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  • Best of Year 2014
  • Editors' Choice

Electrolux EWFLS70JIW Washing Machine Review

A high-end, front-loading​ washing machine that boasts excellent cleaning abilities.

$1,208.10 at AppliancesConnection
9.2 score Tested by Experts
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Introduction

It's safe to say this Swedish manufacturer had a good handle on American tastes when they designed the oddly-named Wave Touch, a machine capable of handling a massive amount of laundry. Its Normal cycle takes only 39 minutes and still cleans better than most washers, which take up to a half hour longer. The other cycles weren't too shabby, either.

In addition, all the cleaning technology that went into the EWFLS70JIW is top-notch. Unfortunately, that also explains why it's hard to find this machine on sale for less than $1400. At least it's efficient, boasting an estimated yearly operating cost that's far lower than the competition. Still, for a price that high, and with a few aggravating user interface faults, the Wave-Touch might as well be called Electroluxe.

Design & Usability

The Electrolux EWFLS70JIW has a whopping 96 easily accessible settings.

Closing the door required a good shove.

The design of the Electrolux EWFLS70JIW reminds us of what futuristic technology looked like in movies from the 50’s. The bubbled glass front door is reminiscent of a one-man submersible. I wanted to crawl inside and pretend to be Jacques Cousteau. Well, maybe Ridley Scott, since Jacques Cousteau's been dead for a long time.

The control scheme reminds us of the front panel of a VCR: There is a jog wheel that controls cycle selection plus a start/pause button. There are also four undefined buttons that correspond to selections that appear on the ever-changing LCD screen. The LCD is a bit small and hard to read, and the endless hidden sub-menus may confuse technophobes and those with short-term memory issues. Still, there's a bunch of options squirreled away back there, including a dedicated cycle for vomit and options to customize nearly every aspect of a wash.

There is a preset automatic wash cycle for any stain imaginable.

The door on the Electrolux EWFLS70JIW is push-to-open, which means you'll likely have to hit it Fonzie-style to make it work. Notice that you never saw Fonzie turn the jukebox off, and the same is true here. On our tester, a light touch meant the door spring wouldn’t fully compress and, hence, the door we thought we closed would suddenly swing open. It felt a little strange using so much force on an appliance. We test washing machines, not World's Strongest Man carnival games, for goodness' sake! We’re not aggressive people, except when there’s a blood moon...

Once we got past the door and the labyrinthine LCD screen, though, using the the Electrolux EWFLS70JIW was simple, since there is a preset automatic wash cycle for any stain imaginable—and many that are unimaginable, as well.

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Performance & Features

We were impressed with the Electrolux EWFLS70JIW's performance.

Quick and effective, there isn't much more you can ask for...at least, not from a washer. The dedicated Quick cycle was one of the fastest and most effective we’ve ever seen. From when we pushed start to when the end-of-cycle chime rang out, only 15 minutes had elapsed. Even better, the Electrolux got laundry nearly as clean as it did during the similarly rapid 39-minute Normal cycle. The difference? After checking our water gauges, we found that the Quick cycle used significantly more water and electricity. The Electrolux also did a good job keeping fragile fabrics intact on the Delicates cycle, and shouldn't wear laundry out prematurely on other washes.

This Electrolux's interior drum had its own deodorant to keep the gasket from developing an unpleasant odor.

In addition to a number of highly customizable washes, a fancy light inside the drum, and an on-board electronic "Stain Guide," we also discovered that this Electrolux's interior drum has its own deodorant to keep the gasket from developing an unpleasant odor. However, while a musty gasket smells bad, this fragrance actually smelled worse. While some people in the office didn't mind it, we stopped being friends with those people, and cringed a little every time we opened the door to change loads.

Comparable Products

Before you buy the Electrolux EWFLS70JIW, take a look at these other washing machines.

Conclusion

In the world of washers, the Electrolux EWFLS70JIW is a strong contender, but the steep price may be a barrier.

The pricey Electrolux EWFLS70JIW wowed us with its stain removal power, speed, and efficiency, but confused us with an aggravating door and a user interface seemingly designed by Will Shortz.

For a washer that's hard to find on sale under $1400, we demand perfection. The Electrolux Wave-Touch EWFLS70JIW came tantalizingly close, but just missed the mark.

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