10 Reasons I Put My Front Loader on the Curb

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One month before our youngest was born we purchased a brand new front load washer and dryer. My husband knew it was a mistake but I insisted. They are so pretty, how could we go wrong. If most of the commercial washer and dryers at the laundry mat are front loaders, they must be a good product right?

In the end, this was the worst appliance purchase we have ever made.

Yesterday I finally put that front load washer at the curb and it was the best feeling ever.

Here are the 10 front loader problems we had over the last 6 years and why I will never buy a front load washer or dryer again.

front load washer and dryer review10 Front Loader Problems

While the majority of our issues with our front loader did not start until one year after we purchased it, which is also when the manufacturers warranty went out, there were some issues from the beginning.

  1. Our clothes smelled awful. I always left the door open in between uses.  The clothes smelled even if I removed them immediately from the washer and into the dryer.  You just can’t get that smell out of the clothes no matter how hard you try.  And I ran the clean cycle on the washer at least one a week with bleach. It still had a smell.
  2. The washer leaked all the time. This started happening within a few months of owning it. Water would just pour out from around the seal. It got to a point where I just always kept a towel on the floor to soak up water.
  3. The door would lock and not unlock. This would happen for a variety of reasons. For example, if the washer would not drain once the cycle was over the door would stay locked. So you could not even get the clothes out and ring them out. You had to run the drain cycle a couple of times and maybe even the rinse cycle again. It was a hot mess.
  4. There were constant draining issues. Here is a time we had to use a shop vac to get all of the water out before we could do another load.
  5. The washer was very high maintenance and finicky. Using just a tad bit too much soap would cause it to throw a suds error. This locked the door and stopped the washer from working until it was addressed.
  6. Longest wash cycles ever! Seriously, if the screen said it was a 54 minute cycle, that really meant 2 hours. If you walked into the laundry room and the display said 1 minute left you could bet there were still 10 minutes left. Sometimes I would walk away and come back 20 minutes later and it still was not done.  I was lucky if I got 2 loads of laundry done in a day.
  7. Dirty pockets could ruin your front load washer pump. I have all boys. This means there is often a rock or two, a couple of pennies, and maybe even a stick and a candy wrapper in someones pocket at any point in time. This would collect in the pump and seize it up. In a top loader these things just sit at the bottom of your washer when you forget to remover them from pockets. Once this would happen I would be waiting for my husband to come home and take it apart to remove the items that were blocking the pump. Again, too high maintenance for me.
  8. They use less water because they are HE, but this was not always great for really dirty things. Imagine a 14 year old cutting the grass and having to run those pants 2 times through the washer. Are we really saving energy or water at this point?
  9. While the dryer gave us far less issues than the washer, the dryer was the first to die. It over heated and would not work again after we had it about 4.5 years. The dryer also reached a point where it was snagging and putting holes in all of our clothes at the metal vent in the back of the dryer. What a mess. Stinky clothes with holes in them.
  10. They are expensive to work on. Thank God my husband can work on and fix just about anything, but often times when am appliance has a lot of bells and whistles, a layman is not able to repair it. A washer repair man is at least $40 an hour. The manufacturer warranties are only 1 year on these appliances.

the worst appliance purchase i ever made

Previous to our front loader I had a top loader for 10 years that did laundry non stop never giving me issues until the agitator stopped working. Since that brand had always been so good to me, I bought the same brand in the front loader. Clearly, all brands are not created equally when it comes to different styles.

I encourage you to really do your research if you’re in the market for a new washer. I have found very few people who have had great experiences with their front loaders as I share my story.

For six years I have not been able to keep my laundry caught up. It has been a constant nightmare. Taking that front loader to the curb yesterday was one of the best feelings in a long time. Seeing someone pick it up for scrap metal was the best thing we could do with it.

In a little over 24 hours I have been able to get almost all of the backlog of laundry in my house done since our new top loader was delivered. It is literally the best feeling ever!

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes


  1. I’ve always had a top loader. The first one I had worked for over 35 years! They do a great job. I’ve never had desire to go to a front loader.

  2. while I haven’t had all the problems with our front loader that you have, I do find myself wishing it to die so I can replace ours too! For two reasons. First, it does take FOREVER to do a load as you said, but more so because it just doesn’t clean anywhere near as well as a top loader. I even did my own test by doing 2 identically soiled (by a muddy dog) white slip cover cushions. One in our front loader and one in my Mom’s top loader, both with a few white towels in each load. The top loader did a far superior job at cleaning them back to their original bright white! Front loader didn’t even touch the dirt.

  3. My sister has a front load washer/dryer. When I needed new appliances she suggested I do NOT get front loaders for most of the reasons you have so well stated! She is NEVER caught up on laundry with 3 boys under 8yrs! I know she will be so excited when she takes her to the curb but for now she is stuck!

  4. wanda jordan says:

    ell you hit the nail on the head. My daughter has one and it is horrible.You couldn’t give me one of the things for all the same reasons you wrote.Like some other I have a top loader and it is over 25 years old. Had a man come work on dryer and ask him what he thought about front end machines. He said lady keep this old washer till they can’t fix it anymore then get another top loader. We work on front end ones all thew time. I told him my experience with dd and he said that was the normal with them. They don’t work and when they do they take 4 times as long.Yep but they save money. Where????? Show me where and how it saves one dime in money or time or cleaning. Everything stinks no matter what you do and runs up water bill and light bill.So I agree to the curb and to heck with anything new and improved so none of it is worth a plug nickle.

