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front load or top load? tell me why


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#1 jackson'smama

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:43 AM

building and need to think about laundry appliances. would love the space-saving feature of stackable front loads but terrified of the thought of them leaking or smelling. tell me why you love or hate your front load washer and dryer. :) thanks!

#2 SebastianCat

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:46 AM

I LOVE my front loaders. Absolutely love them. Yes, if I shut the door completely immediately after washing a load while it's still wet inside, the washer can get a musty smell. But I just leave the door open for a short time (about an hour?), then shut the door once it's dry.

Because we have front loaders, my kids have been able to learn how to do laundry and help with laundry since they were toddlers.
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#3 Parrothead

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:47 AM

Truly the only thing I like about my front loader is how well it spins out. Now that they make top loaders with that ability I'm going with the top loader when we move.

I don't like the way I have to contort to get all the stuff our of the washer now. Nor do I like the way it does not always balance itself out. Really it is a PITA half of the time.
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#4 jackson'smama

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:57 AM

Truly the only thing I like about my front loader is how well it spins out. Now that they make top loaders with that ability I'm going with the top loader when we move.

I don't like the way I have to contort to get all the stuff our of the washer now. Nor do I like the way it does not always balance itself out. Really it is a PITA half of the time.


what do you mean "does not always balance itself out" - this makes me think of the rocking a top load can do if the load is imbalanced. is that what you mean?

do you have yours stacked?

#5 jackson'smama

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:57 AM

I LOVE my front loaders. Absolutely love them. Yes, if I shut the door completely immediately after washing a load while it's still wet inside, the washer can get a musty smell. But I just leave the door open for a short time (about an hour?), then shut the door once it's dry.

Because we have front loaders, my kids have been able to learn how to do laundry and help with laundry since they were toddlers.


do you have them stacked? what brand do you have?

#6 aggie96

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:03 AM

I LOVE my front loaders! I have had a very bad back since high school (car accident). Laundry in a top loader is brutal on my back. About 7 years ago, we replaced the top loaders with front loaders on pedestals. No more back strain for me. Plus the kids can manage some laundry help without diving head-first in the machine. :) Once in a while the machine smells musty, but I had that problem with top loaders also. Mine are super quiet and BIG. :) I will never have any machine without the pedestal again. I was fortunate to get the matching stands. Otherwise I would have built a simple (sturdy) box like my brother did for his.

ETA...Mine are side-by-side. My mom (the laundry queen/guru) had a stacked version and hated them because transferring laundry from the washer to the dryer was awkward for her. She is 5'3" and the washer was too low and dryer too high. She has since gone with a side-by-side also.
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#7 Parrothead

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:10 AM

what do you mean "does not always balance itself out" - this makes me think of the rocking a top load can do if the load is imbalanced. is that what you mean?

do you have yours stacked?

Yes, that is what I mean. And no. I don't have them stacked. If they were stacked and the washer wouldn't balance (It walked all over the place the last two days) the whole thing would probably topple over.

#8 texasmama

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:13 AM

I enjoy my LG front loader. It is on a pedastal. IMO, the pedastal is a must. We got the units before getting the pedastals, and I was pregnant and 5'10" trying to stand on my head to get the laundry out. Not a good scene.

They do smell musty if you close the door. This can be helped significantly by using small amounts of the correct detergent, leaving the door ajar and using a tablet once a month which is specifically made for this purpose. Mine has occasionally leaked, but this is rare. There have been two causes - gunk stuck in the top of the seal around the door (a repairman showed me this trick of pulling it out) or a bad seal due to gunk on the glass. I wore out the agitator of a top loader with all of our clothes. The front loader is going strong, uses little water and cleans the clothes well. I won't go back to a top loader.

#9 tess in the burbs

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:16 AM

I held back on a front load after hearing the stories of smell here. But when we needed to buy last year I decided to try the front load. I love it. I have no smell issues.

I do keep the door propped open with a small towel at all times. I have run the clean cycle a few times since owning it. And I have done the clean out thing at the bottom a few times. But we don't have a smell issue...perhaps b/c the door is always cracked open?

I did get the base to put it on and love the storage underneath b/c we have no linen closets. But I would like them on top of each other if we could.

The clothes do get clean and my water bill did go down. So it does use less water.

I have no regrets getting the front loader. And all my quilts fit inside so no more laundry mat for those big items!

#10 SebastianCat

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:18 AM

do you have them stacked? what brand do you have?


