This washer cleans better with less water (2023)


  • Has a warm rinse setting so no cold laundry

  • Stain guide to take the guesswork out


  • Control panel feels a bit flimsy

Lo and behold, GE has answered with the GE GTW680BSJWS(available at Amazon). This American-made washer combines a traditional design with a 4.6-cu.-ft. drum. It's big enough to fit a whole family's worth of laundry, but its 27-inch width means it'll easily squeeze through doorwarys and in narrow laundry closets.

Combine that large drum with a Normal cycle that lasts just 34-minutes—the fastest we've seen on a top-loader—and you'll be able to wash a week's worth of clothes in just a few hours.

While that kind of speed and power allows the GTW680BSJWS to hang with the latest and greatest washers, this GE also comes withold-fashioned featuresthatAmericans demand. For instance, the Deep Fill option lets users add gallons of extra water to selected cycles. Even though our tests show the GTW680BSJWS cleans clothes just fine without filling up to the brim, it's that kind of customizability that we think will make American consumers finally embrace new technology.

Design & Usability

Easy on the hands and the eyes

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This washer cleans better with less water (2)

  • This washer cleans better with less water (3)

    A glass lid really helps class up the GTW680BSJWS.

  • This washer cleans better with less water (4)

    This GE covers all the bases. Credit: / Jonathan Chan

  • This washer cleans better with less water (5)

    The GTW680BSJWS has plenty of options. Credit: / Jonathan Chan

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    A standard dispenser Credit: / Jonathan Chan

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    A glass lid really helps class up the GTW680BSJWS.
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    (Video) This portable washer cleans clothes with less water and no electricity Get you 1080p

    This GE covers all the bases. Credit: / Jonathan Chan
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    The GTW680BSJWS has plenty of options. Credit: / Jonathan Chan
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    A standard dispenser Credit: / Jonathan Chan
(Video) How HE Washing Machines use less water to clean

Even though its sale price can sometimesdip as low as $499 on sale, the GE GTW680BSJWS has the air of a premium washing machine. The rounded edges and chrome trim look upscale, and the glass window lets you see just what's going on inside. That's a rare treat on this machine, as a unique recirculation system continuously pumps water through clothes, giving the look of a water fountain. You can even open that lid to pause the washer and add a garment mid-cycle.

We're especially fans of the controls, which will please laundry ignoramuses and micromanagers alike. GE placed the power and start button right on top of each other so you can start the GTW680BSJWS in a single motion, and clustered additional options to the right of the control panel.

Should you decide not to take advantage of the GTW680BSJWS's Deep Fill or Warm Rinse options, it's actually pretty miserly.

Two of those options really set this GE apart from other brands: Deep Fill and Warm Rinse.

If you've ever felt like your new, high-efficiency washer doesn't soak your laundry enough, Deep Fill is the answer. At the press of a button, the GTW680BSJWS will dump an additional six gallons of water onto your load. If that isn't enough, you can press the button again and again until it's full. Whether it will get your laundry cleaner is up for debate—adding more water may actually dilute detergent to the point where it's less effective.

We think Deep Rinse is a bit more useful, automatically adding extra water at the end of a cycle to throughly wash out any laundry additives—like bleach, or fabric softener.

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We're also excited to see Warm Rinse make its return to the washer arena. Washing cycles typically end with a rinse and spin. In order to save money and gain efficiency, washersusually stick with cold waterto rinse out your laundry. However, GE has decided to buck the trend with the option to use warm water. If you have arthritis or sensitive skin, this option eliminates the unpleasantness of handling cold, wet laundry.

Performance & Features

Mechanical precision with a human touch

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We think the GE GTW680BSJWS finds the right balance between user control and automatic adjustments. Left to its own devices, this GE will use Precise Fill to automatically determine how much water a cycle needs based on how much your laundry weighs.

We used Precise Fill for our stain removal tests. The results were promising, although unsurprising. The Whites cycle removed the most stains overall. This is was to be expected, as our water meters showed that this cycle used more hot water than others. The added heat allowed the Whites cycle to remove three percent more stains than the next high performer, the Heavy Duty cycle. This cycle had a 50-50 distribution between hot and cold water.

