In addition to size, the WT5680HVA has a dizzying array of specialty cycles like Wool and Sportswear. It also has TurboWash, which allows this washer to finish medium-sized loads in under 40 minutes. However, the Jack-of-all-trades lags behind in pure stain removal performance.
Still, if you're looking for a washer that's easy to load and shortens laundry day, this machine is for you. In fact, it's one of the best top-loading washers we've ever tested.
To read our full review of this washer's matching dryer, the LG DLEX5680V, click here.
Science is the basis for all our reviews. For washers, our tests examine two things: cleaning ability and efficiency.
Like a Las Vegas Buffet
The LG WT5680HVA has a little of everything, and so does its control panel. Luckily, everything lights up so you can tell what's going on.
However, you'll probably want to read the manual for some of the less straightforward functions. For example, what's the difference between Extra Rinse and Water Plus? If you read the manual, you'll learn that Water Plus adds water during the cycle while Extra Rinse comes at the end of the cycle.
All those extra features are great, but this LG also boasts an impressive cycle selection list that ranges from Sportswear to Towels. There's even a steam cycle to deal with allergens. That's exceptionally useful for families where someone has a skin allergy.
This LG shouldn't be difficult to use if you just a select a cycle and press start, but keep the owner's manual handy if you're delving into the options and specialty cycles. With that said, sometimes it's better to have something and not need it than the other way around.
Our cleaning performance testing relies on standardized strips of stained cloth, mechanically coated in household substances like cocoa and red wine.
After each cycle finished, we scanned each strip with a photospectrometer to see how much each stain has been lifted. The Bright Whites cycle performed the best, followed by the Heavy Duty and Cotton/Normal. Overall, the WT5680HVA had the biggest trouble with dirt and oil stains.
Efficiency is two-pronged in our testing labs: It's a measure of what goes in and what comes out. Water and electricity are what go in. To measure that, we attached energy and water meters to the LG WT5680HVA. Based on national average costs for electricity and water, we calculate that this washer will cost you $55.04 a year to run. That's on the low side amongst top-loaders.
The second half of our efficiency equation is water retention. That's the amount of water laundry retains at the end of the cycle. The more water that is retained, the more time and energy your dryer will have to expend. In this regard, the WT5680HVA did very well. On average, it spun out 54% of water, which means less time in the dryer.
A series of tradeoffs
LG markets the WT5680HVA as large and fast. With a few caveats, it delivers on both. With a 5.2 cu. ft. drum, this washer is able to easily handle two baskets of laundry, so it's at least got "large" down pat. For speed, a typical Cotton/Normal cycle will last 38 minutes. The caveat is that "typical" is defined as an eight pound load, so you might come out ahead with one large load compared to lots of smaller ones.
Not every cycle finishes quickly: Cycles like Bright Whites and Heavy Duty both took over an hour to finish. The Allergeine cycle took almost two and a half hours to complete.
It also takes a fair amount of water to fill up that massive drum. We estimate that total yearly operating costs are around $55, based on national energy and water cost averages.
But what about performance? To put it in perspective let's compare this the WT5680HVA to another large capacity washer: the LG WT1701CV and the Samsung WA50F9A8DSP. The WT5680HVA came in last in this list. Although $100 cheaper, the WT1701CV outclassed the WT5680HVA, slightly. The Samsung is the same price, and has a moderate cleaning performance advantage.
What this LG has over those other washing machines is its size. As of right now, they don't get any bigger—although Samsung is coming out with a 5.6 cu. ft. washer.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
For large families
The LG WT5680HVA is a good solution for families with a laundry bottleneck problem. If you find yourself spending a lot of time doing laundry because you have so many loads, this washer could be exactly what you're looking for.
This LG would be great for a family that does moderate amounts of laundry multiple times a week. For example, after soccer practice, throw in a few uniforms and a couple towels. After forty minutes, they'll be done. Same goes for when your kid comes home from college for the weekend with a giant bag of laundry.
Overall, the LG WT5680HVA has solutions for multiple problems. It can take on massive loads, or it can wash smaller loads quickly. It's not a stain-fighting powerhouse, but it will definitely get clothes clean and make your life easier.
Meet the tester
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
Checking our work.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.Shoot us an email