My front loaders are not stacked, and we don't have the pedastals, although I'd love to have the pedastals. I've had them for about 7-8 years and never had issues with them getting unbalanced. They are by Whirlpool. The only issue we've ever had is some water leaking into the washer - we've never had issues with water leaking out of the washer. No issues at all with the dryer in that time.

When these die, I will absolutely get front loaders again, preferably with the pedastals.

#11 applethyme

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:37 AM

I had a front loading Whirlpool washer and dryer. I loved the dryer. The washer was great at first but after a while it had a musty smell and didn't seem to work as well. I was thankful when it died. Now I have a top loading Samsung. I love it. I can even wash my king sized comforter in it. If I need to run sheets or towel on the sanatize cycle I load them and put them on a delay so they will run during the night and be ready for me to put them in the dryer in the morning.
Here is the one I have now:
http://www.samsung.c.../WA422PRHDWR/AA

#12 mommymilkies

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:49 AM

Top. We have a new front loader after going through 2 or three used top loaders in a year. Big mistake. We are constantly pulling this puppy apart to fish out socks and washcloths that clog it. It's not pretty. Me no like.

#13 indigomama

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:05 AM

We have front loaders and I LOVE them!!!! Ours came with the house we bought and they had the pedestals, now those I don't really use, but the actual units are great. They use a lot less water and laundry detergent. We have never had a smell of mildew issue.

Bonus, it's easier for my kids to do the laundry with them, as opposed to the top loaders. They can reach the front loaders sooner:)

#14 Forget-me-not

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:25 AM

I hate mine. I think it's a frigidaire. Whatever it is, it had good reviews when we bought it. But its awful. It can't handle spinning out small loads and leaves the clothes dripping wet, the seal around the door is disgusting, I've had issues with the door locking/latching properly, I've had issues with it leaking and just this week it's started giving me an error code that says my drainage is blocked--it's not, we've checked that out thoroughly. It's just over four yrs old and I am so ready to be rid of it.

I'm going to look at HE top loaders next time around.

#15 Pawz4me

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:55 PM

Front loader! I can't imagine every going back to a top loader. This is my second front loader. The first one died after a decently long life. I've had no issues with odor, leaking or nasty seals in either of them. I'm very short, so ours aren't on pedestals and it suits me just fine. I love the water saving, although mine does have the option for using a bit of extra water in a load, which I sometimes do if it's a really dirty load or particularly smelly (i.e., DS's running clothes during the summer).

#16 Susan in TN

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:13 PM

After spending several years with a front loader, I'm so happy to have a top loader again! It's a Fisher & Paykel and I love love love it. I like the fact that it's easy to toss a couple extra things in that I find/remember after I've started the load. I love it's water/energy efficiency, huge load capacity, simple design, and low cost.

#17 Cera

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:06 PM

We have had both and I definitely prefer top loaders. I have an HE set (the kind that uses less water and does not have the central agitator) and have been very happy with it. It has all the benefits of a front loader plus I can stop the load midcycle and let it soak (which is great with messy kids).

#18 PrairieSong

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

We had a Whirlpool front loader and purchased an extended warranty. This machine needed to be repaired at least once a year. The last time it conked out after the extended warranty ran out, the computer had gone bad and the repair bill was going to be $400!! We sold it to a used appliance place for 30 bucks, bought an older Maytag, and have been much happier.

#19 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

I like my front loader. It uses a lot less soap and I think it gets the clothes cleaner. It also uses a lot less water. That isn't a huge factor for us because our water bill is part of our tax bill and is not metered, but I don't think that's typical. So I imagine it saves one on the water bill if that's not the case.

The front loaders work out better for me because I'm short. I once had a washer I couldn't reach to the bottom of without standing on a step stool. LOL

I keep the door open when not in use and that seems to solve any issues with it smelling funny because it really doesn't smell funny.

#20 Cindy in FL.

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:16 PM

We love our front loaders. I probably wouldn't like them as well without the pedastels.

#21 thescrappyhomeschooler

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:41 PM

I went back to a top loader after having a front loader. We didn't have the pedestals, either, so that might have helped me like it a little better. I didn't like not being able to add something quickly if you forgot it. The cycles seemed to take longer, too, but I think they have faster front loaders now.

#22 TechWife

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

I have a front loader & I'm ambivalent about it at this point. One thing that annoys me is that our clothes get tangled up. I always have to untangle sheets, towels and even pants and long sleeve shirts as I move things to the dryer. I think all of this tangling must be hard on the clothes as well.