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(Video) WhirlPool Cabrio HE Washer Tip for Not Getting Clothes Clean / Low Water

Besides the above-average stain removal, consumers will also save time with the GE GTW680BSJWS. Except for the Cold Wash and Sanitize cycle, all of its cycles take less than an hour. In fact, the Normal cycle lasted only 34 minutes with an eight-pound load—the fastest cycle we've ever tested on a top-loader. The Speed Wash on this machine was also one of the quickest we've ever tested, at around 15 minutes long.

Our lab results also showed that all the haste did not make any waste. From proteins to tannins, we saw no obvious weaknesses in the GTW680BSJWS's stain removal repertoire—although the lack of an internal hot water heater meant it had a bit of trouble removing oil stains. If you have a very specific stain—like grass on a soccer uniform, for instance—there's even a built-in pre-treat option for the most infamous messes.

Should you decide not to take advantage of the GTW680BSJWS's Deep Fill or Warm Rinse options, it's actually pretty miserly: A $42 annual operating cost is one of the lowest we've measured from a top-load washer. Despite a final spin cycle that's barely half as fast as some of its competitors, it also did a good job getting out remaining moisture. That means your laundry will spend less time in the dryer after a wash cycle is complete.

For in-depth performance information, please visit theScience Page.


GE backs this washer with a two-tiered warranty. The first tier lasts for the first year after purchase. It covers all parts and labor associated with a factory-specified part. The second part of the parts-only warranty covers only replacing the motor, and lasts for ten years after purchase.

The Verdict

A top-loading washer that's on top of the heap

There are a lot of ways to wash clothes. Fromhand-powered machinestofancy front loaders, none are as endearing to the American public as the top loading washing machine.

Today, the GE GTW680BSJWS represents the pinnacle of top-loading technology. It combines crowd-pleasers from the past—like Warm Rinse and Deep Fill—along a modern wash system. The end result is a washer that can not only take on any stain, but also please any consumer. Special options let users add as much water as they want, but when left to its own devices, we found that the GTW680BSJWS was a competent stain remover.

Before you buy, we recommend checking out two of its closest competitors: the innovativeSamsung WA48J7700AW, which features the excellent ActiveWash system, and the high-techLG WT120CV. Both those machines are great choices for the right user. But if you decide to put the GTW680BSJWS in your laundry room, you'll be getting a solid washer with more than a few tricks up its sleeve.

By the Numbers

On this page, we'll discuss the lab tests that helped us draw our conclusions about this GE top loader. The best washers are both effective and efficient. While that's a tough order for most top-loading washers, this GE proved to be a good mix of the two.

Cleaning Performance

We determine stain removal byplacing stain strips in a load of weighted ballastfor a select cycle. Each strip is stained with a variety of common household substances, like red wine and carbon, which relies on either thermal, mechanical, or chemical cleaning to remove. After a cycle completes, we use a photospectrometer to calculate how much of each stain has been lifted.

This washer cleans better with less water (11)

We retrieved a very promising result from the Whites cycle after it ran for 44 minutes. It proved to be the most powerful cycle we tested on the GTWN680BSJWS. It removed 3% more stains than the next most powerful cycle–Heavy Duty. The Normal cycle came in third, lagging 7% behind the Whites cycle.

On this machine, it turned out that how well a cycle cleaned largely depended on how much hot water it used. Whites consumed 11 gallons of hot water while Heavy Duty and Normal used 6.4 and 4.5 gallons, respectively.

Delving into individual stains, this GE did best against blood and cocoa stains, but had a tough time against oil. For example, the Whites cycle got 19% more of the blood stain than the oil.

(Video) Customer States She Added Hand Sanitizer To The Engine


Water and electricity meters help us determine if a washer will cost you big bucks to run. The GE GTW680BSJWS surprised us with how efficient it was. Typically, a top loader that's over four cubic feet requires a lot of water to fill up, but this GE kept its water usage in check. Using data from the meters to estimate annual running costs, based on a formula that factors in national costs and use patterns. Using that formula, we estimate the GTW680BSJWS will cost around $42 per year to operate.

