Are the new front loading washers as wonderful as they are made out to be? Thinking of buying a front loading washing machine? Do you own a front loading washing machine? Do you have problems with a front loading washing machine?

Seems like the latest, greatest and most popular front loading washing machines may not be so great after all. A lot of people are complaining that the front loading washing machines leave detergent and fabric softener stains on clothing, that the machines spin the clothes so hard that they are extremely wrinkled when they come out or have small holes in items and others say the front loaders have issues with mold and mildew.

If you are thinking of buying a front loading washing machine, perhaps you should do a internet search on the particular model and brand you are thinking of buying to see if a lot of people are complaining about issues mentioned above.

If you own a front loading washing machine and it has problem free, please let us know the make, model, year and how long you have owned it.  

On the opposite end, if you own a front loading washing machine and you have nothing but problems, please let us know the make, model, year and how long you have owned it and what kind of troubles you are having.

Are these machines living up to all their promises?


31 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. coconews
    Jun 26, 2008 @ 10:29:22

    Personally, we don’t own a front loading washing machine, but a couple people we know do. One loves the front loading washing machine, but is it only a few months old. The other spent $3500.00 on the LG and has had nothing but problems with mold and mildew smell. They are constantly disinfecting it to try to get the smell out and say the machines are not worth it to buy a top loader instead.

    Seems these machines are a case of love it or hate it. What do you think?

  2. M-
    Jun 26, 2008 @ 21:26:49

    Some friends of mine in Europe have noted that with their machine, they have to be very careful to separate the colours, darks, and whites. Apparently the low-water-consumption front loaders have a tendency to bleed colours. It doesn’t cause any problems, as long as you know about it.

    A decade ago, while travelling in Europe, we washed our clothes in a hostel that provided front-loading machines for guests, and I remember my white t-shirts coming out with horrid yellow stains, looking worse than when I put them in.

  3. David
    Jun 28, 2008 @ 14:50:45

    have one, for about 4 years, bought it at Sears. low end Kenmore. I can get you the model if you like (at work now).

    Works great, no problems, uses very little water and energy. Clothes are almost dry, so need little time outside on the hanger, or during the wet winter, little time in the dryer

    Couple of things to keep in mind.

    DON”T use a lot of detergent! Can’t stress that enough.

    Keep the door open when not in use (that should solve your mild dew problem) The rubber gasket that seals the door will be wet, so let it air out after using the machine.

    My parents moved to Canada in the mid 60’s, my Mom couldn’t believe the crappy machines that were here. We are just slowing catching up to the Europeans. Same goes with stoves. Needless to say my father has heard it for years. Home appliances here suck, Holland much better.

  4. Ken
    Jul 09, 2008 @ 21:48:36

    Have a basic full size Whirlpool front loader for 4 years with no problems (sometimes small items fall behind the door gasket). Easy to wash bulk items like sleeping bags and blankets without wrapping around agitator.

    To avoid smelly washer, appliance repairman recommended not to wash/rinse cold only. I also leave the dispenser and door open when not in use.

    The only extra feature I may consider is to have the built in heater. Since it uses so little water the hot water from the water tank may not reach the washer. I sometimes open the hot laundry tap before washing.

  5. Lyn
    Jul 31, 2008 @ 19:59:24

    We bought a Kenmore front end loader last year and there are 2 things that I’ve been unhappy with. 1) I’ve noticed I have a really hard time getting stains out of clothes, especially since I have a 3 & 5 year old. I have to take my stained clothes to Grandma’s house and since she has a top loader that uses lots and lots of water, she can get the stains out of the clothes. 2)I put Downy in the softener compartment at the same time I put soap in the soap compartment, they both empty into the machine at the same time. Already had a tech out to fix it once; it worked a week and then Downy started pouring out with the soap again.

    2 things I love about it is that I can do larger loads and run it extra hot.

    By the way – has anyone else had a hard time getting stains out of their clothes with a front end? I’ve used all various kinds of stain removers but nothing works.

  6. coconews
    Aug 01, 2008 @ 22:13:17


    I was actually in the middle of finishing writing a new thread on how to resolve some of the front end/HE washing machine problems when I read your comment.

    Try those bulky bedding, white, sheets, towel settings for stained clothes. Those cycles automatically add a lot more water to the machine.

    Since your machine is dumping fabric softener in with the detergent at the same time that certainly will affect stain removal ability too. Have you considered dryer sheets instead?

