Fill 'er up—this washer can be as efficient or inefficient as you want it to be. (2023)


  • Affordable

  • Option to add more water to select cycles


  • Tough on laundry

The all-newGE GTW485ASJWS (available at Amazon)is a 4.2-cu.-ft. top loader that marries the best of familiar, old-school design with the best of effective, new-school technology. Features range from Deep Fill—which literally saturates the drum to the brim—to Precise Fill, which uses sensors to calculate exactly how much water is necessary.

Best of all, while the GTW485ASJWS retails for just $579 on sale, it also ranks in thetop 10% of top loaders we've tested.

Design & Usability

Plain and uncomplicated

Fill 'er up—this washer can be as efficient or inefficient as you want it to be. (1)

The GTW485ASJWS's design is part of the American manufacturer'snew lineup of top-loaders, all designed to appeal to folks who are turned off by high-tech washers. As a result, its controls are rather straightforward. The control panel is made up of five knobs, each dedicated to a single category like rinses or temperature. We found that clear labels made it a breeze to operate.

Simplicity permeates the rest of the machine, too. The lid is just a sheet of metal–no slow close hinges here—and underneath you'll find a traditional pole agitator. GE spent alot of resourcesdesigning the washer that American consumers have demanded, and the pole agitator is an important element.

The little button on the top of the GTW485ASJWS lets you instantly add water to a cycle you feel isn't using enough.

However, all this generational charm does not mean the GTW485ASJWS lacks current technology. Although the agitator takes up a lot of space, the '485 still has an industry-standard 4.2-cu.-ft. drum. In fact, it's the only modern washer with a pole agitator to meet updated Energy Star guidelines.

It also has a dozen cycles, covering everything from Whites to Jeans. Having a wide variety of cycles is important on a machine that lets you adjust everything from the spin speed to the temperature, giving laundry micromanagers controls over the little details. Those who want to load and go also have leave to do so, especially with the stain guide. Set the guide and the washer will sync up the needed temperatures and spin so you don't have to.

Overall, we think consumers of all generations and laundry styles will find the GE GTW485ASJWS a breeze to use.

Performance & Features

Blunt force

Left to its own devices, the GTW485 cleans relatively well. After 52 minutes and 16 gallons of hot water, the Whites cycle removed the most stains and represented the best time-to-performance ratio. The Colors cycle set to heavy duty soil came in a very close second, but required over an hour to complete, and used less hot water to prevent fading. The Colors cycle set to all medium settings clocked in at 40 minutes and ranked third in our tests.

At recommended settings, the GTW485ASJWS removes marginally fewer stains than theMaytag MVWC415EW(MSRP $649), another pole agitator model—but the GE uses far less water. Based on typical American laundry habits, we think this GE will cost you about $50 a year in water and electricity costs, compared to about $70 for the Maytag. For any top-loader, that's not bad.

But if efficiency isn't what you're after, there's the Deep Fill option. Each press of this button will flood the drum with six gallons of extra water, and you can keep on pressing that button until the drum is filled completely.

We didn't run additional tests on cycles using Deep Fill, but we would expect stain removal to be inferior to the default settings. That's because clothes floating in water aren't exposed to the same mechanical rigor as clothes that aren't submersed, so the "washboard effect" of the washing machine is reduced. Additionally, more water dilutes detergent, which limits its effectiveness.

However, a Deep Fill does have some benefits: If you have clothes with lots of debris—like jeans you used on a farm or working out in the yard, only water can wash that dirt away. Clothes subjected to more mechanical action also tend to fray more. We detected wide variations in how much wear and tear each cycle caused, so if you want to protect delicate items in a rigorous wash cycle, we recommend placing them in a pillowcase.

Fill 'er up—this washer can be as efficient or inefficient as you want it to be. (2)

For in-depth performance information, please visit theTest Results Page.


GE backs this washer with a one-year warranty covering all parts and labor with defects arising through no fault of the consumer. It's made on an all-new line at GE's Appliance Park facility in Louisville, KY.

Why We Like It

Tried and true meets fresh and new

The GE GTW485ASJWS's familiar aesthetics bring together innovations for both conservationists and traditionalists alike. The learning curve is shallow, but water levels can be as deep as you remember on the washer you had years ago.

