Our washer died while I was in Newfoundland last week. Water was leaking from it. I had it repaired twice in the past three years, so I told my wife to buy a new one: I didn’t want to invest anymore money into the 15 year old machine that was on its last leg.
So what did she do? She bought a front-loading washer.
Front-loading washers have the reputation of requiring less water and energy to wash clothes, although they tend to be twice as expensive (at least in my neck of the woods). My only incentive for getting that kind was their good energy use; but even so, I wasn’t willing to pay twice as much as a top-loading washer. I also read that they’re less reliable than top-loading.
We’ve always been a top-loading washer family. The appearance of front-loading washers in the past five years appears to be a fad, yet they’ve always out-sold top-loading washers in Europe, according to Wikipedia. And you never see laundromats with top-loading machines, which must be an indication of the reliability of front-loading washers.
I read they also require a special kind of soap, which will probably cost twice as much as regular clothes washing soap. It requires soap that generates less bubbles, I think, I’ll just try using less soap.
The front-loading washer is being delivered to our house today. I know you’re all anxious for my opinion about it, so I’ll post my opinion after I use the washer a few times.
Update (Aug. 20, 2008): No problems with either machine. The washer is quiet and efficient; you can shove a LOT more cloths in the front-loading machine than top-loading ones – at least twice as much. The cycles take a lot longer to complete, but it still uses less water. The dryer takes a lot less time to complete than our old dryer. We’re happy with both!