Buying a Front Load Washer & Dryer w/ Steam

Christina D
by Christina D
We're looking to buy a washer and dryer but have never bought one before. My brother and father both have front loaders (LG) and like them, but have suggested that I look into the Samsung or the Electrolux too and also make sure that I buy one that does steam. Do any of you have experience with these? There are so many features on these new washers and dryers its difficult to see what is even necessary. I would like to be able to wash my king comforter in it, so we will probably get one of the larger ones. Thanks for your help!!
buying a front load washer amp dryer w steam, appliances, Samsung Steam Front Load Washer
Samsung Steam Front Load Washer
  28 answers
  • Shari Shari on Jun 10, 2013
    Oh boy, could I write a novel on this subject! After EXTENSIVE research on front load washers and dryers, I finally broke down about 3 years ago and bought a Samsung front load washer/dryer from HHGregg. Within 90 days I was already having mechanical problems with the washer. HHGregg repeatedly blew me off and Samsung customer service just wanted to repeatedly send out technicians, who could not seem to get to the root of the problem. I won't go into all the details here because I have already done that on another HT thread here: If you have time, I hope you will read it. You might find my experience helpful since you are getting ready to make a very expensive purchase. After the Samsung machines went back, I purchased a Whirlpool Duet FL washer/dryer from Lowe's and I have been extremely happy with the Whirlpool pair (and Lowe's--see link mentioned above). My washer and dryer both have the steam feature. I bought the largest capacity washer so it would accommodate our king size bed linens and it just happened to be a steam model. However, I can't ever remember using the steam feature on the washer in 3 years. Now I can't say that about the "Steam Refresh" feature on the dryer! It gets used often to remove wrinkles when I have let dry clothes sit in the dryer too long. (Oops!) One thing about FL washers...people seem to either love them or hate them. They definitely do require a little bit more special care than the old top load washers. The most common complaint about them seems to be the stinky, moldy smell they can develop, which in turn can make your "clean" clothes stink. (Unfortunately, no brand seems to be immune from the mold/mildew problem.) In all the pre-purchase research I did, I found a strong correlation between liquid laundry products (liquid detergents AND fabric softeners) and the all-too-common mold and mildew issues with the FL washers. Apparently, the oils these liquid products contain are not adequately washed away because of the energy-saving low water levels. The oily film left behind on the washer's internal parts is thought to be enough to trap moisture and in turn, cause mold and mildew and unpleasant smells that can even permeate your clothes. Once you get your FL washer home, I would recommend using only 1-2 tablespoons of POWDERED laundry soap per load and white vinegar instead of liquid fabric softener. I actually have been using a recipe for homemade laundry powder for almost a year and I love it. I got the recipe from this HomeTalk member/blogger: ( ) She wrote an eye-opening post on how her smelly washer problem went away after she switched from liquid soap to a homemade powdered version. Additionally, I never leave wet clothes in the washer. Whenever I think about it, I check the folds of the gasket for hair, threads, lint or anything that can possibly trap moisture. After I finish doing laundry, I don't generally bother to wipe the door seal/gasket dry but I do always leave the washer door wide open (not just cracked) and open the detergent dispenser so they can dry out. There are a couple products on the market designed to "clean" your washer and supposedly prevent the mold/mildew problems when used once a month, but I have found that with the steps above, frequent bleach loads, and never using liquid laundry products in my washer, I haven't needed to buy these special (expensive) cleaning tablets.

  • Christina D Christina D on Jun 10, 2013
    Oh my goodness Sheri, your posts are so helpful! Thank you SO much!! Its funny but I was actually at HHGregg yesterday and looking at the Samsung model. After reading your story I don't even think I want to go back there at all! I will look into the Duet, it wasn't even on my radar before. And I will definitely have to make some of that laundry powder too - detergent is just too expensive!

  • Patricia W Patricia W on Jun 10, 2013
    If you have a septic tank please inform the sales person. Some front loaders with a sanitize cycle can actually harm the bacteria in your septic that helps to break down waste.

  • Shari Shari on Jun 10, 2013
    Christina, I so glad my info was helpful to you. Please, before you buy from HHGregg, I would recommend checking with your local Better Business Bureau first. Unfortunately, I only did AFTER I got no satisfaction from them. I was shocked to find they had something like 800+ complaints in the first 9 months after they opened stores in my area! They only have a 2 week return policy and if you have problems after that...too bad, so sad. Frankly, I would be surprised if they provided any customer service 1 minute after they got your money and you walked out the door. Of course, if you don't have any problems with your purchase, great! However, if you end up with a lemon like I did... If I haven't already convinced you to purchase your washer/dryer some place other than hhGregg, please read this. It details how a representative from hhGregg out and out lied to my credit card company in an effort to make sure I did not win the dispute against them.

  • Patricia Pierson Patricia Pierson on Jun 10, 2013
    I too did a LOT of research on my FLers. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS remember to buy the warranty. Water and electricity do NOT mix. That is for any item that has both. The money, water, soap, electricity has been soooo worth the price. I too looked at the steam function but if you don't go to the office and need your clothes wrinkle free, you won't use it. Have it but still haven't used it. As for the smell that they get, just leave the washer door open after using for a few hours or so. My first was the Wirlpool and every piece was replaced under the warranty except the outside. Now I have an LG. My mom has another model, brother another. We ALL love the LG. Dont forget to check the Sears outlets and other outlets. I got about $400.00 off my set because of a dent on the side. If I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know.