#23 SnowWhite

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:05 PM

We have a front loader and I hate it. The ONLY good point is kids can reach the controls.

Spot treating is very difficult. There is no such thing as running a small amount into the tub and soaking. (you have to soak in a sink).

Clothing tangles up together and when I pull some out, other clothing clings to it and drags onto the floor. We have an unfinished basement, so I have to put a rug there, otherwise our clean wet clothing is on concrete. ICK.

I also think more spots "go through" the wash. I have begun using powder Tide instead of liquid, because the liquid was leaving shiny marks on shirts, etc.

Everything is just a pain with the front loader. I'm not a fan of the dryer either. It seems to take forever.

#24 momtoamiracle

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:30 PM

I have an LG top loader and dryer and I love them.

I have relatives with front loaders - all different kinds, and I wasn't impressed with not having soak cycles or being able to add items after. I also don't like the huge size with the pedestals and hate the stooping you have to do without them. I like to just drop my clothes in.

My machine uses a lot of water if necessary (my mom's Samsung has a preset amt of water that she cannot change no matter what) and uses less if it is a smaller load. I love how it weighs the clothes to determine the amount of water.

I'm pleased with it's performance.

#25 Mom2pandc

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:30 PM

I love my front loaders. They are stacked and then I put a huge L-shaped counter in the room for folding. I do wish the washer was a little higher since I'm 5'9", but its not that big of a deal. They clean far better than my old top loader did, and dries sooooo much faster. At the very least I would get a high efficiency top loader that spins them out.
But I love the counter to fold everything on as it comes out if the dryer. I don't think I could give that up :)

#26 elegantlion

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:38 PM

I have Whirlpool Duets from when they first came out. I love them. Supposedly the first ones are better made than the newer models. In over a decade the only issue we've had is replacing the pump on the washer, which dh did. We leave the door cracked on the washer to avoid the musty smell. We don't have pedestals, but I'm short.

I like not having an agitator and that I can use the full surface of the tops for folding. I wouldn't go back to a top loader. I don't have issue with clothes tangling and I know our clothes are lasting longer.

#27 KungFuPanda

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:03 PM

I had a magic chef top loader for 19 years. It didn't need one single repair. It just always worked. It died last spring. Before I bought a new machine, I read everything here and elsewhere. I did not want to cope with repairs, electronic anything, mildew smell, leaks, leaving doors open, weirdly long cycles, or special detergents.

For about a month I went to the laundromat. Our clothes showed noticeable wear from the front loaders, but they weren't any cleaner. In the end, I got a Speed Queen top loader. I love it. It has a three year warranty and gets everything clean with a coffee scoop-full of homemade, powdered laundry soap. (I do soak some things first.) Also, DH has these thousand pound judo gis and those things just HAVE to soak in water. I was even able to store extra 'hurricane water' in my machine. I love it.

#28 linguistmama

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:23 PM

We have an HE top loader that I love! I like that there are no smell issues, but it still uses less water and electricity than a conventional top loader.

#29 fraidycat

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:29 AM

I will never purchase a front load washer. I've used them at my SIL's, friend's, etc. when visiting. I hate them. I do not think they get the clothes clean at all.

Not only do I have a top load washer, I also have a top load dryer. :001_wub: I love it. But, I'm 5'8". My short SIL doesn't appreciate my dryer. :p

#30 gardenmom5

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:01 AM

I love my LG front loader.

I can wash things in it I could NEVER wash in a top-load. (e.g. extreme delicates, and down.)

I don't have an odor problem. I do leave the door open to dry after I'm done, and I also use the occasional oxyclean for certain types of loads. (e.g. towels)

.eta: my front loader has a pre-soak or plain rinse-soak-spin cycles.

#31 jeninok

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:53 AM

We just replaced our washer and dryer last Christmas and went with HE top loading washer and Energy star Dryer. I also went with metal on the washing machine and got a middle of the road model with less features and electronics.

We love them, they use much less water and electricity than our old one but the clothes come out very very clean. The dryer is pretty amazing and as long as the lint trap is kept clean it will dry a large load in less time than the washer takes to do a long wash cycle.

#32 Kathryn

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:55 AM

I much prefer the top loader. I've used front loaders during extended stays at relatives houses and wasn't happy with them. I also spent years on cloth diapering forums and there were so many threads about how front loaders didn't get diapers clean.

