The Kenmore Elite 31633 is a large-capacity top-load washer that works well for big families. It includes 10 wash cycles, five soil levels and several wash-and-rinse temperatures. This washer uses less water than most agitator-type machines, so it costs less, on average, to operate each year. The matching dryer, the Kenmore 61633, has a 9.2-cubic-foot capacity. It uses SmartDry Ultra technology that adjusts temperatures to prevent overdrying. If you need a more compact washer, consider the GE GTW330ASKWW.

This top-load washer is Energy Star certified but is not the most efficient washer out there. Still, considering its huge 6.2-cubic-foot capacity, its efficiency isn’t bad either. This Kenmore top-loader uses 290 kilowatt hours of energy each year, which equates to $43 annually. When you include the yearly cost of water, it bumps up the total to $43 annually to operate, depending on how much laundry you do and how often.

This top-load washing machine uses Quad Action Impeller technology, which uses power spray jets and impeller motion to keep your clothing moving as it cleans to remove deep dirt. It also has a direct drive motor to reduce noisy vibrations. Another innovative feature is one called Acella Wash, which lets you wash large loads in faster-than-average time using a unique wash motion sequence. That makes this washer a good choice for people with big families who want to do a lot of wash quickly.

You get the standard wash cycles with this washer, like heavy duty, normal, bulky bedding and white as well as some less common ones like a sanitize cycle that includes Oxi gel and steam to give it additional cleaning power. This washer uses high-efficiency detergent that is dispersed throughout the cycle from the dispenser. The Oxi and steam are also dispersed throughout the cycle.

You get several wash cycles that you would expect on a washing machine like this, such as normal, whites, delicates, heavy duty and express. You can also choose to do a deep wash, which deposits extra water into the washtub when you need it. Though there aren’t many specialty cycles, you get the clean-washer cycle, which helps keep your washtub free of soap scum and any odor-causing bacteria.

The warranty for the Kenmore Elite is on the low end when compared with other top-load washers out there. You get a standard limited one-year warranty that covers the entire unit, while other washers – mostly the high-efficiency top-load washing machines on our lineup – include separate warranties for the motor and wash drum. Kenmore makes it easy to contact support personnel if you have a question, though. You can call, email or talk to a customer service representative via live chat on the Sears website. Also on the manufacturer’s website are FAQs and the user manual.

The smaller washtub on this Kenmore washing machine means you may be doing laundry more often than you would like, but this top-load washer is more economical than others in the traditional washing machine category.

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