If you're willing to wait, this washer offers PowerWash. It remains one of the most effective cycles we've ever seen— it just takes two-and-a-half hours to run. Those who care about stain removal and clean clothes should definitely check out the MHW5100DW.
To read our full review of this washer's matching dryer, the Maytag MED5100DW, click here.
Every laundry machine that goes for a spin in our testing lab gets quite a workout. Performance and Efficiency are major concerns. So, let's get ready to tumble.
Cleaning performance is exactly what it sounds like. How much stain can each cycle lift? To control for stains, we use standardized strips which are coated in substances like blood, sweat, and cocoa. The MHW5100DW did well across the board, except for oily dirt stains. That's typical for most washers, but the deficiency was more pronounced on this Maytag. Overall, the MHW5100DW did best against wine, cocoa, and blood. That's a good sign, since this is a fairly varied cohort of substances that require different mechanisms to remove.
As stated many times in the review, the PowerWash cycle proved the best. Our measurements showed it beat or matched the Heavy Duty cycles on other machines we've tested. That's to be expected, considering the cycle took two and a half hours. The Normal cycle took less than an hour, and showed only an 11% decrease in stain removal.
Here's a riddle: What's white and white, and white all over? Answer: the Maytag MHW5100DW. Whether we're talking colors or controls, this machine is simple. With only six cycles to chose from, the MHW5100DW sticks to the basics but adds perks like Rapid Wash and the aforementioned PowerWash. On the outside, the Maytag MHW5100DW is the epitome of blandness, but it's on the inside this model shines.
We're being literal: The beautiful interior drum is made of shiny stainless steel. It's got a 4.5-cu.-ft. capacity that can easily swallow an 8 lb. load and definitely fit larger ones. The rest of this Maytag's guts promise durability—for instance, all the pumps and springs have been coated with corrosion-resistant materials.
Overall, the quality of this Maytag's fit and finish and the simplicity of its interface make for a pleasant user experience.
PowerWash is a cut above
The overall cleaning performance of the MHW5100DW puts it at the head of the pack. The PowerWash cycle tested as well or better than any Heavy Duty cycle we've seen, regardless of brand or price range. There is a catch, though: The cycle requires two and a half hours to complete. For those who do multiple small loads each week, this isn't practical, but it's a good way to save stained or dingy clothes. The 45-minute Normal cycle earned only average test scores, due to some trouble removing carbon and oil stains.
The remaining cycles offered slightly above-average performance, but PowerWash carries this washer's scores. Aside from a Sanitize cycle, there aren't any ancillary features to otherwise convince you to buy.
As for clothing wear, scores were on par with just about every other front loader, which is to say they were quite good. Front loaders tend to be gentle on fabrics, so expect that new shirt to last a long time.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Efficiency tests have two elements: what goes in and what goes out. In terms of what goes in—water and electricity—the Maytag MHW5100DW is on par with other front loaders. Based on average national costs and use patterns, we estimate the annual running cost for this washer will be $33. That's a lot better than any top loader.
After a wash is finished, what comes out is wet laundry. The wetter a load is, the more work your dryer has to do–which costs you money. On average, test loads retained about 58% of their weight in water. The baseline for this test is around 50%, so the MHW5100DW underperforms slightly.
The degree to which a washer damages clothing is tested with mechanical action strips. These strips fray as they're exposed to tumbling in a washer. After a cycle is complete, these strips are removed and analyzed.
Unsurprisingly, the PowerWash cycle proved the most harsh due to its two-and-a-half hour duration and strong spin. On average, our mechanical action strips racked up 74 frayed strands. The Delicates cycle, however, lived up to its name. We counted an average of only 38 frayed strands.
A solid choice
The Maytag MHW5100DW has what you need, and that's about it. Strong cleaning performance more than makes up for its lack of fancy features, and anyone who requires serious cleaning on a regular basis can rely on the excellent PowerWash cycle. If all you want out of a washer is clean clothing, check out this Maytag.
Meet the testers
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.Shoot us an email