  5. Thanks a ton for this article. Hubby and myself have been arguing about which washer to buy. He insists on a front load automatic. While I keep insisting on a top load semi auto. Now with your article I am going to make sure we get a top load. I ll not budge an inch from my decision. You have been a lifesaver….otherwise I might have gave into buying front load.

  6. Somehow a screw got mixed in with a load of clothes (during renovations) and punctured the plastic drum on my front loader. It was cheaper to buy a new washer than to replace the drum. When they took the washer out, the water inside smelled like the nastiest sewage.
    I would never buy another front loader either.

    1. I believe it!! And it is always frustrating when the part costs as much as a new appliance. Ugh.

  7. I used to want a front loader but I’ve always heard stories like this about them, especially the leaking around the seal. Now I have a top loader Cabrio and I hate it for many of the same reasons you’ve listed about your front loader. I can’t wait to replace this one. My next one will be a top loader, agitator, non HE machine. I’m glad you are caught up on all that laundry! 🙂

  8. Anne O'Brien says:

    I’ve had my HE washer for going on 8 years and while some of your points are true, i.e. longer wash cycles, I haven’t had most of the experiences you’ve had. I did have to have a pump replaced because of coins getting in it and I’ve learned some things over the years, both from my experience and from what I’ve picked up from other sites:
    1. Always, always, always close zippers & fasteners of pants; and check pockets of pants, even if you have to turn them inside out. It took a while, but I finally trained my husband to do this, but a few coins still get by him.
    2. Never wash on cold water. Since HE washers use less water to begin with, cold just doesn’t cut it.
    3. Make sure you are using the correct type of detergent, labeled for HE use. Never use regular detergent.
    4. Always run an extra rinse cycle–this will help to get detergent out, which is important since you are using less water. You are still using less water than with a top loader.
    5. The best trick to get odors out of your front-loader? White vinegar. Just pour half to a cup in your bleach dispenser and your odors will be gone. The extra rinse cycle will take care of the vinegar smell and certainly running your clothes through the dryer will do it as well. I haven’t had any problems since I started doing this. I found this on another site when my washer started smelling.

    1. I ran vinegar through it instead of bleach for a years because our youngest son has eczema and I used it as a fabric softer for him. This did not help take the smell away.

      When we took the washer to the curb it was super, super heavy. Know why? It was full of water on the inside…. it was storing nasty water and never fully draining it. So frustrating and gross!

      1. Anne O'Brien says:

        I’m sorry you’ve had such a lousy experience with your front loader. Mine, for the most part, has been very positive. I know that when my brother managed an apartment complex years ago he purchased front loaders for the laundry room and they were nothing but trouble. It certainly taught me which brand not to buy. Prior to buying a front loader, I had two Maytag top loaders, one for 17 years and the last for 3 years (a real lemon). I swore I would never buy another Maytag appliance, especially after having a Maytag dishwasher, which I hated with every fiber of my being. I now have a Samsung washer & dryer and a Miele dishwasher. I honestly don’t know now if I could afford to purchase any of these again, but they were worth every penny. One of my best friends had a Whirlpool HE washer which she swore by. At least we don’t live in Europe, where water is more scarce and all appliances are geared to save water. That’s why the cycles take so much longer. My dishwasher is a German one and a standard cycle takes almost 3 hours. Bottom line, however, is that it works!

  9. Thanks so much for this post. I had no idea how much trouble front loading washers were. I have a top loading washer for 17 years and I wanted to replace it with a front loader for a while but it hasn’t died completely yet. Now, I won’t buy a front loader.

    1. Annamaria- I really hope this helps others. It is such an expensive purchase and I hate to see people waste their money.

  10. I know it’s been a while since this blog entry was posted, but I’m so fed up with our four-year-old LG front-loader I’m tempted to take a sledge hammer to it. Two hour long regular loads, the bleach dispenser has never functioned correctly (doesn’t clear out the bleach in the line or reservoir and bleaches non-bleach loads), and our clothes never, ever smell – or sometimes even look- clean. I’ve tried everything from white vinegar to TSP to borax to WIN detergent boost the cleaning process and get rid of the smell, and nothing works. Oh, and, the door seal leaks.

    We live in a condo and don’t really have room for a top load, but I am willing to remove some cabinets in our kitchen to accommodate side-by-side machines instead of the stacked front loads. It’s that bad.

    I do wonder, what brand and model did you switch to, and how has your top-load washer performed side you wrote this? Did you go with an agitator model, or an HE model?

    * Sigh* I just want clean clothes. Is that too much to ask for?

    1. Hi Laura-

      Getting rid of my front loader is the best thing I ever did. I feel your pain!

      We ended up with a Samsung top loader without an agitator. This summer it will be 2 years old. We are very pleased and have no issues with it. Total peace of mind!

  11. Yes! I totally agree. I don’t have leakage or drainage issues, but that thing will go through phases where every load it throws an error code and then the door locks and I have to unplug and then come back later to restart or spin and drain. It takes forever to get one load done when this happens. We had someone out to look at and paid $150 so he could tell us what the error code meant (um, Google?) and then said he could order a part and come back to install (which was another fee). We changed the part ourselves and then a month later, same issues. This is our second front load and same experience.

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