  • Christina D Christina D on Jun 10, 2013
    Thank you so much Patricia W and Patricia P! This is all news to me - very helpful information! Shari - I had never shopped at HHGregg before, there just happened to be one nearby. After reading your note I'm probably going to buy at Lowes, Home Depot or Sears. Thanks again everyone!

  • Melissa Youngman Melissa Youngman on Jun 10, 2013
    We were informed to keep the door of the washer open as much as possible to keep away the musty smell. Because of the location of my W/D (not really a laundry room, just part of the back entry) that wasn't an option. We ended up with an HE top loader instead. Actually it can work either way. It's been good for us.

  • Z Z on Jun 10, 2013
    My hubby tried to buy me a front loader for at least three years before I finally gave in, but insisted on getting a top loader HE machine. It uses quite a bit less water, but more than a top loader. In my experience no matter how good the washer and detergent is, sometimes you need more water to dissolve the soil and remove it. At the time we bought the machine my hubby was umpiring college girls softball and his uniforms would get quite soiled at times so the extra water was a must.

    • See 3 previous
    • Z Z on Feb 15, 2015
      @Terra, our W/D both were still in perfect working order, but were not high efficiency, which is why we were looking to replace them, so I have a matching set. We gave our old appliances to friends that were in need.

  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on Jun 11, 2013
    I have had my Bosch front loading machine for five years and I LOVE it. It has given me great service and they give a warranty too. I purchased it at Lowes. While others have had issues my Bosch, I would recommend.

  • Christina D Christina D on Jun 11, 2013
    Thank you so much Melissa, Becky and Cyndi. Your feedback is very helpful! After all of these great recommendations I actually decided to get a subscription to Consumer Reports to aid in my research. I've seen a lot of good ratings in CR for the Maytag Maxima. Anyone have experience with those?

  • I purchased a front load LG washer and dryer about three years ago when our sears Kenmore units of 32 years died a slow death. The dryer has the steam system and all sorts of bells and buttons that my wife never even uses. I have seen both great reviews and some not so pleasant ones for these units. To date we had no issues. We keep the washer door open when its not being used to help air it out to prevent those odors that often are a result of this type of machine. Once a month or so I clean the rubber gaskets that seal both the doors on the dryer and washer. It is amazing how much gunk fills up in those gasket seams. I stacked the units to save space. Which is fine if your laundry person is at least 5'8" tall. Shorter then that you will need a small step stool to reach some of the many buttons used to operate the dryer. One disadvantage to using a stacked system is that the washer door is pretty low to the ground making it a bit harder to empty out. If your aging as we all are bending over may become more difficult over time. When units are not stacked you have the option to purchase stands that have drawers in which the machines sit upon raising them around 12 inches making it much more easy to reach in and empty the load. Lastly only the dryer if memory serves me has a reversible door. So the dryer needs to sit on the right side of the washer or you will be working around the door every time you want to change the load from the washer to the dryer. We had to reconfigure our laundry room and move the machines to the opposite side of the room so it was easier for my wife to get into the washer. Otherwise she would have to be between the door and the wall to access the opening to change the laundry over. Lastly, most machines that are side loading are pretty much the same. If you have not used the fancy extras in the current machines that you now own, you will really never use the ones that come with the new ones. Never use, never miss. So think hard about all the extras that cost extra and simply get the standard side load unit and not worry about every other option that you pay for and that can break even if you never use those options. I Hope this helps.

  • Catherine T Catherine T on Oct 30, 2014
    I purchased a front load Kenmore washer and dryer from Sears online on black Friday a couple of years ago and got a great discount it was like getting the dryer for free. I love the steam feature as it helps freshen the whole load so clothes are winkle free if I am not around to fold the load when it finishes

  • Jollyroger Jollyroger on Oct 31, 2014
    Several years ago I bought a front loader and its been great. I used to do a load of sheets ,a load of towels and whites and a load of dark. Now I do one load of sheets and towels and whites, one load of dark! I did have to buy a new dryer because the old dry couldn't handle the increased load. Also,I got the pedestral for each so I didn't have to bend over all the time. I've had no problems with my washer or newer dryer.

  • Paula Paula on Nov 01, 2014
    I bought a Samsung front loader HE washer and dryer with steam options on both. I love it, I actually now love doing laundry, it is very efficient, fast and takes no time to do laundry. It has every option on it that you can imagine and does a fantastic job. I make sure to wipe the door and seal after I am done and don't close the door. No problems with odor. I call them my twins, Sam and Sung, highly recommend them.

