Living Better · Tips & Tricks

How to Make Your Washer and Dryer Last

Manufacturers say you should get a good 10 years out of your laundry appliances

How long do you expect your new washer and dryer to last? Readers debate this in the comments section of Consumer Reports’ online stories and, given that most machines come with a 1-year parts and labor warranty, we asked manufacturers for an answer. Here’s what they had to say.

Every manufacturer stressed that to make your washer and dryer last proper installation of the machines is crucial, as is reading the manuals (especially noting what can’t be washed or needs special attention, such as waterproof items), following garment care labels, loading machines without stuffing them, and using the correct amount of detergent. HE detergent should always be used in HE top-loaders and front-loaders.

For the dryer, you’ll need to remove lint after every load, and clean the vent periodically. The dryer vent should also be cleared before your new dryer is installed. Here’s what else the manufacturers had to say about how to make their washers and dryers last.

Make your Kenmore Elite 41072 and Kenmore Elite 81072 washer and dryer last.

Kenmore Elite 41072 and Kenmore Elite 81072


Consumers can expect 10 to 13 years for washers and dryers, and this is not unique to Kenmore, says Chris Granger, vice president of Sears Home Services, which repairs nearly two million washers a year across brands. He adds that about 40 percent of those repairs do not require parts, and are tied to maintenance and learning how to properly use the machine.

Of the 60 percent of repairs requiring parts, Granger says they do a variety of fixes, including water valves and electronic control boards, but no one part accounts for the majority of repairs. Control board issues they saw 15 years ago no longer exist and aren’t a top failure anymore, he adds. As for electronic touchscreens versus knobs, Granger says Sears Home Services hasn’t seen an increase in service rates even though there are more electronic machines.

What you can do
• Granger suggests that you improve dryer airflow with a straight rather than twisted vent, ideally metal, not plastic, and noted that the shorter the run the better.

• Clean the moisture sensor with a little rubbing alcohol if you use dryer sheets. The fabric softener can coat the sensor with a film buildup making it harder for it to do its job and determine when clothes are dry.

Kenmore couples to consider: Kenmore Elite 41072 front-loader and Kenmore Elite 81072 electric dryer, each $1,000. Kenmore 27132 HE top-loader and Kenmore 67132 electric dryer, each $700.

Make your LG WM4270HWA and LG DLEX4270W washer and dryer last.

LG WM4270HWA and LG DLEX4270W


Expect LG machines to last 10 years, says Clara Chang, senior manager of LG public relations and communications.

What you can do
• Chang says to perform routine maintenance, such as running the washer’s tub-clean cycle.
• Use a front-loader cleaning solution periodically.

LG duos to consider: LG WM3570HVA front-loader and LG DLEX3570HVA electric dryer, $800 each. LG WM4270HWA front-loader and LG DLEX4270W electric dryer, $830 each.


“We design all our products to strict standards expecting a minimum 10 years under normal consumer use conditions,” says Dean Brindle, director of laundry product marketing.

What you can do
• Brindle suggests running the self-clean or pure cycle to clean the washer tub after every 40 loads.
• Wash waterproof and water resistant items using the waterproof cycle or select no spin/low spin.

Samsung sets to consider: Samsung WA52J8700AP HE top-loader and Samsung DV52J8700EP electric dryer, $1,000 each. Samsung WF56H9100AG front-loader and Samsung DV56H9100EG electric dryer. Washer is $1,200; dryer, $1,300.

Make your Speed Queen AFNE9BSP113TW01 and Speed Queen ADEE9BGS173TW01 washer and dryer last.

Speed Queen AFNE9BSP113TW01 and Speed Queen ADEE9BGS173TW01

Speed Queen

“Our primary focus is with commercial laundry and the machines are designed for 10,400 cycles of average life. That’s about 10 years in commercial use and translates to 25 years for the average home doing eight loads per week,” says Jay McDonald, vice president North American Home Laundry Sales. Speed Queen offers a longer warranty—3 years on parts and labor for washers and dryers with mechanical controls, and 5 years for models with electronic controls.

What you can do
• McDonald says to run the washer with a full load as a small load is more prone to become unbalanced.

Speed Queen pairs to consider: Speed Queen AFNE9BSP113TW01 front-loader and Speed Queen ADEE9BGS173TW01 electric dryer. Washer is $1,900; dryer, $1,039.

Make your Maytag Bravos MVWB855DW HE and Maytag Bravos MEDB855DW washer and dryer last.

Maytag Bravos MVWB855DW HE and Maytag Bravos MEDB855DW

Whirlpool and Maytag

Washers and dryers are designed and life tested to last 10 years, and the actual life can vary depending on a customer’s usage habits, says Dick Conrad, senior director of top-loader laundry.

What you can do
• Conrad suggests that you use HE detergent for all washer types.
• Clean washers with Affresh cycle every 30 loads or once a month if washer has this cycle.
• Replace washer inlet hoses every five years.

Whirlpool and Maytag mates to consider: Maytag Bravos MVWB855DW HE top-loader and Maytag Bravos MEDB855DW electric dryer, $1,050 each. Whirlpool Cabrio WTW8500DW HE top-loader and Whirlpool Cabrio WED8500DW electric dryer, $1,000 each.

Consumer Reports’ Brand Reliability Survey

Speed Queen top-loaders, and front-loaders made by LG and Samsung are among the more reliable brands of washing machines. LG top-loaders, on the other hand, are among the more repair prone, as are front-loaders made by Frigidaire and GE.

LG dryers are significantly more reliable than any other brand. Fisher & Paykel electric dryers are the most repair-prone brands of dryers analyzed. That’s what we found when we asked over 105,000 subscribers about their experience with a washing machine or dryer bought new between 2007 and the first half of 2014. Click the Brand Reliability tab in the washer and dryer Ratings for details and information on other brands, and email me at if you have questions.


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