Update: This washer turned out to be a big disappointment with a total breakdown after just seven years of use. To double the frustration, the companion dryer also went around the same time. The rating was adjusted.
The Bottom Line
At first glance, this Whirlpool Duet Sport HE Washer Model WFW8500S looks complicated to use, but programming is extremely easy and the triple dispenser is a convenient feature. Although this front load washer is higher priced than a top loader, the savings in water and energy consumption will quickly cover the difference. Front load washing is different than with a top loader - read the manual thoroughly. This is a great washer that performs well and is a pleasure to use.
Can be stacked to save space
Easy to choose settings and features
Size is perfect—mid range between full size and compact models
Uses less water and energy than traditional models
Washing performance and choice of wash cycles and temperatures
Requires high-efficiency detergent
Front loader washers can be more difficult to service
Front load washers can sometimes become moldy
- 3.6 Cu. Ft washing capacity
- Deep Clean Wash System
- Energy Star qualified; uses 60% less water and 72% less energy than traditional washers.
- CareControl™ temperature control
- Quiet wash sound reduction
- 10 Auto wash cycles & 4 wash/rinse temperature settings; built-in water heater for certain cycles
- Automatic water levels and water temperatures
- Add-a-garment feature and Clean Washer setting.
- 1 Year warranty
Installation instructions are thorough and no problems were detected getting this washer up and running. Only high efficiency (he) detergent should be used with this front load washer and follow recommended levels. The placement of the dispenser system is wonderful and levels are well marked.
Wash cycles are preset but can easily be customized with some options being available with certain cycles. The spin action is terrific - much more water is removed from clothes than a top load washer - shortening drying time required. Water levels adjust automatically to the size of the load - no guesswork and this conserves water. Washing action is a gentle swishing back and forth motion and clothes do come out clean. Some cycles have very long estimated wash times to ensure a good clean washing, but there is also a quick wash at 28 minutes.
The Add-a-Garment light is on for the first 7 minutes - and it worked well to add an item by pausing the cycle. The status lights and timer indicate how long before a cycle is finished. You can pause/cancel anytime to change cycles.
Once the cycle is done, rotate the drum slightly to check that all clothing is removed as some can cling to the top of the drum, and the door should be left slightly ajar for the inside of the drum to dry. Check the door and drum seal for bits of clothing or debris, and use mesh garment bags to wash small items. Load capacity is just slightly less than a full-size washer.
Learn more about washing with a front-load washer: