Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Show & Tell: My new "toys"

Dh & I have been in this house 19 years... so that means that our stove, refrigerator, washer & dryer (all Gen.e.ral Ele.ctric brand) were also... 19 years old. A few of them were beginning to show signs of wear & tear, so while I was at home on holidays in mid-August, I finally got a repair guy in to look at them.

The stove & fridge were fairly easy fixes (he commented that they're both in mint condition ) -- but he took one look/listen to the washer (which had recently started making a horrible loud squeaking noise while agitating the clothes) & told me it wasn't worth fixing. Something about the agitator being slowly stripped, & it would eventually just stop agitating the clothes, possibly even float off & get oil on what I'm washing. He said was OK for the time being but not to leave it too long. He didn't charge me anything for looking at it.

I didn't have him look at the dryer, but one of the cycles wasn't working anymore (the dial seemed to get "stuck" without actually completing the cycle & shutting down), so I figured it was time for a new dryer too.

I mentioned that several of my friends have gotten (& love) the front-load models recently. He said he actually didn't think too much of them, that they have been known to develop a musty odour that permeates your clothes & is impossible to get out (although some of the newer models have features to try to prevent this).

This surprised me -- so I sent out a mass e-mail to a bunch of my friends, quizzed my co-workers and posted on some of my regular Internet bulletin boards to find out what they thought & to get their recommendations on brands, features, etc. I also did some Googling.

Everyone told me they loved, loved, loved their front loaders. Most of them hadn't even heard of the odour problem, but from those who had, & what I read on Google, I learned a few tips:
  • wipe the rubber gasket dry after finishing your laundry for the day.
  • leave the door open when the machine is not in use to allow it to dry out thoroughly.
  • use only the recommended detergents & fabric softeners -- i.e., ones labelled "HE" (high efficiency).
  • once a month, run a cycle (some machines have a special cleaning cycle) using hot water & bleach, or a special HE machine cleaner.
After surveying our friends, looking around & talking to a very knowledgeable saleswoman, we wound up buying a pair (manufactured in Germany by Whirl.po.ol) for a quite decent price. The saleswoman said she bought the same set for both her sons when they got married, which I figured was a pretty good recommendation. ; ) Decided to skip the platforms, which would have added an extra $400-500 to the price. I figure for $500, I can bend over, lol. Plus, as she pointed out, you can fold things on the top when they're lower down (which I often do).

They got delivered this past Saturday morning. I was having serious anxiety & could hardly sleep all Friday night -- I had it in my head that the machines were not going to fit through the laundry room door. The laundry room was built 10 years ago by my FIL around the old machines. The door is also at such an angle that I feared the machines' passage in & out of the room would be blocked by the furnace.

But all went well. The delivery guys -- scheduled to arrive "sometime between 7 a.m. & 1 p.m." arrived at 8:45 a.m. In less than half an hour, the old machines went out to the curb (where they were scooped up overnight by some treasure hunter!) & the new ones went in smoothly & were installed without a glitch.

Well, almost. The hoses that came with the washer were too short to reach the taps, so dh & I had to make a trip later that day to Home Depot & hook them up ourselves. Neither of us is very mechanically minded, but all went well, & we ran a test cycle that worked perfectly. I was amazed by how little water the washer used!

I am looking forward to doing my first full loads this weekend!

To see what others are showing & telling this week (& to check out her spiffy new digs), visit the Stirrup Queen's blog here.


  1. I would not have anything other than my front loader. It does have the musty smell, but that doesn't get into my clothes. And, if I leave the door open (and no one else in the house closes it for me), the smell does go away as the interior dries out.

    Congrats on some new appliances!

  2. I love doing laundry so this would excite me. I have heard mixed opinions about front loaders but looks like you got it covered.

