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Agitator vs. Impeller: The Pros & Cons

Agitator vs. Impeller: The Pros & Cons

Top-loaders come in two different models: agitator and impeller.

Did you know there are two different types of washing machines out there? More specifically, many homeowners struggle with whether or not to purchase an agitator or impeller-style washing machine. Both agitators and impellers are types of parts used in top-loading washing machines. For people who are looking for a new top-loading washing machine, knowing the difference between the two common models can help them ultimately make a better-informed decision. Here are some of the pros and cons of each type of top-loading washing machine to help guide you to choose the perfect one for your specific needs and desires. 

An Agitator Washing Machine

The best way to describe how an agitator washing machine works to clean your clothes would be to explain the most commonly found style in U.S. homes today. Agitator washing machines are incredibly popular and continue to be the traditional choice. The agitator is a central rod that aggressively rubs the clothes clean of dirt.

Ultimately, these washing machines usually involve a specific spraying action, followed by a wash basket action, concluding with a unique agitating motion — as the name would suggest. Agitator washing machines traditionally are priced similarly to their impeller counterparts — making the decision-making process for homeowners a bit more complicated and nuanced.

An Impeller Washing Machine

Just like an agitator washing machine, a top-loading impeller washing machine will work to effectively and efficiently clean your clothes. The difference here, however, is that an impeller washing machine uses less water and less motion than an agitator model. In fact, impeller washing machines are designed so that your laundry has some more room to move inside the washing machine drum. The impeller itself is a central cone that spins and causes clothes to rub against each other, helping to loosen grime.

Impeller washing machines include a spraying action, followed by a wash basket action, and conclude with an impeller action — as the name would suggest. Ultimately, impeller washing machines use a lower amount of force and energy for a gentler cleaning cycle. 

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