#33 AmyontheFarm

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:23 PM

I can't give away my front loader. It has been terrible. As soon as the warranty is up in a year, I'll be pricing out a new washing machine. It tends to break or need repairs to it every 6-7 months, so once the warranty is up and it breaks, I'll be dragging it to the road. The dryer I've had no problems with.

#34 nukeswife

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:24 PM

I also have a top loading Fisher Paykel with matching top load dryer. LOVE them! I had LG front loaders prior and the washer was nothing but trouble, and the CS was horrible. I will always go with Fisher Paykel from now on.

Wanted to add that I have a bad back and although they hold a lot my set seems to be lower to the ground so it's not a strain to get the clothes out, hunching with the front loaders was a PITA.

#35 PentecostalMom

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:52 PM

Top loaders. We have the Whirlpool Cabrio which does not have an agitator just like the front loaders. Why? Because I have spent many a day in the laundromat and the front loaders made me feel like I was still there.

#36 DarlaS

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:17 PM

I've had three front loaders, the most recent being purchased last month. I loved the first one, hated the second, and so far love this new one. It's a GE and it's just over 4 cubic feet. This one is the quietest I've owned, gets the clothes really clean and spins them almost dry.

#37 somo_chickenlady

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:31 PM

I really don't find anything different as far as performance between the top loader and the front loader sets that I have had, other than the front loader took a LOT longer on both washing and drying.

Otherwise, the only things I could say is that I like the front loader more b/c I can just squat between the two and just transfer the wet clothes to the dryer. No bending over to reach into the washer or to put into the dryer, which works for my arthritis. :) On the other hand, my front loader washer is a bit finicky, and it changes how it reacts depending on what is in it (really heavy [rugs] and really light [just a couple items] loads don't get spun out correctly, as well as some heavy with some light...), but my top loader worked perfectly every time no matter what was in it.

#38 LaxMom

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:50 AM

I love my LG front loader.

I can wash things in it I could NEVER wash in a top-load. (e.g. extreme delicates, and down.)


me too! They make the happiest sounds when you turn them on. I even wash cashmere in mine. (though, I suppose if you're into felting this might be a drawback) Mine have a "play/pause" button (just like a cd player, with the > and ||), so I just pause it to add stuff I find after I start a load. It only takes a second for the door to unlock.

We've had ours for 9 years, I think? We get the musty smell if someone shuts the door after a load, but then it goes away with the next load and some airing. I've had a couple of "leakage" issues... both times the little drip on the floor in front of the washer was due to a very long hair hanging out through the gasket and the door. It was just a little puddle, maybe the size of a quarter, but enough to strike panic in my heart until I saw the hair. Of course it was mine. :blushing:

We had them side by side, no pedestals, for the first 8 years or so, then stacked them last year to put a shower stall in the laundry room (it was a half bath until then). I've liked both setups, though I miss the large flat area for putting up baskets. (OTOH, the tops don't collect piles of junk anymore)

We've had a couple minor issues (a stuck dispenser drawer in the first year, and a modulator widget thing this past year), both of which my husband took care of with little effort.

#39 ereks mom

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:44 AM

I have front loaders, and if I had it to do over again, I would NOT get a front loader washer. I like the option of filling the washing tub with water and letting items soak. A front loader uses minimal water, so that's not possible. I also like the option of being able to lift the lid and toss in a forgotten item anytime during the cycle. With a front loader, you can only add items during a certain portion of the cycle, and then you have to press the button and wait for the door to unlock, then add the item, close the door, and press the button again. We've had trouble recently with our front loader Whirlpool Duet because the latch sensor isn't working right, and sometimes it shuts itself off mid-cycle because it thinks the door isn't closed properly. Also, a metal button on a pair of EK's jeans somehow got caught under the edge of the rubber gasket that seals the door. It ripped the button off the jeans and then tore multiple holes in the rubber gasket, which caused water to pour out from around the door and onto the floor. We contacted the nearest authorized repair center to see what it would cost for a repairman to come out, and it was OUTRAGEOUS. We ordered the part ourselves from Amazon (about $70, I think) and dh & ER were able to fix it, but they had to take the washer almost completely apart in order to do it.

#40 kalanamak

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:40 PM

I like my front loader because less drying time AND much less wear and tear on clothes. I swear dresses last YEARS.


I timed myself and I take 28 seconds after the last load of the day drying the seal area, and I have no stink. I do use powdered soap. The liquid got stinky.


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