Thursday, May 21, 2009

Waiting on the Washing Machine

After much research online, and much driving around from store to store, we finally purchased a washing machine on Monday. I thought this would be a good opportunity to choose a machine that would be as eco-friendly as possible. The repair man who broke the news of the fate of our old machine advised me to stay away from front-loading machines because we have an old home with uneven floors, and a front-loading machine spins so fast that it would vibrate itself all over the place. So I started looking into energy-efficient top-loaders, and found one called the Whirlpool Cabrio. It uses about half the energy and water of a traditional top-loading machine. It lacks a centre agitator so it has HUGE capacity, and what would have been 3 loads in my old washer will only be 1 load in this machine, which results in even more energy savings. It also spins at a very high RPM (without the vibration issues of a front-loader), and therefore the clothes come out almost dry, which should also greatly reduce the amount of time the clothes have to spend in the dryer. We were able to buy the display model with cash at a significant discount, so we should be able to recoup our cost fairly quickly with the energy and water savings. I'm being cautiously optimistic though, because this machine has gotten VERY mixed reviews online. I don't think I've ever read so many reviews before buying something! And it seems people either LOVE them or HATE them. I'm hoping to be in the "Love Them" camp, but we shall see. There's a 7-day return policy so I plan on putting it to the test! Some people have said it uses SO little water that your clothes don't get clean. Other people have said that it spins so hard that your clothes end up in knots with permanent wrinkles. However, those in the "Love Them" camp have said you just have to read the manual and learn to load the machine properly and everything is fine. I'm also a little nervous that it's electronic - and anything electronic has more parts to break and is more expensive to fix. So if we keep the machine, I think we'll purchase the extended warranty just so we're covered. The machine was supposed to arrive yesterday, but apparently there was some kind of mix-up, so it will be coming this afternoon. My laundry is now backed up to mountainous proportions, so I will have plenty of opportunity to test the capacity of this washer. I'm also curious to see what kind of job it will do on diapers (apparently there are directions in the manual for how to wash cloth diapers in this machine). So I'm nervously excited, and I will come back and update with the results!


  1. Yay! We just got a new (front loading) washer about a month ago and it has made a tremendous difference in my laundry routine. A very good difference. I was a little skeptical as well about diapers since my machine uses so little water and there doesn't seem to be any soak time (again, front loader, so yours will probably be different) but I have had no issues with my diapers not coming clean. But it is kinda strange how they are almost dry when they come out of the machine! Isn't it weird how excited we get about new appliances? If you had told me when I was a teenager that one day I would get giddy about washing machines, I would have laughed in your face...hehe!

  2. The best way to clean cloth diapers is to pre-rinse them off in the toilet using a Hand Bathroom Bidet Sprayer. So convenient and if you are trying to help the environment (and your pocket book) you can give it a double whammy by virtually eliminating toilet paper use at the same time as you benefit from using it on the diapers, by using it on yourself. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off" Available at they come in an inexpensive kit and can be installed without a plumber. And after using one of these you won't know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. Now we're talking green and helping the environment without any pain. One review:

  3. Kelly,
    I know what you mean, I was actually excited to do laundry today! How bizarre. Anything that makes me excited about chores is a good thing, I guess. When we hooked the machine up last night we all sat around and watched it work. (Did I mention it has a see-through top??) You had to do a test-run/machine cleaning before putting actual laundry in it, so we really got to see how it worked. The kids actually pulled stools up and were totally enthralled! We had to tear them away at bed time. There's no soaking in the top loader either, it's hard to get used to. It just kind of sprays water on stuff until it all gets wet and then tosses it around. Hard to imagine that it actually gets stuff clean, but everything that came out of there looked and smelled clean! Diapers were the first thing I washed (we were literally on our last diaper - lol!), and I was really skeptical but I sniffed them and they passed the sniff test! And my prefolds and Fuzzi Bunz inserts are normally sopping wet, but they came out of there barely damp. It took only half the time in the dryer that they normally take. I didn't experience any of the horrible wrinkling that some people seemed to describe. Yes, stuff was kind of smooshed against the side of the bin, but that's to be expected when the tub spins at 1,000 RPMs! I just have to shake stuff out before tossing it in the dryer, no big deal. So, so far it's a keeper. The real test will be sheets... it seems that's what people complained about the most, so once I do the sheets I'll know for sure. I'll post an update!

  4. Hi! I just found your blog by way of Frugal Babe, which I found by way of someone else! It must be kismet, though, because I use cloth diapers and I have been lusting after that exact washing machine for about a year now! I've almost bought it a couple of times, but since my old one (10 years) still works, I feel like I shouldn't get it.

    Now I'm wondering, though, if it might be why I'm having stink issues. I have literally done every suggestion out there. Dawn, OxyClean, a zillion rinses, sun drying, switched to Charlies' soap, etc, etc, and I still have stink!! Maybe it's because my machine gets off balance a few times each load and everything is left sitting soaking wet for a while? Maybe my machine is not agitating well?

    Anyway, I can't wait to hear more about if you love or hate the new machine, and I'm very glad to have found your great blog!

  5. Glad you got a new washer, and I hope you're loving it! The house we're moving to next week doesn't have a washer (the sellers are taking theirs with them), but my mom found us a used front loader at a thrift store for $250. She tested it out and it's awesome. I am SO excited to wash laundry next week, and to see how the diapers do in the new machine. It amuses me that I've gotten to a point in my life where an appliance can induce this much excitement!

  6. Hey Frugal Babe,
    I read about your new washing machine on your blog! I remember thinking it was funny, as it was just shortly after I posted about mine. Must have been washing machine week. I was even more astounded that you got it at a thrift store for so cheap! You must have one heck of a thrift store there!! I've never seen that kind of stuff.
    Best of luck with your move! I hope everything goes smoothly!!

  7. I know this was nearly a year ago, but I didn't notice a follow-up while reading through your blog (sorry if I missed it. Did you fall into the love it or hate it category?

  8. Hi Toni,
    Wow, has it been a year already??? How time flies!!

    There was a follow-up post, and you can find it here:

    Thanks for visiting!