Maybe you’ve seen the commercial for the new Kenmore top loading washer where a woman with neatly coiffed hair and a perfectly fit little black dress comes out and does some fancy move with some piece of luxurious fabric in a spotless shiny room attempting to sell you on the new line of Kenmore Elite washers and dryers.

Well here’s me right before I did my laundry.

And here’s what a real (well, my) laundry room looks like. (Not pictured, Costco sized stacks of toilet paper, tissues and paper towels. And the little pink trash bin that overflows with various rainbow colored and glitter infused lint (I’m looking at you Addie.))

the new and improved kemore.

However the washer featured is the exact same. However instead of luxurious fabric I wash things like tutus, baby clothes with six year old mysterious stains and my husbands highly pungent workout wear.

Glamorous, no?

My clothes have been washed in Kenmore appliances for as long as I have been alive. I remember watching my teddy bear Snuffles swirl around in the giant black drum with the lid open as I sat on the dryer, making sure he was okay. I remember the hell fire I experienced the day I left a cherry Chapstick in my pocket and it melted all over my stepdads work clothes in the dryer. I remember screaming incoherently at Cody after he washed and dried my favorite wool sweater only months after we had been married.

I have mentioned before that I adore doing laundry as much as some people adore going to the salon. My sister and I both look forward to the day we get to replenish our fabric softener supply with some new scent. Sleeping in freshly washed sheets does make you sleep better and burying your face in a warm pile of freshly washed baby clothes will make your heart grow three sizes and your uterus go thump.

So when my decade old Kenmore washer made a horrible thumping noise and stalled leaving a load of darks sitting in a tub full of water a few months ago? The laundry loving part of me crumbled a little inside. Long story short through a flurry of emails, tweets and a couple of phone calls, Kenmore stepped in and allowed me to take on the task of putting one of their new Kenmore Elite washers and dryers to the test.

gramma kenmore.

RIP Gramma Kenmore.

Like I said, it’s one thing to wash a sheet in a commercial, or be dazzled by an appliance salesman. It’s an entirely other thing to wash strawberry vomit out of a fluffy blue dress up. (Which I have done, successfully.)

Differences between my old Kenmore and my new Kenmore:

  • Obviously the top loading washer isn’t anything new. I will be a top load washer girl until the day I die, it just makes more sense to me. However the new washer doesn’t have an agitator, allowing far more washing capacity and it has highly customizable settings for energy saving, delicates, a quick wash cycle and my new favorite for dish towels, sanitize.
gramma kenmore's control panel.

Out with the old.

the new and improved kenmore control panel.

In with the new.

  • The biggest difference between the dryers? This one actually works. (Kidding, kind of.) Clothes come out dry, but not scalding hot nor ever so damp that they will start to smell in a week or two. It also has a steam refresh setting, I’ve had the most success with it on bedskirts, where you don’t *really* need to wash them but the iron is no match for the factory set creases.
  • The dryer easily keeps up with the washer on normal sized loads. Meaning no wet loads on top of the dryer so you can start a new load while waiting for the dryer to finish…this happens in everyone’s house right?
gramma kenmore's dryer.

It's not very warm in here.

the new and improved kenmore dryer.

steam! shiny! ECHOOOOO!!

Downfalls of the new Kenmore (you know there have to be some.)

  • The wash basin is SO HUGE that I can’t reach the bottom. For real. I’m 5’3″ and when not pregnant I can stand on my very tippy toes and reach the tiny rogue socks stuck to the bottom. However in my current very pregnant state? I have to either get a stool or wait for someone else with much longer limbs to be around to fetch things for me. Regardless, there’s always grunting involved from me when moving clothes from the washer to the dryer.
the new and improved kemore wash basin.

help! I can't get out!

  • While I’m still working on figuring out all the settings, a load full of Addie’s clothes with all the tiny long sleeves, stretchy leggings and long pants can get very VERY tangled after the wash cycle. So far nothing bad has happened as far as anything ripping or tearing, but it can be frustrating when trying to untangle one dress that cannot go in the dryer from several others. It also happens if there are a lot of Cody’s work shirts in the washer at once. For very delicate/stretchy items you would have to use lingerie bags and a gentler setting.
  • The glass top and door. It’s very distracting. All these features that are supposed to free up time in which you can get other tasks done? They’re negated by the coolness of watching your clothes swirl around. We stand around and watch every load of laundry for at least a few minutes here and there. It’s mesmerizing.

when washing machines actually cause you to become less efficient with their glass viewing portals.