  7. marvin
    Aug 08, 2008 @ 20:39:27

    same ol story and dance, these washers suck bad 2,300 dollars to have smelly clothes,and mildew/mold smelling utility room. Me and my wife cannot get the mold etc out of the rubber ring!!! recommend do not buy he3 kenmore period!!

  8. Leroy
    Aug 23, 2008 @ 14:23:45

    Energy front loader washers ! Nothing but mildew/sour/smelly clothes, for a lot of $$$ and no factory help or reply just whats on there site..Have tried all there recomendations, wipe rubber ring, leave door open, cleaning tablets ect. Recommend 😦 Do Not Buy Maytag HE Energy Fornt loaders washer..) We have had a Maytags (TOP) loaders washers since 1964 and never had a smelly wash ..

  9. Stacy
    Aug 25, 2008 @ 09:51:58

    We have a Maytag neptune (I mean a moldy, smelly piece of junk). We are currently trying to figure what to replace it with.. It is awfu and a huge waist of money. We have only had it 2 1/2 years and we have to get rid of it. I had a really cheap washer before this that I wish I could have back.. I feel that there aren’t any options out there. I will never by a front loader again.

  10. lisa
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 16:05:02

    I bought the Ge Frontloader when they first came out. Nothing but misery since. in 2 years, I’ve had 2 ripped rubber door gaskets, 2 broken door latches, whites that are now yellow, lots of tiny little holes in clothing, stains that wont come out, and worn out white areas from the fast spin on my dark blue scrubs. They said the ripped gaskets were my fault, from zippers in the laundry. Sorry, our jeans and jackets tend to have zippers and need to be washed. I bought the set at Lowes and bought the extended warranty with it. I am on my second washer now under the warranty. I went to the laundry mat for 4 months waiting on repairs and parts to come in. Customer service was horrible at both lowes and Ge service repair. I would love to have my little cheap top loader back.
    Also takes about 1-1 1/2 hours to do a single load of laundry.

  11. John
    Sep 01, 2008 @ 07:07:19

    I have the Kennmore HE2 and I am not having Mold problems, however, is anyone having random staining on their clothes?

  12. Karen
    Sep 02, 2008 @ 17:59:22

    I’ve had two episodes of horrible stains on sheets and towels that were not stained when I put them in the washer. I have a repairman coming out tomorrow.

    I can’t have a washing machine that makes the clothes dirtier than when they went in.

  13. Karen
    Sep 02, 2008 @ 18:01:43

    I forgot to say it’s Kenmore that I’ve had about four years with no problem until lately.

  14. Dee
    Sep 07, 2008 @ 22:50:39

    Recently bought an Electrolux Ultra Silencer 8kg front loader. Very silent but has it’s downsides. 2 hours to do a normal wash. Stains that would normally come out in our old top loader 30 minute wash are still there after 2 hours of washing. It ruined a whole load of white towels with Fabric Softener Stains which I have not been able to remove as yet. Enquiries to manufacturer revealed that it is best not to use fabric softener in front loaders as they often stain the clothing because it just dumps it in and there is not enough water in the machine to dilute it before it comes into contact with the fabric. Asked them why the machine comes with a Fabric Softener Dispenser and instructions in the Manual on how to use. All they could reply was that it is best not to use in the future. Dhhh!!!! Well why do they make a machine with a fabric dispenser? Also have found it bleeds colours very easily. Beware if you happen to put a white sock in by mistake with colours (even old colours that have been through the wash many times). Front loader has made my washing a chore and misery. Wish I had never ever bought one.

  15. Carol
    Sep 09, 2008 @ 08:37:53

    Before you blame the washers for stains on clothes, you need to do the research on detergent and fabric softener – if you are using blue Downey – read the back of the bottle – it even ADMITS it may stain clothes! Outrageous. Took me a long time to get all the info, and I apologize, I don’t have the links, etc., handy right now, I’m in the market for new appliances because I had a major fire and am very distracted right now, but I think if you google “laundry stains from Downey” you’ll get the info – people were having machines repaired, etc., when all along it was the dye in Downey. I now only use dye free fabric softeners

  16. TK
    Sep 23, 2008 @ 19:30:43

    DO NOT buy a Kenmore HE3 frontloading washing mashine. My hubby and I bought ours 3 years ago, buying the top of the line for that time period. I hated spending the extra money, but figured that we were interested in saving water and more energy efficiency, so we got it. Knowing of the problems with Maytag frontloaders, we actually asked our Sears salesman if there were any known problems with these. He assured us that there weren’s.