We also weigh our test loads before and after a wash cycle in order to see how much excess water each cycle spins out. Every drop of water your washer spins out is one your dryer won't have to deal with. Good washers will spin out around 50% of excess water, and this GE spun out, on average 57%—so it gets a passing grade.

Meet the tester

This washer cleans better with less water (12)

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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(Video) Top Load vs Front Load Washer - Ultimate Washing Machine Showdown


This washer cleans better with less water? ›

HE Washers Use Less to Do More.

Less water and energy = environmentally friendly and budget friendly. 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.

Do low water washers get clothes clean? ›

HE Washers Use Less to Do More.

Less water and energy = environmentally friendly and budget friendly. 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.

Do newer washers use less water? ›

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.

Which washing machine is best for less 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.

Is more water better in the washing machine? ›

Modern washers are engineered to use as little water as possible, and it gives you just the right amount of water you need to wash your clothes. In fact, modern washing machines will drain any excess water to protect you from a flooded laundry room, so there's no advantage to adding more.

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.

Are older washers better? ›

Older washing machines aren't as efficient as newer models. Typically, older models don't regulate the amount of water versus the amount of clothes in the drum to save water, for example.

Are top load washers water efficient? ›

Energy Efficient Top-loaders

HE top-loaders save water and energy in much the same way that the front-loaders do. They use less water to get the clothes clean by tumbling the clothes into the tub. For top-loaders, this requires the clothes to be lifted up so they can tumble back down.

Why do front load washers use so little water? ›

Front-loaders can use less wash water because the rotation of the drum drags the clothes through the shallow pool of water-detergent solution, whereas top-loaders need to use a deeper pool to ensure that clothes get wet during the cycle.

Do LG washers use less water? ›

One thing you might notice right away as you're using your washer is that it really uses less water. Unlike standard agitator washers where clothes have to be soaking in a tub of water, newer technology makes it possible for the wash and rinse process to be far more efficient.

Which uses less water agitator or impeller? ›

A washing machine with an impeller uses less motion and water than a washer with an agitator. Designed so laundry has more room to move, it drives clothes from the outer rim of the wash basket to the center, using a small amount of water to optimize the friction. This is what helps deliver a gentle, yet thorough clean.

Which machine is better top load or front load? ›

Are front load or top load washing machines more efficient? Front load washers are generally more efficient, since they're designed to use less water even if they have slightly longer cycle times. Top load washers use more water even if their cycles can be faster than that of a front load washer.

Does deep fill clean better? ›

WHEN SHOULD THE CUSTOMER SELECT DEEP FILL? Select Deep Fill when you need to loosen those heavy soiled items, like grass or hair, that don't dissolve in water. For normal stains and dissolvable soils, however, the regular cycle will give customers clean laundry with lower water washes.

Why is my brand new washing machine not filling with water? ›

You could have a faulty lid or water level switch, or your hot and cold water supplies could be turned off or have kinks in the hoses. A clogged water inlet screen or a malfunctioning electronic control could also be the reason a washer isn't filling with water.

What is the best water level for washing machine? ›

Top Load Washer - Water Level and Load Size
Washer Water Level SettingTypical Load Size
SmallLess than 1/3 full of clothes
MediumBetween 1/3 and 1/2 full of clothes
LargeBetween 1/2 and 2/3 full of clothes
Extra Large and SuperOver 2/3 full of clothes

Do agitator washers use more water? ›

Today's agitator machines use considerably less, and HE top-loaders and front-loaders use far less than that. You'll know your washer is using too little water if the cottons come out dirty, or are nearly dry straight out of the washer.

Does quick wash use less water? ›

Save More Than Just Time with Quick Wash

Not only does this cycle wash clothes fast, but you'll also save water thanks to the shorter running time. Plus, when you pair the quick cycle with a cold wash temperature, you'll use five times less energy versus the average normal cycle on a warm setting!

Is it better to do large or small loads of laundry? ›

Doing a full load of laundry will help you use your washing machine much less and will help cut back on energy consumption as a whole!

