GE GTW485ASJWS review: This affordable washer is tougher on clothes than stains

GE's $650 GTW485ASJWS may be wallet-friendly, but its traditional agitator might just wreck your clothes.

Megan Wollerton

Megan Wollerton

Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton has covered technology for CNET since 2013. Before that, she wrote for NBC's Dvice.com (now SyFy). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

See full bio
3 min read

The $650 GE GTW485ASJWS might be one of the simplest washing machines you can buy today. It doesn't have a ton of advanced settings, an LED-bedazzled digital display, or on-board Wi-Fi connectivity. You won't find a second washer tucked inside a hidden compartment like the LG Twin Wash or a built-in sink like the Samsung WA52J8700.



The Good

At $650, the GTW485ASJWS is one of GE's most entry-level washers. It also boasts 13 cleaning modes and a Deep Fill feature that lets you add as much water to a cycle as you want.

The Bad

Its traditional agitator wasn't gentle on clothes.

The Bottom Line

The GE GTW485ASJWS is fine if you're looking for an affordable top-load washer -- just keep in mind that its agitator isn't forgiving when it comes to wear and tear.

But what the 485 lacks in pizazz, it makes up for with a traditional agitator -- something folks nostalgic for the days of laundry-past will like. The downside, of course, is that agitators tend to be tougher on fabric than the impeller-style designs you'll find on most pricier top-loaders. It did do a decent job removing stains, though. Yes, GE's GTW485ASJWS will do fine overall, but you might want to spend a little more for an impeller washing machine if you're concerned about wear and tear.

A budget washing machine for laundry traditionalists

See all photos

A simpler wash

While the 485 doesn't exactly do anything innovative in terms of design, it's a nice looking machine considering its price. Available in a glossy white finish, it features the same 13 cleaning cycles as more expensive GE washers. They include:

It also has a Deep Fill setting, which lets you add more water to a cycle. This isn't great in terms of efficiency, but it does let you customize the fill level if you think the washer isn't adding enough water on its own. Press the Deep Fill button at the top of the display panel either before a cycle begins or after it has finished auto-filling. Press it again to stop it.

The straightforward display features one dial each for soil level, temperature, cleaning cycles, options (this includes things like Auto Soak and Extra Spin), and stain pre-treat.

Here's a look at the 485's basic specs compared to other top-load washers:

Comparing washers

Price $650$900$1,200$1,199
Color finish WhiteWhite, metallic (for $1,000)Metallic, white (for $1,100)Stainless platinum
Capacity 4.2 cubic feet5.1 cubic feet5.1 cubic feet5.2 cubic feet
# of cycles 13131315
Energy consumption 152 kWh/year152 kWh/year152 kWh/year165 kWh/year
Dimensions (width, height, depth) 27 x 44 x 27 inches28 x 44.5 x 29 inches28 x 44.5 x 29 inches27 x 46 x 29.3 inches
Warranty 1 year, limited1 year, limited1 year, limited1 year, limited
Voltage rating 120V 60Hz120V 60Hz120V 60Hz120V 60Hz
App NoYes, Android and iPhoneYes, Android and iPhoneNo

The main difference here is bin capacity. Where models like the GE GTW810SSJWS, the GE GTW860SPJMC, and Samsung's WA52J8700 all have capacities over 5 cubic feet, the 485 has just 4.2 cubic feet of space. This is mainly due to the built-in agitator, although its dimensions are also slightly smaller.

Agitator vs. impeller

Watch this: Here's how we test washing machines
Here's how we test washing machines

A washing machine agitator is a piece of plastic that sprouts up from the bottom of the washer and extends up to the top of the bin. It was a common feature in previous generations of top-load washers, but many have been replaced with impellers. Unlike agitators, impellers live at the bottom of washer bins. They feature grooved designs that can still agitate clothes, but tend to be less intrusive.

The 485's agitator actually did better than two of GE's impeller-style top-load machines we've reviewed when it came to stain removal. Check out this post on how we test washing machines if you want more details (or watch the video above for an overview).

The 485 had an average of 48 percent of the original stains remaining after cleaning. By stain, 42 percent of the sebum remained, 55 percent of the carbon remained, 49 percent of the blood remained, 46 percent of the cocoa remained, and 49 percent of the red wine remained.

Compared to the GTW810SSJWS's 50 percent stains remaining and the GTW860SPJMC's 53 percent stains remaining, this is a pretty good score.

But it did struggle in terms of wear and tear, with an average of 266 attached, frayed fabric threads that measured at or over 2 millimeters long. The GTW810SSJWS and the GTW860SPJMC averaged 241 and 230 threads, so they were less tough on clothes than the 485.

Enlarge Image
Tyler Lizenby/CNET


GE's $650 GTW485ASJWS is a fine washer, but it's a bit outdated by today's laundry standards
. That could be a bonus if you prefer traditional agitator-style machines. It's also one of the simplest machines I've reviewed so far -- no fancy extras to complicate usability. At the same time, it's tough on clothes. If you're just looking for something affordable that gets the job done, the GTW485ASJWS will work fine. But you might want to look at some other options before making a final decision.



Score Breakdown

Design 6Usability 8Features 7Performance 7
Get the best price on everything
Shop your favorite products and we’ll find the best deal with a single click. Designed to make shopping easier.
Add CNET Shopping