LG WT1101CW Washing Machine Review

The LG WT1101CW with its Smart Drum technology may be too smart for its own good


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The LG WT1101CW is a 4.3 cu. ft. top-loading washing machine. LG stuffed their creation to the articulated lid handle with features and technology. Many of its technological features, like the auto load balance, made for a better clean. Although the front control panel gave it a design advantage over traditional top loaders, it still suffered from sub par efficiency scores. Still, if you're looking for a high efficiency top loader, this machine is a bargain. Together with the matching DLE1101W dryer, it's a bargain at under $1400 for the pair.

Not the right washer for you? Check out the the best top-load washers for under $1000, or even our picks for the best washers on the market, period.

Science Introduction

We put the LG WT1101CW through a series of standardized tests. All washers, great and small undergo the same rigorous process in order to determine its worthiness in our eyes. The majority of these test revolve around cleaning performance and efficiency. In cleaning performance this washer had fared well, particularly its Speed Wash cycle. However, it struggled on efficiency.

Design & Usability

It's got the body of a top loader and the controls of a front loader

The WT1101CW combines aspects from top and front loaders. The controls are located at the front of the machine like a front loader. LG decided to go with an adjustable handle for the lid. A handle that bends makes it easier to grip it when the lid is fully open.

Soft close hinges keep the lid from slamming, a welcome trend amongst mid to higher end top loaders. The drum is shallow. Combined with the soft closed lid, this means it's easier to get your laundry. Less capacity is the trade-off. Though 4.3 cubic feet does out-class most washers.

Cleaning Performance

We subject stain strips to each of the LG WT1101CW's core cycles. Each strip is coated with common household bains like red wine and carbon. After each cycle is complete, we measure how much of the stain has been removed via a photo-spectrometer. Working in conjunction with AHAM approved detergent, the WT1101CW had a moderately good showing. It had its best due against organic stains.



When we set up a washer we always take care to hook up our water and watt meters too. Based on our findings, we estimate the LG WT1101CW to have a yearly running cost of $60 if your costs are close to the national average.

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Taking that into account, a washer isn't usually without its dryer. How hard your dryer has to work is based on how wet your laundry is when it comes out of the washer. The less water that is spun out of a load, the more the energy a dryer has to expend.

Performance & Features

Good Cleaning Ability doesn't make up for the poor Efficiency

The LG WT1101CW impressed us with its cleaning ability, particularly the Speed Wash cycle. It managed to deal with stains all across the board. Even oil stains were manhandled by the WT1101CW. At a minimum of 35 minutes, we'd recommend using this cycle over the Normal/Causal one.

Our piqued interests form the impressive cleaning performance were dashed by the poor efficiency rating. Using a mix of cycles, we estimate that the yearly running cost to be in excess of $60. The inefficiencies continue with the amount of damage wash cycles do to clothing.

Though the Delicates cycle managed to spit out clothing that was less wrinkled, it still mauled and frayed edges of our test strips.

Further, the WT1101CW had poor water retention results. On average, test loads retained about 65% of their weight in water. That means your dryer will have to worker harder and longer. This LG reminds me of someone who uses the last tissue and just leaves the empty box.

One of the reasons that the WT1101CW is so thirsty is the smart drum. When the drum senses that the load is unbalanced. To rectify the situation, it filled the drum with water to spread out the load. Perusing the manual, we found a tip that suggested we only place items of similar weight during each cycle. Based on our experiences doing laundry, that isn't really how things are done. So this Smart Drum may be too smart for its own good.


The WT1101CW is a fairly balanced machine. It has good performance, but poor efficiency. To put that in real world terms, we estimate that the yearly running cost of the LG WT1101CW to be around $60. If pay the MSRP and own the machie for ten years, then the cost of this machine has doubled. However, what you lose in water you will gain in time. A 35 minute Speed Wash cycle outperformed all of its brethren. Overall, we can say that the LG's WT1101CW is a comptent machine. There are bigger top loaders out there. There are some that are more efficient. This machine, however, is at an okay balance.

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