Laundry 101

Be an educated consumer when shopping for your next washing machine.


 Here are some tips to get you started!

Top-Load versus Front-Load

  • Physical preference:  Be conscious of the ease of loading and unloading a top-load washer, as opposed to kneeling down and unloading a front-load machine.  Not only do most people find it physically easier to unload a top load washer, the majority of washers are still top load and most consumers are used to them.
  • Laundry room measurements: The majority of front-load washers require a cutout depth of 31.5″ which many laundry closets do not have. On the other hand, front-load washing machines offer the ability to stack the dryer on top, which leaves more room in your laundry area.
  • Water considerations: As a rule, front-load washing machines use less water and work more effectively than their top-load counterparts.
  • Maintenance: As a rule, top-load washers are more durable than front-loaders, tending to last longer.
  • Gentle Wash: As a rule, front-load washers are gentlest on clothes.
High-efficiency top-load washers work best with small loads that are perfectly distributed. This can be problematic due to the fact that most consumers tend to need a machine that can handle larger loads.  However, if that is not a factor, top-loaders can work perfectly well and tend to outlast front-loading machines.

Consumers who have used a top-load washer, like an old Maytag, for a long time should purchase a traditional top-load washer as it is designed very similarly and they won’t have to relearn how to do laundry. Consumers that are water conscious but don’t want a front-loader should purchase a Fisher & Paykel top-load machine because it uses less water than most of its peers.


Steam Features

In steam washers, clothes are cleaned at 212 degrees F, which will get clothes cleaner, whites whiter, and previously impossible-to-remove stains are removed with steam. A normal hot cycle is 130 degrees F.  Other benefits include sanitation (171 degrees) and sterilization (175 degrees) which normal washing machines cannot achieve.


Steam dryers reduce damage done to clothes by introducing moisture.  This avoids over-drying and reduces the need for ironing considerably.  Steam drying is counterintuitive, but works great for wrinkle-free button down shirts, sheets and dresses.



Most front-load laundry owners recognized the appeal of pedestals because doing laundry on your hands and knees is not fun for anyone. It is important to note, however, that you cannot stack a dryer and a washer atop a single pedestal.  Side-by-side laundry on pedestals can take up a lot of space in the laundry room, although pedestal drawers can offer storage for detergent and such.


Washer Trays
Installing laundry on the second floor of your house is becoming more and more common.  While it makes sense to keep the washer close to where the clothes are stored, leaks from an upstairs bedroom cause far more damage than when laundry is in the basement.
Many insurance companies now require a plumbed washer tray to be installed under washing machine on the second floor.  If the washer ever leaks, water flows into the tray, then out through your plumbing. Trays that are not connected to a drain will do little to prevent water damage caused by a leaky washer.

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