We have had our fancy front-loading Frigidaire clothes washer for almost as long as we’ve been in this house, well over a decade. (It took a couple months to save up to buy nice appliances, so we spent some time going to the laundromat after moving here rather than buying the cheapest models right away.)
Throughout this time, DH has replaced the electronic board, the motor, the door handle, and I’m probably forgetting what else.
Most recently the washer developed an internal leak which we discovered this summer after getting back from a week long conference/vacation and finding the drum partly full of water. DH replaced the internal part that the leak likely sprung from, but the occasional load of laundry still smells musty.* Worse than that, I appear to be heavily allergic to whatever is causing the must smell– I develop instant hives, particularly on my stomach area, and lately have been fearful of putting on clothing. Our first step was to follow online instructions for cleaning and we did a hot vinegar load. Then we did a hot bleach load. Then DH did a deep clean of every part of the washer that didn’t involve taking it apart (likely the problem is something yucky still underneath the drum). Most loads now are fine, especially when I also add vinegar in the fabric softener/bleach inputs. But there are enough occasional loads that are somewhat off that I currently have ugly looking red marks where my pants hit my stomach.
DH’s final attempt was to do a load with an industrial solvent called CLR (for Calcium, Lime, and Rust). Since then I’ve been able to wear clothing that’s been washed, but I’m (understandably, I think) still worried. Plus the clothes washer itself still doesn’t smell great all the time. (I wonder if we should suspect another leak…)
Now, DH could take apart the entire clothes washer and give it a thorough internal scrub… but it would eat up a weekend and who knows what the next thing to break will be. (We could also pay someone to clean it, but I suspect a repair person would just tell us to get a new machine.)
I am really tempted to just get a new machine. DH had decided if the CLR load didn’t result in wearable shirts for me that he would buy a new one over the weekend while I was gone at a conference. But then I was fine with the next load. So now we’re undecided. Figuring out what front-loading washer to buy next is going to be a pain. None of the “best of” lists seem to agree with each other, and I think we probably *don’t* want a smart model because I am willing to be that will be the part that breaks first while being non-trivial to repair. But who knows, maybe we do?
We still have our ancient refrigerator.
How do you decide to get new appliances like washing machines? If you can afford it, is removing potential emotional distress a viable reason? (But what about the potential distress from potentially buying an expensive new lemon?)
*Between loads we leave all the doors open to air out, and always have. We’ve been using best practices to avoid must problems. DH reads the manual to whatever new appliance we get and follows it.