I don't miss the agitator at all.

Feb 21, 2012 (Updated Feb 22, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Low water use.  Inexpensive model.

Cons:Not a deep clean.  Long wash cycle.

The Bottom Line: Great with sweaters; bad with stains.


Robot, engine, emergency alarm.  These are the things that come to mind when describing our new washing machine. 

We replaced our low-end washer with another low-end washer.  I contemplated the fancy front loading washer with all the extra features but the salesman completely lost me at $400 for each pedestal for the washer and dryer to merely sit on.  Still, I wanted an HE machine so the salesmen ecommended the GE-GTWN4950LWS. 

I’ve read a lot of reviews about a lot of different washers.  Regardless of brand, everyone compares the washer to their previous.  Those that have replaced a 15 year old washer love this one.  Those who had a higher model tend to have a lot of regret.

The last time I replaced my washer I insisted on supersize capacity, and was very pleased.  This time I insisted on an energy efficient washer and this is what I chose knowing full well it may not clean my clothes as well as a traditional model. 

Almost fresh and for the most part clean

My previous washer wasn’t getting the clothes clean at all so a bath tub of water probably would have been an improvement for me.  I’ve been warned the HE model design isn’t a perfect design, but I think it does a good enough job for my lightly soiled clothes as long as I don’t fill it too full.  I’ve noticed some really dirty items need a second trip through even after being treated with laundry treatment.   Some things like sour dish clothes almost always need to go through twice. 

There is no guidance on how full to fill the tub.  The barrel is large enough to put a closet full of clothes in but it’s a known fact an overloaded washing machine does not clean well.  I measure my clothes out with a laundry basket.  The less that goes in, the better it cleans. 

Some items should be washed with hot water; some clothes need a more delicate cycle.  Since it doesn’t use much water I don’t mind doing separate washes anymore.  The girls have favorite outfits that have to be washed right that minute too so the tiny load capacity makes it really easy to do last minute washes. 

I will say my kids are getting big now so I don’t have the amount of stains that I use to.  My dog had dirty feet and stepped on a white shirt.  I immediately used laundry treatment and washed it 3 times before giving up.  It was just dirt!  Sometimes clothes with perfumes come out still smelling like perfume.  I remember the days of chocolate syrup stains, ketchup spots and udder filth on toddler clothes.  There is no way I would recommend this washer for a house with young children.  It would be a constant battle.  
 
Wring and dry time

Clothes are only damp when they come out of the washer.  I select the “double spin” setting if I have a lot of towels or jeans because those items take the longest to dry.   My last washing machine left my towels heavy, but this one rings it so well they’re barely damp. 

My washer and dryer have switched roles.  Previously my washer would be done quickly and the wash would be backed up waiting for the dryer which would take at least 2 cycles to complete.  The washer takes about an hour to wash, but the clothes come out damp so dryer time is greatly reduced.

Bulky, fragile and heavy items

I was nervous about the great comforter test.  I had a brand new comforter that needed to be freshened before use so I hesitantly put it into the washer.  In the past the comforter was never the same after the agitator did its thing to the comforter.  This was a much improved experience.  It came out barely damp and no wrinkles or damage.

The twin size fluffy comforter filled up the tub so a larger size would have been out of the question.  The twin size comforter seemed to be larger than the ideal capacity so I’m not sure it would have gotten soil out had there been a stain.  It worked well enough to get the new smell out without any damage to the stuffing and I was pleased with the results. 

I tried a queen size bedspread that was heavy without the poufy material.  It washed up well and smelled fresh and clean.  I wash king size blankets and they come out almost dry. 

I’ve used the delicate cycle many times now for sweaters.  They come out in better shape because they’re not stretched from the agitator and I haven’t noticed pillage either. 

It is rare that the wash goes off balance.  It did once, and it sounded like it might explode.  I worried it might be broken after that, but it wasn’t.  The spin cycle is very strong and there’s not a trace of water left after the spin cycle. 

Cosmetics and ease of use

I had my eye on a shiny new red model, or even a stainless one but I settled for this boring white one. 

There is a button that serves the purpose of start, stop, and pause.  If I lift the lid without pushing the pause button it beeps at me in a very annoying way.  The buzzer can be set on or off to notify when the load is done.

There are several different cold water options to accommodate for winter months when the cold water may be colder than normal.  The option to warm the cold water with what is called “PerfecTemp” helps ensure the detergent is dissolved correctly.  I’ve been using liquid detergent and feel it gets dissolved correctly and rinsed well enough from the clothes.  Non-cotton clothes sometimes need a second rinse which can be programmed ahead of time. 

Complaints

The washer makes some unusual noises during the cycle, but it's not on my list of complatins but it may be annoying to others.  I shut the laundry room door and have no problem talking on the phone or watching TV. 

I’m use to a washer that has a dial that moves as the wash progresses but there’s no indication of how far along it is with this model.  There is a light on the top that indicates the wash status but there’s no way of knowing by looking at the glowing light if it just started the rinse cycle or if it’s nearly done. 

Adding clothes after the wash starts is very hard to do.  The washer has an auto sensor to know how much water to add.  If more clothes are put in after it has started no extra water is added when I have tried it.  The added clothes also have to be physically pushed into the water and there’s barely any water to begin with.  As far as I’m concerned, if it’s not in the washer when I start it has to wait until the next load.    

The lid must stay open after the laundry has washed to let the tub dry out.  It looks to be dry in about 30 minutes.  I try to leave mine open but it’s hard to do because that takes away from my folding and storage space. 

This model is missing a laundry detergent dispenser.  There is a place on the inside of the machine for liquid fabric softener but the fabric softener must also be chosen on the console in place of an extra spin or rinse. 

This machine does a slightly below average job of cleaning and sanitizing clothes.  I find it necessary to wash items such as dish clothes twice.  

Overall

This is normally seen for less than $400 so it’s one of the cheaper machines without an agitator.  I wanted a low energy washer like a front loader, but I normally get rid of my machines long before they are worn out so I didn’t want to commit to an expensive machine that may or may not have been any better for my basic washing needs.  According to my calculations, I will have recouped all my costs for this within 4 years based on the electricity and water that I’ve saved compared to the washer and dryer I replaced. 

I really regretted this the first week I had it and was wondering how I could return it.  I eventually forgot about it and after using it for a while I realized I was getting laundry done a lot faster.  It took some time to get use to the low water and strange noises. 

This seems to be gentle on my clothes and I don’t find items stretched, stuck, or wrapped tightly in a mess like I did when using a washer with an agitator.  I like having the option of doing truly small loads as far as water use is concerned.  Most of all, I like the spin cycle because it takes nearly all the water out of the clothes and has the option for an extra spin cycle. 

If my children were young and I had to deal with heavily stained laundry on a regular basis I would keep looking.  This is not a powerful cleaner.  I wish I would have spent more on a HE machine and got more features such as automatic detergent dispenser, deep clean option, and a faster washing time.


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