Make Laundry a Cinch: What to Look for When Buying a Washing Machine

Laundry Day Made Easy

It seems there have never been more options when it comes to buying washing machines. From special agitators and front-loading machines to portable models and automatic detergent dispensers, washing machine manufacturers are delivering variety to consumers.

Washing Machine Brands

You'll find a multitude of manufacturers of washers and dryers on the market; some have been recognized and trusted by families for generations.

Whirlpool is a good example of a washing machine manufacturer with longevity. Whirlpool washers have a variety of features that make them unique, including the patented Gentle Wash System. This feature has special agitation speeds that deliver powerful cleaning at the beginning of the wash cycle and gentle cleaning near the end.

At GE, the washing machine is said to be "smarter," thanks to innovations like H2ITION technology. With this feature, the GE washing machine senses the size of the load being laundered and adds the appropriate amount of water.

Consumers may remember the Maytag repairman, a character on television commercials who was bored because the reliability of Maytag washers and dishwashers made his business slow. Today, Maytag prides itself on offering washers and dryers with commercial-grade strength for home laundry applications.

Top-Loading vs. Front-Loading Washers

Washing machines fall into two main categories, those that open at the top and those that open at the front. The main difference between the two styles is cost: top-loaders are cheaper, but front-loaders will save you money in energy and water costs from day one. And while a top-loading machine is more compact, it also has a smaller capacity, which can be another mark against it. However, don't discount all top-loaders on the assumption that all front-loaders are better, as brands can range widely in quality. Moreover, a large, luxury front-loading washer is not necessarily right for every household.

Energy and Time Savers

Today's innovations in washers and dryers can save consumers time and money. For example, the GE Profile SmartDispense Frontload Laundry Pair dispenses the right amount of detergent and fabric softener and selects the appropriate cycle for each load. The quality of your water can also save you some expenses. If you live in an area with hard water, you can convert it to soft water using a water softener. Soft water cleans better and saves energy; it's also better for bathing.

Space Savers: The Portable Washing Machine and Laundry Center

Consumers who don't have a large laundry area will find many options. The laundry center offers a stacked washer and dryer set as small as 24 inches in width, making it ideal for a closet or kitchen nook. Portable washing machines are also great for small spaces. You can find very small portable washing machines that don't require electricity, which saves both money and energy.

While washers and dryers are functional in design, they've recently acquired their own sense of style. You can still find washers and dryers in traditional white finishes, but you'll also see stainless steel models as well as washing machines and dryers in sleek colors such as red, enabling consumers to choose products that reflect their personal tastes and styles.

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