Electrolux EWFLS70JIW Washing Machine Review
A high-end, front-loading washing machine that boasts excellent cleaning abilities.
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It's safe to say this Swedish manufacturer had a good handle on American tastes when they designed the oddly-named Wave Touch, a machine capable of handling a massive amount of laundry. Its Normal cycle takes only 39 minutes and still cleans better than most washers, which take up to a half hour longer. The other cycles weren't too shabby, either.
In addition, all the cleaning technology that went into the EWFLS70JIW is top-notch. Unfortunately, that also explains why it's hard to find this machine on sale for less than $1400. At least it's efficient, boasting an estimated yearly operating cost that's far lower than the competition. Still, for a price that high, and with a few aggravating user interface faults, the Wave-Touch might as well be called Electroluxe.
The proved itself to be an excellent washing machine. However, with a price tag of around $1,499 you should consider what you want out of an appliance.
Design & Usability
The has a whopping 96 easily accessible settings.
The design of the Electrolux EWFLS70JIW reminds us of what futuristic technology looked like in movies from the 50’s. The bubbled glass front door is reminiscent of a one-man submersible. I wanted to crawl inside and pretend to be Jacques Cousteau. Well, maybe Ridley Scott, since Jacques Cousteau's been dead for a long time.
The control scheme reminds us of the front panel of a VCR: There is a jog wheel that controls cycle selection plus a start/pause button. There are also four undefined buttons that correspond to selections that appear on the ever-changing LCD screen. The LCD is a bit small and hard to read, and the endless hidden sub-menus may confuse technophobes and those with short-term memory issues. Still, there's a bunch of options squirreled away back there, including a dedicated cycle for vomit and options to customize nearly every aspect of a wash.
The door on the Electrolux EWFLS70JIW is push-to-open, which means you'll likely have to hit it Fonzie-style to make it work. Notice that you never saw Fonzie turn the jukebox off, and the same is true here. On our tester, a light touch meant the door spring wouldn’t fully compress and, hence, the door we thought we closed would suddenly swing open. It felt a little strange using so much force on an appliance. We test washing machines, not World's Strongest Man carnival games, for goodness' sake! We’re not aggressive people, except when there’s a blood moon...
Once we got past the door and the labyrinthine LCD screen, though, using the the Electrolux EWFLS70JIW was simple, since there is a preset automatic wash cycle for any stain imaginable—and many that are unimaginable, as well.
Performance Tests: Cleaning
In order to determine cleaning performance, we use sets of stain strips made with standardized patches. Each patch is stained with a common household dirtying agent and placed in eight-pound loads of laundry with a per-measured amount of industry approved detergent. When the cycle is complete, we scan these strips with a light spectrometer to determine how much of the stain is removed.
The managed to nearly eliminate all the blood and wine stains from our test strips. Anthocyanin, the chemical that gives red wines their color, as well as most of the particulates in blood, are water-soluble. The had the most trouble with oil, a hydrophobic substance. This is the case with most washers, but it was much more pronounced with the .
The perfect washing machine is soaking wet and soapy during the wash, but dry at all other times. The Electrolux EWFLS70JIW did exceptionally well in this area. We weighed our loads before and after every wash and found the laundry to retain, on average, 43% of their mass in water. Anything under 50% is considered a good score. It means that your energy bill will be lower since your dryer doesn’t have to work as hard. It also significantly reduces the chances of your clothes getting that musty smell should you leave them in the machine.
Performance & Features
We were impressed with the 's performance.
Quick and effective, there isn't much more you can ask for...at least, not from a washer. The dedicated Quick cycle was one of the fastest and most effective we’ve ever seen. From when we pushed start to when the end-of-cycle chime rang out, only 15 minutes had elapsed. Even better, the Electrolux got laundry nearly as clean as it did during the similarly rapid 39-minute Normal cycle. The difference? After checking our water gauges, we found that the Quick cycle used significantly more water and electricity. The Electrolux also did a good job keeping fragile fabrics intact on the Delicates cycle, and shouldn't wear laundry out prematurely on other washes.
In addition to a number of highly customizable washes, a fancy light inside the drum, and an on-board electronic "Stain Guide," we also discovered that this Electrolux's interior drum has its own deodorant to keep the gasket from developing an unpleasant odor. However, while a musty gasket smells bad, this fragrance actually smelled worse. While some people in the office didn't mind it, we stopped being friends with those people, and cringed a little every time we opened the door to change loads.
In the world of washers, the Electrolux EWFLS70JIW is a strong contender, but the steep price may be a barrier.
The pricey wowed us with its stain removal power, speed, and efficiency, but confused us with an aggravating door and a user interface seemingly designed by Will Shortz.
For a washer that's hard to find on sale under $1400, we demand perfection. The Electrolux Wave-Touch EWFLS70JIW came tantalizingly close, but just missed the mark.