Folks who reminisce about the good old clean of the Speed Queen washer of their youths will appreciate the WTW8127LC robust agitation. As we see it, there's a specific consumer who wants to wash their clothes with a pole agitator—one who gets their clothes super dirty and/or prefers a tough-on-fabric, let's-beat-it-up-to-get-it-clean wash. Conversely, there's a specific consumer who prefers an impeller—because they generally like a more gentle wash and/or need more room for their laundry to move around, maybe because they run larger loads. We don't often see these two sets of needs meet.
Also, the “What to Wash / How to Wash” system, which breaks down cycle and temperature selections, makes choosing the optimal situation for whatever you're washing super easy. It's also worth noting that this control panel has the biggest print we've ever noticed on a washing machine, making it a good choice for aging eyes or people with visual impairments because it's so easy to read.
About the Whirlpool WTW8127LC washing machine
Dimensions: 27.25” x 27.88” x 43.5” (W x D x H)
Number of Wash Cycles: 36
Available Finishes: Chrome Shadow, White
Capacity: 5.2 cu. ft. (agitator in) or 5.3 cu. ft. (agitator out)
Special Wash Options: Remote Start, Load ‘N Go, Deep Water, Extra Rinse
What we like
It’s two washers in one!
As we mentioned, the big selling point of this unique top-load Whirlpool washer is that it’s two styles of washer in one.
Out of the box, the WTW8127LC is a pole agitator. However, if you squeeze the handle atop the agitator it pops right out of the drum, leaving behind an impeller system to wash your clothes.
Agitators are an older technology that tends to do better at dealing with heavy debris because they move water and laundry around a central pole creating friction. An agitator washer’s two downsides are that it’s much rougher on clothing, and that there is a pole sticking up in the middle of the drum that takes up space.
An impeller, on the other hand, is gentler on clothing. It cleans laundry by tossing clothes and water around the drum without the obstruction of a pole. There's also generally more room in a top-loader with impellers.
Again, we don't often see the needs of an agitator consumer and an impeller consumer meet, but here is one that we find most compelling: washing comforters, towels, and large loads of laundry. You need to make every spare cubic inch of space count. When you stuff a washer to its limits, items do not get as clean as they should.
It washes best as an agitator and decently as an impeller
Because of its two modes, the Whirlpool WTW8127LC is tough to judge and score when it comes to cleaning performance.
Overall, the WTW8127LC is one of the best pole-agitator washers that has ever graced our labs, and it’s the highest-scoring pole agitator top-loader we’ve tested to date. The agitator-in Regular/Heavy Duty cycle is impressive, removing 78% of our testing stains. The agitator-out Regular/Normal cycle did OK, removing 68% of our testing stains.
We also tested the Sanitize with Oxi cycle. It cleaned about as well as the Regular/Heavy Duty cycle, even though we added about 32 grams of OxiClean in addition to our testing detergent. In our experience, OxiClean is better as a pretreating method than as a laundry additive.
The Regular/Quick Wash combo was the weakest wash we tested, removing 62% of our testing stains. But, we can forgive that because it clocked in at a fast 28 minutes.
The built-in pretreating station offers stain solutions
Whether it’s ink or wine, pretreating is the best way to deal with stubborn stains. Lucky for the clumsy among us, the WTW8127LC has built-in solutions, and having a utility sink right in your washer is both a space saver and really handy.
Its drum has a dual temperature faucet and a special scrubbing brush for spot treating before a wash cycle. The brush is the more interesting tool, as it features a reservoir you can pour detergent into that gets dispensed when you scrub.
When you’re done you can rinse with the built-in faucet. The faucet can be set to hot or cold. We suggest you keep it on cold most of the time. The hot setting draws straight from the hot tap, so it’s possible the water that comes out will be your boiler’s max temperature, which could lead to a scalding if you aren’t expecting it.
Its cycle selection system can cut down on confusion
The “What to Wash / How to Wash” system might be more intuitive for those who don't already have mental shortcuts set up for what type of laundry requires which traditional cycle setting. It helps you narrow in on what you actually want your washer to do.
For example, let’s say you have a load of towels. Lots of washers have a towels cycle, but it takes a while and you’re in a hurry. On the WTW8127LC you can select Towels under “What to Wash” and Quick on the “How to Wash” side. This allows you to cut what is normally an hour-long affair down to 30 minutes.
The other tricky step to laundry is detergent. Use too much laundry soap and you can actually make your clothes dirtier; use too little and your clothes just don’t smell or feel clean. To fix this issue, Whirlpool included a Load ‘N Go dispenser that holds up to 20 loads’ worth of detergent. You just fill it up, and at the touch of a button, it releases the correct amount of detergent based on the weight of your laundry and the cycle selected.
What we don’t like
You’ll pay more for it
To get this two-in-one washer, you’re going to have to pay about a 20% premium. You can get similar performance and features with the Whirlpool WTW7120HC, minus the removable agitator, and its built-in faucet only spits out cold water.
It has a limited release
The Whirlpool WTW8127LC is technically a Lowe’s exclusive. If you don’t live near a Lowe’s or can’t get a delivery from one, you’re not getting this washer. While we understand why exclusive deals exist, it puts a damper on the mass appeal of this washer.
You can buy a similar model, the WTW8127LW, from other retailers, but neither the WTW8127LC nor the WTW8127LW were widely released.
The Whirlpool WTW8127LC is covered by a one-year limited warranty. This is the standard warranty for appliances, though some manufacturers will guarantee specific parts (such as the drum or motor) for up to ten years.
Should you buy the Whirlpool WTW8127LC?
Yes—If you want a washer with a pole agitator, this is the best we've tested so far
If you're in the market for a pole agitating washing machine, the Whirlpool WTW8127LC is the best we've ever tested. It features every innovation Whirlpool has ever dreamed up for its top-loading washing machines. It also allows you the option to switch over to an impeller wash, in case you need to clean a comforter or lots of towels. We also love that it makes cycle selection less of a hassle.
If you’re not interested in a pricy top-loader with an ability to cater to all needs, check out the Maytag MVW7230HW or the Maytag MVW7232HW, which have similar feature sets to the WTW8127LC, and are an agitator and washer plate unit respectively.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Senior Manager of Lab Operations@Jonfromthelab1
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.
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