How can I get my laundry to smell really good? ›

  1. 7 Secrets to Great Smelling Laundry. ...
  2. Use the Right Amount of Detergent. ...
  3. Use Full Rinse Detergent. ...
  4. Keep a Clean Washer. ...
  5. Move Clothes to the Dryer ASAP. ...
  6. Do Laundry Regularly. ...
  7. Be Careful with Activewear. ...
  8. Don't Overload the Washer.
Jul 26, 2022

Why does my washing never smell nice? ›

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.

What is the life expectancy of a washer? ›

The average life of a washing machine ranges from 10 to 13 years, although some brands can manufacture washing machines with an even longer lifespan than the average appliance.

What is the 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.

What are the disadvantages of top loading washing machine? ›

  • Top-loading models with an agitator can be tough on clothes.
  • Models without an agitator can be picky about how you load them, rinsing clothes over and over to balance things out.
  • Top-loaders tend to be less energy efficient and water efficient.

Are expensive washers better? ›

But we've found that models that cost less than $500 usually earn mediocre ratings or worse in most of our washer tests, and they're pretty noisy, too. If you can spend an extra $100 to $150, you'll find more options and better overall performance.

Do front-load washers last longer than top-load? ›

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.

Is my front loader washer supposed to fill all the way with water? ›

Front-load washers always fill at the same low water level during the wash cycle no matter how many clothes are loaded into the washer. If the load is larger and absorbs much of the wash water, causing the level to drop, more water is added to maintain the pre-set water level.

What size washer do I need for king comforter? ›

Comforters: Instead of lugging your king-size comforter to a laundromat, you can wash it in any washer with a claimed capacity of at least 4.5 cubic feet, according to our tests. It's best washed by itself, for better agitation and rinsing. An extra rinse cycle might also be helpful for these bulky items.

Why does my LG washer leave clothes wet? ›

Using the wrong detergent or too much of the right detergent can cause the unit not to drain completely or for the clothes to feel whether after the load. Using the wrong detergent or too much HE detergent causes excess of suds.

How do I get more water in my LG top load washer? ›

While the cycle is running, press START/PAUSE to pause the cycle. Press WATER PLUS button to add Water Plus as a default option for that wash cycle. Press START/PAUSE to resume the cycle.

Do commercial washers use more water? ›

Commercial laundry machines range in size from 25 to 400 dry pounds of laundry per load and use anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 gallons of water per pound of laundry. This can translate to as much as 1,400 gallons of fresh water per load which is a significant quantity of fresh water.

What are the disadvantages of impeller? ›

The impeller can be easily damaged - Since the impeller is made of rubber that bends inside the casing, the chances of wear and tear are higher. Moreover, constant wear will cause the impeller to shed rubber, leading to the presence of rubber in the fluid.

Do clothes get clean without agitator? ›

Do top-load washers clean well without agitators? Top-load washers without agitators can clean clothes well, depending on what you need to wash. They are excellent for delicate, bulkier, and larger items.

When should you not use agitator? ›

Delicate items are better washed in a non agitator machine since this will give you less wear and tear on clothes. Mainly you'll be looking at those few things: capacity, what cleans better, and what is more gentle on clothes.

Do front loaders still smell? ›

So why the decline in popularity? Based on data from CR surveys of more than 100,000 members who purchased a new washing machine between 2011 and 2021, front-load washers do present some drawbacks, notably that they are prone to mold, mildew, and odor.

Why is front-load more expensive than top load? ›

Front-load washing machines are expensive because of sophisticated engineering and expensive building materials. Additionally, they have highly advanced features to ensure better wash, energy, and water efficiency.

What is the best wash cycle for towels? ›

Generally, warm or hot water is recommended for washing towels. Use a cycle specifically for towels or a normal/regular cycle. A sanitizing cycle can also be used, but may not be recommended for every wash, depending on the towel fabric.

What is the best cycle to wash clothes on? ›

Generally speaking, cold wash cycles are best for delicates, colored, and normally soiled clothing; warm water is best for more soiled clothing and whites; and hot water is best for very soiled clothing or for loads, like underwear and towels, where you want to remove germs and allergens.

When should you use deep water wash? ›

Deep Water Wash Cycle

For heavily soiled casual and mixed loads. Items could include towels, jeans and sturdy fabrics. This is only available on top load washers.