We were excited to find that the '485's pole-agitated drum can be efficient without missing stains. For under $600 on sale, there's not much for anyone to complain about here. Have your cake, eat it too—and then clean the frosting off your shirt.

Cleaning Performance

Our stain removal tests use standardized "stain strips"—long pieces of cloth that have been mechanically coated in representative household substances like red wine, carbon, oil, blood, and cocoa. We place these strips in test loads with towels, pillowcases, and bedsheets and wash them with a standardized detergent. After a cycle is finished, we take the strips out and scan them with a photospectrometer to determine how close to white they are.

Fill 'er up—this washer can be as efficient or inefficient as you want it to be. (3)

The GTW485ASJWS had an average showing among all washers, but it outcleaned most other machines with a similar design or price. The Whites cycle used a ridiculous 16 gallons of hot water, but removed the most stains in just under an hour. Results from the Heavy Duty cycle were similar to Whites, but needed 18 extra minutes to get there. The Normal cycle came in third, removing 4.14% fewer stains than the Whites cycle.

Narrowing our focus to individual stains, we found that the GTW485ASJWS did well against protein-based stains like blood and cocoa powder. In order to fight these stains, a washer must have a good temperature profile. Washers that dispense hot water too early can "cook" proteins into clothes, but this GE didn't make that mistake.


Our efficiency tests account for both resource usage and water retention. The upfront costs of running a washer are water and electricity. In this case, the GTW485ASJWS kept costs down, more so than other top loaders. Based on typical use patterns and utility prices, this washer will cost you around $50 a year to run—about ten or twenty dollars below average for a top loader, and astounding for a machine with this kind of a traditional setup.

Water retention is also important. Washers that fail to spin out excess water just end up taxing the dryer, which is the energy hog of most homes. The GTW485ASJWS spun out 55% of excess water, which is significantly better than average.

Clothing Wear

Washing machines with pole agitators are notorious for tearing clothes up, the GE GTW485ASJWW included. To quantify wear and tear, we used mechanical action strips–pieces of cloth with a standardized thread count and composition. After a wash cycle is complete, we count the number of loose threads to determine how much damage has been done.

The GTW485 had some pretty uneven results. For example, on the Heavy Duty cycle we counted 70 loose threads on one strip, while another only had 44. This is probably due to the proximity to the pole agitator: closer strips get a more rigorous clean, while others "stall" on the outskirts of the drum. The Normal cycle showed the largest discrepancy with a high of 56 loose threads and a low of 3. The Delicates cycle was the most even, with a high of 25 loose threads and a pristine mechanical action strip as its low.

Meet the tester

Fill 'er up—this washer can be as efficient or inefficient as you want it to be. (4)

Jonathan Chan

Senior Manager of Lab Operations


Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.

See all of Jonathan Chan's reviews

Checking our work.

Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.

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Fill 'er up—this washer can be as efficient or inefficient as you want it to be.? ›

Don't Overload the Machine

Even a large load of laundry should not fill the washer tub more than three-quarters full. For a front-load washing machine, pile clothes up high, but don't cram them past the last row of holes at the front (the row closest to the door).

How full can you fill a high efficiency washing machine? ›

Don't Overload the Machine

Even a large load of laundry should not fill the washer tub more than three-quarters full. For a front-load washing machine, pile clothes up high, but don't cram them past the last row of holes at the front (the row closest to the door).

How do I know if my washer is a high efficiency washer? ›

Read on to learn the differences between an HE washing machine and how it compares to traditional models. How do you know if you have an HE washer? Simply look for this symbol. It appears on HE detergent bottles as well, so you'll know that you're using the right type.

What's the difference between high-efficiency and regular washer? ›

High-efficiency washers (HE) feature technology that helps to reduce the amount of water and energy needed to do a load of laundry. They use up to 80% less water than traditional, top-loading washers, deliver 65% energy savings, and also can wash more laundry in one go than traditional machines.

What happens when you fill washer too full? ›

For a start, overloading your appliance could damage your machine's drum and decrease your washer's efficiency. In the end, clothes won't come out as clean, either, so a second wash may be necessary. This all adds up to increased electrical consumption and higher energy bills.

