Washer and dryer features that waste money

Consumer Reports

Washer and dryer features that are worth it
Attention shoppers! In the washer and dryer aisles you'll see models loaded with fancy features. Some are useful but paying for others is like throwing money down the drain.

Don't be swayed by promises of more cycles that you may not need or a machine that claims to be a greener cleaner.

Here are five features the experts at Consumer Reports say you can do without.


MORE AT COnsumer Reports

Eco-cycles. Who doesn't like to save energy? It's good for the planet and saves you money. Eco-cycles are supposed to reduce a dryer's energy use, but our tests continue to show that the savings are negligible.

One eco-cycle we tested used significantly more energy than the normal cycle because the dryer took nearly three hours to dry a 12-pound load of towels, jeans, and other cotton garments.

Digital time displays. Some dryers display an estimate of how long it will take to get the job done. That would come in handy if the displays were reliable, but we found the dryers under- or overestimated drying time by up to 20 to 30 percent. Why? The dryers don't know what type of fabrics you're drying or how wet they are.

Special cycles. Thirty-three cycles and counting, that's how many we've seen on some washers in our labs. Think about the fabrics you wash and the problems you're trying to solve. For example, to kill allergens such as dust mites the wash water needs to be about 127 degrees F for 12 minutes. So check the manufacturer's claims and keep in mind that the basic cycles and settings can handle most washing needs.

Steam settings. If you're looking to do less ironing and you think the dryer's steam setting is the answer, think again. We found using the steam option left our shirts with some wrinkles. But if what you need is an odor eater, the steam did remove more odors than conventional dryers. As for washers, past tests showed that steam settings cleaned stains slightly better, but these machines cleaned very well even without the steam.

Vent-blockage indicators. Lint-filled dryer ducts increase drying time and energy costs. These indicators are designed to sense when a vent is blocked but past tests found that they were too inconsistent to rely on. It's better to remove and clean or replace the duct regularly to prevent clogs and fires, and to clean the lint filter after each load.

Before shopping see the Consumer Reports ratings of washers and dryers. Then visit manufacturers' websites to look for coupons and rebates.






Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Fox News’ Alan Colmes Dies at 66 After ‘Brief Illness’

      Fox News contributor and commentator Alan Colmes has died after a brief illness. He was 66.

      People
    • Call Her Hot Mama June! Honey Boo Boo and Pumpkin Talk About Their Mom’s Journey from 460 Lbs. to a Size 4

      Mama June Shannon may just need to change her name to Hot Mama June. After undergoing weight loss surgery, the matriarch of the Here Comes Honey Boo Boo family will reveal her new body on the reality TV screen in WE tv’s new docu-dramedy Mama June: From Not to Hot. But first, her daughters Alana (known better to fans as “Honey Boo Boo”) and Lauryn (AKA “Pumpkin”) stopped by Entertainment Tonight to explain how their mother went from 460 lbs. to a size 4. “She had gastric sleeve back in May of 2015, and then she slowly started losing weight, and the reason she got the gastric sleeve was because she hit a plateau — she couldn’t lose any weight,” Pumpkin explained of her mom’s surgery to make her stomach smaller.

      People
    • California's punishing rain creates rare spectacle

      First the rain, now the drain. California’s punishing rain this month has flooded neighborhoods and triggered evacuations. It has also pushed Lake Berryessa in Napa County way beyond capacity, pouring water into its bathtub-like drain. It’s the first time that’s happened in 11 years, reports CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal. “Back in October, we were essentially half-full,” said Roland Sanford, general manager of the Solano County Water Agency. “This is the first time that the lake has been so low, and filled-up and spilled in one year.” What looks calm at the top of the “Morning Glory Spillway” looks like a raging torrent at the bottom. The spillway is located 200 feet from the Monticello

      CBS News q
    • Off-Duty Cop Fires Shot During Scuffle With Boy, 13, Sparking Widespread Outrage

      Video of the confrontation encouraged hundreds to swarm Anaheim, Calif., streets.

      Inside Edition
    • Conservative provocateur James O'Keefe says he plans to leak 'hundreds of hours of tape' in CNN exposé

      Conservative provocateur James O'Keefe said Tuesday that he plans to release "hundreds of hours...

      Business Insider
    • Off-duty LAPD officer fires weapon during confrontation with teens in Anaheim

      An off-duty Los Angeles police officer fired his weapon outside his Anaheim home during an altercation with two juveniles.

      KABC – Los Angeles
    • How Jesse Jackson Jr. collects $138,400 a year from the federal government

      Records from former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s divorce case show how he has been able to collect hefty benefit checks from the federal government after serving time in prison for looting hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign fund. Most of that — about $100,000 — is workers' compensation and tax-free, according to Chicago attorney Barry Schatz, who is representing Jackson in his divorce proceeding. The rest of Jackson's benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance payments, some of which may be taxable, Schatz said. The payments flow to Jackson because he has bipolar disorder and depression — the issues that led to an extended leave from Congress in 2012 — and those conditions have been exacerbated by a "very difficult, contentious divorce" from former Chicago Ald.

      Chicago Tribune q
    • Mama June Transformation Pictures: See Photos From Her New Show!

