Kenmore 25132 review: A kickass clothes washer hides behind this dull exterior

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The Good Kenmore's $600 25132 has the best stain-removal score of any washer we've tested.

The Bad The 25132 is tough on clothes; its normal cycle frays delicate items faster than other models.

The Bottom Line Kenmore's 25132 washing machine is a stellar budget stain remover, but take care with delicate items.

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7.8 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Usability 7
  • Features 6
  • Performance 10

I highly recommend Kenmore's $600 25132 high-efficiency top-load washing machine. Not only does it have the best stain-removal score of any washer we've reviewed to date, it's also currently on sale at Sears for just $450. No, you won't find a digital display, a detergent reservoir, a steam setting or any other advanced features here. But if that doesn't bother you, you really can't beat the 25132's value.

About those specs

With five basic control knobs and no digital display to tell you how much time is left on a cleaning cycle, Kenmore's 25132 looks pretty utilitarian. It also doesn't have a place to add liquid or powder detergent -- just toss your soap into the washer tub before adding your clothes and you're ready to go. This doesn't hurt its overall ease of use, though -- the 25132 is about as simple as it gets (especially for the price).

Here's a comparison chart outlining the 25132's specs versus other models we've tested in the same general price range:

Comparing washing machines

Kenmore 25132 Kenmore 26132 Kenmore 22352 GE GTW485ASJWS GE GTW810SSJWS
Price $600 $830 $720 $650 $900
Color finish White White White White White, Metallic (for $1,000)
Capacity 4.3 cubic feet 4.8 cubic feet 4.2 cubic feet 4.2 cubic feet 5.1 cubic feet
# of cycles 12 11 12 13 13
Energy consumption 300 kWh/year 169 kWh/year 238 kWh/year 152 kWh/year 152 kWh/year
Dimensions (width, height, depth) 27.5 x 36.8 x 27.8 inches 27.5 x 37 x 27.9 inches 27.5 x 37 x 28 inches 27 x 44 x 27 inches 28 x 44.5 x 29 inches
Warranty 1 year, limited 1 year, limited 1 year, limited 1 year, limited 1 year, limited
Voltage rating 120V; 60Hz 120V; 60Hz 120V; 60Hz 120V; 60Hz 120V; 60Hz
App No No No No Yes, Android and iPhone

One main thing stands out in this chart. The 25132 has a smaller internal bin capacity than some of its competition. At just 4.3 cubic feet, it won't be able to hold as much as the $830 4.8-cubic-foot Kenmore 26132 or the $900 5.1-cubic-foot GE GTW810SSJWS.

Less expensive top-loaders often rely on plastic rods called agitators inside the washer bin to help clean your clothes. Since this takes up bin real estate, the cubic-foot capacity suffers. But the 25132 doesn't have an agitator. Instead, it relies on a cylinder that lives at the bottom of the washer bin called an impeller.

Not only do impellers take up less space than agitators, they're also typically gentler on clothes. But even with an impeller, the 25132 is a smaller washer. A typical 8-pound load of laundry should still (mostly) fit inside, though.

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