Modern technology puts a new spin on the classic washer
Today's clothes washers come with a laundry list of impressive features, wash cycles and other options. Whether you're replacing an old clunker, upgrading to a newer model or stocking your very first laundry room, you'll need to learn what these new features do before you make your decision... read more
When you're looking for a new washer, the first and most basic question to answer is whether you prefer a top-loading washer or a front-loading washer. Each type of washer has its pros and cons, which can make the decision difficult. Get a big-picture idea of some of the general differences between top-load and front-load washers and figure out which might be better for you and your home.
A high-efficiency (HE) washer is a newer and more efficient version of the traditional top-load washer. While they tend to be a little more expensive than conventional top-load washers, they also save you money on utility bills by using less water and electricity.
Because they don't have an agitator inside the wash basket, HE washers tend to have more room inside for laundry and are more likely to be able to accommodate large items like comforters, blankets and small rugs.Read More
If you're looking for a new washer and dryer but don't have a lot of space, two options that might work for your home are a laundry center and an all-in-one washer and dryer. Both of these laundry units combine a washer and dryer in one space-saving design, allowing you to fit them in small spaces such as closets. Laundry centers feature a dryer mounted on top of a washer, while all-in-one models wash and dry your clothes in a single unit. If saving space is an important concern for you, read on to learn more about the pros and cons of these two compact laundry solutions...Read More
Anti-vibration technology is a feature on some washers that reduces vibration and noise. It works by balancing large loads so that the spin cycle doesn't cause a loud back-and-forth motion.
Loud washers can be distracting when you're trying to talk, watch TV or sleep, while a washer with anti-vibration technology allows you to enjoy more peace and quiet. This is a good feature for washers located on second floors and near bedrooms and living areas. If your washer does not have anti-vibration technology, you can still add anti-vibration pads underneath your machine to soften vibrations and protect your floors...Read More
Modified energy factor (MEF) is a number that describes how much energy a washer uses to remove moisture from wet clothes. All ENERGY STAR®-compliant washers must have an MEF of 2.0-6.0; the higher the number, the more efficient it is. It's important to keep in mind that MEF describes energy efficiency, not total energy expended. In other words, one cycle of a portable washer with a low MEF might still use less energy than one cycle of a large-capacity washer with a high MEF, just because it's smaller. Over time, however, a washer with a higher MEF will expend less energy (all other things being equal)...Read More
Load monitoring is a feature in some washers that automatically determines how much water to use, based on the weight of the clothes. A washer that does not have load monitoring requires you to manually select the size of each load, which can be inaccurate. Too little water, and your clothes might not get clean; too much, and you waste water and electricity. Load monitoring reduces the number of settings you have to adjust and ensures your clothes will always be washed in just the right amount of water...Read More
Some newer washers have a steam cycle, which uses hot water vapor to better clean and flatten your laundry right inside the wash basket.
The steam cycle on a washer works similarly to a garment steamer. The hot air from the steam causes the fibers in your fabric to relax, gently smoothing out wrinkles and creases. Steam cycles increase the temperature of your wash, which also helps provide a deeper cleaning when washing clothes that are stained or heavily soiled. The higher temperatures in the steam cycle can also help sanitize your clothes and reduce allergens...Read More
The delicate cycle of a washing machine is a gentle wash cycle meant to clean your delicate clothing such as silk, sweaters and lingerie.
While stronger wash cycles can stretch, rip, shrink, fade or distort your delicate garments, the delicate cycle uses cold water and mild agitation to protect these articles from damage. A delicate cycle cleans away dirt and odors, but won't provide the same deep cleaning as a stronger wash cycle. When using the delicate cycle, consider using a gentle detergent and make sure the garments you're washing aren't marked "dry clean only" or "hand wash only"...Read More
A permanent press cycle on your washer or dryer is meant to remove and minimize wrinkles.
A washer on permanent press will wash clothes in warm water and rinse them in cool water, maintaining a mild agitation and spin. The warm water helps relax creases while the slow spin prevents new wrinkles from forming. A permanent press cycle is gentler than a regular cycle, making it good for synthetic fibers like polyester, rayon and knits. Because it does not use hot water, a permanent press cycle will also reduce shrinking and color fading...Read More
Oxygenated additive, also called oxygen cleaners or oxygen bleach, is a liquid or powder that you add to your clothes in the washer to help clean and lift stains.
The ingredients in these additives create oxygen bubbles that effervesce and help break down stains. By removing discolorations, you can make your whites whiter and your colors brighter. Oxygen additives are gentler on your clothes and better for the environment than cleaners that use harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia. Some washers have an extra dispenser for oxygenated additives; however, if yours does not, you can also add your oxygen cleaner directly into the wash basket...Read More
Fabric softener is a liquid that coats the surface of your clothes in a thin layer of lubricants to make them feel softer and smoother.
Fabric softener has several benefits: it provides some resistance to stains and wrinkles, prevents static cling and improves how easily an iron will glide over the clothes. If you have a top-load washer, pour the fabric softener into the cuplike dispenser at the top of the agitator; add it manually during the rinse cycle if there is no dispenser. If you have a front-load washer, add the fabric softener to the proper dispenser, and it will automatically dispense during the final rinse...Read More