We bought a new clothes washer

We decided it was time to get a new clothes washer because we couldn’t get the mustiness out of the old one (and did not want to spend a weekend taking it apart and putting it back together).  Instead, we spent a weekend reading online reviews, subscribing to consumer reports, etc. etc. etc.

Consumer reports had a different viewpoint than most of the other review sites, and that difference seemed to be entirely driven by brand reliability ratings.  Many of the for-profit sites preferred a fancy front-loading Electrolux model, but they got low points for long-term reliability with Consumer Reports.  Consumer Reports preferred LG as a brand.  After some comparison of pros and cons across different sites, we decided to get the LG #WM3700HWA (not an affiliate link) from Home Depot for a total cost including installation and parts of $913.93.

This is a pretty fancy clothes washer.

The thing that lots of people don’t like about it is that the panel display needs a lot of light in order to be read, so it isn’t great for basement laundry rooms.  Our utility room is bright and cheery with a window, so we don’t have that problem.

The second problem is that while this machine did really well on cleanliness in the tests, the regular cycle was not the most gentle of the washers that various places tested.  We have found that to be true in our case as well.  Our clothing gets clean without pre-soaking or a second wash (even DC1’s stinky pits), but it isn’t incredibly gentle on clothes.  For most of our clothing this doesn’t matter, but DC2 has had a couple of older shirts lose their printing in the washer.  My clothing that I’ve been washing on delicate doesn’t seem to have any problems, so maybe if this is something you’re worried about, stick to the delicate cycle.

Finally, there were complaints about the blue-tooth … but we are never going to want to use an app to run our laundry in our house.  Maybe if we had basement laundry or a more busy active lifestyle we might use the keep tumbling feature… but… I just don’t think we are going to be in a situation in which this would be a useful feature.

One nice thing about the washer, which may be also related to it being harder on clothing, is that it does a really good job of getting the water out of clothing, which has cut down on our dryer time considerably.  Most of our loads get dry in 50-60 minutes rather than 90+.  Of course, there’s also more time spent in the washer than before, so we haven’t actually cut down on total time.  But if dryers are bigger energy hogs than washers, this may not be a bad thing.

I also had some fun playing with the steam cycle that supposedly gets rid of allergens.  I did a load of itchy shirts and towels on that cycle and they came out not itchy at all and just as clean as the regular cycle.  So I’m not really sure if there’s a benefit to either cycle, except the allergen steam cycle takes twice as long as the regular cycle.

Supposedly this washer has a self-clean cycle.  We haven’t tried it yet.

The washer is also a lot bigger in capacity than our previous one.  Our dryer hasn’t gotten any bigger, so that’s not particularly helpful.

The thing we like best about this washer (other than the not giving me hives part) is that when it’s done washing, instead of strident beeping, it sings a happy little song that sounds reminiscent of an ice cream truck.  (Our Hondas also sing little songs when they’re going slowly– our household is getting pleasantly musical.  With a pleasantness exception of the way that the kids have been singing Christmas songs on the top of their lungs since June.)

So we’re pretty happy and I’m again wishing we’d just gotten a new washer back this summer when the door handle broke instead of after the leak and permanent spreading mustiness and hives.  But if it weren’t for the hives, we’d probably be happily continuing to use this washer and to fix smaller parts as they broke.

Are there any other updates you’re interested in reading about?

27 Responses to “We bought a new clothes washer”

  1. Michael N Nitabach Says:

    Sounds like a great washer! Ours has a “max extract” setting that spins the extra fucke out of the clothes during spin cycle so more water comes out. But I have found that the clothes stay more wrinkly even after drying that way, so I’d rather dry longer. And no, I’m not fucken ironing cotton jeans & khakis & t-shirts.

  2. First Gen American Says:

    My washer is currently in pieces as it stopped working properly yesterday and after much troubleshooting I think It’s the main mother board which is $250. I think I jinxed myself because just the other day I was thinking that my washer was 7 years old and that’s when the last one died on me.