  3. I love my front load machines! Hope you enjoy yours.

  4. Woo!! I LOVE new appliances! Congrats on your new pair! :)

    I have had a front loader for 6 years now and it is wonderful. After each load, I wipe around the door and rubber gasket area with one of the damp items that I take out of the washer to soak up some of the extra water (for faster drying) and I leave the door cracked at all times. It has never smelled even the least little bit. Oh and I don't clean it once a month either but it obviously can't hurt!

  5. I love my (stacked) front loader. I do leave the door open to let it dry out. I'd never heard of the musty odor thing & have never had a problem, but we do live in a very, very dry climate.

    Yours looks so sleek & futuristic!

    Hope you enjoy them. We'll probably be buying a fridge soon. Hope that goes smoothly!

  6. I hate, hate, hate laundry, but I think with a spiffy new st like that, I might be convinced to do a few loads. Maybe. :)

  7. Back in the UK pretty much everyone has the front loaders. They're so much more efficient. Hope you manage to get another 19 years of use out of them.

  8. My washer/dryer are both second hand freebies from family right now, someday I might replace them (hopefully I won't have to anytime soon though!) Hopefully I'll remember to do research on them before purchasing, like you did.

    I hope they work out well for you!

  9. Oh how I wish we had frontloaders! :) We have a really old set that were in the house when we moved in. They are still in proper working order, but someday.... :)

    Congratulations on the new machines. How exciting!

  10. They look great! Sounds like as long as you take care of them like you should, that should manage the odor problem. Congrats!

  11. Ooh, I love mine, too! Someone is going to send me something to try (and review) called Smelly Washer. I do have to leave the door open when not in use.

    I was appalled at the cost of the pedestals. What a freaking ripoff.

  12. Oooh, those look nice and shiny! Great news on how little water they use. Maybe you'll enjoy doing laundry even more now! haha.

  13. Ooh, so exciting! Whenever I'm walking through Sears I get all melty looking at the shiny colourful new washer-dryer sets. However, the house we bought a year ago came with older but excellent laundry stuff, so until they die, I won't be able to justify getting any snazzy new ones. I guess I will have to live vicariously through you!

  14. Love the w/d! We purchased LG frontloaders this year, too! LOVE THEM! I wipe the gasket out after each load or at the end of the day, and never leave the front door closed overnight. So far, so musty smell.

    Congrats on the shiny new W/D!

  15. Oooh! Love the spiffy new machines :D Our washer and dryer were bought 3 1/2 years ago and the washer is topload, dryer frontload (although they are a matching pair). I like them, but am considering our next ones being topload. We had a topload washer in England (it was ancient though!) and it worked really well.

  16. I had the smell, but I switched from HE liquid to powder and used way less (our water is really hard), and did everything else you mention here plus every few loads I put vinegar in the fab softener space (which is great for colors, anyhow) and haven't had a problem since.

    Our biggest problem was that they're incredibly strong washers, and when we moved it upstairs after the reno, the vibration was too much (this was on an enforced floor since we knew where the laundry would be, plus all sorts of doo-dads under the legs). We just sold our old LG on craig's list and got a new front load with some anti-vibration technology and it's LOVELY. I really love them. They use less water, less soap, and you can do more wash. yay!

  17. How fun getting new stuff! Those are really nice. I got a new washer about a year ago (not a frontload, but sooo much better than my old one) and I actually don't mind doing the laundry now. If only I had a house with main floor laundry so I wouldn't have to navigate our rickety old stairs...a girl can dream! Congrats on your new "toys"!

  18. I have a front-loader and have noticed the musty smell, but only on microfiber towels and hand towels. Thanks for the tips, and congrats on the new appliances. The delay feature on my washer is a godsend!

  19. Beautiful AND functional :-) I have those same fears--I was up all night before they delivered the refrigerator. I know the end result would have been returning the refrigerator if it didn't fit through the door, but still.

  20. That is SO awesome! I would LOVE to have those kind, but I think our washer and dryer will probably last us awhile! I have never heard of any complaints about them, either. It makes me curious what experiences your repairman had.