What Is It With This High “Efficiency” Crap? (Maytag Clothes Washer Edition)

When I moved into my first home in 1987, I partially did so to have my own clothes washer and dryer and escape the monotony and tyranny of the laundromat. I bought what would now be considered a “low efficiency,” top-loading washer that worked flawlessly for me for 14 years.

Then, my wife and I bought our first washer together–a “high efficiency” (what a load of crap), front-loading machine, by Frigidaire (the Affinity model). Since then it’s been one problem after another. (See my previous post about it.)

The washer soon developed a mildew stain on the rubber gasket on the front-loading door–despite our care with drying it out after each load and running its cleaning cycles. Turns out, this is a known issue that has affected hundreds of thousands of front-loading HE machines. There was even a class-action lawsuit about it.

To repair it is a major, expensive proposition. If you hire a pro to do it, it costs more than a new washer.

So, we bit the bullet and bought a new washer, donating the old one to a friend. We stuck with HE (big mistake), but got a top loader. Specifically, we spent about $600 at Lowe’s on a Maytag 5.3-cu ft high-efficiency top-load washer (model # MVWB835DW0). It had thousands of positive reviews and an average of 4.5 stars.

The Maytag MVWB835DW in our laundry room.

What a mistake.

From the start, my wife had trouble with lint gathering on her clothes if she hung them up to dry and did not run them through the dryer.

Then, after about a year, it began having a rotten-eggs smell after washing a load. No number of cleaning cycles would get rid of it. Online message boards are filled with complaints about this.

Final straw: This week, 14 months into our ownership of it, the machine began getting stuck in the rinse mode. Won’t go from there to spin without pausing the machine, raising the lid, and re-starting it.

And we’ve never felt that it effectively cleaned our clothes either.

All in all, a piece of crap, and an expensive piece of crap, too.

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