Perks of the new Kenmore.

  • They work. I never realized how slow and lethargic my 10 year old appliances had become until I began using these ones. I was just thankful to have something that got my clothes clean eventually. The time I save now when it comes to laundry is sizable, and I’m so thankful for that.
  • The sanitize setting, *insert something scientific here* but in layman’s terms the washer and dryer both have a sanitize setting, meaning when I get that bee up my bum to try cloth diapers? I’ll be well prepared
  • It sings songs, not that this should be a selling point, but my old Kenmore let out the most disconcerting BUZZ!!! at the end of a cycle that was quite scary given our bedroom is right next to the laundry room.
  • The money saved in energy and water can pay for the appliances themselves over their lifetime.
  • Kenmore Connect. I’m going to have to link you to a video to explain this feature because I still don’t believe it’s true. Your washer and dryer can tell a service person OVER THE PHONE what is wrong with it so either you can fix it yourself or the service person who comes to your home is already prepared with the proper parts and tools.

No more time wasted on service calls! YOU WIN!

If you’re in the market…here’s the Kenmore site on my washer and my dryer.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review other than receiving a Kenmore Elite washer and dryer to facilitate my review. The opinions and experiences contained above are true and my very own. Especially the one about watching the laundry through the glass lid.


  1. Mommy *dreams* of our own washer and dryer… Right now we use the shared, coin-op machines in the basement, 4 flights down. 🙁

    Casey Reply:

    @Cole, Oh man, we went three years without our own, one of those years with a tiny baby. I totally feel you.

  2. I had the same “reach the bottom” problem when pregnant and so I un-wound a metal hanger and used the curvy end to grab the stuff I couldn’t reach. And now in my less-round body, I decided to just keep doing that because it’s easier. (But I’ve been very careful not to scratch it!)

    Casey Reply:

    @Bridget, I HAVE PLASTIC HANGERS! (Or I could just wait for Cody to get home, whatever.) 😉

    heatheribabble Reply:

    @Casey, kitchen tongs? 😉

    Casey Reply:

    @heatheribabble, If things get desperate? I have a swell pair of silicone coated tongs.

  3. Dude, I LOVE washing clothes, what I don’t like is picking the rust chunks (because my washer came with my house…I know, I know it skeeves me out too….so who knows how old they are) every so often. When it broke last year I was able to have my step dad fix it, but the dryer is making a weird noise and I know that it’s time will be up sooner than later so I will have to check out these first hand come April ;O) (Wow that was a really long sentence that gives a whole new meaning to run-on) I adore that it’s a top loader as that is the one I really want. What I want to see if if the cat would sit on top of it and watch the washer go.

    Casey Reply:

    @domestic extraordinaire, I need to find a cat to borrow. Stat.

    Emilie Reply:

    @Casey, Audrey would like to volunteer…or Wesley. Milla, AKA clutzy girl, would not clear those beauties.

    Casey Reply:

    @Emilie, I nominate Audrey the water cat.

  4. One question though…..can you wash comforters in it? I am hopeful that without an agitator that you can. Because the pile of comforters in my basement to be taken to the laundry mat is quite scary.

    Casey Reply:

    @domestic extraordinaire, YES! I forgot to mention that I can fit a set of king size sheets AND a king size coverlet in ONE LOAD.
    And as far as comforters, yes. Totally…it spins and moves in such a way (two separate pieces in two separate directions) that it gets the whole thing immersed, cleaned and spun dry.

  5. What an AWESOME review Casey!! And I loooove that gold color! So fun. 🙂

    Casey Reply:

    @Janice (5 Minutes for Mom), Thank you! Kenmore calls it ‘ginger’ but given the fact that I loathe ginger and to root it rode in on, it’s gold.

  6. Can I come over to peek through your lid? We have a fancy new top loader washer without the see-through lid, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out what it’s doing in there!

    Casey Reply:

    @Ronda, YES! We can even arrange a skype date. It’s truly fascinating all the twirls and spins and churns it makes over the course of a load.

  7. lol you need one of those Gopher grabby thingies!

    also? i want to watch laundry with you and Addie now. while eating popcorn.

    Casey Reply:

    @Biddy, I’m considering having stadium seating installed above the washer, you’re welcome anytime.

  8. I wish I loved to do laundry like you do! I don’t like any domestic duties except, maybe, chopping vegetables. Anyway, watching your laundry souonds like a blast – you lucky duck!