    So I’m in a conundrum. Do I spend the $250 and hope for the best knowing that last time my bearings started to go at year 7 and that was a $350 fix? Or do I just buy a new one?

    And out comes my biggest beef…designing for obsolescence. Even from an environment perspective…wouldn’t we all be better off if our non energy hogging electronics and appliances lasted longer? I don’t want to replace this stuff every 5-7 years or even every 10 when I know they can be designed to last 20 or more. I just hate it. Some of these companies buy from us so I know they are shortening their design life on purpose to up the replacement cycle. It’s so infuriating because it’s not twice as expensive to make These kinds of things last twice as long.

    The Seer rating minimums on ac units were legislated and now we have much more efficient systems. Same goes with phasing out incandescents. There is no way in hell it would have happened without government mandates. These are companies I work with so I know this first hand. I think big government does play an important role in this Kind of stuff. Didn’t think I’d make this comment political but I am afraid of rolling back all these kinds of controls because they do work.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      You’re right.

      I’ve been thinking more and more how we really do need that consumer protection agency, but mostly in the context of privacy. It’s really creepy what Facebook(/instagram/etc) has been doing lately and how we’re not protected if we want to use products. Also monopoly—Amazon is one.

      • First Gen American Says:

        It was venting to a frugal friend at work and he said to look up Speedqueen. They are the washers that are used in laundromats. They have a 10 year warranty and I am going to put my money where my mouth is and buy one…still have a little research to do but I want to start rewarding these companies who make stuff to last with my patronage.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I feel like consumer reports didn’t like them, or didn’t like the new models? But I’m not sure.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        https://thewirecutter.com/blog/speed-queen-washer/

        … this does not sound like a company one should reward :( Not since 2018, anyway.

      • First Gen American Says:

        That article was for a top loader. I got the front loader. We shall see what happens. I’ve tried just about all the big well rated brands at this point with mediocre results, so it’s worth a try…and feel more warm and fuzzy with a 10 year warranty (it’s normally 5 but they are running a promotion for 10).

    • bogart Says:

      Amen.

      When my mother downsized, I insisted on claiming her fridge. It is not as energy efficient as newer ones, and it does not have an ice maker (never mind bluetooth). But … it is 50 years old (yes, for real) and it — knock on wood — still works.

      We have recently ordered whole-house surge protection through our electrical provider (at a cost … $50 to set up and $6/month?) to try to get our computer-enabled devices to last longer…

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        DH and I were just talking this weekend about whether we should or should not replace our fridge, and the fact that it’s 18+ years old and still working is a compelling argument for keeping it. (Especially since DH has a set of missing fan parts on hand in case that part breaks as it tends to do every few years.) Currently the thought is the next time the fan goes out we will fix it and then look for a replacement, but no need to borrow trouble until then. (The DCs were in the car while we were talking about this and DC1 has a strong preference for an automatic ice maker, but cold water makes my teeth hurt, so I just don’t care. We told hir zie could make ice cubes the old fashioned way anytime zie wanted, but zie hasn’t, so…)

        I did notice that a number of the new highly rated fridges aren’t metal so you can’t put magnets on them(!) I would rather have a budget fridge than have to change my grocery shopping and meal planning organization.

      • bogart Says:

        Yeah … I enjoy having an ice maker but don’t know that I’d replace a working fridge to get one. I do not want (and we do not have) the kind that dispenses ice — we still have to (gasp!) open the freezer and scoop the ice out (useful for filling large containers but not as useful if one wants a single, icy beverage which, like you, I don’t).

        Non-magnetic fridges? I’m with you!

