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Washers Buying Guide – Glossary

A washer is an investment in your home and lifestyle, so you want to make sure you get the most for your money.



Agitator Types (Top Loaders and Compacts Only)

The agitator is the mechanism that projects from the bottom of the wash basket in a top loading washer. The agitator creates the wash action by rotating back and forth, rolling garments from the top of the load down to the bottom, and back up again.

Straight Vane - Moves clothes uniformly throughout the tub for thorough gentle cleaning.

Swirl Type - Curved vanes create additional agitation for efficient, gentle cleaning.

Dual/Double Action - Creates "rollover" pattern, moving clothes uniformly through the tub for more efficient cleaning.

Dual Action Agitator "Plus" - This creates "rollover" of the clothes in a downward spiraling pattern, moving more clothes downward where the wash action takes place.

Dual/Double Action Plus Load Sensing - An agitator that creates high rollover, senses the size of load and responds with the appropriate level of mechanical (wash) action.

Load Sensing Agitator - Senses the size of load and responds with the appropriate level of mechanical (wash) action.

Triple Action - Operates like the Dual Action Plus, but adds a third vertical motion that senses the load size and guides the item to the bottom. Washes larger loads better.

Flex Action - Fins oscillate back and forth to push water through the laundry for extra gentle cleaning.

Bleach Dispenser

Manual - Bleach is poured directly into the gravity-flow dispenser before adding detergent and the wash load. As the wash fills, bleach thoroughly mixes with the water, between wash basket and tub to ensure only diluted bleach comes in contact with your washload, reducing risk of bleach damage.

Auto Timed Release - Bleach is added to the washload at the proper time, ensuring the most effective wash possible.

Auto Timed Release (Self-Cleaning) - Dispenser is flushed with fresh water after bleach has been dispensed.

Cabinet/Top and Lid Finish

Porcelain on Steel - This easy to clean finish resists the harmful effects of laundry chemicals. It provides superior corrosion, alkaline and scratch resistance.

Painted Steel - A practical, durable finish. The enamel finish is baked on.

Painted Steel Cabinet/Porcelain - This is a popular mixture of the two finishes.

Catalyst Cleaning Action

Dynamic Catalyst® technology works by spinning dry, dirty clothes and showering them with a safe, concentrated detergent lather at the beginning of a cycle, which loosens stains and significantly reduces the need to pre-treat stains.

Controls Types

Manual Rotary - Turn to the required setting.

Manual Push Button - A touch of the button selects the required setting.

Manual Tap Touch - A simple touch of the button selects the required setting.

Electronic Touchpad - Similar to a microwave keypad, a light touch is all that's required to select the required setting.

Control Types - Materials

Plastic - Rustproof, chip proof resistant and easy to clean.

Metal - Durable, attractive and easy to clean.

Detergent Dispenser

Holds and automatically dispenses the detergent at the beginning of the main wash cycle. Detergent is properly diluted before coming into contact with the wash load. Warm water is used regardless of water temperature selected.

Self-Cleaning - Dispenser is flushed with fresh water after the detergent has been dispersed.

Premeasured Reservoir - Located on the underside of the lid on the top load washers and on the front of the unit on the Front Load washers, the reservoir stores liquid detergent and dispenses it at the touch of a button.


Dimensions describe the exterior height, width and depth of the washing machine. The location chosen will determine the size of model suitable.

End of Cycle Signal

Either a buzzer or a bell signals a completed cycle.

Built In (fixed) - The machine will automatically signal when a cycle is complete.

Built In Push to Start - When the switch is pushed in, the machine signals a completed cycle.

On/Off Switch - The signal can be turned on or off, so it can be used only when needed.

EnerGuide Rating

The EnerGuide rating is your guide to energy efficiency. It tells you how energy efficient a particular model is. The label provides information on the amount of kWh per year the model will use under normal circumstances. The lower the number, the less electricity the appliance uses.

Fabric Softener Dispenser

Automatically adds dilute fabric softener during the deep rinse portion of the cycle. Diluted fabric softener is held in an inner chamber until the centrifugal force sends the softener into the outer chamber where it mixes with the rinse water. It eliminates the need to return to the washer to add fabric softener.

Electronically Timed Release - The fabric softener is held in an inner chamber until the spinning begins. Centrifugal force sends the softener into the outer chamber, so when spinning stops, softener flows out of dispenser, down the agitator and into the deep rinse water.

Self Cleaning - Dispenser is flushed with fresh water after fabric softener has been dispensed.


The filter traps the lint released by the clothes during the Wash Cycle.

Manual - Has to be checked and cleaned on a regular basis, preferably after every load.

Self Cleaning- Never needs manual cleaning. Wash and rinse water constantly flow through the self-cleaning filter to trap lint and automatically rinse it away.

Operating Indicator Lights

Show the option or cycle selected.

Outer Tub Material

The material used to construct the outer tub, which supports the water supply during drain and wash.

Porcelain on Steel - This traditional finish is both scratch and chip resistant.

Stainless Steel - This increasingly popular stain-resistant material is long lasting and easy to clean.

Polypropylene - This hardwearing plastic finish will never rust, chip or corrode and is particularly easy to look after. In addition it is extremely durable.

Washer Drive System

Belt Drive - This system runs very smoothly and is especially good for wood construction flooring.

Direct Drive - The transmission attaches directly to the motor. This reduces the number of moving parts and eliminates belts. The gear case is sealed and permanently lubricated.

Wash Option (Front Loader only)

Tumble Action - The tumbling of the clothes forces water through the washload for thorough, gentle cleaning.

Reverse Tumble Action - The clothes are tumbled in one direction, and then in the other.

Tumble Action With Vanes (Gates) - Vanes, or gates, scoop up wash water as the wash basket rotates and pour it onto the laundry, in a waterfall like effect.

Reverse Tumble Action With Vanes (Gates) - As above but also tumbles the washload in one direction, then the other.

Wash Rinse Temperature Options

The washer lets users select a wash and rinse water setting based on the type of load that they are washing.

Warm rinse water provides better extraction than cold rinse water, but may increase wrinkling when line drying.

In cold climates, warm rinse water provides a more comfortable temperature for handling the wash load.

Warm rinse is controlled to 75° F on models with Automatic Temperature Control (Excluding the Electronic Washer, which regulates temperatures regardless of ATC).

Water Level Options

These options allow the user to choose the right water level for different size washloads.

Water level selectors provide a range of water levels. Water level can be adjusted to match the washload for energy and water savings, as well as ultimate fabric performance.

Note: For front loading washing machines, the water level is adjusted to size and type of load, eliminating guesswork and water waste. The water level remains below the door so items can be added during the wash cycle.

Water Usage (Imp. Gal.)

This feature shows in Imperial Gallons how much water the machine will use (excluding the optional extra rinse).