Kenmore 41262 Washing Machine Review
This front-load washer is slow, but affordable
When it goes on sale for $599, the 4.5-cu.ft. Kenmore 41262 (MSRP $939.99) front-loading washing machine has one of the better price-to-performance ratios we've encountered.
It does a good job removing stains, and has a few neat tricks—like an easy-drying door that won't smell funny. Unfortunately, it also took over an hour to wash an 8 lb. load of laundry. By comparison, the next washer up in the Kenmore line—the 41392—costs $100 more, but its Accela-Wash feature cuts wash time in half.
It also lacks features like an extra-huge drum, an effective quick wash, or a Sanitize cycle. Still, we think it's a good value. If you're an average parent doing an average load of laundry and you don't mind waiting for your clothes to get clean, then this slow-but-steady Kenmore will measure up.
Fit and finish
The Kenmore 41262 doesn't feel entry-level. That's partially because its robust and easy to use, and partially because of a few useful extras.
• Stay Fresh: If you've ever forgot your clothes in the machine and they wound up musty, Stay Fresh will tumble your clothes periodically for up to 19 hours to keep them fresh.
• Powerful Motor: The 41262's motor can spin as fast as 1300 RPM. A fast spin wrings excess water out of your laundry, which translates to less time in the dryer.
• Smart Motion: The drum inside this LG-built Kenmore is capable of five distinct motions designed to evenly distribute water and detergent—plus softener and bleach.
• Magnetic Stopper: A magnetic stopper keeps this front loader from smelling funky. It holds the door subtly ajar so the gasket—the rubber ring inside the door—dries between washes.
Stain removal and efficiency
We tested the 41262's mettle against a myriad of common household stains. After analyzing how much of each stain remained, we were impressed with how well this entry-level machine did against proteins and tannins, although it struggled a bit against oil and sweat stains. When it came to clothes wear, the 41262 was in the middle—not the most gentle on delicate fabrics, but not overly rough.
It's also efficient. Using national average costs for water and electricity, we calculate that the yearly running cost to be on the order of $26. That's about $10 cheaper than an average front loader, and half what the average top loader costs to run.
As much as we like to praise the 41262 for its unexpected goodies, it still has a few holes in its repertoire. It lacks an internal water heater, so no high temperatures or Sanitize cycle are available. The 41262 also loses out to its higher-end cousins with speciality features like smart connectivity.
However, this machine's biggest drawback is its slower-than-average cycle times. Normal lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, Heavy Duty almost two. Those are almost twice as long as the average front loaders we've tested. Only Express Wash finished in 15 minutes, although it didn't do a great job removing stains. If you want to turn laundry day into laundry hour, look elsewhere.
As of the writing of this article, the 41262 retails for just $599. Despite a few issues, we think that's a good deal for a front loader that exceeds our stain removal expectations. If you want a front-load washing machine but don't want to spend thousands, the Kenmore 41262 is worth checking out. And if you want to get laundry done more quickly, check out the similar Kenmore 41392 with Accela-Wash instead.
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