- It says "Maytag" on the front
- Doesn't clean your clothes
- High-effiency badge looks nice, but both HE and regular detergent doesn't help
- With a name like "Maytag" we expect a better Warranty
I can think of no other company name that breeds such die-hard followers as the Maytag name — and with good reason. For more than half a century Maytag manufactured in the USA some of the most well-built laundry appliances money could buy. Our grandfathers and grandmothers all still revere any appliance with the brand “Maytag” on it for this reason.
Unfortunately for them, the company they once knew bears little resemblance to the Whirlpool-owned “Maytag” of today.
In the early 2000’s, Maytag switched their production of the Neptune line of washers and dryers to Samsung Electrics. When faced with increasing competition from the Korean competitors such as Samsung and LG, Maytag starting designing and building low-cost washers and dryers in the USA.
In 2006, Whirlpool acquired the Maytag Corporation, and integrated it into their appliance line up.
Maytag Washing Machine Review / Rating
The Maytag Bravos XL series of Washers and Dryers are marketed on the notion of having both a Extra Large capacity and still clean clothing with “High Efficiency” detergent. Maytag prices them between $900 – $1,200. The model we had for testing was one of the better variants, the MVWB855DW paired with the matching Maytag Dryer MEDB766FW.
We spent seven days with a brand new set of these machines in our vacation home.
What follows is my impressions after running 10+ loads on them.
The Maytag’s promising feature set
Let’s start by looking at the feature-set claims from Maytag on the Bravos XL Washing Machine.
- Best Cleaning in Its Class Driven by the PowerWash® System (Based on 18-lb load, among leading top load brands, 5.0-5.9 cu. ft. capacity impeller washers, PowerWash® cycle vs. comparable cycles and default settings.)
- PowerSpray – PowerSpray enhances cleaning by recirculating water and detergent from the bottom of the load back on top, so clothes get a highly concentrated treatment for difficult stains.
- Steam-Enhanced Cycles – Steam enhances the cleaning power of your washer to give you stain-fighting action you can count on with cycles like Deep Clean with Steam and Sanitize with Oxi and Steam.
Maytag also is on the “direct drive” train.
Invented purely by the marketing divisions of Samsung and LG, “Direct Drive Technology” is now being touted by every washing machine manufacturer in the segment as some kind of “new” and “inherently superior” motor technology.
Nevermind the fact that the technology is older than you or I. There are (and have always been) two types of motors implementations on washers and dryers: belt drive and direct drive. Their name implies their method of turning the drum. Belt drive uses a motor and a belt to turn the drum. Direct drive couples the motor directly to the drum.
Neither is inherently “superior”, as both have pros and cons to them – but marketers needed something “new” to tout on their washing machines as they’ve run out of features to harp on.
The warranty that Maytag offers on the unit is the typical 1 year limited warranty, which pays both parts and labor, and a 10 year parts only warranty on the motor and drum. To be honest, with such an ironclad name like “Maytag” we expected a better than average warranty.
Does the Maytag Powerwash® System live up to name?
Short answer is: No.. Not even close.
There are only two main feature claims on this machine: You should be able to do a large load and the machine should clean the clothes well. We found getting clothing to come out clean to be very difficult on this machine.
We have two young children. Every day on our vacation we are doing something outside. This leads to a mound of soiled clothing. Put simply: this machine could not handle dirty clothes.
It could barely handle cleaning clean clothes. This is surely due to it’s agitator-less design.
Stare down the epic drum on this washing machine and you will notice very few ridges and no center agitation spindle. Fill the drum with dirty clothes and turn it on. What do you see? A giant drum fill with water and soap. It turns and swirls and shakes, but the clothing doesn’t go anywhere. It does not rub against any fins or bumps, there is literally nothing in this washing machine to get dirt off your clothing.
And while this design is an epic failure on Maytag’s part, if you visit your local Best Buy you will find countless new washing machines with this same design from big name brands like Whirlpool, Samsung, LG, and more.
No center agitator, no side agitators, nothing to pull and separate the clothing from each other or create any kind of disturbance which breaks up dirt on clothes.
The result is predictable. Dirty clothes exit… “less dirty”. When we did a load of mostly clean clothes, we would get clothing with soap still stuck on them. A one hour “Powerwash” cycle wasn’t enough to even wash the soap off the clothes.
You can imagine how much trouble it has with real dirt on the clothes.
This new shift to giant drums with less agitation may sound good on paper, and look good in marketing materials – but in real life its a real loser. We could not wait to get away from this washer and dryer at the end of day seven and get back to our trusty Electrolux Front-Loader at home.
My recommendation, if you absolutely MUST have a top load, large capacity washing machine – make sure it’s an older design model with a central agitator. Both GE and Speed Queen sell washing machine models with this tried and true design for far cheaper than this Whirlpool Bravos XL machine. They may not look as fancy, or come with exotic cycle options – but they will get the job done.
Maytag Bravos XL = Hard pass.