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on June 15, 2013
When we were renting, my wife and I were cursed with the Whirlpool WTW4950XW as our apartment's washing machine. Like a zombie locked tenuously in a basement, the Whirlpool under the stairs became the epicenter of an irrational, pervasive fear in our daily lives.

My friends, you will NEVER find greater manufactured aggravation in life than the Whirlpool WTW4950XW. I tell you now, run from it. It will end your world as you know it. It will murder your brother and impregnate your daughters. It is the bringer of the apocalypse.

The first circle: Ruined laundry. Whirlpool's official instructions insist upon adding the detergent first, before laundry or water. If you are fool enough to fall for this, the first trap, your clothes will emerge with patches of tiny bleached-out specks. How does this happen with regular old powder detergent, without a drop of bleach?

The washer takes an absolute age to do anything, but none so excruciatingly long as filling the cylinder with water. By insane design, the computer constantly alternates between the hot and cold solenoids, never allowing flow from both hoses simultaneously.

Because it takes so long to begin agitation, your laundry stays in direct contact with undiluted detergent for a VERY long while, resulting in the tiny discolored spots. Several brand-new shirts and slacks were ruined before I could deduce this problem. The only safe options are to dilute your detergent in hot water beforehand, or remember to come back 15 minutes after you've started the cycle to add detergent, after it has filled.

Leading us to the second feature. High efficiency washers use less water! Hurray! But if you want your laundry to actually touch the water, let alone stand a chance at being cleaned, you'll learn that you must cut back DRASTICALLY on the load size. Where one week's whites might constitute one or two loads in your previous washer, you must now divide it into two to four loads. Fail in this caution, and several articles will come out as bone-dry as the moment they went in, leaving serious doubt as to how well the remainder could have possibly been cleaned.

Is this really more efficient, by the way? Are we not mindless sheep for believing this is somehow greater efficiency than our trusty old agitator-style machines?

Oh, my agitator washer. How I miss you. Remember the good old days, when I'd begin whites on a six minute wash, leaving the lid open? Without one more word from me, you'd automatically halt the works at the right moment, until I returned to add the chlorine bleach and reset the timer.

Those days are long behind us, for Whirlpool has favored us with another super-handy feature. The LOCKING LID. Ohhh the locking lid. Folks, I hated this thing so freakin bad--and you will too--that as I lay dying one day, I am sure to spend my final breath to curse it.

On the WTW4950XW, the locking lid controls all. Not only is it mandatory for EVERY SINGLE move the washer makes. Not only does it make it impossible to change the load once it's begun. The locking lid also decides if & when you'll ever see your laundry again. And you had just better play ball with the kidnappers, boy-o, or else!

Suppose you have to cancel the wash cycle. Maybe you didn't run back to add detergent or bleach in time. Maybe you had to add (or more likely take out) some items. So you hold down the start button and cancel the cycle. The washer should just empty and reset.

Enter the real terror. The cycle halts. The machine sits there motionless. A little red "Lid Locked" LED blinks. The machine won't empty. Every combination of button push & dial turn produces absolutely no effect.

Won't spin. Won't unlock. Won't resume the wash. Won't do ANYTHING but flash "Lid Locked". Taunting you. Mocking you. Yeah, keep trying your tricks. I will unlock the lid when I'm good and ready! Sucker.

So you unplug the machine to kill the computer and reset the machine. That's got to work, right? Plug it back in.

Nope. Lid Locked! Lid Locked! All your laundry are belong to us.

Many times I stood enraged before this d4mned machine. Boiling and seething and spitting, gripping a nine-pound sledge hammer in my claws. Rearing back and forth on the brink of furious unleash, barely restraining an orgy of carnage upon this creation of pure evil. Why not lay waste to the horrible thing once and for all, and the world will a better place for it?

The manufacturers hide, predictably, behind the excuse of safety. The extraction cycle spins at such a high rpm, the lid must be kept locked at all times (even during the 90% of the cycle that's not high-rpm extraction).

Such forced safety interlocks are necessary for some; in this example, for a people who have completely forsaken logical thought. And brother believe you me, I ought to know! On numerous occasions I have had both my arms horribly mangled by uncontrollably thrusting them into an agitator spinning at full throttle. Legs too!

Thank goodness we live in a day and age where a washing machine can decide what's best for us. Bless you, Whirlpool! We simple folk have grown too hopelessly idiotic to determine for ourselves how to use our own appliances. How much water to add, when to add our cleaning agents, when we should access our laundry...these gravely momentous decisions cannot be entrusted to sentient minds. Best to let the machine decide, and we shall scurry to accomodate its whim.

In fact, the washing machine no longer serves us; we serve it. You! Lowly cretinous subjects! Bring gifts of sacrifice to the altar and pay tribute to the all-knowing, the mighty, the fearsome, Whirlpool the Terrible!