    At first, I was wowed with the seeming efficiency of the wash, however, as with so many love affairs, the problems started about 6 months in. First, I started noticing that, when I went to dry off with a “clean” towel after my shower, the towel smelled mildewy. I tried EVERYTHING I could think of (and research) to address this issue: vinegar, run the machine on hot with bleach, hydrogen peroxide in the wash (a full bottle per wash), and others – with no real effect.

    Worse, our towels no longer had any of the nice, fresh smell that one loves right after it came out of the dryer – you would smell it, and it would still have a mildew smell.

    Then, we started noticing that our undies were, well, not so fresh, frankly. In fact, I was changing my underwear 3 times a day because – without being anywhere near them – you could smell them. (Sorry to be gross, but I really want to warn people off this money-guzzling worthless washer).

    Then, we started noticing the same things about workout shirts and pants – that they, too, were not smelling very nice.

    And nothing – and I do mean nothing – smelled like the lovely detergent and softener we were using.

    I finally was so embarrassed over the smell that I called the Sears repairman. Needless to say, when the repairman came, he had obviously been trained as to what to say to irritated HE3 owners, as he kept responding to all my complaints with “yes, the HE3 is a fine piece of machinery.” It was ludicrous. Then, when I said that we simply paid too much for a machine that does not wash, he said (and I am totally serious here) “Well, you should have sprung for the top of the line model then.”

    Can you say furious? I wanted to throw him out of the house. He continued to deny that there was a problem, and then told me that if there was, it was because we were putting in too much detergent (nevermind that I actually had a tablespoon right there to accurately measure out the required tablespoon of detergent).

    It was, and continues to be, awful. Worse, I have spent 3 years feeling afraid that someone was going to smell my awful, “clean” clothes and think that I did not shower. I go to hug my hubby, and his shirt stinks. It is totally embarrassing.

    I will say that I did finally find a solution for the smell – about 3 days ago, in total desperation, I threw my crystal rock deodorant into the wash, hoping that maybe, just maybe, it would kill whatever the washer was leaving behind. I did only a load of towels, just to give it a test. Low and behold, my towels came out smelling fresh and detergenty for the FIRST TIME in 3 YEARS.

    It is incredible that I have had to go to these lengths to get a washing machine to wash clothes (imagine!), but there it is. For about $3.50 a stick of crystal deodorant, I can actually have clothing and towels that do not make me feel like I am totally unclean and embarrased to go out.

    Please, please do not buy this washer. It is a piece of junk, energy efficient or not.

  17. Vicki
    Oct 13, 2008 @ 16:10:09

    I have a Fridgidaire front-loader #GLTR1670ASO that I bought about 6 years ago. It leaves brownish-grayish blotchy stains on light clothes (maybe on dark ones, too, you just can’t see it.) I notice it mostly on the fronts and backs of t-shirts. There is nothing there to start with. Once there, nothing seems to take these stains out. Not bleach, not cleaning solutions made for rust stains, not my trusty stain-stick. The stains don’t look like rust, anyway. I have cleaned the seal completely, so I can’t see how it could be mildew. I even used a pipe cleaner to get those little holes. I have wiped out the drum, but nothing showed up on the white cloth I used. I use very little detergent (about a level tablespoon) and no fabric softener. We have very soft water. I also put a filter on the supply line, just to make sure the water wasn’t the problem. But I lived here for 12 years with no problems with my old washer, before I got this front-loader. The washer doesn’t let you adjust the amount of water it uses, supposedly it feels the weight of the load and decides how much water to use, so I can’t try using more water. I leave the door open all the time, but it still gets mildewy on the seal. The water that comes out into the sink the first time always stinks. I only tried bleach in a load once, and for the next two months it would, at random times, drip a drop or two of full-strength bleach on clothes. I finally used a tank-sprayer to rinse out all its pathways (the water goes up to a drawer that dispenses detergent, bleach, etc. then through a tunnel to the drum) and that fixed that, but I never dared use bleach again. I, too, have towels that never smell clean, but I never connected it to the washer, although it did start around the time I got the washer.
    If any one has the same problem with the gray-brown stains or has any ideas, I would like to hear from you. It is driving me crazy. I am really tempted to get rid of it and buy a top-loader, like I had for years with no problems. I never did see a drop in our water usage. I guess maybe since it uses less water per rinse, but rinses each load twice, it comes out the same.
    I would definitely tell people not to buy this washer.