How much water should fill a washing machine? ›

An old washing machine uses approximately 40–45 gallons each load, whereas an HE machine uses about 10–25 gallons.

Do new washing machines fill with water? ›

The washer will partially fill with water and the drum will rotate during the initial fill. Once the initial fill is complete, the wash portion of the cycle will begin and the tub will fill will more water. At this time, the water in your washer should be about the same amount as the image below.

Why is my Whirlpool washer not filling up with water? ›

If your Whirlpool washer is not filling, check your fill hoses: Check household faucets. Hot and cold water supply lines must be connected and turned on. Check for kinks in inlet hose.

Do washing machines sense 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.

Do washing machines adjust water level? ›

Most washers automatically adjust the water level to the load size; no water level selector is needed (on some models). For best performance, it is recommended to load items in loose heaps evenly around the washplate.

What is a normal size 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.

Does soft water get clothes cleaner? ›

Soft Water Has More Washing Power

When using hard water, you'd need to add more warm or hot water to get your laundry clean and make sure the detergent is gone. Soft water will let you clean your clothes using the only ½ the amount of the detergent, and you can use cold, warm, or hot water to get it super clean.

How do front load washers clean with so little water? ›

Front-loaders can use less wash water because the rotation of the drum drags the clothes through the shallow pool of water-detergent solution, whereas top-loaders need to use a deeper pool to ensure that clothes get wet during the cycle.

Does water quality affect laundry? ›

The mineral content of your water can affect the way you wash your clothes. Washing in hard water can leave mineral deposits behind on your clothes that can cause soiling to build up on your clothes and also cause your whites to look dingy.

Does hard water cause hard towels? ›

Hard water minerals will cause stiff fabrics by remaining in your laundry and making the fabrics feel hard. This is particularly noticeable straight after washing when you feel your once-fluffy towels and notice that they are no longer soft, but rather stiff and scratchy.

Does washing in warm water get clothes cleaner? ›

Hot water has the most cleaning power because it speeds up the chemical reaction of the detergent. This means decreased wash times and less detergent. If you want to guarantee your clothes will smell clean and fresh the next day, wash them in hot water.

Which washing machine is better front loaded or top loaded? ›

Are front load or top load washing machines more efficient? Front load washers are generally more efficient, since they're designed to use less water even if they have slightly longer cycle times. Top load washers use more water even if their cycles can be faster than that of a front load washer.

What are the disadvantages of front loading washing machine? ›

There are very few drawbacks to a front load machine, but one issue can be the maintenance that the rubber gasket ring requires on certain washer models. They can be known to trap water droplets inside, which can prevent the seal from fully drying and lead to mold or mildew if not wiped out regularly.

Do front or top loaders use less water? ›

Compared to a top load impeller washer, front load washers are still 25% more energy and water efficient. Furthermore, front load washers help save on drying time and energy by spinning clothes much faster than top load washers to extract more water out of clothes.

How much water should be in front load washer? ›

Today's standard washers use much less water and range from 20 to 25 gallons of water per cycle. Consumer Reports found that HE top load washers average between 12 to 17 gallons of water per cycle while HE front load washers average only 7 gallons per load.

What level should I wash my towels? ›

Most towels are made of cotton, so use the cotton program* and set the wash temperature to at least 40 degrees: 60° is ideal for white towels. 40° is best for darker towels, to prevent them from fading.

What is the best setting to wash towels on? ›

Generally, warm or hot water is recommended for washing towels. Use a cycle specifically for towels or a normal/regular cycle. A sanitizing cycle can also be used, but may not be recommended for every wash, depending on the towel fabric.

When should you use deep fill on washer? ›

The Deep Fill option (not to be confused with the Deep Rinse option) will add additional water to the wash load regardless of whether you used a manual or a load-sensing fill. The Deep Fill feature is recommended for special case loads rather than normal everyday use.

Which wash cycle uses the most water? ›

Deep Water or Deep Fill Wash

This cycle uses more water and works with their PowerWash® agitator to break up even the most dried-on messes. Look at the Maytag's Top Load Washer with Deep Water Wash online today.


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