Consumer Reports tweaks its washer tests

Consumer Reports tweaks its washer tests

Washers are getting better and better at getting clothes clean using less energy and water. They also extract more water in the process, and that means less time in the dryer. Following this welcome trend, the appliance experts at Consumer Reports have raised the bar in our tests for cleaning and water and energy efficiency. As a result, some of our washing machine scores have changed.  

As the result of innovations, some manufacturers have been able to update their washers so that they better adapt the cycle to the wash load, leading to greater variations in cycle times. That’s why we adjusted the way we report wash times. The biggest variations occurred with the Maytag and Whirlpool front-loaders that we recently praised for their speed, with their times increasing. The Maytag Maxima XL MHW7000AW, $ 1,150, and the Whirlpool Duet WFW88HEAW, $ 1,000, are still rated excellent overall and recommended, but the Maytag’s time in our latest tests was 90 minutes and the Whirlpool’s was 80. These cycle times are more typical of the other recommended front-loaders in our washing machine tests.

Keep in mind that the time of your wash cycle can differ from ours. That’s because wash time is tied to water temperature, load size, amount of detergent used, and other factors. Use our latest washing machine Ratings of more than 100 front-loaders and top-loaders, and Ratings of more than 100 dryers to find the right pair for your budget.

Kimberly Janeway

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2007-2013 Consumers Union of U.S.

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