  18. George
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 02:46:05

    Well, most of the people having issues are the ones who switched from Top-loader to front. You guys obviously haven’t had much experience with these, so here are a few tips:

    1) Use HE detergent – I cannot stress this enough!
    You just can’t use regular detergent in front-loaders, regular detergents have strong scent & sud more. HE detergents are designed for front-loading machines, sud less, absorb More dirt and have less fragrance (so won’t make the machine smell).

    Note: I know tide has a “Tide HE” product line with pretty much same fragrances – use those!

    2) Keep the door & detergent compartment open after wash for at least 24 hours and let it air dry.

    3) Use only the program designed for the fabric you are washing, decent front loading machines adjust water temperature, spin speed & tumble action based on the program you are running. Therefore it is imperative that you be extra careful when mixing clothes and choosing the desired cycle.

    4) When using fabric softener, if space allows, add water to the softener compartment and mix it (with a small spoon) to dilute the fabric softener. That way it won’t get straight into the drum and stain clothes.

    As of me, I’ve had my clothes washed in front-loaders ever since I was a child (so over 30 years now) and been through several Front loading machines too – we never had any issues with molds or stains. The machines, just like any other machine, do die after 5-8 years of use though.

  19. Barb
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 13:05:10

    We’ve had our Kenmore HE3 washer for 4 years and had to have the entire tubs, bearings, etc. replaced. Luckily, we had a service contract on it — would have cost us $1,300 to have it repaired.
    I was also told NOT to use fabric softener. I always use the Downy Free and Clear. I hate the thought of having to just use softener sheets because, even though we have a water softener, our water is still really hard. I will try them because I want this washer to last!

    The washer manual says it’s OK to use softener — and since there’s a softener dispenser, DUH — what a pain in the drain!!! Literally.

  20. Eileen
    Nov 30, 2008 @ 21:41:55

    The problem I have with stained clothing in my front-loader occurs only with red, orange, or pink clothing, and the stains are always blue. I have tried washing all my red, orange, and pink clothing together, with nothing else. I have tried all sorts of detergents, particularly HE detergents. I now only use clear detergents and if I use fabric softener, I only use clear softener. I don’t use blue colored detergents or softeners. Nothing helps. I never had this problem with top loaders.
    It’s baffling. There’s no explanation for this that I can find. Does anyone else have problems with blue stains on reddish colored clothing only?

  21. coconews
    Dec 01, 2008 @ 11:28:39

    I no longer wash pinks, oranges and reds together. I had clothing that had stripes on it leak orange dye onto my pink clothing.

    Some reds have a blueish hue in the dye or are stitched with darker color thread which can also let color which may explain those blue stains on your clothing.

  22. Christine Wehlburg
    Jan 15, 2009 @ 11:14:15

    I am trying to find a critical mass of folks having serious problems with ripped clothing with GE front loader washers. See my facebook group!


  23. lanie
    Jan 27, 2009 @ 11:05:54

    maytag neptune washer piece of junk….2 and a half years old and repairman said its cheaper to get a new one than the repair cost. never would I buy maytag again. I’m sure the maytag repairman is working overtime.

  24. David B
    Mar 06, 2009 @ 12:22:40

    Bought a top of the line Kenmore Front loading Washing Machine (model HE3t) and accompanying Dryer (model HE3) in 2001. Both were recommended by Consumer Reports for efficiency and water saving. As of today’s date March 05, 2009, the washer had to have a new pump motor in and now this morning, the Dryer caught Fire. Apparently, the Dryer builds up lint inside the metal vent underneath the drum. This vent is convoluted, and it bends at a sharp right angle to vent out to the side of the Dryer. We have never missed cleaning the lint filter on the front of the machine, but this is not where the problem is located. The Heating element rests on top of the Vent inside the dryer, underneath the drum, and that is where the lint caught FIRE! I immediately went to SEARS where I bought the Kenmore’s, and they took down my information. I will keep everyone posted as to what happens next. We do NOT have a warranty, but this is NOT a warranty issue. A Google search shows that I am not the only person to have the problem with the dryer catching Fire. This Dryer is a Fire hazard! It was made by Whirlpool, and it needs to be recalled. Do you know how many times I have left my house to run an errand and the Dryer was left ON? It was just plain luck that I was standing in front of it this morning when it caught Fire.

