We recently took a couple new Samsung appliances — a washer and a dryer — out for a spin. We thoroughly tested their 5.0 cu-ft AddWash Front-Load Washer and 7.5 cu-ft Electric Front-Load Dryer. The latter is a steam dryer, but with the extra benefits of connectivity and a drying rack for shoes that sits inside the machine. The washer is even more intriguing, since it solves the longest-running problem with front-load washers — you can finally add that sock you dropped on the way to the machine thanks to a small second door that can still be opened once the machine has started.
Both units have a modern look — sleek stainless steel with clean lines and knobs and buttons that are clearly marked. Better yet, these cleaning machines are designed to be easy to clean themselves. But, we’re looking for a good reason to jump from old washers and dryers to the new. Are Samsung’s new extras enough?
AddWash Front-Load Washer
The most obvious feature to comment on is AddWash. We’re busy and forgetful, so we love this feature. The AddWash door is a second smaller door that can be used to add laundry to the machine, even mid-cycle. If you’ve forgotten some clothes or had something fall out of your armload while you were walking over to the machine, you can pause the wash cycle, open the second door, and throw in any forgotten garments. This is a great little feature — we wouldn’t call it life-changing, but it’s a brilliant little addition and a no-brainer if you’re in the market for a new washing machine. It’s the perfect example of a why not feature.
Even besides the second door, the washing machine is much more fully featured than most. No guesswork! For example, there is a steam cycle sanitize option that heats the water to 150 degrees Fahrenheit to eliminate bacteria, as well as a steam cycle allergen option that removes dust mites, pet dander, and other allergy-causing substances. Parents with young children will use this setting over and over and over, and be happy they have it. Families love their furry friends, but allergies can vary and change over time. Among our team, there are some dust allergies, and this feature allowed for more sound, restful sleep. There are also soil level options, which are programmed for different wash times for heavily soiled, normal, or lightly soiled loads. Tweaking settings is possible, and you can save your preferred wash settings and use them again by simply pushing a button.
A third feature that we like — and that parents will once again appreciate — is a child lock option that locks all buttons except the power button. Once again, it’s a great why not feature — after all, it only takes one curious kid jamming on buttons do wreck all of your wool garments for good.
Turns out, the machine is as good at cleaning itself as it is cleaning clothes. The machine has a self-clean option that removes dirt and mold from the drum. Using it is as easy as a button press, which beats cleaning the thing manually by far. If the point of new washing machines is to save us as much time as possible, the AddWash does an awfully good job of it.
And, like pretty much all appliances in the 2010s, you know this thing is connected. The machine is compatible with the the Samsung Smart Washer app. As you might guess, there’s not a whole lot you can do from the app, but there are options to diagnose errors when something goes wrong.
Did we find areas for improvement? While we mostly have positive things to say about this machine, we would like to see a light be added that turns on when the washer door is opened, to help see the load inside. After all, the opposite of the AddWash door problem happens, too — sometimes, a stray sock can end up forgotten in the washer once the cycle is done. This kind of light is in the Samsung dryer we also reviewed, so hopefully it can find its way into the washer in future models.
Electric Front-Load Dryer
There’s a laundry list of great, useful features on the Samsung Electric Front-Load Dryer. The best one is a rack that can be used to dry delicates or sneakers. The rack sits within the drum but doesn’t rotate, so delicates won’t be damaged by the usual jostling of a dryer. We really appreciated being able to dry sneakers without hearing them bang and clang around the dryer.
The dryer can help make sure your clothes don’t get damaged during drying cycles. Depending on what kind of garments are being dried, the dryer can notify you when certain kinds of garments are likely dry, which also depends on how big the load is. This works with mixed loads, too — the dryer can tell you to take out certain kinds of garments 50 percent of the way into the cycle, leaving in just the heavier garments to dry longer.
There are way more settings on this dryer than the usual handful. The Steam Refresh option tumbles heat with water moisture to freshen clothes, smooth out wrinkles and reduce odor. This feature is hit-or-miss, and it’s still good practice to shake out and fluff clothes after taking them out to make sure wrinkles stay away. Air fluff uses room temperature heat to dry clothes, which is fantastic for wool garments that will absolutely shrink under any other condition. I’m not sure we would feel comfortable regularly drying woolens in this way, but it’s a great feature to use in a pinch. But, the very best feature is definitely the anti-static setting that saves you from getting zapped every time you take a load out of the dryer (not to mention the frequent zappings you get when folding clothes afterwards).
Like the washer above, this dryer is equipped with a child lock, a safety feature that prevents children from using the dryer. When the child lock is on, the buttons do not respond. Coupled with the door safety lock, parents can feel secure knowing that kids can’t hurt themselves and that they can’t shrink all of your clothes to fit them instead. The dryer also borrows the custom settings option from the washing machine with a setting called My Cycle, which saves preferred drying levels, temperature, and time. It can also be connected to the app, which again is mostly for use diagnosing problems.
There’s also an ingenious physical design choice here that shows some insight into how laundry machines are installed and used. The dryer has a reversible door that can be changed with only four screws to open from the left or the right. It’s a convenient feature for anyone trying to design an efficient laundry room, but especially for city dwellers in tight spaces.
For dryer maintenance, there’s a vent sensor that can let you know when it’s time to clean out the lint trap. It’s an easy thing to forget about, so it’s nice to have a dryer that can look out for itself. Good thing we only have to open the lint trap when we absolutely have to, though, because it’s pretty tough to open the trap on this dryer.
Read on for the verdict…