Monday, January 16, 2012

Top or front loader?


I know it seems a bit early to start looking for a washer/dryer, but when we were there last year I had to go to the laundromat. It was about 20 some minutes away from home. I needed A LOT more quarters than I need at home, so it got pretty expensive. The place was nice and clean and they had a tv and were playing some old movies....but still, I would have rather spent the time at the house doing something productive while waiting for my clothes to wash and dry. Not to mention I wasn't thrilled with the fact that I had to lug our dirty laundry to Rogers parents house because I didn't want to leave dirty laundry behind or have to run to the laundromat as soon as we return. So the plan is to pick out a washer and dryer so it will be there waiting for us on our next visit.

The first clothes washer I ever owned was a front loading, under the counter, built in washer. By built in I mean it had a extra door on the front and when it was closed it blended in seamlessly with my kitchen cabinets. As far as the functions - it was a very simple machine, but because of that extra door it cost about 3x's as much as a regular washing machine. It looked kind of like this:

That was almost 25 years ago and our situation has changed. I am so happy that we have a laundry room, our very own laundry room. It isn't in the corner of our bedroom, as it was in Waikiki. It didn't vent outside vent, so we had dust build up like you wouldn't believe.

We no longer have to share it like we did when I managed the care home and here at the apartments. We no longer have to worry about strange left overs or smells from the others that are using them or them breaking down because others over load the machine or throw in the wrong coin.

Thankfully it is now all a thing of the past and we can look at what we've learned so far to help us pick out the best set for us. Lets start at the top with what we find are pros and cons of what we've and have now.  It's a short list.

Simple dryer:

Pros: Three choices of temperatures

Cons: 25¢ gets you 20 minutes. That's very cheap compared to the laundromat - but since we have such high humidity we have to put everything in the dryer to get it dry at all.  I'm stuck at paying for 20 minutes, a waste of time and energy. Not having control over that is not a good feature.

Cant's say much more about dryers.

The Front Loader:

Pros: it has a big drum, I can put bleach in a special compartment on the top. If I get one that has a drawer for the detergent I could put a countertop across the washer and dryer - al the way to the corner.

Washer and dryer will go on the wall with the green shelf and the counter would go all the way to the corner near the sink (this photo does not show the new plumbing).
Cons: It is an HE machine and since I can't leave it open to air out, because the stupid feral cats will go in there and mark their territory, it really STINKS. Because of the stink I have to buy an extra product to make it smell good again and use more of my quarters.

The Top Loader:

Pros: If I find a stray item that I wish to add after I started the machine, I still have the option to do so. Compared to the top loader, the washing time is much shorter.

Cons: If I want to add bleach I have to fill the drum with water first. I have to hang around to put in softener. I can't put our comforter in it. If I only want to wash the shower rug because the cat barfed on it or worse, it goes out of balance because the load is unevenly distributed

Another con in general is these washers don't seem to have lint traps and the pipes get clogged on a regular basis. I remember my mom tying a stocking to the exit hose of the washer to collect the lint. Do people still do that?

Now before you start telling me that top loaders have a special compartment for bleach and softener  too or that some of the other pros or cons are not the way you see it - this list applies to what I have here, not what is out on the market.

For now I am leaning heavily to the front loader, just so I can get that counter top all the way to the corner.

That being said, I would love to read your pro and con list!

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