Maytag Centennial MVWC555DW Washing Machine Review
This Centennial is worth celebrating
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The Maytag Centennial MVWC555DW (MSRP $649) is a washing machine that's designed and assembled in America, for Americans. It's a 4.3 cu. ft. top loader–the type of washing machine that's most popular in the US. It doesn't hold back any water for the sake of efficiency–guzzling three times as much as many front loaders. And it's focused entirely on stain removal.
Performance-wise, that makes it one of the best top loaders we've tested. The only modernity is this otherwise-traditional design is a new wash impeller, a more efficient design that replaces old-school a pole agitators.
To read our full review of this washer's matching dryer, the Maytag MEDC555DW, click here.
By the Numbers
Every washer that passes through our doors is subjected to a battery of empirical tests. For machines like the Maytag MVWC555DW, it's all about cleaning performance and efficiency.
Design & Usability
This is your mother's washer
The Maytag MVWC555DW does not reinvent the wheel. It proudly sticks to what's worked over the past few decades. The control panel is laid out for right-to-left use, with knobs for all the necessities, from soil level to fabric softener. The design scheme hasn't changed since the last iteration of this model, or the one before that.
The only major drawbacks of the old fashioned controls are the absent timer and Quick cycle. There's a progress bar–similar to what you'd see on a dishwasher–but unlike more modern machines, it won't tell you how many minutes before your laundry is done. Also, the lack of a Quick cycle means the shortest wash still lasts over an hour.
The white body, the lightweight lid, and the manual settings are exactly what you'd find on a fifty year old washer. It'll work for most people, and no extra features means no chance for confusion.
We test cleaning performance against controlled stain strips. These strips are coated with common household substances like red wine and cocoa powder. We include these strips in an eight-pound load of test laundry. Then we wash these test loads using industry-standard AHAM detergent. Finally, we retrieve the strips and scan them using photospectrometry. This allows us to precisely measure how much of each type of stain is lifted.
The Maytag MVWC555DW fared best against red wine and blood stains. That's good because these substances are on the opposite sides of the pH scale. Across all cycles, the MVWC555DW had the most trouble with sebum (sweat) and oil. Since both of these substances repel water in nature, this is a sign the washer—amazingly—didn't use enough hot water. The PowerWash cycle on the Maytag MHW8100DC used nearly twice as much hot water to blast away sweat stains. It performed 4% better than the Normal cycle and 1% better than the Whites cycle.
Performance & Features
If it ain't broke...
...Then don't fix it, right? The technology behind top loaders is based on the days when people stirred laundry in boiling pots of water. It worked then, and for the most part, it works now. The added bonus, of course, is that the Maytag MVWC555DW can stir laundry much faster than any human, and updated technology means it uses less water.
In our tests, the PowerWash cycle exhibited the best washing performance. Here's where you'll find all that "power" Maytag talks about in their advertising. Sure it took an hour and a half, but that's what this cycle is meant for: clean clothes, not speed.
Across all the cycles we tested, the Centennial performed the best against blood and red wine. That's a good sign since these two substances are on the opposite sides of the pH scale–meaning the Centennial has good range. Given a retail price hovering around $535, this washer is punching well above its weight class.
The MVWC555DW achieves this level of performance by ditching the old pole agitators of the not-so-distant past. You may remember the pole agitator as that thing that your sheets always used to get tangled up in. This time around, the Centennial gets an impeller, which allows for more spray, more motion, and a deeper clean. However, it's still not as efficient as a front loader, or even the highest-efficiency top loader. In fact, we estimate the yearly running cost for the MVWC555DW to be on the order of $82. That's almost triple the running cost of a front loader, and double the better top loaders we've tested.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Efficiency is about what goes in and what comes out of a washer. Electricity and water go in, and we can measure those with wattage and water meters.
Those meters showed some exceptionally high numbers when we tested the Maytag MVWC555DW. Based on average national costs and use patterns, we estimate the annual running cost of this washer will be on the order of $82. That's nearly three times the amount that the most efficient machines use.
What comes out of a washing machine is wet laundry. The more moisture a load of laundry contains, the more work your dryer has to do. On average, the MVWC555DW spun out 32% of excess moisture. Bad washers spin out 25% or less. Good washers spin out 50% and above. So the MVWC555DW falls in between those categories.
The Centennial stands the test of time
In the appliance market, there's always a bit of a schism between old versus new. The Maytag MVWC555DW represents the old, the proven, and the familiar. It's the type of washer that fills up with water and spins. For a lot of people, that's enough.
It may use older technology, but that doesn't mean it's not effective. For anyone who wants a top loader that focuses on performance and nothing else, Maytag's MVWC555DW fits the bill.