Pros

  • Reasonably priced

  • Holds a lot of food for its size

  • Easy to store

Cons

  • Slow cycles

Stains

Before and after comparison of various stains resulting from the Normal cycle. From left to right that's clean fabric, sweat, dirt, cocoa, blood, and red wine.

The Maytag MHW3505FW's stain removal was mixed: The PowerWash cycle was exceptionally good, removing 21% more stains than the Normal cycle on default settings. That gap closed when we placed the Normal cycle on its hottest temperature and added an extra rinse—the settings you'd use for washing whites. This simulated Whites cycle lagged behind PowerWash by only 11%.

You just bought your first home? Huzzah! Paint those walls neon pink and put garden gnomes on the front lawn, because there isn't a landlord to stop you. Aside from more freedom, one of the biggest changes is going to be the way you do laundry.

Instead of relying on an old coin-op machine in the basement, you can choose your own washer and dryer. If you have a mortgage to pay and a family's worth of clothes to get clean, we recommend you choose something affordable and effective—like the Maytag MHW3505FW .

The 4.3-cu.-ft. machine has a drum that's spacious enough to wash a week's laundry from a family of four. Yes, the cycle times can be long—up to 3 hours for the exceptionally competent PowerWash cycle. However, in exchange for your time, you get a superior clean, and plenty of extras. Plus, this washer is made in Ohio and comes with some extra warranty perks.

In our opinion, the MHW3505FW is a great choice if you don't want to spend a lot on a washing machine, but still want clean clothes and time-saving options. But if price isn't an object? Well, there are a lot of other options to consider.
In terms of water and electricity usage, the MHW3505FW is in the middle of the pack of front loaders. Based on national average costs, we estimate that the 3505 will cost around $31 a year to run. Front loaders typically run from $25 a year all the way to $40.

We also need to consider indirect costs of a washer: Your clothes have to get dry too. The more excess water a washer spins out, the less time it'll have to spend in the dryer, which is one of the most energy-hungry appliances in your home. On average, the 3505 spun out 38% of a load of laundry's weight in water. That's a little on the low side for our liking. You may have to adjust the spin settings to achieve the sought after 50% mark.

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The MHW3505FW has a pretty run-of-the-mill design, and that's a good thing. This is a washer that sells for below $600 on sale, so we're willing to bet you want all the focus to be on stain removal and features that help with cleaning.

The 3505 has two cycles that stood out to us: PowerWash and Cold Wash.

PowerWash allows Maytag to claim it has the best stain removal in the industry. And our tests do show that the 3505's PowerWash ranks amongst the top ten percent of over a thousand test cycles we've run. This runaway MVP made Normal look like a benchwarmer, removing 21 percent more stains across the board. The only downside? It takes three hours.

A cycle that's as long as the director's cut of The Wolf of Wall Street might make you pass this Maytag over, but that's laundromat thinking. You don't have to sit there and wait for the cycle to finish—you can leave and come back later. If you've absolutely got to get those grass stains out of your kid's uniform, PowerWash will do the trick.

For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.

Cycles
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan

The MHW3505FW has less cycles than higher-end machines, but still covers all the bases.

Cold wash stands at the opposite of PowerWash. It's an hour long, and gentle on brightly colored fabrics that can't stand the heat. That might make it sound like a Normal cycle set to cold, but Cold Wash also increases the concentration of detergent to help make up for the lack of hot water.

The 3505 also has a Sanitize cycle and the ability to add steam, which means this Maytag has an internal hot water heater when temperatures need a boost. That's exceptionally rare for a sub-$600 machine.

The 3505 also has a Sanitize cycle and the ability to add steam.

Also good: This washer has a 27-minute Quick cycle, it doesn't wear fabric too much, and it doesn't cost very much to run. Downsides include a lack of a dedicated Whites cycle, and really wet laundry at the end of a cycle.

When you take a step back and view the 3505's washing prowess in its entirety, you'll see a washer that punches far above its weight class. In fact, if you look higher in Maytag's lineup, the only extras you get are unexpected ones, like a wash-and-dry cycle or an automatic detergent dispenser.

Drum
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan

The drum is covered under a 10-year, parts-only warranty.


The Maytag MHW3505FW's warranty comes in two parts. For the first year of ownership, Maytag will cover parts and labor, which is fairly standard across the industry. For the next nine years of ownership, the warranty will cover failure of the drum or motor, but not the labor to replace them.

If you want to read the fine print, you can find it on the MHW3505FW's product page.

This is a brand new model for 2016, so there aren't many user reviews online. However, its predecessor—the MHW4300DW—gets 4.6 stars out of 5 from 167 users on Home Depot.

Most people only buy washers when the old one breaks, or after they move into a new home. Both of those are already stressful times, and there's an urge to just buy something to fill the space.

If you don't have time to do much more research, let us assure you: The Maytag MHW3505FW is a safe choice. It lacks niche features like a wash basin in the drum, or being large enough for a grown man to use as an apartment, but it has steam, a Sanitize cycle, good stain removal, and a price that sometimes dips below $600.

The 3505 may look like a bland white good, but that's not a bad thing. Life is filled with enough surprises, and your washer shouldn't be one.

Meet the testers

Jonathan Chan

Jonathan Chan

Lab Manager

@ReviewedHome

Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Senior Lab Technician 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.

See all of Jonathan Chan's reviews

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.

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