Laundry

LG WM3470HVA 4.0 cu. ft. Graphite Front Loading Washing Machine Review

An average high-end washer.

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Introduction

The debuts a new feature called TurboWash, which switches up the spray patterns of water inside the drum in order to speed up a wash. It just may be one of the most revolutionary new technologies from an appliance manufacturer in the past decade: Most washers take close to an hour to do a standard cycle, but this one took 39 minutes. Sure, its overall washing performance proved just above average in our tests, but that's like complaining about the lack of rear-seat legroom in a Porsche 911.

This LG is worth every penny of its $1199 MSRP if you're in a hurry, and it's an even better deal if you can find it on sale for around $950. If you're the sort of impatient, high-strung person who tailgates in traffic, E-mails during meetings and yells "Chocolate milk is for closers!" at your kids, don't even consider any other washer.

Front

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Controls

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Drawer

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Interior

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Sides

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Back

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Electricity Use

Despite all the extra spraying and tumbling that takes place when the TurboWash option is selected, the doesn't use much more electricity than similar washers that we've tested.

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Water Use

Likewise, the 's water usage was in line with other large capacity, high end, front loading washing machines we've had in our lab. The Bright Whites cycle used the most water, churning around 20 gallons. The Speed Wash used only seven, and the frequently-used Normal cycle only used a little over 13.

Cost Per Wash

The most often used cycles on the run between six and eight cents per wash, while longer specialty cycles cost up to twelve. That's very efficient in comparison to many of the other washers we've tested.

Yearly Running Cost

Assuming your energy and water costs are close to the national average and that you mostly use the Normal cycle, the will cost you $37.22 to operate each year. That's a little more than the most efficient front loading washers we've tested, but still about a third less than most top loaders.

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Washing Speed

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Washing Performance

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Normal/Permanent Press Cycle

We were skeptical when LG first told us about their TurboWash feature back at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, but it turns out the technology’s promise lived up to the hype. Not only did the addition of swirling jets of water speed up the Cotton/Normal cycle to an outstanding 39 minutes, but cleaning performance didn’t suffer. In fact, the WM3470HVA did a truly incredible job at getting out stains — on par with washers that take much, much longer.

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Cotton/Whites Cycle

Back to reality: The Bright Whites cycle took 79 minutes, used a ton of water and didn’t get stains out as well as the Normal cycle. For most loads of laundry, you could ignore this cycle — along with all the others.

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Delicates Cycle

The Delicates cycle did a decent job getting out stains, though it struggled with the oil and carbon on our standard test strips. Of note is that clothes emerged still soapy after the Delicates cycle. If you’ve got sensitive skin, this could be an issue.

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Heavy Duty Cycle

The Heavy Duty cycle impressed us with its stain removal capability, even though it took about 80 minutes to complete.

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Quick Wash Cycle

In 20 minutes, the LG WM3470HVA’s Speed Wash cycle did a halfway decent job getting out cocoa, blood and red wine stains, though it didn’t do so well with oil and carbon. If you can spare another 19 minutes, choose the TurboWash-equipped Cotton/Normal cycle and go all the way to decent — and then some.

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Dirt Removal

In just 39 minutes, the LG WM3470HVA’s Cotton/Normal cycle managed to get out nearly half of the 25 grams of dirt we added to an eight pound load of laundry. Other cycles didn’t fare as well.

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Water Retention

Water retention is an important measure of how hard you dryer will have to work to get all that excess moisture out. The LG WM3470HVA did better than most washers we’ve evaluated on this test, getting out more than half of the water that our standard loads of laundry had absorbed during washes. Only the gentle Delicates cycle remained noticeably wet — and soapy, too.

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Clothes Wear

The LG WM3470HVA definitely wasn’t gentle on clothes. Even on the Delicates cycle, the test strips we use to measure clothes wear ended up frayed and worn.

Washing Cycles

Counting the Tub Clean option, the has twelve cycles. All the usual suspects are there, plus the high-end washer standbys of a super-wet allergen cycle and a really hot sanitary cycle. This washer's sanitary cycle only got to 142.8 degrees, which is a bit cooler than we like to see.

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Customization

Washes can be customized for temperature, spin speed and soil level. You can also add a plethora of special features to each wash, such as steam. If you want, you can save a custom cycle on a built-in preset.

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Additional Wash Options

Among all the options that the has on offer, the TurboWash really stands out. It uses high-powered jets of water to change up the pattern of a cycle and reduce wash time significantly. It's the default option on the 39 minute Cotton/Normal cycle, but can be chosen for other cycles as well. Best of all, our tests show that the reduced time doesn't adversely affect cleaning performance.

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Washing Options

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Detergent Dispenser

Detergent, prewash treatment, fabric softener and bleach are all dispensed from a small drawer on the top left corner of the machine.

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Washer Door

The 's large, round door is left-hinged, lightweight and opens to reveal a stainless steel drum.

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Ease of Use

A large door opening makes the easy to load. Though the control panel isn't the best, the TurboWash option makes this speedy washer a very helpful household appliance.

Controls

The wash selector knob is located square in the middle of the unit, on a surface that's curved slightly upward toward the user. This knob resets itself after every wash, so you can't just leave it on Normal in between cycles.

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Efficiency

The is a fairly efficient washer -- about average for a front loader, but more miserly than a top-loader. It'll definitely save you time, though, and it's large interior means you can get a lot of clothes cleaned in a single cycle.

Performance

Overall, the 's wash performance was only slightly above average, with some underperforming cycles dragging down the LG's cumulative scores. However, the 39 minute Cottons/Normal cycle managed to get clothes very clean, very fast. That alone is reason enough to put this washer on your shopping list.

Features

Aside from the TurboWash, the has a number of options including a steam wash, plus a preset button for storing a customized cycle. The control panel layout is a bit difficult to see, let alone understand, so bring your reading glasses.

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