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Washing machines to avoid buying

These top loader and front loader models rated lowest in our lab test, which means there are lots of better buys out there. 

a white washing machine on a blue background with a red bubble showing a thumbs down
Last updated: 12 March 2024

Need to know

  • Our laundry experts have tested over 70 current models to find the best and worst washers.
  • CHOICE experts evaluate key factors in our laundry labs, like how well they rinse and remove dirt, how gentle they are, how noisy they are, and running costs, including energy and water use.
  • Become a CHOICE member to access our full reviews and ratings.

Why make doing the laundry harder than it needs to be? Life's too short for a lousy washing machine and, unfortunately, our experts have seen plenty in our lab tests.

"A poorly performing machine can be a double blow for your washing and your wallet," warns our resident laundry expert Ashley Iredale

"Not only do they do a bad job of cleaning your clothes, they often use more water and power to do it, which means even bigger costs in the long run."

To help you avoid these lose-lose situations, Ashley and our experienced team of laundry experts meticulously test machines from popular brands including Fisher & Paykel, LG, Bosch, Miele, Samsung, Simpson and plenty more.

Ashley Iredale testing washing machines

Our laundry expert Ashley Iredale does a LOT of washing.

Using identically stained fabric swatches and special fray swatches for every model, our testers evaluate key criteria such as dirt removal, gentleness, rinsing, water and spin efficiency (learn more about how we test).

"We've reviewed machines ranging from around $500 to $3000 or more and we often find that a bigger price tag doesn't always mean better performance – sometimes, far from it!" warns Ashley.

We don't want you to end up with a dud buy, so here are the products that scored lowest in our lab tests. Consider becoming a CHOICE member to see the best performers.

Lowest scoring top loaders

Westinghouse WWT8084J7WA

18662805WestinghouseWWT8084J7WA   1 of 1

The Westinghouse WWT8084J7WA: All style, no substance.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 59%
  • Dirt removal score: 44%
  • Capacity: 8kg
  • RRP: $1149

This Westinghouse washer may look stylish in your laundry with its modern, sleek black lid and control panel, but unfortunately its good looks don't match its performance. 

In fact, it tops our worst performer list, with a CHOICE Expert Rating of 59% and a dismal dirt removal score of 44%. 

Considering the main purpose of your washing machine is to get your clothes clean, this doesn't reflect well on this washer. 

Read our full review of the Westinghouse WWT8084J7WA.

Speed Queen AWNA62

speed queen awna62

The Speed Queen AWNA62 uses a staggering 171 litres of water per cycle.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 59%
  • Dirt removal score: 54%
  • Capacity: 7kg
  • RRP: $3295

Not only does the Speed Queen have a relatively high ticket price of $3295, it'll also end up costing you a lot more over time, with a 10-year running cost of approximately $1959 (more than twice that of many of our recommended models). 

It was the second-lowest rated for dirt removal, scoring just 54%, and it also performs poorly for spin efficiency, meaning your clothes will take longer to dry after a wash. This machine also uses a lot of water: 171 litres per cycle. 

In return for your hard-earned cash, you'll get a good rinse cycle, but very poor water efficiency and a notable lack of wash options and features, with no fast wash or woollens wash setting and no auto-sense water level, delay timer or time-remaining display.

Read our full review of the Speed Queen AWNA62.

Fisher & Paykel WA7060G2

fisher paykel wa7060g2

This Fisher & Paykel top loader is excellent at rinsing clothes, but not much else.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 60%
  • Dirt removal score: 62%
  • Capacity: 7kg
  • RRP: $999

This Fisher & Paykel machine is excellent at rinsing but not much else, receiving an overall score of just 60%. It's pretty darn terrible on the water-efficiency front, scoring a dismal 21% and using a shocking 163 litres of water per cycle (almost as much as the Speed Queen above). 

That's enough to fill a small fridge, or the equivalent of flushing your toilet 20 times (at an average of 5–11L per flush). 

It's also relatively expensive to run: it'll set you back around $1727 in running costs alone over 10 years. (We work this out by calculating how much it costs to do one 'normal' cycle every day for 10 years, based on 40c/kWh for electricity and $2/1000L of water. This doesn't include detergent, which can be up to a third of your washing machine's running costs.)

Read our full review of the Fisher & Paykel WA7060G2.

Samsung WA90T6250BW

samsung wa90t6250bw

This underwhelming Samsung model is nearly twice the price of the Kmart model.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 61%
  • Dirt removal score: 61%
  • Capacity: 9kg
  • Price: $849

It might be at the lower end of the price spectrum for top loaders, but with one of the lowest scores overall, this Samsung sits firmly in the bottom of the heap in terms of performance. 

While it costs nearly twice as much as the Kmart machine, it delivers virtually the same performance, except for better water efficiency (not that that's anything to shout about – the Kmart machine scored just 1% on this metric). 

And in fact, the Kmart machine is far superior in terms of getting your clothes clean: our experts rated the Kmart top loader as 'Good' for dirt removal, but the Samsung was only 'OK'. 

Read our full review of the Samsung WA90T6250BW

Haier HWT60AA1

haier hwt60aa1

The Haier HWT60AA1: low price, low performance.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 61%
  • Dirt removal score: 58%
  • Capacity: 6kg
  • Price: $609

Low price, low performance: that's the best way to sum up this Haier. It's the second-cheapest top loader in our test, but a bargain it isn't. 

