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High Efficiency Washing Machine Reviews: Consumers Have Laundry List of Complaints

High efficiency washing machines save water and energy, but consumer reviews are filled with stories of twisted clothes, poor water drainage, mold and mildew.

Chicago, AUGUST 24, 2012 — For consumers who live in a household that makes great use of its washing machine, a high efficiency (HE) washer may be a wise decision, but for other consumers, they may be unhappy with its performance. An analysis of more than 5,000 washing machine reviews on Viewpoints (, a leading consumer reviews and product ranking website, suggests that many HE washing machine models often suffer from so many issues that consumers should strongly consider their efficacy.

Viewpoints contributors note that the “lower water levels present in an HE machine aren’t quite enough to clean their larger loads and often leave a soapy residue;” others complain that the faster spin cycle tangles their clothes. Although some reviewers swear by them, HE washers might be more of a headache than help.

What does high-efficiency mean?

A high efficiency washing machine washes clothes using significantly reduced levels of water and energy. The machines, available in both front and top loading styles, boast a “tumbling” action instead of agitation to clean clothes and a faster spin cycle so that your dryer doesn’t need to work as hard to do its job. The result is an average 40% less water used per load, depending on the brand.

But do they clean clothes?

What people hate (according to Viewpoints reviews):

  • Mold and mildew on rubber seal
  • A sour smell after doing a wash
  • Water leakage
  • Constant maintenance, requiring repairs or new machines parts

Although the debate is heated on the subject of HE washing machines, the majority of Viewpoints consumer reviewers who weighed in on more than a dozen major brands finds them to be troublesome:

“… the clothes come out so twisted that even shaking them out and tumbling them in the dryer don’t smooth them out.” — minddancer4u

“We wanted to do our share for the environment.  Well, since the cycle stops so soon, you have to run it over and over again until it’s finally clean.” — Mags123

And then there are the dreaded stories from reviewers whose machines needed major repairs. Because HE washers have a slightly different construction, they can be a pain to repair.

What people love (according to Viewpoints reviews):

  • More cleaning cycles
  • A quiet machine
  • A child lock so that kids cannot push the buttons mid-cycle
  • A front-loading machine (more popular overall)
  • H2O, energy efficiency

When Viewpoints contributors do like their HE washers, they love them, one reviewer going so far as to call it a “lifesaver” when it comes to doing laundry quickly and more efficiently:

“We have four kids so I do a lot of laundry. Not only does this washer fit way more clothes in it than my old top loader did, it uses so much less water!” — 4boyfam

“This also doesn’t require a lot of detergent. Another great features is that it is very quiet and is not a disturbance when in use. Also compared to my old washing machine this washes the clothes very quickly and with the same cleanliness.” — jqweeze

“The first load we did was finished in no time and it spins out mostly all the water so it cuts drying time down a whole lot!” — kdance

Viewpoints General Manager Denise Chudy says the reviews show how passionate people are about their purchases, especially big-ticket items. “Consumer reviews are more valuable than ever in guiding the purchase decision. Before buying, consumers are wise to take advantage of this rich feedback so they can choose the type of product — whether it be a high efficiency washing machine, a mattress or a blender — that meets their needs.”

Tips from Viewpoints consumer reviews

Consumers will have to decide for what side they land on in the HE washer debate, but here are a few highlighted suggestions from the Viewpoints community:

  • The extra money consumers will be spending on an HE machine and specially formulated HE detergent may be made up for by the decrease in their water bill.
  • HE washers have the potential to develop a sour odor and mildew on the rubber ring that seals the washer. It’s suggested that consumers leave the washer door open after every load and wipe up water left behind.
  • With every load of laundry done in a HE machine, energy savings are estimated to be between 50 and 60 percent over a traditional washer.
  • If consumers are not sure if they want to commit to a HE machine, they should look for one with energy savings setting options. These will allow consumers to use less water – but only if they select that setting.

Viewpoints loves honest product feedback, so if consumers have experience with an HE washing machine, good or bad, they should share the review on the website.

Viewpoints ( is a leading consumer reviews and product rankings website with the buzz on the best home and kitchen appliances, electronics, health and beauty products, baby items and more. The site features 500,000+ unfiltered, authentic end-user reviews and generates an exclusive ranking of products to help consumers make informed decisions about the products that most affect their daily lives. Both reviews and rankings are available free of charge and without registration.

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