Laundry

GE GFWS1500DWW Review

A moderately priced machine with an average performance.

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Introduction

In just about every respect, the is an efficient and effective machine. Its $999 MSRP and sub-$800 sale price is a bargain for a high efficiency front-loader, and the savings don't stop there. If you're still using an ancient top-loader, you'll likely see a significant drop in your water bill, too.

Unfortunately, this washer isn't all Jack Benny. It's not very funny, it's much younger than 29 and it's actually pretty good at the violin. Plus, it's not too gentle on delicate clothes, which could cause them to wear out prematurely, which would necessitate a trip to purchase new threads.

With that said, the is a fine choice for getting clothes clean. Just keep an eye on your most fragile fabrics.

Design & Usability

The 's design is streamlined for ease of use. There are no confusing LCD menus, just buttons and clear indicator lights.

The proved itself to be a breeze to use: turn the dial to the desired setting and press start. It doesn't get much easier than that.

If you've got living areas below your laundry room, you may want to spring for a model with vibration control.

Make sure you put it on a completely level floor, however, as our professionally-leveled tester tried to get up and walk away during one of our tests. If you've got living areas below your laundry room, you may want to spring for a model with vibration control.

After all was said and done, we did notice that there was a lot of standing water left over in the dispenser drawer. If you are going to have a long stretch between uses, it'd be best to dry out the drawer with a towel or leave it slightly ajar. Because like a paper cut, there is nothing worse than a moldy washing machine. According to customer satisfaction surveys, most people would prefer a chainsaw to the face, Ebola-flavored pudding, or the haunting regret of the untraveled path to smelling the inside of a moldy washer.

Performance & Features

The had an above par cleaning performance across all cycles, even with the most difficult stains. However, the price of performance was time spent washing. Most washers shoot for their Normal cycle to finish in 40 minutes, but the took over an hour. We were briefly tempted to tell the tale of a turtle and bunny, but there are plenty of washers that perform just as well that take less time.

We found that this washer managed to cover all the basics without being overwhelming.

had some real trouble with sweat, blood and possibly tears stains. We ran every cycle that the had to offer, keeping our eyes on the water and electric meters. While some cycles were a bit thirsty, it was quite efficient in general. In fact, it might save you $20 a year over comparably priced top-loaders.

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Feature-wise, this washer managed to cover all the basics without being overwhelming. Of note, there is an eWash option which uses only cold water on selected cycles in order to lower costs. Beyond that, there are very standard adjustments for soil level, water temperature, and spin speed.

Conclusion

Call a technician for any wash cycle lasting more than four hours.

The was a competent machine. Its washing performance was wonderful, its energy efficiency was exquisite and its design was down-to-earth.

Still, it left us a bit wanting. The Delicates cycle did not live up to its name, causing a bit too much wear. This cycle, along with others, used a bit more water that we'd like to see in a front-loader. On the features front, the had little of note. The eWash function was interesting, but you will be sacrificing cleaning performance for the sake of a few pennies.

Overall, the is a solid machine. Nothing earth shattering or revolutionary, but it'll get your clothes clean and won't break the bank doing so.

Science Introduction

The is a middle of the road washing machine. Nothing in its bag of tricks is particularly impressive. However, it did have a competent cleaning performance.

Washing Peformance

Paging Dr. Clean

In order to determine cleaning performance we use sets of stains strips which have standardized patches of standardized filth, including sebum (sweat), blood, oil, red wine, and cocoa. These strips are placed in eight pound loads of laundry with an appropriate amount of industry standard detergent. When the cycle is complete, these strips are scanned by a light spectrometer. These readings are compared to control samples to determine how much of the stain has been removed.

Examining the strips that came out of the showed that—across the board—it had the easiest time with cocoa, a fatty stain that's often difficult to remove without the right temperatures at the right time. However, blood and sweat proved stauncher enemies, so you might want to add bleach if you're washing light cottons.

Cycle Cost

So how much will it cost?

Each cycle that a washer has to offer is run under the watchful, electronic eyes of temperature sensors that are placed inside the washer during each cycle. We also have the machine hooked up to energy and water meters.

This all boils down to dollars and cents. The will add about $1.14 to your yearly electricity bill. In terms of water, this GE used about $32.10 worth. The caveat is that this is all based on national averages so your actual costs may vary.

The washer's most profligate cycle proved to be Delicates, which used about 22.42 gallons of cold water. That equates to about 10 cents on your bill, if your costs are close to the national average. Not surprisingly, the cycle that rode the longest lightning bolt was the Sanitize cycle which consumed 1320 watt-hours in order to raise the interior temperature to 157 degrees.

Water Retention

The reach of a washing machine's shadow is long.

After a wash cycle is complete, there are two more things to consider: water retention and clothes wear. Most modern washers have a final spin cycle in order to get out as much water as possible. This helps prevent laundry from getting musty and lowers the amount of time that it'll need to spend in the dryer. In this regard, the did very well. All cycles except the low-spin Delicates spun out over 50% of the test load's weight in water. Those kinds of numbers get a gold star in our book.

Clothes wear is what it sounds like. Over time, how gentle a washer is can really add or subtract to your bills. In order to determine how destructive a cycle is, we place in a mechanical action strip. This is a piece of cloth that contains five, one-inch holes in it. After a cycle is completed, we take out these strips and count all the hanging threads that are more than one centimeter out—kind of like the Miami-Dade County Board of Elections (relevant joke!) The did a number on our test strips. Not an outrageous number mind you, it's just that we wouldn't put anything in there that isn't already showing signs of damage. Also, Ralph Nader is leading with 158 votes.

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