The renovation was too much for my 17 year-old Kenmore washing machine. We had moved it out of the kitchen into the basement during the summer, so I could still wash clothes while we gutted the kitchen. I don’t know if it was the extreme humidity down there or what, but wen we brought the Kenmore back up into the new kitchen, it spouted an oil leak at the bottom, oozing out of a rusted bottom.
So we had to go washer shopping. I’d heard a lot about those new-fangled front-loading washers, good and bad. Besides the water-saving feature, everything else I’d read about them was bad. They are expensive, the drum and drum parts wear out quickly (some models wear out as quickly as 5 years), some develop mold and mildew problems from improperly sealed gaskets, etc etc. So we decided to stick with a reliable, tried-and-true top loading machine.
We chose the GE Profile 4.3 Cu. Ft. This model has a much larger capacity than my old Kenmore (which I got when I only had two young children), a big plus. The store offered two different models, one GE Profile has “Quiet-By-Design” technology, which means that the housing inside is insulated. Since the washer was going in the kitchen next to the living room, we got the quieter model. It ran quiet at first, but after 2 months, it’s not as quiet. Or maybe I am more sensitive to the noises now. I hardly heard it when we first got it, save for a few clicks. But now the spinner spins quite heartily. I may call the serviceman about it if it gets louder (the machine comes with a 1-year warranty).
The GE Profile is supposed to use less water, similar to the claims made by front-loading machines. And the machine has no central agitator, either. The machines uses “HydroWave wash system with HE LoWater wash and InfusorTM – Utilizes the concentrated power of HE detergent, requiring less water than a traditional topload washer to get clothes clean.” “HE” stands for “High Efficiency.” It’s a special low-sudsing detergent. It tends to be a little more expensive than the regular detergents.
Basically, the machine fills with water from the top and water squirts out of the holes in the tub, too. Apparently this replaces the traditional agitator. My clothes turn out clean so I think the machine does the job. I like the fabric softener dispenser, too.
The control dials are nice. Rather high tech. The sheer number of settings overwhelmed me at first. As much as I love my gadgets, I’m horribly simple when it comes to appliances. I just want to turn a knob and start the wash, not feel like Captain Kirk issuing a beamed transmogrification. I pretty much stick to the same basic settings. The digital countdown readout is very nice– it informs me how many minutes are left in the load.
One caveat to the machine is that it must be loaded perfectly. You can’t just dump a wad of clothes in the tub, or else the machine will not wash clothes properly or rattle off the floor for the moon. You have to place clothes in a ring all around the edges of the tub, leaving exposed the little white nub at the bottom of the tub. You can’t overstuff the machine, or else the top layer of clothing will never get “infused” with water from the tub’s holes. So far, I have been careful about loading, although one of the kids stashed a wad of jeans in it and the machine objected very loudly with some loud thumps. Loading the machine and setting the controls accurately is very important.
I’m pretty pleased so far with the GE. Then again, I am rather easy to please. I don’t require fancy buttons or an appliance to make toast while it chills milk and tells me the weather forecast… I MUST have a machine that lasts a long time, however. Today’s appliances do not have a good track record of longevity. We’ll see how this GE lasts. So far, so good.