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Assuming an average mix of heavy duty, quick and normal washes, the Maytag MET3800XW will use over 138 kWh of electricity in a typical year. That's more than washers that are nearly twice as large.

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Though it only has a 2.5 cubic foot capacity, the Maytag MET3800XW still uses a lot of water. Most top-loaders use more water than front-loaders, but the Maytag is a veritable swimming pool for clothes. It uses 21 gallons for each delicates cycle, and about 20 gallons for most other ones

A heavy duty cycle is the most costly, at 18 cents per wash. Most other cycles run around 15 cents per wash. That's still less than you'll pay at a laundromat, however.

The Maytag MET3800XW will cost $54.98 in electricity and water bills, on average.

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The delicates cycle took just over a half hour and removed many of the standardized stains on our test strips. It didn’t do so well on oil-based stains, and its overall stain lifting power would be eclipsed by many standalone washers on the market.

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More heat means more stain removal, and the Maytag MET3800XW delivered on the heavy/hot cycle we used for cottons and whitest whites. Even oily stains were significantly lifted. We’d recommend this cycle for every wash, as it barely topped 100 degrees and still only took 38 minutes.

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Clothes emerged from the delicates cycle dripping wet but with stains that were far less pronounced. This is one of the better delicates cycles we’ve tested on any washer.

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A longer wash time did the same trick as a warmer wash, and the Maytag MET3800XW’s heavy duty cycle offered similar performance to its cotton cycle.

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The Maytag MET3800XW’s quick wash is somewhat redundant, as even the normal wash takes just over a half hour. Even with a mere 23 minute cycle time, however, it did an admirable job removing stains from clothes. It should prove effective for lightly soiled loads.

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Front loaders tend to have trouble removing debris, and the Maytag MET3800XW was no exception. When we added sand to a standard wash load, clothes emerged somewhat grimy, and sand remained in the washer’s tub.

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The Maytag MET3800XW’s agitator and small size meant that clothes got pushed around quite a bit. On our mechanical action test strips, which we use to check for clothing wear, we found many stray threads and frayed edges.

With the exception of the delicates cycle, where clothes emerged almost twice their weight in retained water, most loads ended up about 60 percent still wet. This means more work for the dryer up top.

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Maytag claims the MET3800XW has nine cycles on offer, but that number doesn't account for customizable temperatures. As it was possible to run each cycle with either cold, cool, warm or hot water, we chose temperatures recommended for certain wash loads for our tests.

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Each cycle can be customized for temperature or whether to add fabric softener. Some cycles have the option of choosing "heavy," "regular" or "light" duty cleaning.

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There's only one additional wash option: a pre-wash for normal cycles. There's no way to delay a cycle or change spin speed.

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Like most top-loaders with agitators, detergent is dispensed from within the agitator. In our tests, we often found that powdered soap remained caked inside this dispenser after washes.

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Because of the dryer above it, the 's door only opens at about a 45 degree angle. That means it's hard to load and unload laundry, and impossible to rest a laundry basket on top of the washer.

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Because of a door that doesn't open all the way, the Maytag MET3800XW could be difficult to use. It does require less bending down than a stacked front-loader, however.

For those used to push-button washers, the Maytag MET3800XW is a throwback: Turn a dial so it's in line with a mark on the washer in order to select a cycle, pull it to start the water flowing. You can see the washer's progress by how much the dial has moved.

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The Maytag MET3800XW is one of the least efficient washers we've ever tested. It uses a lot of water for each cycle -- upwards of 20 gallons -- and will cost about $55 a year to run in total.

There's nothing special about the Maytag MET3800XW's washing performance, though it's good enough at lifting stains and takes very little time. Clothes emerge pretty wet after all wash cycles, and heavy agitation may damage fragile fabrics.

This washer's most appealing feature is its small size. Otherwise, it has no remarkable options to customize wash cycles.

Meet the tester

Keith Barry

Keith Barry

Former Editor in Chief, Reviewed Home

@itskeithbarry

Keith was the Editor in Chief of Reviewed's appliance and automotive sites. His work has appeared in publications such as Wired, Car & Driver, and CityLab.

See all of Keith Barry's reviews

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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.

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