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Washing Machines & Dryers


Washing Machines

Unless you want a high-end European machine, such as Miele, or an American machine which washes twice as fast and is twice as large, buy in Israel without rights. American washing machines are usually top-loading, hold 18-22 lbs. of laundry, do not heat their own water, and have cycles that last between 12-20 minutes. Israeli and European machines are front-loading, hold 9-13 lbs., heat their own water, and have cycles that last anywhere from 50 minutes to two hours. The American machines clean by means of a powerful agitator that rocks back and forth on a vertical axis with many water changes; the European machines roll in one direction from top to bottom. You cannot add clothes to front-loading machines while the cycle is running.  


The only brands we recommend for American machines are Whirlpool and Maytag.  Of the 20 top-loading washers that Consumer Reports rate on their current site, 5 of the top 7 are Maytag or Whirlpool, the first and third slots being occupied by Whirlpool.  Beware: there are now some inexpensive water-heating Maytags made in Italy and Maytag Performa series sold in Israel—best to avoid both.

Whirlpool, which now owns Maytag,  makes a highly reqarded (by Consumer Reports) front-loading machine and (almost) matching dryer called Duet.  Since the clothes are in constant friction, they come out cleaner. They cost 60% more than the standard models, and can heat their own water.   Our customers have been very happy with them.  


The only two Maytag models worth owning are the commercial, both washer and dryer, and the stacked. Both are in limited supply.  The feedback from the Maytag Commercial machines has been very positive both from our private and institutional customers.


All models have adjustments for temperature, size of load, and permanent press. The freestanding—not stacked—export models have a 22 lb. capacity, though the manufacturer recommends putting in 15 to maximize cleaning efficiency. The cheapest of the standard range has a plastic tub, worth avoiding. One model has a choice of spin speeds. The freestanding models all have the same external dimensions, and the Maytags are constructed of panels which can be taken apart to ease them through narrow entries. 


American vs. European Washing Machines

European machines are all self-heating and, so, use less water and more electricity than non-self-heating (NSH) American machines.  NSH machines depend upon your having hot water available, unless you wash in cold. The quality of the detergents and the softness of the water in America make cold-water washing feasible; in Israel it is best to wash in warm water. Many Israelis believe that you cannot clean your clothes without ‘boiling’ them as the European and Israeli machines do. There are magnetic devices available in Israel that give an electrical charge to the sediments in the water and prevent them from precipitating in the machine.

Both American and European machines can have matching dryers mounted above them. (See Dryers below.)  

European washers are expensive in the USA. Unless you are buying Miele or other high end models, the prices in Israel including taxes are very competitive with shipping them tax-free from America. Bosch, LG, Dedietrich and Miele have the good reputations for design, features, and quality of construction. Most of the European machines have an 11-13 lb. capacity, a stainless steel drum, and a variety of fabric programs. A stacking kit for a dryer is available.

US washing machines

European/Israeli washing machines

25 minutes to complete a cycle

45-120 minutes

Use far more water

Use far more electricity

Clean by agitator

Clean by friction and heat

22 lbs capacity

Up to 13 lbs

Lasts 25 years

Except for Miele or high-end, lasts 10 years

Clothes last much longer

Whiter whites.

1 year service contract included

1-2 years included.

Can be disassembled and re-assembled to fit through the narrowest doorways.

Can fit more easily in a small apt.


American clothes dryers come in gas and electric models. All are front-loading. Gas dryers are slightly more expensive to buy than similarly sized electric dryers. But unless you have a very strong electrical system, it will not be practical to use an American electric dryer as they require too much electricity (See Electric vs. Gas Dryers, below). The American models are similar in size to American washers (18-22 lbs. capacity), and the European dryers are 7-13 lbs. American dryers work more quickly because of their size, and clothes are much less likely to wrinkle because of the larger internal space.

Combining Washer and Dryer

Both American and European dryers can be mounted above washing machines. Some European manufacturers produce a washer and dryer combined into one machine, using the same drum to wash and dry. You cannot dry more than half of the load that you wash.
Mounting racks can be built for the big Maytag gas or electric dryers above a washer, leaving clearance for access to the top-loading washer and transferring the dryer’s control panel to be within reach. The rack and the labor go for about $400. When mounted, the dryer is quite high up, requiring a stool for access. The European machines usually stack without the need for a stacking kit.

Electric vs. Gas Dryers

Gas and electricity in Israel are now similarly priced per heating unit. A gas dryer is the first choice for most Olim, because the electric dryers require 25 amps. All gas dryers made for export come with electronic ignition. Full-size American electric dryers are less expensive to purchase than gas models, though they use up to 5,000 watts/25 amperes. In households where there is insufficient power, one of the two heating coils can be disconnected. Both gas and electric models require venting, unless you plan to leave your dryer on a partially covered balcony (not recommended!). Venting material is not included in service/installation contracts. The maximum recommended distance from the dryer to the venting exit is 5 meters, with each right angle counting as 1.5 meters.

Maytag and Whirlpool make the only “factory original export model” gas dryers. The latest Maytag available for export is the mdg16 commercial. Maytag also makes an electric dryer.  

European-size dryers have timed cycles lasting up to 120 minutes. Since Israel does not manufacture clothes dryers, you must pay full taxes or import from your last country of origin. There are small, low quality European machines available in Israel starting at $300 including taxes—best to avoid these.

Dryer tip: There is a good reason why many dryers have an alarm at the end of the cycle. If you take your clothes out immediately, give them a shake, then hang or fold them, many will require no ironing.

See also:  Appliance SalesAppliance Info

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