I routinely forget to transfer my just-washed clothes to the dryer. As a result, I end up with a still-damp wrinkled mass. They're better off than when they were crumpled in my laundry hamper -- but they aren't exactly clean.
Maytag's $1,349 MHW8200FC front-load washing machine is for forgetful folks just like me. Its optional Fresh Hold setting will fan and tumble your clothes for hours after the cleaning cycle ends to keep them "fresh" -- or at least, not completely disgusting. The MHW8200FC even has a dedicated "Overnight Wash & Dry" cycle that automatically enlists the Fresh Hold feature for up to 12 hours, literally drying small loads of laundry while you snooze.
While I love these features, the MHW8200FC's plain ol' normal cycle was only so-so at removing stains. Given its high price, this model won't be worth it for most. Still, it isn't a bad choice if you too find its Fresh Hold option appealing.
At a glance, Maytag's MHW8200FC doesn't look that promising. It has a smaller capacity and fewer cleaning cycles than Kenmore's $1,650 41072 and Samsung's $1,499 AddWash WF50K7500AV. In fact, it's closer in specs to the less expensive $1,099 Electrolux EFLS617S. So why does this thing cost $1,349?
|Maytag MHW8200FC||Kenmore 41072||Samsung AddWash WF50K7500AV||Electrolux EFLS617S|
|Color finish||Metallic slate, white ($1,249)||White, metallic silver (for $1,750)||Black stainless steel, white (for $1,399)||White, titanium (for $1,199)|
|Capacity||4.5 cubic feet||5.2 cubic feet||5 cubic feet||4.4 cubic feet|
|Energy consumption||118 kWh/year||102 kWh/year||105 kWh/year||85 kWh/year|
|# of cycles||11||14||14||9|
|Dimensions (width, height, depth)||27x39.75x32.9 inches||29x40.8x33.9 inches||27x38.75x34 inches||27x38x31.5 inches|
|App||No||No||Yes, Android and iPhone||No|
The MHW8200FC has quite a few special features in addition to Fresh Hold and the Overnight Wash & Dry cycle I mentioned earlier. Its "metallic gray" color is more glossy than metallic, but certainly looks like a luxury upgrade over Maytag's otherwise-identical white MHW8200FW (which retails for $1,249). It also has a steam setting, a customizable auto-dispensing liquid detergent reservoir, an LED drum light and a 3-hour PowerWash cycle designed to tackle the toughest stains.
While we didn't conduct any formal, data-driven tests for these various options, I tried 'em out and they all worked quite well. The auto-dispensing reservoir dished out portioned liquid detergent (you can set the amount of soap you want it to dispense on the control panel). The 3-hour PowerWash cycle did a great job cleaning up some dirty dish towels -- and the Overnight Wash & Dry cycle periodically tumbled those same towels until they were mostly dry.
Note: Maytag stipulates that you should put a maximum of four items in the Overnight Wash & Dry cycle. A larger load likely won't get fully dry. Suggestions include gym clothes and other items with synthetic fibers.
The graphic below shows the Maytag MHW8200FC's stain removal scores compared to other high-end/highly rated front-loaders we've tested.
If you're curious how we get these results, please take a look at this explainer article (or watch the "How we test washing machines" video embedded above).
In short, the MHW8200FC got a worse overall stain removal score than any of the other three competing washers using the normal cycle. The percentages might look misleading, but those are actually the percentage of skin oil (sebum), mineral oil (carbon), pig's blood, cocoa (a mixture of chocolate and milk) and aged red wine remaining after a single cleaning cycle. So the higher the percentage, the more the stain strip is still saturated with a stain post-wash.
Overall, the MHW8200FC got a stain removal score of 49 percent stains remaining. This isn't bad; we've had models score in the 50s. It also isn't great, especially if you're paying $1,349.
Maytag's MHW8200FC was fairly gentle on clothes, though. To test this, we count the number of frayed threads that appear on thin fabric squares after a single normal cleaning cycle. This washer had 255. It sounds high, but Samsung's AddWash had 294 and Electrolux's EFLS617S had 295. Only the Kenmore 41072 was slightly lower than Maytag, with 253.
Maytag's $1,349 front-load MHW8200FC washing machine is pretty solid, even considering its average stain removal score. That's mainly because of the various specialty cycles and settings you can enlist to help make the chore of laundry a bit less tedious.
I particularly like its Fresh Hold and Overnight Wash & Dry cycle. But its auto-dispensing reservoir, steam function and 3-hour PowerWash option also add value. If this model had a slightly better stain removal score, it would be easy to recommend.
As it is, it really depends on how often you run badly stained items through a normal cycle versus the bonus features this washer offers. If the former matters more to you, look elsewhere -- particularly to the Electrolux EFLS617S. It has the best stain removal score of any front-load washer we've tested so far.