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an early version of a clothes washing machine (1918 Power Washer advertisement)

One of the major appliances in many modern homes is a clothes washer. It takes up significant space and energy. Cleaning clothes is a major household activity.


Some things to consider when buying a clothes washer:

  • size and shape (will it fit in the place you have for laundry?)
  • capacity
  • energy efficiency
  • cost (but also consider the later electric or gas and water bills -- total cost of ownership)
  • reliability
  • repair servicing (including a possible extended warranty)
  • top loading versus front loading
    Front loading appliances can be stacked. The dryer goes on top. The washer is much heavier when holding water. Front loading also use much less water and detergent.

Stacked washer and dryer. (Dryer on top).


Separate clothes by the care they need and by darks (or colors that may "bleed" onto other items), lights and optionally whites (or items that need to be bleached). Consider which items create lint (often sweaters, new towels) and which attract lint.

See the articles on laundry and category:cleaning tips for more suggestions.


Read the manual for the correct clothing cycles. High efficiency washers need different and less detergent. Hoses may need replacing after about 5 years.