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Friday, September 14, 2007

The Washer and Dryer Challenge

Now that the closing for this house is right around the corner and it actually looks like we are going to get out of this hotel room, I can think seriously about getting a washer and dryer. John and I went to Sear's the other day to get an idea of what's out there and it is seriously overwhelming. Then it occurred to me, what better way to get tips and recommendations than through this blog?

Calling all readers (you are out there, aren't you?): Help me!

What brand is best? What brand to avoid? Kenmore. Whirlpool. Maytag. More brands. Brands I've never heard of.

The stackables are out, simply because this house does have a laundry room and I seem to recall there are built-in cupboards up above. They're an unnecessary expense, it seems, unless you really need the space-saving.

The front-load washer option also seems to automatically add several hundred dollars. Is it worth it? Why would I need to have that? One woman I ran into -- at the hotel's laundry room, fittingly -- said that those front-loaders take longer for their cycles, though not as long as the European-style we had in Italy (a whopping two hours for one load). She also said you don't have the option to soak. Well, I've never soaked a load in my life: I guess I'm just not attached to my T-shirt and jeans and clothes that my children are just going to outgrow. But I'm certainly not anxious to have longer wash cycles again, either. Especially for no good reason. Even lugging our laundry across the hotel grounds has seemed like bliss because I can do a week's worth of dirty clothes in one evening! You have no idea.

But I digress.

We are not going to be in this house forever --maybe four years -- and it is a fair chance that this washer and dryer won't go with us when we do leave. Then again, they might. But it is also a fair chance that we may rent the house out when we're done with this place and leave the washer and dryer for the tenants, which means they need to be good enough to keep doing the job even after we're gone. The washer and dryer need to be good enough, that is. I don't really care if the tenants are good at doing laundry or not.

Please attach your comments to this post. All you have to do is click on the comments link at the bottom of the post. And go ahead and get over your lazy bums and create a log-in, for Pete's sake! It's really easy, I promise! Even you geriatric-types, you can do it! You can! (Sorry, mom, I'm including you in that, too.)

If you stumbled across this site and have no idea who I am but you just happen to do laundry, I'd love to know what you think, too.

It'd also feel real nice not to look like a loser-blogger who has no readers.


Jerilyn said...

Sorry, haven't had time to do this before now. Personally I wouldn't get a Kenmore again. However, Judith says hers is fine. I know Whirlpool makes Kenmore, but they make them to Sears' specifications. I've had Whirlpool and they were good.
The best one I remember having was GE, but that's been a few years ago. But that's what Carmen has so you can ask her about hers.
Given my laundry room I'd like front loading because then I could put a counter top on the top of the machines and have some work space.
Carmen also has front loading so she could tell you about those. You may have to just call her - her days are crazy.

Kim said...

Check out Consumer Reports Buying Guide for the best brands for you priorities. We bought a front loading when we moved here to years ago. They are Frigidaire. Mine can stack or not. The main thing with front loaders for those of us that move often is being careful to secure the washing drum before moving since it basically free floats inside the casing.

If you think you might leave it for tenants at all, spend as little as you can on a regular set since you never know how it will be treated. Good luck shopping.

Kathy from NJ said...

I found you from a comment on Notes from the Trenches. I would not get a front loader because once the wash cycle starts, if you find three more pairs of underpants (or anything else) you can't throw them in. I do approx 10 loads of laundry per week, have had my Whirlpool for 22 years and have had one service call. But no one makes appliances like they used to.

A Military Spouse said...

kathy from nj,
You are so right about that. Once you start it you are done, like it or not. We are still considering our options, looking at what is on base. We pay no tax there and they're also having 10% off right now... which means they are also pretty wiped out. One matching set left that looks nice does include a front-load washer. I wonder if anyone else finds themselves annoyed with that feature? I feel like I'll just be grateful a load of laundry doesn't take half a day!

Cherilyn said...

I've heard the front loaders supposedly clean better but I'm with Kathy. I too find another pair of underwear or, worse, another item for the white load after the bleach is all loaded and the cycle started. You don't want to add the bleach to another load, but in a front loader you can't add it in because once the cycle starts, too bad. Plus the front loaders are a LOT more expensive.

I also just heard that Kenmore no longer makes Whirpool and that Whirpool is the way to go, not Kenmore. This was from a friend who just built a house and checks all these things out thoroughly. But try the Consumer Reports. I have a subscription. I'll send you the user name and password. Check your e-mail.

I will tell you though that the only washer/dryer appliance we ever bought was our Kenmore washer when we were married one year, so 18 years ago. Every dryer we have had has been given to us by someone whose washer gave out and they wanted a matching set so they gave us the dryer. We just got dryer #3 this year so even as used, they have lasted a long time! Check the classifieds and see if there are some for sale because people are buying the matched set. Or check an appliance repair shop. Sometimes they have used as well.

And by the way, I do not write better than you. I think it's the opposite. But thanks for saying that.

Carmen said...

I have a frontloader Whirlpool Duet at the recommendation of the repairman that felt sorry for me when he told me that the eight year old( frontloading Neptune was toast. (Class action lawsuit model!) Unlike my first frontlaoder, you can pause the cycle and add more clothes quite a ways into it. A normal cyle takes 50 minutes, but the drying is quick because they spin so dry before you take them out of the washer. I do laundry once a week for out family of five and I only have to do three or four loads because you can fit so much into it. (It is advertised that you can wash 16 pairs of jeans at once. Try that in Italy!) I start in the morning and if I keep switching I can be done before school gets out. It is rated top in Consumer Reports and it is what the repairman personally owns.
However, your criteria is different from mine, so I don't know if it is worth the extra money. We paid around $900 with a rebate. We did not buy the dryer because our old one was still working. We asked about GE because we could get a discount, but he said he didn't think they were very good. He really said he would only buy Whirlpool, frontloading or other.
Good Luck!

The said...

I'd better leave it to you. I barely know what brand I have. They work.