      Mama June is ready to flaunt her drastic weight loss on From Not to Hot! The former Here Comes Honey Boo Boo reality star shed the pounds and dropped from a size 16 to a size 4 — and we can't wait to follow her in her new journey of surgery, weight loss, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. (Photo Credit: Getty Images, Twitter) Earlier this week, she revealed how she was able to get in shape. “I just watch my portions and cut back on a lot of the carbs,” she said. “The one thing that I cannot live without is my grapes and cheese.” Her hard work has definitely paid off! Click through the gallery to see the new Mama June in From Not to Hot — and make sure to also watch the full trailer here!

      intouchweekly.com q
    • Papa John's stock crashes and it may all be because of the NFL

      Better sales. Better stock price. Not Papa John's.

      The Street q
    • 2007 Oscar Flashback! Beyoncé, Ryan Gosling, Reese Witherspoon, and More (32 photos)

      The 79th Academy Awards took place on Feb. 25, 2007, at the Kodak (now the Dolby) Theatre in Hollywood, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Martin Scorsese took home his long-awaited Best Director statuette for The Departed — which led the night with four wins, including Best Picture. With this year’s ceremony only days away — Feb. 26  — we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the star-studded red carpet for the 2007 Oscars. Enjoy!

      Yahoo Movies
    • Mama June’s Weight Loss Surgeries Revealed -- How She Went From 460 Pounds to a Size 4

      How Mama June got down from 460 pounds to a reported size 4.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Ask Amy: My ex-wife won’t talk, even when our kid was in crisis

      DEAR AMY: My former wife and I divorced after 26 years of marriage. She has refused to communicate with me. We have twins in their late 20s — a daughter and a son. Although neither is married, each wants to eventually get married, and so I anticipate weddings. Our son graduates law school this spring. He may feel awkward about having both his parents attend his graduation. Last year, he went through a terrible crisis — the death of one of his best friends. It was terribly hard on him, yet his mom never talked to me about how we might help him. Such occasions — a grief-stricken child, and a grown child’s life event — call for parents to come together. I want to talk with my former wife about the

      MercuryNews.com q
    • Utah Teens Allegedly Left 14-Year-Old for Dead After Shooting Her in the Head and Robbing Her

      Two Utah teens were charged Tuesday with the attempted murder of a 14-year-old girl who police said was shot in the back of the head, robbed and then left for dead last week. The 16-year-old boys, who were arrested over the weekend, are charged with one count each of first-degree felony attempted aggravated murder and aggravated robbery and four counts each of second-degree felony obstructing justice. The two teen suspects allegedly lured their victim to a dry canal bed in Smithfield, Utah, under the guise of selling her a knife, according to charging documents obtained by PEOPLE.

      People
    • Chef José Andrés Addresses His Lawsuit with President Trump: ‘I Did What I Had to Do’

      For chef José Andrés, becoming embroiled in a legal battle with anyone—let alone the President of the United States—is brand new territory. Andrés found himself at the receiving end of a lawsuit from Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign after he pulled out of a restaurant project in Washington, D.C.’s Trump Hotel. The move was a response to the then-candidate’s controversial remarks about Hispanic immigrants, which the chef claims made it difficult to attract staffers and customers.

      People
    • Fit Mom Tammy Hembrow Shares a Photo of Her Loose Belly Skin Post-Baby

      Australian fitness trainer and mom-of-two Tammy Hembrow bounced back to having a flat tummy just weeks after giving birth to her second child, but she recently shared a photo that shows that her stomach isn’t perfect — and she’s totally fine with that. On Saturday, Hembrow posted a mirror selfie on Instagram that shows her holding her baby while wearing a crop top and gray leggings.

      People
    • What poison could have killed Kim's brother?

      The assassination of the North Korean leader's half-brother saw Kim Jong-Nam collapse shortly after two women shoved a cloth in his face. A. I don't know of a toxin powerful enough to act by penetrating the skin that would kill so quickly.

      AFP
    • U.S. Homeland Secretary Kelly warns Guatemalans to stay home

      By Luis Echeverria GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Wednesday told Guatemalans not to waste their money trying to get to the United States illegally, detailing how his department was cracking down on undocumented immigrants and would speed up deportations. Speaking after he greeted a plane full of Guatemalans deported back from the United States, Kelly said U.S. authorities were not carrying out mass deportations of immigrants and would follow the law.

      Reuters
    • ‘Walking Dead’ star slams T-shirt controversy: ‘People are stupid’

      Jeffrey Dean Morgan is shocked and stunned by The Walking Dead T-shirt controversy — shocked and stunned, that is, that anybody would find the shirt controversial in the first place. To recap: U.K. department chain Primark pulled a Walking Dead T-shirt (image below) from its stores after a customer complained the clothing item is “racist” and “offensive.” The shirt featured Negan’s signature Lucille baseball bat and his victim-selecting rhyme, “Eeny meeny miny moe, catch a tiger by the toe…” The problem?

      Entertainment Weekly 51 min ago
    • Luke Bryan suffers another family tragedy as he mourns the loss of his infant niece

      Luke Bryan thanked fans for their support following the death of his infant niece Sadie Brett Boyer. The country singer’s late relative was the daughter of his wife Caroline’s brother Bo Boyer. Sadie, who was born last summer with cardiac issues, had been battling an infection that affected her liver the last few days.

      hello!
    • Honey Boo Boo Talks Mama June's Incredible Transformation Following Weight Loss Surgery

      She said the change in her mother is so dramatic that people may think it's fake.

      Inside Edition