Can I use vinegar to clean high efficiency washer? ›

You can use natural, non-commercial, or unconventional laundry products like distilled white vinegar, baking soda, and borax in a high-efficiency (HE) washer.

Why doesn't my high efficiency washer clean my clothes? ›

Seized-up detergent tray

A common reason your washing machine is not cleaning clothes properly is that the line leading from the detergent tray to the drum has become clogged with washing powder. This means that just a small amount of detergent reaches the drum; the rest gets stuck behind the blockage.

How much detergent do I need for a high efficiency washer? ›

When using HE detergent in a regular washer, you'll need about 1/4 cup for a normal-sized load. There might be fewer suds, but you'll still get a good clean. For a normal-sized load in a high-efficiency washing machine, the recommended HE detergent amount is usually 2 tablespoons.

Is there a way to bypass the lock on a washing machine? ›

Turning off the machine at the mains should allow the door lock to cool down, and after a few minutes, you'll be able to open the washing machine door. The interlocks can take some time to release at the end of the cycle, so be patient. The most common cause is water left in the machine. Try running a spin/drain cycle.

What happens if I don t use high efficiency detergent in a high efficiency washer? ›

That wouldn't be prudent. High-efficiency front-loaders and top-loaders use less water than conventional washers and regular detergents produce too many suds. This soapy surplus can affect cleaning performance, extend the wash cycle, cause the machine to overflow, and even cause mechanical problems over time.

Do you have to use HE detergent in a high efficiency washer? ›

The short answer is very simple. No, you should not use regular detergents in a high-efficiency washer. Only HE (high efficiency) detergents should be used in these newer washers. High-efficiency front or top-loading washers are designed with low water levels and a tumbling washing action.

How long do high efficiency washers last? ›

Washers and dryers last 10 to 13 years on average.

Washers work hard, but a high-quality machine is designed to handle your toughest laundry challenges for about 10 years.

Do high-efficiency washers get clothes clean? ›

HE Washers Use Less to Do More.

They spin faster to remove more water from clothes, so clothes need less time in the dryer. They produce less suds and keep clothes in constant motion as they wash, so experts say clothes get even cleaner.

What type of washer is most reliable? ›

Best for Reliability: Front-Load Washer

Although top-load washers last longer than front-load washers on average, a front-load will likely need repairs less often over the course of its life. The repair costs typically will be higher, though, due to the many optional wash cycles and extra features.

What wash cycle is most efficient? ›

Wash with a cold cycle

This is the easiest way to reduce electricity use, regardless of kind of washing machine you have. Washing with a cold cycle can save you more than 80% of your energy consumption and cost. This is because most of the energy is used just to heat up the water in warm washes.

How full should your washing machine be? ›

The drum should be filled so that you can fit your hand in at the top and then be able to turn your hand 90°. It's best to leave some room for clothes to move; the agitation caused by the different clothes rubbing against each other is part of the washing process.

What is considered a large load of laundry? ›

Washing machine load size chart

Medium/regular load: This works out to a load of approximately 6 pounds. Large load: A large load in a HE machine is approximately 11 pounds. Extra-large load: If you have a HE machine, then an extra-large load at full capacity is around 21 pounds.

Can you put too little in a washing machine? ›

Underloading your washing machine isn't ideal, either. Clothing in an undersized load tends to accumulate on one side of the drum, putting your washing machine off balance during the spin cycle. Not only is the resulting thumping sound annoying, but being ff balance can also be damaging to the appliance.

Is Distilled Vinegar the same as white vinegar? ›

White and distilled are types of vinegar. They differ fundamentally in their acetic acid content. White, also known as spirit vinegar, has 5% to 20% acetic acid. This is generally higher as compared to distilled vinegar's 5%-8%.

Why do my clothes not smell clean after washing? ›

Over time, components in your washer can become clogged with built-up detergent or fabric softener residue, which can become a playground for bacteria that can cause a sour smell. Regular cleaning of your washing machine can eliminate this issue and set you on the path to better-scented clothes.

