platforms for front-loading machines.

I didn't get the platforms due to the price. Instead, I use a very small wheeled office chair so that I'm not stooped over the entire time I'm doing laundry. It's one of the smallest desk chairs available and quite cheap. I initially bought it for the computer desk but it was too uncomfortable for an extended sitting.

At its lowest height, it's perfect for reaching into the washer and wheeling around the laundry room between the washer and the dryer without every bending over. Big Grin
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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daylily
Jan 23, 2016 2:39 PM CST
ssgardener, now that is a thought. I didn't consider sitting in a chair. I even have the bottom of an old one in the basement that goes down quite low. The back broke, so it is the seat and roller part only… and I use it when I must get into the cemented crawl space. Easier than bending over.

Service dogs can be taught to get things out of washers and dryers, and I wondered how that would work if I get the ones on pedestals. The dog I have now is a little small to do that kind of task, but am planning on a bigger dog next time. My current dog thinks it is great fun to put dirty clothes into the clothes basket, and also to pull the basket to the top of the basement steps. So would be great to be able to have a dog help with getting the laundry out of the washer and dryer too, if need be. Not sure I'd want dog spit on there though… my current dog has a "dry mouth" and doesn't normally get things wet. Whew! But some dogs do….
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Jan 23, 2016 3:30 PM CST
Daylily, I knew service dogs were great, but had no idea they could help with the laundry! Very neat! It's good he has a dry mouth. nodding I've known a few dogs that wet the carpet or the furniture just by opening their mouths.
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