Asko W6424 2.12 Cu. Ft. Front Loading Washing Machine
Asko's W6424 washer has a high-end look and a high-end price, but performance that's just about average.
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The Asko W6424 uses only cold water, heating it internally. That will slightly drive up the cost of electricity this washer uses, but it'll save your hot water heater from doing the same work.
Due to changes in our testing methodology, we have written a new review of the Asko W6424. You can find it here. We have also left this, our original review, online.
Asko is a Swedish company best known in the US for its high-end washers, dryers and dishwashers. Though it retails for $1299, the W6424 is still one of Asko's least expensive units, and competes against other compact, stackable European-style washing machines from Bosch and Miele. If you have to Asko, you can certainly afford.
Designed to be installed in a kitchen, the W6424 is an extremely stylish machine although its user interface suffers as a result. And despite a price that's at least twice as much as washers from other manufacturers, its performance doesn't offer any compelling reason for a consumer to pay so much. It's not a bad washer -- but it's not a very good value, either.
The 's detergent dispenser is spring loaded, and opens when you push in on it. There are places for liquid and powdered detergent in addition to bleach and fabric softener. It can also be removed for easy cleaning.
About the only thing low-cost about the Asko W6424 is how much you'll pay per wash. Thanks to an internal water heater, the Asko only draws cold water, though it can bring it up to as warm as 205 degrees. Cycles range in cost between just three cents and eleven cents, which makes this washer slightly more efficient than those with initial purchase prices that are hundreds less.
On tap are eight pre-programmed washes, plus "Rinse" and "Spin & Drain" options. There's also an "Auto" cycle that the Asko's owner's manual recommends for most washes. Be aware that it might take awhile to finish larger loads.
After reading the owner's manual, we were more confused about which cycles did what than when we first unpacked the machine. For example, "Everyday Wear" is for "permanent press shirts" but "PermaPress" is for "delicate fabrics." The "White" cycle is for "whites and colors," but the "Quick" cycle is recommended for "cotton and/or linen clothes." Per manufacturer's instructions, we also had to "create" some cycles that don't exist on the control dial. "HeavyWhites" is simply the "White" cycle with a higher temperature, for example.
Outside of the US, many homes use tankless water heaters. As such, this Asko heats its own water and only draws from a cold tap. That means serious hot water savings.
The Asko W6424's wash performance wasn't bad -- but its stain and dirt removal was in the middle of the pack of washers we've tested previously. Clothes wear greatly depended on cycle choice. Heavy duty cycles were quite harsh on fabrics, but the delicate cycle was one of the gentlest we've observed.
Unlike every other washer we've tested, the 's door is not designed to be opened manually. Instead, there's a small button with a picture of a key next to the washer's start/stop button. Press it, and the door will unlock after a short pause. Closing the door is even more difficult, as it has to be perfectly aligned in order to latch shut. Since the washer takes a minute to start after choosing a cycle, more than once we unknowingly left the door open and assumed a cycle was about to start.
While there's no way to pre-set a custom cycle, each one can have its temperature and spin speed modified. We were especially impressed by the 's temperature options, which range from tap-cold water to a 205 degree sanitizing cycle. Unlike many other washers we've tested, the Asko's promised temperatures matched what we observed.
For $899 or even $1099, we could chalk up the Asko's small interior and long cycles to European quirkiness. But $1299 is a lot of money to spend on a washer. Unless you value appearances over results, there are a lot of other washers on the market to choose from that will get your clothes just as clean as the Asko while leaving your bank account unscathed.
Ease of Use
Unfortunately, the 's small door means that it's pretty hard to fill. Fitting in a standard eight pound load requires some maneuvering, which we found to be frustrating. Washing a larger load would be almost impossible.
Additional Wash Options
Washes can be delayed, and a pre-wash can be added to most cycles.
Normal/Permanent Press Cycle
Per the owner’s manual, we used the “Auto” cycle for a normal clothes wash. It took over two hours to complete, though it got clothes extremely clean. By comparison, other washers we’ve tested have offered up similar results in under an hour. If you don’t have that kind of time, we’d recommend using the Perma Press or even Quick cycle for most normally soiled laundry loads.
Cost Per Wash
The W6424 is truly impressive when it comes to water usage on heavy duty cycles. Where other washers cost forty or fifty cents to do a sanitizing cycle, even a two hour heavy duty wash in the Asko only runs about six cents. The majority of other washes range between three and eleven cents per cycle, which is far less than other washers we've tested.
Yearly Running Cost
A year with the W6424 should only set you back around $33.45. If you paid $1299 for it initially, that savings will be much appreciated.
A very small knob with even smaller labels for cycles is the main user control on this washer. Sure, it won't stand out when it's installed in a kitchen, but it also isn't as easy to decipher as the larger controls that most other washers feature.
After an hour and fifteen minutes, the Asko’s 104-degree cotton cycle only did a decent job getting stains out.
We were impressed with the Asko W6424’s performance washing delicates. Our test fabrics had few frays — or even wrinkles, for that matter. Even stain removal was adequate for such a gentle cycle.
Heavy Duty Cycle
It may have taken nearly two and a half hours, but the “HeavyWhite” cycle was the best our Asko had to offer. Some stains were reduced more than 20 percent, and even hard-to-remove oil based spots were significantly diminished.
Quick Wash Cycle
At 40 minutes, the Quick Wash was also pretty impressive. It got clothes cleaner than many normal cycles on other washers we’ve tested. Absent any major stains, we’d recommend Asko owners use the Quick Wash for most loads.
Most front-loading washers have no trouble in our debris test, in which we add 25 grams of sand to a standard eight pound laundry load. However, the Asko W6424’s dirt removal performance lagged behind the competition. Even the long, heavy duty cycle only got out a third of the dirt we added.
Depending on the cycle, the Asko W6424 can either protect or destroy clothing. After heavy duty cycles, our test fabric wear strips emerged quite frayed. However, after the Wool cycle those same strips were nearly intact.
In testing, the Asko W6424 whirred and whined during spin cycles. All that sound and fury still signified nothing, though, as test loads remained over 50 percent water-logged regardless of which wash options were selected. That means more work — and by extension, higher energy use — for a dryer.