Updated: November 2017
Maytag Neptune Washing Machine User ReviewWell we took the plunge last year and plunked down a lot of money on a new Maytag Neptune Washer and Dryer, purchased from Sears. We opted for the front loading models with the base pedestals that added $400 to our total bill, but got a good chunk of change back by using a Sears credit card on the purchase, getting a 30% discount for buying 3 appliances (dishwasher also), and by getting almost $750 in energy and gas tax credits and rebates. In doing some online research before buying, we were surprised to find a lot of negative consumer feedback on issues related to mold, mildew, and smells coming from these front-loaders that weren't draining properly -- not something you want to hear about when getting ready to shell out a few thousand dollars on appliances that will be part of your life for a decade or more.. So that was our biggest worry going into this. One year later ---- we are happy to report no problems or complaints whatsoever on that front.
Maytag Front-Load Washer Design ImprovementsI think Maytag fixed the design of the front loaders after some lawsuits, making the water drain better. However, we have taken the extra step of wiping down the door and inner rubber gasket with a spare towel after each load, and we leave the door open to allow the interior to ventilate and dry out properly. Don't know if this helps or not, but we have had zero incidents with any mold or mildew or smells. The only complaint we have on the controls of the washer and dryer is that the knob used to select the wash and dry cycles uses a tiny little green light to show which setting is selected (the knob spins freely with no other markers or indicators, so the only thing that tells you which setting you have selected is this little green light). Now in a dark room, hey, no problems seeing this light. But we have a skylight in the laundry room, and the sun often hits directly on these machines, or is at least bright enough that you simply cannot see the little green indicator light. If you put your hand around the knob to try to shade it, you can barely see the green light and figure out which setting you are on -- I think a better design would have been to have a little arrow or something on the knob dial that would point or anything else beside this dull little light. But beyond that, clothes and towels and bedding all come out clean and fresh. The front loading design generally works well, allowing you to pack in lots of stuff that would not fit into a standard machine with an agitator tacking up 1/3 of the interior volume. So large loads of towels and lots of clothes are no problem at all for these babies.
With these front load models, you put the soap, bleach, and fabric softener in a little slide out drawer on the upper left edge of the machine, and the machine automatically feeds the liquids in during the appropriate times during the wash cycle. We've found that there is some residue and water left over after the washer runs, especially in the fabric softener compartment, which almost always has standing water in it. I don't think it causes any problems, but it just doesn't seem to drain completely. In general, the results in terms of clean clothes are great. Everything comes out clean, fresh, just the way you want it. Our only complaint, and it is one we heard from other consumers before purchasing, is that the spin cycle is VERY fast, causing the machine to rock and shimmy and move a little about 1/3 of the time it runs. The result is an off-kilter washing machine, sitting at an angle, that has to be shoved back into place. Ours is located on the second story of a pretty solid house, and does NOT cause vibrations or excessive noise when the spin cycle runs (another complaint others had). Maytag did send us a GFI outlet plug in the mail about 6 months after our purchase - apparently there had been some problems with electrical issues or fires. You plug it into the wall, then plug the washer into it.
The Maytag Dryer also works well, with lots of different settings to choose from, including specific minutes of running time and automated dry sensors that measure when loads are still damp and keep drying until completed. The lint screen is located right at the lower front of the compartment - just pull it straight up and out to clean (and clean after every load or 2, of course, as with all lint screens). On the regular settings, the dryer will keep clothes from getting wrinkled by running for 30 seconds or so every few minutes, even after everything is dry. While this keeps you from having more wrinkled clothes, it also means the dryer often runs off and on all night like this when you forget to take out a load. Speaking of forgetting, the dryer has a number of chime options to choose from (and volume settings) to let you know when the dryer is finished. Again, overall, no complaints on the Maytag Neptune Dryer - works well, big sturdy machine.