      • Michael N Nitabach Says:

        We’ve had non-magnetic fridge for fifteen yearz & I still try to stick magnets on it & haplessly watch them fall to the floor. 😹😹😹

  3. rose Says:

    Went to my washer and dryer and said positive encouraging appreciative things to them as they are about 18 years old. The planned obsolescence is terrible!!!! And, every time I use the equipment at my children’s (adults) homes I am amazed at how long the cycles take (in addition to the built in obsolescence) … washer is slower and heaven save the dryers ever finishing.
    THANK YOU For reporting on your new machine and the features you are liking … I have no illusion that any appliance will last long these days and they are expensive. (PS: I am now having a far greater understanding of why today’s dual working parents have such trouble getting laundry done; cycles are so much longer it can take the whole evening to run a load from hamper to washer to dryer to folding and putting away after children is asleep is guaranteed to waken them …

  4. CG Says:

    We also have an LG, sounds like less fancy than yours (not bluetooth-enabled!). Our nanny has pointed out that you can sing along with the tune, “Laundry is done! Laundry is done!” So we do. Glad your new machine is working well for you!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      It was hard to find a highly rated washer that wasn’t bluetooth enabled! (Even if the bluetooth was rated poorly.)

      • CG Says:

        We bought ours a few years ago and I guess that wasn’t as much a thing then. It is still working well. I will say that the drawer where you put the laundry detergent really stinks and it’s hard to get clean. We’ve taken to pulling it all the way out and leaving it upside down every time we do the wash, but even that isn’t enough. That Affresh stuff helps for a while, and adding vinegar to the wash seems to help, too, but it’s gotten worse over time. Just something to watch out for. The drum itself seems fine, including the rubber gasket.

  5. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    Thanks so much for reporting back!

    I don’t know that you’d have any way to answer this but my question would be to wonder how good it is at handling pet fur. With our two dogs, that’s a concern. We wash everyone on delicate except for dog stuff and whites. My experience with “rough on clothes” has been “tears holes in it”, but it sounds like your rough regular cycle isn’t on the level of destruction.

  6. Mary Says:

    I think we have the same model and I’m very happy with it. Though I’ve never been able to make myself look at reviews before buying things, so I’m always excited when I randomly pick something that turns out to actually work well.

    Is « clothes washer » a regional (or maybe a personal) expression? I’ve only ever heard it called a « washing machine » or, occasionally, a « washer »

  7. accm Says:

    I’ve been happy with my LG washer (another feature I like is the delay wash – stick clothes in at bedtime and have them washed just in time for waking up – though I imagine most machines have this!) but the tune gets old after a few years. Recently I stayed at a place where the washer (I think it was Samsung?) played Schubert’s Trout theme when finished.

  8. SP Says:

    That seems similar to ours, although a different model (LG WM3770HVA). Hmm, I’ve never actually used the delay wash feature, but that seems like it could be helpful. I like it because it is larger (we did get a new dryer) and has many more settings than our old washer.

    Our house came with a non-magnetic fridge. :(

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      My sister’s is also a similar LG model with a different number. I felt a little validated when I saw it at her place the last time we visited.

      What do people DO when their fridges aren’t magnetic? We use it for menu planning and important calendar stuff from the school in addition to artwork. Also reminders about what can and cannot go into recycling (that’s on a magnet the city sent) and the football schedule for the year.

      • SP Says:

        Well, LO is one, so no artwork yet. We don’t keep a running grocery list. I hang a calendar on a side wall, which is near the fridge. Important magnets (like emergency numbers) go on the washing machine (which is near by) or side of the microwave.

        It’s pretty stupid though. Especially since I used to collect magnets as my travel souvenir! Now our washer/dryer houses them.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        … I guess we could use the dishwasher or the microwave side…

        Still, I don’t wanna!

  9. bethh Says:

    I have an LG washer and I call the tune it plays The Song of Validation :) I got my dryer at the same time and the tunes are the same. Even more validation!

  10. Linda Says:

    Just popping in to say that I found this post and the comments very helpful in the past week.

    My washer died at the end of last week. :-( It was an old Kenmore “laundry center” with the washer and dryer integrated together. It came with the house, so I guess I should be glad it lasted 3.5 years, despite being in pretty beat up condition.

    The first thought I had was to check Grumpy Rumblings for this post. I know you do thorough research and that I could trust that whatever you chose to buy would be a good machine to consider. I found the best price on this washer at Best Buy, and I ordered it and the matching dryer. They were delivered and installed yesterday, and now I can do laundry again. Yay! Thank you!


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