Caught in the spin cycle … front loaders vs top loaders … discuss

So our 11 year old washing machine has carked it.

It’s been on the cards for a while. In fact, you might have heard it. In California. Every time it hit the spin cycle it sounded like a jumbo jet taking off and the whole house vibrated.

old washing machine

Farewell old friend. You served us well.

After visiting two local white goods stores on Tuesday and leaving more confused than when I walked in – this stuff truly does my head in – I put a little post up on Facebook.

“Front load washing machines vs top loaders. Any recommendations?
2 hours for a front load cycle! I’m so confused.

My favourite response came immediately. As she often does.

“As long as they have a longggg spin cycle….”

I’ll have what she’s having.

Dammit, make it two!

But what really astounded me and everyone else was the lengthy conversation that ensued.

It turns out that everyone has an opinion about washing machines. Days later the responses are still coming in.

As I write, the vote stands at 10 for top loaders and 22 for the front loaders.

I’ve been a top loading girl all my life.

But on Thursday I took a deep breath and converted to Frontloadism.

On Saturday the boys reverently carted the old beast out the back door – now destined for the recyclers – and an hour later we took possession of a new Asko front loader.

And I’ve been in a Frontload frenzy ever since. Praise those Swedish white gods goods! Everything the Frontloadists said was true. The clothes are cleaner. They are whiter. It is gentler. It is definitely more power and water friendly. And two days later I’m a freakin’ Frontload evangelist!

Asko washing machine

The maiden voyage

So, why an Asko? Well, if you find yourself facing the same dilemma here’s what won me over. All the little issues that the Frontloadists raised as possible hassles, Asko addresses. You can stop the machine mid cycle, it does have a delayed start function, a 45 minute quick wash and it is simple to use. The sales woman, a Frontloadist from way back, bought an Asko a couple of months ago because, unlike many other models, it doesn’t have a rubber bellow on the inside which is where the mould issue that some of the crew talked about can begin. It’s all stainless steel on the inside. And yes, that does make it more expensive, but I figure that if it lasts for the 20 years that all the Asko kids were braying about, then we’ll more than make up for that extra initial outlay with power savings, water savings and less resources being used for a replacement in 10 years. That’s the theory anyway.

The one thing I can’t wrap my head around is how can they be more power efficient when the heavier washes can take 1.5 to 2.5 hours? If someone can explain that to me I’d be interested to know.

oo, oo, I can here a spin cycle calling – she says with a frisson of excitement.

Dates for the next meeting of the Bathurst Frontloadist Chapter will be posted shortly. Toploadists welcome. No sects here. Well not on Mondays anyway 😉

asko washing machine

Inaugural meeting of the Bathurst Frontloadist Chapter

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    1. Seana
      Posted 16 February 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Can’t resist jumping right in to say ‘snap!’ I have an Asko front loader, been going strong for 7 long hard years. I use a mere teaspoonful of powder a wash. I think people are passionate because we know how hard life would be without our precious washing machines.

      I’m from the UK and have always avoided top loaders. It’s cultural!

      • Marg
        Posted 16 February 2015 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        I think you’re right Seana. I think it’s very much a cultural thing. In the FB discussion the Europeans were all Frontloadists. And I’ve realised in my frenzy how little powder it actually needs. It’s a big outlay and as you know if you spend any time here I try not to get caught up with material stuff but I would rather buy well and buy once – if I can. This baby might see me out lol

    2. Posted 16 February 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Card carrying member of the Front Loadist Society’s American Chapter. Lost our first machine recently after nine years of devoted service. Wrote a post about the ordeal of having to suddenly pick a new one. I wish my new one was as pretty and swanky as yours. And it makes noises I can not silence. Sigh. Glad you’re on board.
      Love Ya’,

      • Marg
        Posted 16 February 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Oh it’s good to know I’m not alone Shalagh and have distant sisters on foreign shores 🙂

    3. Margaret Andersson
      Posted 16 February 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      I’m now a dedicated member of the ‘Front loadist Society’ as well. I’m nearly 10 years into my first front loader and my back and utility bills have been saying thank you ever since. Love your work/words Marg xxoo

      • Marg
        Posted 16 February 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Margaret. Congrats on the first market day too. Well done you x

    4. Janeen Hosemans
      Posted 16 February 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Oh ye of former little front loading faith. We of the Frontloaderists do not discriminate and extend a hearty suddsy turbo spin welcome to you. You too will be found at the clothes gently whispering … I love my Asko!

      Now, powder or liquid – discuss


      • Marg
        Posted 16 February 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Thankyou Sister. I think the first order of business should be developing a secret handshake. I think it should involve lots of rotating bottoms. Or is that the realm of the Toploadists? We must be careful. Wouldn’t want to agitate them. The manual says either but just don’t overload them.

    5. Posted 16 February 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      This made me laugh too. 🙂 The front loader reminds me of the washing machines in Europe that take approximately 2-3 hours per load. The mind boggles. I could hand wash them (and did!) faster than the ruddy machine, and don’t get me started on the bloody dryers that took even longer. I’m glad you like yours though. 🙂 It does sound fantastic with the stainless steel interior.

      • Marg
        Posted 16 February 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        As a friend on Facebook said if you can do a bit of hand washing in less time go for it. Made sense to me. I think Seana is right (up above) that it’s a cultural thing, the front loaders. I’m still trying to make sense of the longer wash time and how that impacts on power usage.

    6. Posted 16 February 2015 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      I’m so glad you wrote about this! It was such an entertaining Facebook thread. And now I know you can stop front loaders mid cycle I *MIGHT* convert in about 15 years when my top loader dies.

      • Marg
        Posted 16 February 2015 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

        Hi Emma. It was classic wasn’t it. I always imagined that front loaders would be full of water during their wash cycle but there’s barely any water in there so it’s absolutely possible to open the door. It’s a brave new world! 🙂

    7. Monica
      Posted 25 February 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Wow!!! So glad I’m not the only one.
      This what I have been going through the last few days ….
      Still confused but hopefully need to make a decision very soon.

      • Marg
        Posted 25 February 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Two weeks on and I’m really happy with our decision Monica. Good luck with yours.

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