Top Loading Washing Machine

Everyone hates doing laundry, but it’s even worse doing laundry in a washing machine you don’t like or one that has problems. A top loading washing machine is the standard, traditional type of washing machine, and while you may be tempted to go with one of the front loading machines or other fancy washing machine, there’s a reason why a top loading washing machine is the traditional standard type of machine. It has several different advantages over other types of washing machines.

Top loading washing machines are fairly simple in their operation. All you have to do is open the top of the washing machine, dump your dirty laundry down into the tumbler, and close the lid. Generally, you’ll find a few different knobs on your top loading washing machine. One will set the load size (small or large, generally); another will set the water (cold, hot, or warm); and the final knob, the one with the most options, will let you set the various washing options (permanent press, extra-dirty, etc.).

A top loading washing machine does not have some of the issues that the newer, more modern front loading washing machines have. While the newest, most modern front loading machines have overcome some of these issues, some still have problems with water leaking out around the door. The seal on the front door of these new washing machines can, over time, no longer shut quite as tightly as it should. This can allow water to drip out all over the floor. Top loading washing machines do not have this issue since water never reaches the lid and the rest of the washing machine, barring the section on the back where water flows in and out of the machine, is virtually water tight and does not leak.

Another issue is cost. A top loading washing machine is often cheaper than a front loading machine simply because they are seen as being older. However, top loading washing machines are still made today, and many are quite modern. Top loading washing machines are also the predominate type of washing machine that can be bought used. If you’re looking for a washing machine on a budget, you’ll most likely find a top loading washing machine is your best option. This is especially true if you just need a washer – some front loading washers and dryers come as a set.

There is one more option for a washing machine: a stackable washer and dryer. By stacking the dryer on top of the top loading washing machine, you only need half the space for your laundry appliances. However, these stackable washers and dryers are smaller than full sized units, so you’ll have to do more loads of laundry to wash the same amount of clothes. If you don’t have space for a full sized washer and dryer, though, a stackable unit may be your only choice. Stackable washers and dryers feature top loading washing machines; however, since the dryer hangs over the washer, the lids on these top loading washing machines are often fairly short so they can be fully opened.

A top loading washing machine may be seen as an older model, but in truth, top loading washing machines are still the most popular type of washing machine. They’re also the most reliable, and while some front loading machines have better seals, there’s always the chance of water leaking out of them. That’s just not a concern with a top loading washing machine. If you’re concerned about leaking or simply want a washing machine that you know you can get parts and service for, a top loading washing machine is just what you need.

This Top Loading Washing Machine Review is Written/Updated on Sep 3rd, 2009 and filed under Home Appliances. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

13 Responses for “Top Loading Washing Machine”

  1. Anil says:

    One more disadvantage of front loading machines: Their detergent is way too expensive as compared to top loading machines. Though i simply don’t know why.

    • peggy says:

      The review was so greatly helpful to me . In addition ,the issue of the expensive soap for front loader helped me to decide not to go for front loader while I was indecisive between the top or front loader. Thank You so much.

    • Mark says:

      Interesting points. Unfortunately, the reviewer failed to mention the following:

      1. Front loaders use an average of 55% less water and electricity than a standard top loader.

      2. The average spin speed on a front loader is between 1000rpm/ 1200rpm. A standard top loader spins at 650rpm, thus increasing the drying time significantly.

      3. The issue of leaky seals is pure scare mongering. The reviewer mentions that ‘newer model machines have dealt with this problem’, and since front loaders ARE relatively ‘new’ to the American market, this isnt an issue. Front loaders are, and always have been the standard washing process in Europe. Given that Whirlpool, GE etc have European divisions, they have the international experience of 50 years of front load washing to use when building models for the American market.

      4. Contrary to the views expressed, front loaders were widely available in the US in the 40′s and 50′s, so they aremt actually new at all. Does anybody out there remember the Bendix? Ricky & Lucy used to advertise these machines all the time in between TV shows, hence the nick name ‘Soaps’!!

      5. No Matter which way to cut it, any machine, modern or otherwise, that uses 3/4 bathtubs of water to wash a load of laundry IS totally ineffecient. The only people that benefit from their continued use are the utility companies that issue attractive rebates to keep their customers buying them AND using them for as long as possible.

      6. Top loaders rely on bleaches etc to ‘kill ‘ the dirt, because a centre post cannot agitate clothes sufficiently, despite the visual effect !! Front loaders use less water, so the mechanical action of the tumbling drum is more effective. They also heat their own water to the desired temperature, thus allowing the biological action of the HE powders to be more effective.

      In closing, everybody hates change, but when the change benefits the environment, improves the quality of your laundry AND puts dollars back in your pocket, its a no brainer.

      • WashExpert says:

        This post sounds like manufacturer propaganda. The simple fact of the matter is that front load machines are grossly overpriced and the amount of water and electricity that they save is only pennies of difference between top loaders. Front loaders on average last two to three times longer.

      • Lou says:

        I HATE my front loader. In two years the seal has broken twice. Thank God we bought the extended warranty! I am sure when it runs out we will have to buy a new machine and I will be buying a top loader. Besides the seal ripping twice (once was when I had a couple of sweaters on a delicate cycle) I also hate…mold that gets in detergent area that you can’t get to even with a toothbrush, mildew smell on clothes, smaller loads (it just doesn’t fit as much as my top loader). So in the end you can keep your “savings” with the front loader. I will save money and buy the top loader :) .