Are you one who seeks this brand of aggravation? Have you knocked to the canvas all of life's ordinary problems, and you're left craving more? Do you desire insanely absurd challenge in a commonplace task like laundering? Add to cart. NOW! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? DO IT NOW!

Otherwise, the WTW4950XW should only be employed by sociologists researching a specific study about provoking human bloodlust.

And Whirlpool should open up a training camp for assassins, as proven industry leaders of transforming reasonably-mannered sane people into bloodthirsty lunatics bent on destruction.

But don't take my word for it. Try the diabolical WTW4950XW for yourself, and unwittingly join Whirlpool's own half-crazed army of Manchurian candidates. Hey, if I were on your jury, I for one would vote for acquittal.

Thank you for reading.
2020 comments| 111 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 4, 2011
I bought this washer on sale at Lowes, when the washer I planned to buy required an extra $250 pedestal to be functional. I did not read the CR review until afterward.

If I had read the review prior to purchase, I would not have bought this washer. It is CR's third lowest rated top loading washer, scoring only 32 points, compared to a high of 75 points. Its lowest rated area is the most important-washing efficiency. It was one of only four washers awarded a "fair" rating for washing efficiency-no washers rated "poor". (In most other areas it rated very well.)

I went back in before delivery to swap it out. The salesperson convinced me to try it for thirty days, telling me that no matter what CR said, it would get my clothes clean, and I would love it. I don't love it. Consumer Reports was right.

I wanted to like this washer. It is nice looking. The controls are easy to work, and I thought there would be less chance of a problem with a knob rather than the soft push areas that work the controls on most new washers. It is great for water and energy efficiency.

It just does not get the clothes clean. I am washing small loads of my 86 year old mother's soiled pajamas that I really need to get thoroughly clean. I run a soak cycle, which takes about 30 minutes, with detergent, Febreeze, and Clorox. The soak cycle does not include a rinse or spin, so I run that, which takes an additional 15 minutes or so. Then I wash them in one of the regular cycles, including an extra rinse, with detergent, Febreeze, and Tide laundry boosters.

In total, it takes about two hours to wash a load of clothes. You'd think with all that, that they would be clean and fresh smelling. But they aren't. This washer leaves stains that my old agitator style washer got out, and they occasionally still have an unpleasant odor.

I should have trusted Consumer Reports. Lowes is swapping it out for a Maytag that CR rates higher.