  25. Pat Carbonel
    Mar 07, 2009 @ 22:01:38

    Have had our HE2 since 11/2005 with no problems (it worked great!) until end of 2008 when pump needed to be replaced. Took 2 weeks for repair because of ordered part. Worked for 2 months then machine error code F11. In all, called Sears service 8 different times over a period of 3 months, with different parts being replaced: motor control board, computer control, and then the door lock. Finally on last call, was put through the phone maze to Sears to get replacement washer since we have master protection agreement. Will select replacement washer in next few days, but feeling very apprehensive on selecting another Kenmore, especially a front-loader again. The reliability issues by far override the efficiency advantages for this washer.

  26. LD
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 08:37:37

    I have had a Kenmore front loader for about 8 years. It’s made by Frigidaire/Electrolux for Sears. I leave the door open between washes to avoid mildew and have no issues there. The dispenser drawer that people complain about relies on siphon action to dispense bleach and fabric softener. It’s too unreliable so I don’t use it. Plus, using fabric softener in the dispenser makes it all gunky after a while. I switched to dryer sheets. For bleach I just add it into the drum seconds before starting the cycle.

    Two important points: I originally used Tide HE and I found that my clothes would stink afterwards… a kind of sweet sewery smell. I first was alarmed that my machine was causing this. I switched to Purex HE and now people say my clothes smell great! So, try different detergents if you have smell issues.

    Second point. I have found that after doing a load of whites with bleach, that subsequent loads of darks have resulted in items being ruined from stray bleach! I really hate this and I think it is the result of low water use. However, I solved this by simply scheduling my whites such that I can leave the door open for a day afterwards to allow the chlorine to evaporate (which chlorine likes to do). That ended my problems.

    I like my front loader because it is quiet and uses little water. There are downsides to them but if you know how to work around them, you don’t even think about it anymore.

  27. K. Williams
    Jun 13, 2009 @ 13:01:34

    I also have a 4 y.o. GE front loader. I hate the thing and wil buy a top loader next time. The only reason I had to have a front loader was the laundry closet in my other house was too low to open the top on the top loader. So I had no choice. This thing,
    clothes don’t get clean. It uses virtually so little water, they couldn’t possible get clean. A “short” wash takes 1 hr to wash. It becomes unbalanced with virtually everythig.
    It came with a 30 page booklet, you’d have to be a rocket scientist to get through.
    Did you read the fist sentence here. I HATE IT.

  28. Cindy
    Aug 26, 2009 @ 16:31:34

    Have had a Frigidaire front loading washing machine for three years. It is terrible. Colors bleed ummercifully, clothes are incredibly, unwearably wrinkled, clothes are thrashed, it makes a terrible noise when spinning, which can’t be fixed (two service calls), and the door locks and cannot be opened until a complete wash cycle is completed. If you hit the cancel button before the spin cycle is completely finished, for instance, you have to start and finish an entire new wash cycle before the door will allow itself to be unlocked. There is no manual override to unlock the door. We bought a front loader for environmental reasons. It was a huge mistake. Our clothes are ruined. My husband hates me to wash his favorite clothes, even his t-shirts, and hangs on to them as long as possible….

  29. Cor
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 13:37:15

    Front loader washer machines big mistake! I returned top of the line. Maytag ripping clothes to shreds. Now have a Lg and it’s doing the same thing!! Under the lemon law if you comain about the same problems 3 times under wRranry they must return your money. Take care of this problem asap. It’s my opinion from my own experience and from ehat I read it doesn’t matter who it’s by – front loaders rip up your clothes sheets towels – it doesn’t matter – so anyone buying a new washer do yourself a favor & stick with the old reliable top loaders! And as far as those dryers – huh they dint work right either! Unless I manually set the timer. The sensors continue to shut clothes off completly damp! The company gave me an array if excuses from there smorgasbord of lies!

  30. Cindy
    Sep 25, 2010 @ 01:26:19

    I have the Maytag HE front loaders and all of my black clothing is ruined . The color is bled out of everything and I wash them in COLD water! Explain that! And I have had several things ruined from stray bleach. I wish I could trade them in for my old sears top loader that I had for 20 years!

  31. Bhbw
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 04:03:27

    I have several front end loaders 2 sets GE adora they suck and may tag neptune mold issues. Also kenmore elite they all cost more than top loaders and have issues. They had to replace the whole stem and drums in my GE the. Crummy Chinese steel gave out and drum dropped down. Honestly all front loaders smell moldy and they don’t drain properly. The spin cycles are subpar. We as the consumers believed the hype that they were the bigger better thing and they were less efficient and full-of flaws as well as much pricier. On the other hand my commercial washers for my business. Are great!

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