Why are my clothes not smelling clean after washing machine? ›

If your clothes aren't smelling fresh when they come out of your washing machine, it's probably down to a buildup of detergent, dirt or limescale inside your machine. The biggest symptom of this is your laundry smelling damp or musty, even when dry, as well as an unpleasant smell coming from inside your machine.

Can you use baking soda in a high efficiency washing machine? ›

Safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers, baking soda is one of the top two best products (along with distilled white vinegar) for making your laundry greener by reducing your dependence on harsh chemicals.

Can you use Tide in a high efficiency washer? ›

Lucky for you, all of Tide's detergents are HE compatible: In addition to lifting soils off from clothes and preventing them from redepositing on the garments, they're also formulated to control and reduce sudsing, saving you time, water, and energy.

Can you use Tide powder in high efficiency washer? ›

Front loader: Add detergent into the detergent drawer. HE Washer: All our detergents are now HE-compatible.

Can you use detergent pods in high efficiency washers? ›

Because Tide PODS® also act as an HE detergent, they work just as well when used in high-efficiency machines.

Does unplugging a washer reset it? ›

Reset your washing machine

There really isn't a way to reset the washing machine. What you can do instead is power cycle it: Unplug it (or turn off power at the circuit breaker), wait some time for the electrical charge to clear out of the washer (usually 1 to 5 minutes at most), and then power it up again.

How much does it cost to fix a sensor on a washing machine? ›

The average cost for a Washer Fluid Level Sensor Replacement is between $115 and $137. Labor costs are estimated between $76 and $96 while parts are priced between $39 and $41.

Does washing machine know water level? ›

The level sensor uses a pressure switch to detect the water level in the tub. This switch controls how high the tub fills with water. The big end of the hose connects to the bottom of the tub, while the small end connects to the switch.

How do I know if my washing machine water inlet valve is bad? ›

You will know that your washing machine water inlet valve is bad if the washer doesn't run, won't fill properly, or washes at the incorrect water temperature.

Why won't my washing machine finish the spin cycle? ›

If the drum stops spinning mid-cycle, try stopping the machine, draining the water and rearranging the laundry. You might be using too much detergent or an inappropriate type for your appliance. In this case, your washing machine will stop the spinning cycle and try to absorb the excess foam in its drum.

Can you use Tide pods in top load washers? ›

Laundry detergent pods work best in standard top load washers and high-efficiency top-loading and front-loading washers. Washers with automatic detergent or fabric softener dispensers don't mix well with pods. Therefore, never place pods in dispenser drawers, only in the drum.

How do I know if my washer is high efficiency? ›

How do you know if you have an HE washer? Simply look for this symbol. It appears on HE detergent bottles as well, so you'll know that you're using the right type. HE vs Traditional Washer | How do High Efficiency Washing Machines work?

Can you use HE pods in a regular washer? ›

Actually, HE detergents work just fine in a traditional washing machine. This is primarily due to the fact that HE detergents are made from the same ingredients as regular detergents. If you decide to use HE detergents in your regular washing machine, you will likely notice they produce less suds.

What happens if you use regular soap in a high efficiency washer? ›

Can you use regular detergent in an HE washer? Using regular detergent in an HE washer produces too many suds. This could potentially lengthen the wash cycle, affect cleaning action or overflow the machine. Learn more about different types of laundry detergents.

What kind of detergent do you use in a high efficiency washer? ›

HE laundry detergent, which stands for high-efficiency laundry detergent, is marked with a small "HE" symbol on the product's label. HE detergents only create a small amount of suds and must be used in high-efficiency washing machines.

What's the difference between high efficiency detergent and regular detergent? ›

HE detergent contains the exact same cleaning ingredients, surfactants, enzymes, and water conditioners as the non-HE detergents of the same brand. The difference is HE detergent is formulated to be low-sudsing for high-efficiency, energy-saving washing machines that use less water in the wash and rinse cycles.

What is the average lifespan of a washing machine? ›

There are two categories of washing machines when determining the average lifespan of these appliances. Traditionally, top-load washers last about 14 years, and they have been used for generations. The average lifespan of front-load washers, on the other hand, is about 11 years.

