New or Used Washer/ Dryer?

I’m getting ready to start hosting. My space is my former grandparents home with lots of vintage/ retro stuff. The dryer just broke. I can pay $200+ to fix it, or I’m considering replacing the 25-30 year old washer and dryer. I will be a remote host, and my co-hosts will be turning over the house and doing laundry (for up to 8-10 guests).

Should I…

a) buy a new basic washer/dryer set with a warranty from Sears for about $1,000
b) repair the old dryer and keep using it
c) buy a used front loader/ newer washer/dryer set with no warranty and have it installed?

I’m concerned about having the old washer break down or not be reliable for guests, but I’m also concerned about guests damaging something if I invest in a new one.
What would you do?

Get a new washer/dryer – a top load washer without the agitator holds MUCH more laundry. You can get better deals at Home Depot than Sears. Then put the new units off limits to guests. Most short term guests don’t need/want to do laundry.

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Thanks Ken–I appreciate your response. For my large house in a suburban area (with a pool/ hot tub), I think having the laundry off limits isn’t practical. Also doesn’t fit with the layout of the house.I’m leaning towards buying a new set from Sears (and I’m checking Home Depot too). I have a large capacity top loader at my house without agitator, and it’s been great.

No question, buy a new one. They come with a warranty.

I don’t really understand what a guest could damage on a washer and/or dryer. That said, they never cease to amaze me.

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Assuming that you are in the US, buy new. You get a great tax credit if you buy an Energy Saver model, and they will take the old one away at no charge [well, in MA they do] so you can buy from one of the online retailers. Places like AJMadison and Plessers are significantly less expensive and offer free shipping and installation.


Buy a new washing machine,and a good make,with a decent warranty, like Bosch or Miele. That number of guests needs more of an industrial set up, particularly if you have speedy turnovers. I used to manage residential care homes in another life, for 6-10 people and would only ever go for Miele industrial. I would never choose a combined washer/dryer; they cost an arm and a leg to run, and never dry stuff well. In the UK/Europe, there is a much cheaper make of tumble dryer by Beko which are really energy efficient.


I agree with your thought to buy something basic. If is different from their machine at home or one they’ve used before and the more complicated the machine, the more apt someone is to misuse it.

17 years ago, I bought the cheapest kenmore heavy duty top loader washer. It’s caused me no problems. Eight years ago, my sister spent a small fortune on fancy front loader machines, these have required several repairs.

Do you have a sears outlet in your area? I purchased a great Electrolux washer with minor cosmetic damage (lower left corner blemished & returned by a customer) for 60% off.

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Definitely buy new. Your old dryer most likely doesn’t have a dryness sensor, so your co-host will always be guessing when things are dry and probably overdry things (i.e., take more time) than necessary.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a full-on industrial model (depends on price and cycle time) but definitely buy the largest machines you can find.

Be aware that energy saving models may have longer wash and dry times, which is a killer if you want to do quick turnovers.

If you have natural gas, I highly recommend a gas dryer as the drying time is much faster!

We have natural gas in the UK on mains supply, have done for years, although I think it may, just may, be running out. Anyway, I’ve never heard of a gas powered dryer. Meantime, our Beko dryer has a built in sensor and behaves magnificently. I can wash in the Bosch, then dry a load, so long as only “used” rather than “soiled”, in an hour.

I bought a new Bosch front-loading laundry pair a few years ago. Guests kept using dryer sheets which was disastrous for the dryer - it kept blowing a part. It had about 8 service calls in 2 years. The technician recommended that I buy a cheap Kenmore which won’t have those issues. I bought a used dryer from Craigslist for $100 - that was about 5 years ago, and I’ve never had a problem with it.

(By the way, Bosch was good about returning the dryer even though it wasn’t new anymore because of the many problems.)

The Bosch washer is more reliable, but when I have needed repairs the parts are more expensive, likely because they are imported.

I bought used appliances for years to save money. I never had any problems with them and always got my money’s worth. You can always find someone who is moving or getting divorced or who has money to burn that is upgrading and you can get perfectly good almost new ones for a fraction of the price. The key is having a truck to move them in.

Two years ago I bought a new HE top loader and matching dryer even though my 20 year old ones were working fine. Waste of money. I wish I had my old ones back. All that said, if it’s a nice rental with new appliances then get a washer dryer to match the theme/decor don’t put used ones in it.


I just bought a minimally used Bosch dishwasher for $200, on a Craigslist type site in Canada, works like a dream. Now I see why people buy Bosch.


We don’t have top loaders in the UK because we tend to like the worktop above. However I have heard they are loads more reliable because they work with gravity.
Guests ruin washing machines by leaving coins etc. in pockets or putting underwire bras in loose, or simply blocking them with too much debris.
In the UK commercial laundries use gas tumble dryers because gas is a third of the cost of electricity. They have to be vented to an external wall like a boiler so are not common in homes. As I understand it electricity is cheaper in the States. I stand by my pulley airer! A great option if your utility etc has the ceiling height. I have seen options for turning laundry machines into coin operated for about £100.