      • Kurt says:

        The problem with my highly efficient front loader is that I have need service every year for six years. And just now ONE spring broke on the drum and it tore everything up on the inside. Estimated cost to fix it was $850. So I have had to cut down a lot of trees in order to print the money needed to fix this junk. Your right change is coming. I am going back to the reliable units.

  2. earl says:

    Good article and very helpful. I’ve spent the past three days researching washing machines because I’m in need of a new washer and dryer. At first I was most excited about the front loaders but once I began looking at them more closely I’ve returned to the tried and true top loader. Until the numerous front load machines get the many issues they have resolved I for one will remain a loyal top loader owner. I find it most disturbing how complicated manufacturers are making this simple clothes washing process. Also, all the added technology and electronic components are so unnecessary and very costly to repair and/or replace. With todays “green” movement the manufacturers would be better off in the long run to return to the better made and quality of their products from days gone by.

    • lise says:

      Strongly agree with earl about all the electronics that go into a washer these days. In addition, it is also disturbing to read about high-tech washers that have motor failures after a short period of time. Shouldn’t the electric motor be perfected by the year 2010?? We are researching washer options to participate in the Ohio appliance rebate program. I am cautious about giving up my 20-year old GE washer that still works!!

      • Deb says:

        I am with you on the GE washer. Ours was purchased in 1969 (41 years ago) and is still going strong, even after raising 2 active boys the oldest is now 40. My husband replaced the points, once, and the lid switch twice in the life of the machine. Once we bought a water softener, in 1978, he didn’t have to take the fill valves apart every year and clean them because of hard water build up. The matching GE dryer is still running too. We have had to replace the light bulb twice and the door switch once.

    • WashExpert says:

      Exactly!

      Manufacturers are simply trying to control everyone by forcing the public into more expensive and ridiculously complicated machines that in reality not only do not save the consumer any money but actually cost them more money with more expensive machines that require more expensive detergent that break down more, cost more to repair and only last a fraction of the time a traditional conventional and simple top load washer will last. My Kenmore top loader just expired at age nineteen (19) years and two (2) months. There is no front loader that will make it past five years.

      S

  3. Nadine says:

    Front loader was a great disappointment. My very popular LG brand washer lasted only 2 and a 1/2 years. It was extremely expensive to purchase, came with features I never used, developed a lot of mold around door and soap dispenser which was impossible to clean and the detergent cost more. After such a short time of regular use it needed a new drum and motor which was still covered under warranty HOWEVER what was not covered was the bearings and plastic inside motor covering which cost more than half the cost of a new machine and would take a week to receive the parts and two persons a day to repair. Environmentally friendly I think not when it ends up in a landfill after two years. I’m strongly considering a top loader instead which experience has proven more efficient.

  4. Jane says:

    I need a new washer – my Admiral doesn’t spin and is too costly to repair. After talking to people and seeing the front loaders – I won’t buy one – they stink (literally) and people don’t like them. The energy efficient GE top loader also gets horrible reviews and I warned by someone who bought one. I’ve been hand wringing my clothes between cycles and using my Admiral for months now. I’ll go a laundromat before I’ll be buying the pieces of junk they are now making (like “lise” said, they used to last for 20 yrs.) Somehow the savings on water and energy (I line dry anyways) doesn’t seem to offset the cost of manufacturing and shipping these cheap machines every year. I’m hoping to find and old one like my Grandmother and Mom used to have – it drained the soapy water into the wash tub and reused it or a really old one with the wringer – my Mom had one that must have been 40 yrs old she used for rugs.

    These 3 mo -1 year warranties on expensive appliances is ridiculous, but I blame consumers for continuing to buy this crap.

  5. Marco says:

    The reason why so many front load washers smell is because over 50% of the “Special” people that buy them ignore the “USE HE SOAP” sticker every single time they open the soap dispenser. If you actually take a few minutes and read the maintenance part of your owners manual you will see, that you should leave the door or dispenser open and wipe it down a few times a week. If your spending that kind of money you should spend 2 minutes of your time and learn how to maintain it.

    As far as odors are concerned, I have had an LG front load for 6 years now and still no odor. Again just leave the door open and or the soap compartment and wipe the gasket a few times a week.

    This machine is the easiest machine to operate. for a normal cycle I put the clothes in put the soap in, press POWER than PLAY (defaults to NORMAL). I don’t have to worry about water temperature, water level, spin speed….NOTHING. As far as the more expensive soap, SURE. Its more money but if you are putting in the right amount it should last you just as long if not longer than the top load.

    Dryers are the second largest energy consumers in your house. Go to a friends house (with a front load) and see how much longer your dryer runs than theirs. Because the washer spins so fast (specially my LG because its direct drive. It never looses spin speed unlike most front load machines that use a belt and it stretches, leaving more and more water in the clothes over time making the dryers run longer and longer) the dryer has a much shorter cycle reducing by electricity bills and damage to my clothing due to exposure to heat.

    I like to open stuff up and found it very interesting that even the circuit boards on my machine were coated with some sort of clear rubber. The motor so simple just magnets. Hinges bullet proof. But my favorite is the little trap in the bottom of the machine should you ever loose something in the wash. This protects the pump one of the most repaired parts in a machine. Cant say enough about my machine.

    Last but not least it costs much more than a few cents to run a top load vs a front load. I’ll leave you with a little know fact about front loaders. In 1 year an average family (using a front load) will save the same amount of water that the average person drinks in their lifetime. If you don’t care about that maybe you should.

    That’s just my two cents, hope that helps you in making your next laundry purchase. And remember the average top load uses about 40 -50 gallons of water per cycle where the top load uses 10-12 gallons

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