If you have lightly soiled clothes, and are sure to follow the directions closely-it works differently than agitator style washers-it may work fine for you. It was not satisfactory for my needs.
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on June 12, 2012
My husband ordered this washer when our old Whirpool one gave out after 15 years. We normally do a lot of research when we are making a big purchase but this time we didn't, since we needed a washer immediately, and we had already had the same model dryer, which works very well. What a mistake that was! I know that the politically correct thing to do these days is to go Green and use less water, but I don't care what technology the new HG washers have, there is no way that an entire 3.6 cu ft. washer, filled "almost" to the top with clothes, can properly clean an entire load with only 2 inches of water! I know that my loads only had that amount of water in them because when load after load came out with stains, I finally paused the washer in the middle of the wash cycle to view the water level. I was rather shocked to see that it was only filled with about 2 inches! Still, I wanted to give this washer a chance before I returned it, so I gave it one final shot when my daughter spilled chocolate milk all over her bed comforter. I even used a pre staining treatment on it (which always worked perfectly for tough stains in my old washer), but when the cycle was finished and I took the comforter out, the stain was still clearly visible. That was the last straw! I am returning this machine for a GE "old fashioned" model that allows enough water to be filled so that my clothes can be cleaned properly. Unfortunately Whirlpool only makes HG energy efficient models now. The other thing that I want to mention is that I DID READ THE INSTRUCTIONS and I used the machine properly. I did NOT fill it to the very top with clothes. I made sure that my clothes did NOT cover the washer head at the bottom, and that they formed a "ring" around it, AND I made sure I used HG detergent. So, saying that people who are complaining that their clothes are coming out dirty because they are not using the washer properly, doesn't fly in my case. I made sure I followed the instructions. The final comment I want to make about this washer (which is still yet another reason it is getting returned), is that my clothes always come out EXTREMELY wrinkled. I can never get the wrinkles out in the dryer, no matter how much I tried. I NEVER had that problem with my old washer. The bottom line is that if dirty, wrinkled clothes don't bother you, then this is the washer for you.
22 comments| 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 30, 2011
This is the absolute worst machine I have ever owned. I purchased it because I was tired of my socks and underwear falling on the floor with the front loader and the fact that the musty smell would not go away. I went with this top loader, thinking it was akin to the good old fashioned washers and I wouldn't have computer issues, smells and mold. Well, I was wrong. To begin with, it rips your clothes to shreds, because it does not use enough water. Your underwear soon has holes and the elastic starts to fall off. Forget putting any decent dress clothing in it, as any satin type of fabric ends up in the trash can. Also, your clothes do not come clean. If you have kids, you can wash jeans three times and still there will be caked on dirt. Forget it, if you have a dog and want to wash a dog blanket, even if you soak it first and wash three times, it still won't be clean and it will still smell. Now, as far as the computer issues............OMG!.........what a nightmare! The water levels are not properly detected so half your load comes out totally dry. I've replaced the lid lock sensor, because it will not lock, even though the machine is new and now, I need to replace it again. Honestly, save yourself a ton of aggravation and buy something else, because this is truly the worst washer I have ever owned. I wish I had returned it, but now I have to go to the laundromat, as I can not afford to repair it again because it has a lousy warranty. You should not have to spend $400 in repairs in less than one year of owning a washer.
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on January 1, 2012
The one star is one star too many! My wife and I purchased this machine in May 2011 to replace an old Kenmore. The new washer matched the Whirlpool dryer we purchased a year before that. The washer - HUGE mistake. It uses less water and is environmentally friendly. However, it doesn't wash anything. When it starts, the machine weighs the clothes and determines the water level. Because it uses so little water, the color clothes are never clean. They was covered in soap stains - there's not enough water to soak and wash the clothes. So instead of saving water, we're using more water because we wash them two and three times to remove the soap. And we are not always successful. We have thrown out good clothes because we can't remove the dried soap.
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on July 27, 2012
This machine is one where I wish that there were minus stars to give. It's not even good enough for one star. I bought this machine trying to "go green" a little and use less water and energy. In order to get my clothes clean, they had to be washed 2 or 3 times in this machine, so where is the savings? On top of that, they still did't get as clean as our old washing machine did before it broke down. I've kept this machine a year and now I've had enough. I took it out and replaced it with a Speed Queen washing machine and couldn't be happier. My clothes are clean and most of all, my wife isn't griping about the sorry job the Whirlpool did. Do yourself a favor and stay as far away as you can from this piece of junk and get a Speed Queen. With the Speed Queen you can set the water levels yourself and get enough water in the machine to allow it to work properly and do what it's designed to do, get your dirty clothes clean.
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on July 14, 2011
I just returned this washer after 3 days of washing. It is not like your old school agitator machine. It will hold a lot of clothes, but the "agitator" or wash plate action is not enough for the tough dirt and stains. It is quiet and it saves water but it left a lot stains behind. I used a front loader to get a better wash. Does fine for normal clothes not dirty or stained. Saves water and easy to operate.
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on December 7, 2011
I 've had it for 5 months now and I am not crazy about it. It looks good though, but here is the does NOT wash any better than my old cheap one. Stains will only come off with an extra shot of Shout stain remover. My big pet peeve is the streak it leaves on certain dark fabric if you do not use the option "extra rinse". So I use the extra rinse almost every time. That is NOT saving energy or water. Another thing that I noticed: If you do not want your clothes to be very wrinkled after the spin, you have to use the option "delicate", otherwise, you are in for extra ironing time to get rid of all the wrinkles. Grrrrr
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on March 7, 2012
So, I am logging onto my fiancee's account just to write about how TERRIBLE the Cabrio washers are! I wear dress shirts and slacks and they are ALWAYS covered in wrinkles thanks to this hunk of junk! No matter what you do, the clothes come out twisted in knots. My dress shirt sleeves have literally been tied in a knot somehow in this worthless machine. Ironing the shirts/slacks afterwards does not help. I had to bring my clothes to a dry cleaners to get the wrinkles out. This machine sets the wrinkles in deep. Do yourself a favor and buy anything other than a Cabrio washing machine. That is, unless you enjoy your clothes wrinkled. If that's the case, then this washer is for you!
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on June 26, 2013
This machine appeared on a Consumer Reports article as being rated as a reliable, simple machine at a great price. It was rated among the top ten. Don't buy this machine. This machine broke down exactly one week after the warranty expired. It started making loud screeching noises that kept getting louder and louder over a three week period. It finally died today. I did not want to call a repair man out because even after a quick research for parts and possible causes for the loud screeching...labor alone makes it not worth it to fix. Furious that Whirlpool sold me a worthless product. I am going to look for an industrial type machine. I don't want bells and whistles. It's why I chose this machine. I am looking at refurbished older models as well. My mom's machine is a Kenmore....twenty years old and still works great. Consumes more water, yes...but a cost/comparison over time analysis means I basically paid for a lemon...and will be paying for money, yet again, for a different machine... wasting precious resources in the meantime.
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