I kind of like laundry, now

By Mir
June 24, 2009

When we last checked in on the miracle that is Frigidaire making over my kitchen, I’d just gotten delivery of my first few appliances. And then I promptly left town without getting to play with them at all. Oh, the humanity!

And guess what I’m doing now? Getting ready to leave town! Again! But I’ve been home for a week, and you know what that means—my new washer and dryer and I have developed a very special relationship. I have done upwards of ten loads of laundry since my return, and I have learned a few things.

Like that I really can sit there and watch the washing machine rotate and be entranced. Hee.

Want to read more about my experience/review of the Frigidaire Affinity washer and dryer? If so, there’s more after the jump.

The Bad
There are a few very minor quibbles I have with the machines, so far, which are really no big deal. I mention them because they’re things I’ve noticed, but neither of them are deal-breakers for me.

1) Signal chime. I actually sat down and read the manuals for both machines, because I’ve never had HE machines before and am easily confused by lots of buttons. It all seemed pretty straightforward, though (which is good). However, both machines have a button labeled “Signal Volume” that seems to indicate that you can adjust the signal volume, and/or turn the chime off. I either missed that section in (both) manuals (hey, it’s possible) or there’s not actually an explanation of how to do it. It’s not intuitive, that’s for sure. And while the chime itself is fairly pleasant—unlike the loud *BZZZZZZZT* of my old machines—several times it chimed and I immediately opened the washer… and it kept chiming. The door is open; it shouldn’t keep making noise. It’s not a huge deal, but on such sophisticated machines it surprised the heck out of me.

2) Dryer sensor. The dryer has sensor bars to determine the dryness of the load and when to stop tumbling. The manual clearly explains that if a setting doesn’t seem quite right—like if your clothing is too dry on “Normal”—simply adjust the next time you do a similar load. Fair enough. My experience was that “Normal” always resulted in the laundry still being damp. I did a bunch of different-size loads, from small to what probably should’ve been two separate loads (oops!), using everything from low to high heat, and every time “Normal” simply was not dry. Now, there’s also a “Shrink Guard Ultra” setting that I was using because, sure, I don’t want stuff to shrink. Shrinking is caused by… overdrying. So it’s possible that using that setting was the issue. And setting it to “More Dry” solved the problem. But I found that a little weird.

The Questionable
The number one thing my friends with HE machines complain about is that the washer gets mildewy inside, somewhere, and starts to smell. Many people have told me to leave the washer door ajar to allow it to dry out completely. That’s a great idea, but my laundry closet—designed for conventional machines—will not shut if the washer door is left open. The manual suggests a Sanitize cycle once a month with a cup of bleach to combat this problem, and that’s my plan. I’ll have to let you know how it works out.

The Oh So Very Good
I saved the best for last. Because oh my gosh do I love my new laundry machines.

1) They look red, but they’re so green. I love love love how little detergent and water these machines use. I am currently working my way through a case of this Ecos detergent, bought on an Amazon deal a while back, not even realizing, when I purchased it, that it was suitable for use in HE machines as well. (I love it because it has a very light scent, built-in soy softener, and cleans as well as my beloved chemical-laden Tide while being a fabulous green alternative.) I thought it used hardly any detergent in my regular machine, but it uses half the amount in the new machine. I have one and a half containers left and that should last me through the end of the year!

2) Clean, clean, clean. There’s no love for a washer that doesn’t actually, you know, wash your stuff. I worried that without an agitator I’d be re-washing all sorts of ground-in stains, but so far every stain I’ve tossed in there has disappeared. Love.

3) Quiet! The dryer is about the same volume as my old one, but the washer is much quieter. If there isn’t water running, you can’t even hear it.

4) Speedy! Issue with damp clothing aside, the dryer really does dry things faster than my old one—at about the same speed as the washer washes, just like Frigidaire promised. This means no waiting on the dryer to transfer a load and get on with the next one.

5) Sanitize cycle. While I don’t yet know if this will be enough to keep my machine mildew-free, this extra-long, extra-hot cycle made my white sheets look almost like new. And I felt all virtuous and stuff.

6) Capacity. As I mentioned, I did one stuffed-in load that probably really should’ve been two loads. I knew it, I just wanted to see what would happen. What happened was that it got just as clean as the rest of my loads, but took a long time to dry (surprise!). That convinced me that if I wanted to wash our king-size duvet, it would be no problem. Woo!

7) Lint, lint baby. Go ahead and laugh—I know this is sort of a weird thing to be excited about—but I love the lint screen. Every other lint screen I’ve had has been, you know, an actual screen, like a window screen. Metal-feeling. This one is is some weird space-age mesh material, giving the dual benefit of not feeling weird under my fingers and having teeny tiny holes. It seems to catch more stuff and is a lot easier to clean because it’s perfectly smooth (no little bumps to catch/rip the lint wad). This is a small difference that just makes me happy because… ummmm… well, probably because I’m weird.

