Most helpful positive review
236 of 242 people found the following review helpful
Good washer, with plenty of options to get clothes clean
on July 30, 2011
Whirlpool WTW4800XQ Top-Loader Washer
I spent some time reviewing both Consumers Reports and customer reviews from Amazon and the like before purchasing a washer.
I noted a number of complaints about the new, "efficient" washers in general (not specifically Whirlpool):
1. They don't wash as clean
2. They don't rinse properly, leaving detergent residue on clothes
3. They wrinkle clothing during the new (much faster) spin cycle
4. They are noisy and take more time to do a load.
The main problem is that they all use less water than the old "Inefficient" washers, and the water they do use is cooler. Also, they often only "spin rinse" where they spin out the washing water and then spray in some fresh water while still spinning. (This is in place of a proper, old-fashioned rinse, where the clothes are agitated in a tub of fresh water.) All these changes (I won't call them improvements) are in order to save water and, more specifically, to save the energy used to heat the water. In addition, they spin much faster to get out more water so that you subsequently use less energy in the dryer.
Nice in theory, but the washing results often aren't as good.
My solution to this was to look for a washer with the most manual adjustments on it; and I chose to purchase the Whirlpool WTW4800XQ, having first READ THE MANUAL online. I discovered that, for lightly soiled clothes, I can (and do) use the "Casual Regular" cycle, which has a proper rinse instead of the spin rinse. This option also spins at a lower speed, causing less wrinkling. I can also choose my own water level. Thus, I'm basically back to how our old washer worked, with good results.
If I have to use the "Normal Regular" cycle for more-soiled clothes, it will only do a spin-rinse, but I have the option with this washer of adding a second rinse to the cycle in case one won't do.
The Whirlpool won't solve complaint #4, although I don't find it terribly noisy, just different. A "Normal Regular" wash, large load, with additional spin-rinse, took 75 minutes; a "Casual Regular" wash, medium load, took 55 minutes.
All in all, a good, basic washer that I have good control over, and at a very reasonable price: If you don't do dozens of washes a month, you don't need a high-efficiency washer that will cost you many hundreds of dollars more.