Like the Samsung above, it was outclassed by the Kmart machine in terms of dirt removal, and really only had the edge over the Kmart model in terms of water efficiency and spin efficiency.  

It's also relatively expensive to run, with our experts calculating it'll cost you $1581 over 10 years. If you're short on cash, this isn't a terrible option, but don't expect to be wowed.

Read our full review of the Haier HWT60AA1

Lowest scoring front loaders

First things first: front loaders perform a lot better than top loaders, which you'll see reflected in the higher scores below. To be fair, these models all rated well enough. 

That said, our experts found better-performing front loaders for a similar price or cheaper so doing some research before you buy will get you better value for your money. 

Haier HWF10AN1 10kg front loader

haier hwf10an1

This Haier front loader was let down by its gentleness and spin efficiency scores.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 71%
  • Dirt removal score: 66%
  • Capacity: 10kg
  • Price: $1099

As the lowest scoring front loader in our test, this machine isn't actually bad – it's just not as good as other models we reviewed.

"It's a solid middle-of-the-road performer," explains Ashley. "It'll do the job, but you can get a better wash for the same money, or even less."

This washer rated solidly for dirt removal and very good for rinsing and water efficiency. But it was let down by its ordinary gentleness performance and spin efficiency. You can do better. 

Read our full review of the Haier HWF10AN1

Kogan KATFWASH85B 8.5kg front loader


This Kogan washer has sharp looks but you may find better bang for your buck elsewhere.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 72%
  • Dirt removal score: 75%
  • Capacity: 8.5kg
  • Price: $860

Love or hate the unique 'graphite' colour of this Kogan washing machine, it's undeniably a cheap buy that performed OK in our testing. However, if you're on a budget, there are better buys out there.

"This machine was good on rinse performance but performed badly in other parts of our testing," explains Ashley.

"There's much better machines at the same price or cheaper, and given the issues that CHOICE has uncovered in the past about Kogan's woeful after-sale service, I'd be wary of buying this washer."

Read our full review of the Kogan KATFWASH85B

Haier HWF75AN1 7.5kg front loader

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The Haier HWF75AN1 will likely leave your clothes soggy.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 73%
  • Dirt removal score: 69%
  • Capacity: 7.5kg
  • Price: $799

The 'little brother' of our lowest performer, this Haier machine also receives a 'middle of the road' award.

"Just like the larger-capacity Haier machine, this one will do the job, but you can get a better wash for the same money, or even less, so it's not worth buying," says Ashley.

In our spin test, our experts measure how much water is removed from a load after it's gone through a spin cycle, by weighing the test load before and after each wash. The higher the score, the more water is removed, which means the washing takes less time (and energy, if you use a dryer) to dry.

With an underwhelming spin score of 60%, the clothes that come out of the drum of this washer may be a little soggier than you'd like.

Read our full review of the Haier HWF75AN1.

Asko W2084CW 8kg front loader

asko w2084cw

The Asko W2084CW front loader is a bit of a mixed bag, but not worth the money.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 74%
  • Dirt removal score: 72%
  • Capacity: 8kg
  • Price: $1999

This middling model revealed another mixed bag of test results. It did fare better for dirt removal and spin efficiency than the Haier models mentioned above, but didn't rinse as well and wasn't as gentle.

On the upside, it rated very well for water efficiency, scoring 89% and outperforming all other similarly sized machines on this criteria. On the downside, it's a lot louder than other models mentioned here.

Read our full review of the Asko W2084CW.

Asko W4086P.W.AU 8kg front loader

asko w4086pwau

An overpriced underperformer: the Asko W4086P.W.AU front loader.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 74%
  • Dirt removal score: 73%
  • Capacity: 8kg
  • Price: $2399

Look, 74% is quite a decent score – but $2399 is quite a steep price! For this kind of money you'd expect virtually flawless results. It's one of the most expensive machines in our test, on par with (and even more expensive than) some Miele and Bosch models. 

If you have this kind of money to spend on a washing machine, look elsewhere. It's as simple as that. 

Read our full review of the Asko W4086P.W.AU.

Asko W6088XW


The most expensive front loader in our test didn't perform as well as you'd expect.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 74%
  • Dirt removal score: 75%
  • Capacity: 8kg
  • Price: $2999

Yep, another average Asko – but even more expensive again. 

What does that extra $600 buy you? Very little: exactly the same overall score, marginally better dirt removal, and slightly improved rinse performance. 

But you'll also get a wash that's not as gentle and worse spin efficiency – so your clothes will take longer to dry and they could wear out faster. 

This is the most expensive front loader in our test, but unfortunately it doesn't deliver the performance to match its price tag.

Many of the front loading machines recommended by our experts cost less than $2000 but score 80% and higher, so if you check our reviews to find the best washing machines, you could save yourself some money and get a better wash into the bargain. 

Read the full Asko W6088XW review.

Tips for buying a washing machine

Ashley says you should avoid making impulse buys on an important appliance such as a washing machine, no matter how charming a salesperson is or how tempting an advertised price may seem.

"Don't be tempted by discounts on more expensive, feature-rich machines if you're not going to use those features," he says.

He also advises looking for deals with free delivery (or asking the salesperson if they will throw in free delivery) and avoiding poor-quality extended warranties:

"They can eat up any sales savings and often don't offer you much beyond the consumer guarantees you're already entitled to under consumer law."

For more top tips, visit our washing machine buying guide.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.