Laundry

Electrolux EFLW417SIW Washing Machine Review

You won't find a better washer for under $700

The stainless steel interior looks great Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan

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Cleaning Performance

At our testing labs, we control humidity, water temperature, and detergent so that differences in stain removal can be attributed to the washer. For stains, we use mechanically coated strips of cloth that are covered in substances like cocoa and red wine.

Stains

A before and after of the Normal cycle. The 417 had a good showing against every stain except grease.

The EIFLW417SIW's Normal cycle did extremely well on our tests. With Heavy Soils selected, it was by and large the best cycle. The superior clean is a tradeoff because the cycle requires up to 1 hour 43 minutes to complete, however this was the best time-to-cleaning ratio, as Heavy Duty lasted 15 minutes more, but removed 6% fewer stains. The Whites cycle came in third, also lifting 6.37% less stains than the Normal cycle.

Against individual stains, the 417 followed the same pattern as other washers we've tested that lack an internal water heater. It did well against cocoa and blood stains, but poorly against grease stains. For example, on the Normal cycle, the 417 removed 25% more of the cocoa stain than the oil stain. This difference remained fairly constant throughout all the cycles.

With big box retailers advertising washing machines on sale for under $400, it can be hard to justify spending more to get your clothes clean. But we think the Electrolux EFLW417SIW (MSRP $899) makes a great case for paying a little more to pamper your laundry.

On sale for under $700, the 417 is one of the most affordable front-load washers on the market, but it removes stains as well as machines that cost hundreds of dollars more.

Compared to a $400 top loader, this 4.3 cu. ft. front-load washing machine is also gentler on fabric, easier on your utility bills, and stackable—so its higher upfront purchase price will save you money and space in the long run.

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If you're already sold on Electrolux's all-new 2016 front-load lineup but don't feel like spending upwards of $800, give the 417 a look. It's not only easy to use, but also easy on the eyes: A splash of gray on the streamlined control panel adds some contrast, while the white-on-obsidian LCD display is both beautiful and legible.

Depending on load size, the 417's Normal cycle can last as long as 1 hour 43 minutes

We missed the combination control wheel/LED found on the EFLS517 and EFLS617, but those washers cost $100 and $200 more, respectively, and the overall aesthetic is similar.

You're also going to have to let go of a few features that more expensive models have. The 617 and 517 have steam, higher temperature washing options, and better stain removal results. Both also have slightly bigger drums and faster cycles, and only the 617 has the unique SmartBoost feature.

By far the 417's biggest drawback, however, is that its superior results don't come quick: Depending on load size, the 417's Normal cycle can last as long as 1 hour 43 minutes, and Heavy Duty sometimes runs 2 hours. Even the 20 Minute cycle clocked in at 25 minutes.

While it's true that good things come to those who wait, the TurboWash cycle on LG's equally affordable WM3050CW—one of our favorite washing machines—can wash a load of laundry three times as fast as this Electrolux.

Our performance testing proves that both brands can get clothes clean, but user reviews show that customers continue to love Electrolux and LG washers long after they're installed in the laundry room. With such strong competition, we'd recommend checking out both of these affordable front loaders before you make a decision.

Warranty information and product manuals can be found on Electrolux's website.

Efficiency

The EFLW417SIW uses slightly more water and electricity than the most efficient front loaders, but still far less than any top loader. Based on national average costs and use patterns, we estimate that the EFLW417SIW will take $37 a year out of your wallet.

That $37 does not take into account the cost of drying your laundry. The less water a washer spins out, the more time your laundry will have to spend in the electricity-hogging dryer. On average, the EFLW417SIW spun out around 47% of excess water, which is adequate.

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