Pros: Very clean clothes, quiet, awesome spins, no vibration, uses little water
Cons: Long wash cycles
My old washer was starting to smell like mold and mildew, even though I bleached it regularly. It moved around quite a bit during spin and was very loud but, I thought that was par for the course with washers. Then I started hearing rumors about people with amazingly clean clothes and water and energy savings and I got the 'I want a new washer' bug...
Originally, I wanted a new top loader. I didn't like the fact that you have to bend down to get into the front loader washer unless you bought the pedestal too. Also, I was keeping the dryer because it works well and I wanted the pair to match in height, so a pedestal was out for me. I read the washing machine reviews in Consumer's Reports and the overall performance of top loaders just paled in comparison to the front loaders. The best of the top loaders was just as expensive as the very good front loaders. So I gave up the idea of a top loader and researched front loaders. I narrowed it down to the LG, Bosch and Frigidaire. I read all the reviews on Epinions regarding these brands. Yes it took a while but, Consumer's Reports doesn't give you the real life reviews that Epinions does. The biggest complaint about the LG and Frigidaire machines was mold build up and the associated smell and vibration. This was what I was trying to get away from! So I bought the Bosch.
For starters- It looks great! I have no pedestal and it matches the dryer just fine. My husband installed it himself because we had to swap the locations of the washer and dryer. FYI- it appears all front loaders open to the left. He did not complain about installation. The wash drum is tilted upward, so you can reach in it easily to get the clothes out, without getting on your knees. All of the controls are at the front edge, easy to reach and clearly labeled. There is a dial for wash cycle selection, buttons for options and a digital read-out that displays the wash time at the beginning and then counts down until it ends. There are separate compartments for soap, softener and bleach. You add them all at the beginning and the machine dispenses it at the right time. I think I could break off the lid to these compartments without much effort, so I'm gentle with it. The manual is easy to read and comprehend. It explains how to determine the wash cycle to use by type of clothing fabric and soil level. I found it very helpful as there are several choices for wash cycles.
Wash cycles- The wash cycles are grouped by cotton, permanent press and delicate with hot, warm and cold for each group. There is also spin, soak, quick wash and sanitize cycles. The washer has a delay start too, up to 19 hours. I haven't tried that yet. No need to pick the load size, the washer knows. Each cycle has it's own wash time. The longest time is the cotton on warm or hot. It takes about 95 minutes. The permanent press on warm takes 60 min. I've been timing these with a clock, not the washer. The washer timer seems squirly. It keeps re-adjusting itself more and less throughout the wash cycle. But so far I haven't had to wait longer than 95 min. If your stuff is really stained, you can use the soak cycle first, that takes 2 hours. If you're like me, with children under five and one of them potty training, the sanitize cycle is for you. It gets the water insanely hot and washes the clothes in this hot water for 3 minutes, then it goes to a normal water temp wash. A great thing when you are sick of throwing out underwear.
Washing- Is it on? Is it really on? Well, yes it is. It is so quiet I sat there and watched it for a good 10 min to make sure it was really working. Plus, I was hypnotized by the window into the wash. You put the clothes in first, I didn't find that it holds much more clothing than my old top loader, then you add the soap and extras to the compartments, pick your cycle and press the on button. The door locks shut. Good, the kids can't open it. It uses so little water compared to the old washer. I really never understood how much water I could save until I saw it in action. It sprays out some water and tumbles the clothes in it, and keeps repeating this until it senses there is enough for how big the load is. It washed and washed for twice as long as the top loader. This must be why the clothes get so much cleaner. Hmm makes sense now. I have had a child's sock get hung up on the rubber seal between the wash drum and the door. The washer comes with a little mesh bag for these socks to keep that from happening. I leave the door open after the wash, usually overnight. There seems to be condensation on the inside of the glass if I close it right away and I'm not taking any chances with mildew. Only time will tell for that. Also, there is no need to coordinate the timing of the kids' bath with doing laundry; this machine has an on-board water heater. So I can do both at the same time and not run out of hot water.
Spin- You can also choose your spins. There is max spin, delicate spin and no spin. The cotton cycle spins the fastest and gets every drop of excess water out. The permanent press spins slower and the clothes seem wetter. You can always go for the extra spin cycle afterwards, that lasts 9 min. There is no excessive vibration. My laundry is on the first floor and our floors are hardwood. The machine itself vibrates some, but it doesn't travel or shake the floor and it is not noticeable unless you are looking at it. I don't feel it through the floor and the machine has not moved. I actually leave the door to the laundry room open now.
The lowdown on some loads- A load of 7 pairs of adult jeans washed on cotton warm takes 90 minutes to wash and then 40 min to dry (on medium). The drying used to take me over and hour, easily. A load of permanent press items (the kids clothes, I don't bother sorting them by fabric, just light and dark)takes 60 min on warm and then about 30 min to dry (on medium). This used to take 50 min. A load of bath towels on hot takes the longest; 95 min. But dries in less than an hour. So the spin cycles really have me happy. It may be a longer wash cycle but, I'm saving time in the dryer, so it's a wash (haha).