How often should you replace your washing machine? ›

Washing machines , on average, last around 10 years, according to Consumer Reports. If your washer is reaching the threshold, or it's been having some problems, here are some signs the end may be near.

Can washing machines last 20 years? ›

That being said, it's still possible to find good washing machines that have been built to manage thousands of loads – which, depending on usage levels, can last as long as 20 or 30 years. But today's cheaper models can often only manage hundreds of loads before buckling under the pressure.

How much liquid detergent to use in high efficiency washer? ›

How much HE detergent should you use? When using HE detergent in a regular washer, you'll need about 1/4 cup for a normal-sized load. There might be fewer suds, but you'll still get a good clean. For a normal-sized load in a high-efficiency washing machine, the recommended HE detergent amount is usually 2 tablespoons.

How do I increase the water level in my Whirlpool washer? ›

If you would like the machine to automatically sense the appropriate water level for the load size and type, turn the Water Level knob to the Auto Sensing setting. If you would like to add the maximum amount of water to your wash cycle, turn the Water Level knob to the Deep Water Wash setting.

What does 12 pounds of laundry look like? ›

You may be able to wash more or you may need to remove some items. As an example, 12 pounds of laundry might look like a load of two bath towels, six T-shirts, and four pairs of jeans. Now you're ready to load the washer and select the appropriate water temperature and cycle.

What happens if you use high-efficiency detergent in a regular washer? ›

Can you use HE detergent in a regular washer? Yes! There might be fewer suds, but you'll get a great clean. Because there's more water in a regular washer, however, you'll need more detergent – usually about ¼ cup for a regular-sized load.

What happens if you use non high-efficiency detergent in a high-efficiency washer? ›

Using a non-he laundry detergent in an HE washer can create a sudsing problem that can cause detergent bubbles to fill the washer tub and start to overflow from the detergent drawer.

What happens if I don t use high-efficiency detergent in a high-efficiency washer? ›

That wouldn't be prudent. High-efficiency front-loaders and top-loaders use less water than conventional washers and regular detergents produce too many suds. This soapy surplus can affect cleaning performance, extend the wash cycle, cause the machine to overflow, and even cause mechanical problems over time.

Should my washer be full of water? ›

Load dry items loosely, no higher than the top row of holes in the washer tub. Using too much water can result in poor washing performance due to lower detergent ratio.

What is the best water setting for washer? ›

Washing clothes in warm water

For most laundry, the best temperature for washing clothes is warm. Warm water is the go-to temp for washing colored clothes. And that's going to be true in many cases, no matter the fabric type or how light or dark the clothing is.

Which washer saves the most water? ›

Front-load HE washing machines are the most water-efficient option. HE top-load washers use more water due to their inclusion of impellers or agitators2. Both top-load and front-load HE washers will be more water-efficient than traditional washing machines.

Why does my Whirlpool top load washer not have enough water? ›

If you feel that the washer level is lower than when you first started using this washer, try running a Clean Washer cycle. This cycle re-calibrates the control and resets it back to the factory-set water levels. This cycle should be run approximately 1 time per month (using the affresh® Washer cleaner).

Why is my Whirlpool washer not using enough water? ›

Is the Water Inlet Valve to Blame? One common reason for a Whirlpool washer not filling with water is that the water inlet valve is not open or is clogged. The water inlet valve supplies water to the washer, and if it's not open or does not supply enough water, your Whirlpool washer will not fill up.

How many towels can I wash at once? ›

For reference, a typical front-loading washing machine can hold around seven bath towels, and a top loading machine can hold around 10. Use Less Detergent – Using too much laundry detergent can cause your towels to get stiff.

What cycle do you wash jeans on? ›

Use a delicate or gentle cycle

Denim may seem like a tough fabric, but that doesn't mean you should choose a heavy duty wash cycle. Instead, opt for a delicate or gentle cycle, and use cold water to avoid shrinking or fading.

What size washer do I need for a queen size comforter? ›

To properly wash a queen-size comforter, you'll need a high-efficiency washing machine (no agitator) with 3.5 cubic feet or more, depending on its fluffy factor (it should fit snugly but without cramming). Jumping up to 5.2 cubic feet will let you wash a king-size comforter and the sheet set all in one load.

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