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Which cleans better?

enter image description here

Is it just marketing or do they really clean/wash better due to some physical property or the way they work, I am asking how do they if they do?

N.B I do not intend to indicate a single type. I am interested in averages.

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  • $\begingroup$ Compared to what? A chinese laundry? Dry cleaning? A big stone by a river? Or a top loader? But what type of top loader? $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Aug 24 '19 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike I mean a Top-Load. But I mean on average not a single type. $\endgroup$ – George Ntoulos Aug 24 '19 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ There are crucial differences in top loaders, you should be clear about which. $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Aug 24 '19 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike I do not mean a single one. I mean on average. $\endgroup$ – George Ntoulos Aug 24 '19 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ Why not read the report you link to and decide for yourself. I will vote to close this question as it is basically an opinion type question as your link to the report shows. $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Aug 24 '19 at 17:26
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All washing machines basically clean by causing water to flow around and through the clothing, mechanically removing embedded dirt.

If you consider the process from a symmetry point of view, there are obvious advantages to the front-load design.

With top-loaders:

  • In large loads, the clothes at the bottom are continuously soaked, while near the top, especially when overloaded, the clothes might not be exposed to as much water.
  • The clothes near the agitator will continually have a lot of water flowing past them, while clothes near the edges will experience far less current.
  • Rinsing can require refilling the tub, possibly several times, and the rinse water isn't perfectly clean.

With front-loaders:

  • All clothes are repeatedly tumbled, so all end up soaking at the bottom for a while and then draining near the top for a while.
  • All clothes experience the same amount of water flow.
  • Rinse water runs through from top to bottom, so far less water is needed, and the rinse water is always clean.

So, even if the two methods cleaned the same on the average (which they don't), the top-loader would have some clothes that aren't cleaned as well as others are.

Then combine that with the front-loader's more obvious advantages:

  • Only enough water to soak the clothes is needed, as opposed to enough water to completely cover them.
  • Rather than having to refill the tub, possibly several times, clean water runs through from top to bottom, so far less rinse water is needed in a top-loader, and it rinses better.
  • Only a little power is needed to fully tumble the clothes with a 180° rotation and then pause while the power of gravity causes the water to flow from top to bottom, as opposed to a lot of power needed to continuously run the agitator.
  • Much higher spin speeds are possible, so the clothes will contain much less water when put into the dryer.
  • Loads can be just as efficient and effective whether they are small or large.

The front-loader's disadvantages include:

  • One has to bend over to load and unload.
  • More hand cleaning of the machine is needed.
  • A run requires more time.
  • The machine costs more to purchase.

but they have nothing to do with how well the clothes get cleaned.

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  • $\begingroup$ My top loader had the drum the same shape as a front loader except it had a panel in the side wall to get the clothes in and out, so it did not have the disadvantages you mention for top loaders but the advantages of the front loaders you mention... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Sep 8 '19 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ Have a look at this machine - shows the design : fust.ch/de/p/haushalt/waschmaschinen-und-waeschetrockner/… So not the standard top loader... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Sep 8 '19 at 6:18
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike, it says "At the end of the program, the drum opening on this top loader is always at the top so that you can comfortably unload without delay.". It sounds like (and the main photo looks like) the drum is actually horizontal, not vertical. If so, my answer would apply equally to this unit too. I was assuming that "top-loader" means having a vertical tub. I might call your example "a front-loader that loads from the top". $\endgroup$ – Ray Butterworth Sep 8 '19 at 13:40
  • $\begingroup$ Well, having owned and used one I can promise you that it has a drum and it is not horizontal - why not visit a shop and see one before you explain how it works... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Sep 8 '19 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike, If I'm ever on your side of the Atlantic, I'll do that. $\endgroup$ – Ray Butterworth Sep 8 '19 at 14:45
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Well , my guess is that in the vertical washing machine, the clothes are always inside the water and the water rotates with them during the wash. but in a horizontal one , the water always slushes back on the clothes and vice versa, I think this was your point

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  • $\begingroup$ In the Top loader I had, the drum worked in exactly the same fashion as the front loader... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Aug 25 '19 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike Is it just marketing then when people say the front loaders wash/clean the clothes better? $\endgroup$ – George Ntoulos Aug 25 '19 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ @GeorgeNtoulos check out possible designs for top loaders... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Aug 25 '19 at 14:55

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