So far? The new machines are rockin’ my world.

I’ll have some preliminary impressions of my new microwave and fridge for you next week, I think. Try to contain your excitement!


  1. My sister-in-law had lunch in front of her washer the day it was installed – you’re not alone!

  2. Your new toys sound really cool…and red! All machines for doing boring things should come in neat colors. 🙂

    Last year I bought a new dryer (just a basic Maytag that seemed practically identical to the 15yo Whirlpool it was replacing) and had the same problem with things not getting dry on the “normal dry” setting.

    I poked around online and found not really an answer, but a theory: the “normal dry” settings have been changed in order to make modern dryers qualify as “energy saving”. IOW, if you run a load of clothes on that setting it will use the correct amount of electricity to meet the certification and your clothes may or may not be dry.

    I have to set my dryer on “more dry” to get a normal-sized load dry. It is not running any longer than my old dryer used to run on the “normal” setting. (In fact, it’s running less because my energy-saving washer spins the clothes dryer than the old one did.) The clothes are not coming out overly dry or crispy, either, so I just adjusted my mind…”more” is the new “normal”. 🙂

  3. I was fine until you mentioned the part about your white sheets looking like new, but now, oh, now I’m jealous. My lovely 600tc white sheets, which are less than a year old and are always washed with hot water and bleach, are now looking distinctly dingy.

    No agitator sounds good to me, too. The agitator on my machine has fins at the bottom that don’t quite reach the bottom of the drum, so there’s a tiny gap that catches the clothes as they wash. It took me the longest time to figure out why all of our T-shirts started developing tiny holes as soon as we moved into this condo, but I’m now 99% certain it’s because of the agitator fins.

    This almost makes me want to wash a load of bricks so I can have an excuse to buy a new machine. Almost. The thrifty side of me is holding me back.

  4. Oh, I am so jealous! We will be buying a new washer and dryer very soon and I would love what you have! On top of it, we are moving to the middle of nowhere and most places won’t even deliver there, so it means our w/d options are severely limited.

  5. Yeah, I leave my washer door open so it’ll dry out and I haven’t had any problems. If I had a closet like yours, Mir, I might be tempted to leave the door open for a few hours so I could leave the washer open and let it dry. I also try to remember to open up the soap drawer – it can get pretty damp in there, too.

    Christina, you might consider renting a small U-Haul or equivalent – factor that into your prices. Or perhaps rent a pick-up? Let me welcome you to the middle of nowhere – it’s lovely out here, I promise. :>)

    The 2-year-old still enjoys watching the washer, and we’ve had it for over a year!

  6. Ooh, I envy you! Laundry isn’t fun (really) but new machines like these could make it feel that way. Sounds like they’re great quality!

  7. Summer–washing a load of bricks? I love it!! I may have to consider that myself. Even though I really don’t NEED a new set, but I WANT a set dearly. Hmmm, where to find some bricks…

  8. I have the LG front load versions like these and they are about a year old. I also have the “more dry” requirement to actually get things dry. Also, I have been doing the “tub clean” cycle once a month with bleach and all seems well. Some companies also sell little soap things for the tub itself, but so far I’m finding that the bleach works fine and have been using way less than a cup, just enough to fill the bleach compartment.

  9. Ok, that does it. I’m inviting myself over to your house and bringing my laundry. (And lest you fear that I’m serious, don’t worry, I live clear on the other side of the country).

  10. My sister-in-law has a HE front-loader, and she says the salesperson showed her that the moisture/mildew comes from the rubber gasket on the body of the doorframe. Does that make any sense? She keeps a washcloth laid out on the edge of her laundry sink, and just runs it in the large accordion-looking part of the gasket after every load. That also seems to be where other scrunge (pet hair, lint, etc) accumulates. Not sure if your machines have the same type of gasket as hers, but it’s worth checking…

  11. Isa: I’ve had a front-loading HE washer for about 6 years now. I keep a quick-drying polyfiber towel* on the dryer to clean out the gasket at the end of every load or series of loads, then I leave it open for a while. Along with bleaching a load of whites once in a while, this has worked well for several years to keep it clean. Once in a while, I toss the towel into a towel load to keep IT clean.

    *we got it at Trader Joe’s, I think you can find similiar ‘quick-dry’ towels at camping stores though.

  12. Well Abbey wrote my same comment. I have LG too that I bought last summer. I found the mildew is definitely more of a problem this summer because it’s warmer. Also, don’t leave wet laundry in overnight. The smell is always worse when I do that.

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