    Casey Reply:

    @Amanda G., My laundry love has completely overtaken any responsibility I feel towards dishes. Oh how I loathe dishes. And as far as chopping vegetables? I do so love my food processor. 😉 So you’ve totally got me there.

  9. I hear ya sis. Oh my goodness how I love the days I get to sniff out a new scent to try. It is an almost sinful good time when the couch blankies are fresh out of the dryer, warm and completely enveloped around your body. Bliss. Ahhhhhh.
    xoxo with the smell of fabric softener =)

    Casey Reply:

    @Emilie, Dude, just wait until you try the new Purex crystals in lavender. They will MELT YOUR MIND.

  10. I just realized that the settings available on your old gal kick the ass off my current washer/ dryer set. I did not even know it was possible to get a set where washer/ dryer timing match. I covet your pregnant belly (you look adorable!!) and your appliances.

    Casey Reply:

    @Jenny, To be fair, only four of the buttons on the old lady worked (thankfully one of them was start!)
    Whirlpool makes a washer and dryer that can wash and dry a small load of clothes IN JUST THE WASHER. Holy crap right?

  11. Congrats on your new washer/dryer. Funny how that makes us moms feel great! I have the Kenmore HE4’s — front load washer/dryer and will NEVER go back to the top loading washers EVER again! You have no idea what you are missing. I LOVE my Kenmore’s.

    Casey Reply:

    I think my love for top loaders is because the first front loader I ever used ended up with a horrible case of mold, meaning everything SMELLED. I think that was a problem on older machines though.

    Susan Reply:

    @Casey, Ah, yes mold! That can happen if you don’t leave the door open about an inch after wash loads!

  12. I dunno…my friend had the washer/dryer combo thing, and I would gave to dry my clothes three and four times. but it did LOOK badass, which is at least one third of the battle. I covet these. and I want to watch them wash EVERYTHING. 🙂

    Casey Reply:

    @tifRN, Funny that them looking pretty REALLY IS 1/3 of the battle. Come over. I’ll pop popcorn.

  13. How is it that you get SO MUCH FREE STUFF????? Is it because of your blog? You are always getting free beds, free cameras, free kitchens! How do you do it? Suuuper jealous!

    Casey Reply:

    @Cate, Well, it’s not exactly free. I am blessed to have had the opportunities that I have had but just to clarify, the bed I won, anyone could have entered and won it. It had nothing to do with my blog since it was decided by a panel not by popular vote. I have paid for everything myself when it comes to my camera (and dude, I pay a lot.) As far as the kitchen I did get a microwave and stove after applying and being approved by the company for the opportunity.
    And I do have to pay taxes on all of it. 🙂
    I was blogging for four years before any of this kind of stuff happened, I truly think almost anyone can have similar experiences it if they’re willing to put in the work and effort.

  14. You know you’re an adult when you find yourself drooling over other people’s washers and dryers.

    ::wipes puddle o’ drool from keyboard::

    Casey Reply:


  15. Ok, so your old set looks a decade or two newer than my mismatched set. hehe Mine have zero buttons or electronic options. lol I’m needing a new dryer since mine is now taking two cycles to dry things, and I desperately want a matching NEW set and Kenmore would be my first choice since my mom had hers 13 yrs and they lived thru having 8 kids in the house….

    Casey Reply:

    @Erica Mueller, Were your mom’s Kenmore’s given a proper retirement party with medals of accommodation and a 21 gun salute?
    My previous washer? I had to use pots to fill the wash basin during the rinse cycle or I just ended up with soapy somewhat well spun clothes.

  16. Ellen Renee says:

    Is it just me who thinks that only getting 10 years out of your last set is not very good at all? I have a Maytag set that I swear was made the year I was born – 1966 and works just fine! My husband overhauled it once (washer) and has had parts replaced as needed over the years but they are still going strong. It does help that he is very mechanically inclined and was the “maytag man” when our small town still had an appliance store – now only big box stores sell them – and you can hardly find anyone to repair them.

    Casey Reply:

    @Ellen Renee, Our last set was moved four times, once across the country twice up and down a rough set of stairs by *ehem* people who didn’t really care if our stuff made it up and down said stairs so well. I think that contributed greatly to their demise.

  17. I think this is the first time I’ve posted, so hello! I’ve heard there are issues with the new-fangled washers and washing cloth diapers, although I do not have first hand knowledge of this. Something about the water level? Or hell it might only be front loaders that have an issue … guess I will shut up now. 🙂