  • Myra Jane White Myra Jane White on Nov 08, 2014
    4 years ago I purchased my Whirlpool Duet front load washer & dryer set with pedestals from a 2nd hand furniture store that also buys furniture from model homes. Granted the set was 4 years old when I purchased it, so the warranty wasn't valid, it was basically brand new, only used to was the towels in the bathrooms and kitchen in the model that people had dirtied. I did have to replace the rubber gasket in the washer because it had dried out from non use but beyond that they work like a charm. The pieces look brand new and I paid less than half for the W/D, 2 pedestals and the gasket than what the original selling price was. Consignment stores are a great place to look, never know what you might find.

  • Janine Halsey Janine Halsey on Dec 25, 2014
    I have Samsung no steam option though. Not thrilled twith it. Doesn't seem as good on cleaning and if using bleach for towels .. Basically ruins them. Next washer will go back to top loader but that's another 5 + years. Oh and leave dorr open or they get mildewy and stinky.

  • Kate Kate on Dec 29, 2014
    I had a Westinghouse Front loader for over 24 years. Got it in 1965. The way the salesman at the time explained it was if you are making a cake, you beat the batter round and round, not just swishing the spatula back and forth. Replaced it with a Kenmore Front Loader, which is still going. Only problem I ever had was a leaky water pump, and that was because my son had BB's in his jeans pocket, that I missed. It got in the pump and spun around in there, wearing a small hole in the pump. A very kind repairman told me to have my husband buy a $6 Muffler repair bandage, and tape it on. It did the trick. Clothes wash well, saves water, soap and bleach (dilute before you put it in). The teenager across the street brings her sweaters over, and does them in my front loader and saves on dry cleaning bills. Just lay flat to dry.

  • Debbie Colann Debbie Colann on Feb 12, 2015
    I love my GE front loader.

  • Bar194602 Bar194602 on Feb 13, 2015
    I have had a front loader for about 8 years now. I DO NOT like it at all. It wears little holes In our clothes. I would not advise buying at all.

    • Adelaide Gargiulo Adelaide Gargiulo on Feb 16, 2015
      @Barbarac You should have your machine checked. There is something wrong with it. If you have an extended warranty you might get it fixed free.

  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Feb 15, 2015
    Washers have changed alot..I have had my LG for about 3 years and I love it. The clothes comes out clean and so far I have had no damage. I don't see how a washer can put holes in your laundry? Are you using bleach?

  • Maryellen Maryellen on Feb 15, 2015
    I have a GE and like it most of the time. Mine has a real balance issue. Be sure to get some of those cushy anti-vibration pads to put under it if your floor is tile or even just the tiniest bit uneven. The other thing I have a real problem with is that I didn't notice I don't have a plain "spin" cycle, so if the washer does go through the spin cycle and the clothes are still pretty soggy, which happens when washing blankets and other heavy items, my only option is to then run the "rinse and spin" cycle. I agree about leaving the door open; it works for me. Also, as for bleach ruining the towels, the repairman told me to pour it into the bottom of the drum BEFORE putting in the towels and not to dispense it through the top. Good luck with your decision!

  • Mary Eason Mary Eason on Feb 15, 2015
    I bought Samsung front loader washer and matching dryer based on Consumer Reports and size of washer. Love them both. I've used the steam option on the dryer and it works wonderfully. I have no issues with either washer or dryer after 3 years. Would buy them again.

  • Rosemary Tate Rosemary Tate on Feb 15, 2015
    I have had a Fisher & Paykel top loader for many many years and thought I would do my bit to conserve the water. I hate my top loader would give it away. It leaves dirty marks on my clothes and especially when it spins out. Have done all the cleaning to it but wish I had never purchased it. Been back to manufacturer and they said clean it. I am 66 and knw how to clean it and I can read the instruction book. Next one will be a top loader

  • Julie Julie on Feb 15, 2015
    Bought the Samsungs last year. Both with steam and I love them! Keep the washer door open to dry after using and you won't have any issues with mildew or smell! I also take the laundry drawer out regularly, wipe it down and let dry. It still looks brand new!

  • Lee Cole Lee Cole on Feb 16, 2015
    We bought the Samsung W + Dryer 3 years ago. The "steam" in the washer never shuts off, even when you don't want steam.I can not get a cold water wash even when I push cold cycle. Had a terrible small in washer last year. Had to buy very expensivevproduct to get rid of it. You cannot do just a small load. The stainless steel dryer tub cracked wide open a little over a year after we bought it and it cost us $300.00 to replace the tub with shipping.

  • Murainne Camlan Murainne Camlan on Feb 16, 2015
    I bought the Samsung HE washer and dryer with steam a few years ago and would never go back. Love them and front loading washing machines are so much easier on your clothes ... no wear and tear from the agitator. We are a family of 5 and I love that they hold so much even huge comforters.

  • Wanda Rodgers Wanda Rodgers on Feb 16, 2015
    We just bought a Samsung front load washer and dryer a few months ago. We love the features that came with them. The dryer having the steam setting is great. It senses when the clothes are dry and shuts off. Even if a timer setting is used the dryer will shut off before the tie is up if the clothes are dry. Love my Samsungs. We also found a great deal on them so do some comparison shopping and also check for price matching at the stores.

  • Janice Janice on Feb 18, 2015
    I have the Samsugs that you mentioned and I love them! I bought mine on Thanksgiving Day on line from HD for the best prive I ever saw.