The SECRET Fact That No one Told Us: Maytag Neptune 5500 Front Load Washer
Sep 9, 2006
Pros: CLEANS BEAUTIFULLY, touch panel, timer shows time, easy to use, no mildew for us
Cons: they still don't tell you to only use a TINY bit of detergent
The Bottom Line: The best kept secret from Maytag led to us having to get another Neptune far before its time, but now YOU can know that secret and save $!
I have had a Maytag Neptune Front Load washer since they first came out at the turn of the century. Had I known what I am about to tell you, I would still have that same washing machine.
The first Neptune Front Load Washer from Maytag was known as original Neptune Front Loader (I think the orginal number was 3000)- it was the only Maytag Neptune on the market at the time and one of the very first domestic front loaders to be mainstreamed in the US.
We loved that washer. Yes, there were a few problems with it, but still, despite it all, we LOVED that washer. It did MORE clothes in one wash with so much less hassle than the top loader.
We used less water.
Our clothes were very clean.
The Max Extract made drying time go WAY down in the winter or when hanging in the summer.
So, WHY did we have to get another washer? Well, because, what I am about to tell you is worth a thousand times more than the time it will take you to read this review.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
Back when I first had the Maytag, the general consensus was that you were only supposed to use HE detergents with it. Well, that was fine in certain cities where it was available. In our area, it was virtually non-existent!
HE detergent is the low sudsing detergent, for any front loading newbies out there. :D
Well, we were told by the Maytag people that we could use HALF the regular amount of detergent with no problem and be fine. Only once was I told that we really should use a lot LESS than half because it made the clothes cleaner. Well, our clothes looked great, so we assumed that we were using the right amount.
Well, had someone told us that if we used more than 1 TABLESPOON OF REGULAR DETERGENT OR OUR WASHING MACHINE WOULD BE RUINED WHEN IT ATE AWAY AT THE BEARINGS- then we would have approached this completely differently.
The problem is that not even the best Maytag repairman (who is an absolute wiz by the way) was aware of the problem until it was too late for most of us unfortunate users of the Maytag Neptune washers.
ENTER THE NEW MAYTAG NEPTUNE 5500
Okay, so when our Maytag Neptune started making banging noises now and then, one of the repairmen on the contract told us that it would be fine over time and that NONE of the Maytags had problems so not to worry.
Well, our favorite repairman was not on the Maytag repair plan that we had, but when he had to come fix our refrigerator, I asked him about the washer. He got that wry grin on his face, coupled with worry and said, "Yep, I bet they told you to use half of the regular detergent in this didn't they"
We nodded and he proceeded to tell us that had Maytag thought to tell people that they should only be using 1 TABLESPOON OF REGULAR DETERGENT FOR REGULAR LOADS and 2TABLESPOONS OF REGULAR DETERGENT FOR HEAVILY SOILED LOADS, that our orginal machine would be just fine. The excess suds eats away at the bearings over time and then it costs like $600 to fix best case scenario. He told us to keep using it until it got too bad, and then he was now selling Maytags so we could buy one from him.
So, we waited until they had a 2 year no interest offer, and when our machine was getting really bad, we traded it in for the newer 5500 model.
Our wonderful repairman, who is brutally honest told us that all of the bells and whistles on the higher level machines were just something later that could go wrong. He told us that the 5500 was just like the older model we had minus a few features.
We got an excellent price on it, and because our repairman was so upset at the new regulations that allow major appliance companies to only offer a year warranty on anything- including washers, he offered us a 5 year warranty AT HIS PRICE.
It was an excellent deal.
WHAT IS THE NEPTUNE 5500 LIKE?
Before I tell you what it is like for us, let me take a moment to list the features of the 5500 as listed on the Maytag web site.
Heavy-duty motor - infinite-speed motor has no brushes to wear out
Precision endurance drive - self-adjusts speed to adapt to every installation
Porcelain-enamel top - resists chips, scratches and harsh laundry chemicals
Easy-to-use LED touchpad controls
Adjustable end-of-cycle chime
Time remaining indicator - tells you when cycle will end
Refined lines and exclusive contoured front panel
Extra-large door opening - makes loading and unloading a breeze
Capacity - wash fewer loads and clean big, bulky items like bedspreads and rugs
Automatic detergent, bleach & fabric softener dispenser - dispenses at right time
Waterfall baffles - shower water onto laundry for optimum cleaning action
No agitator - TurboClean system continually turns laundry over to remove stains
Larger capacity means fewer loads
Premium stainless steel wash basket - tilted up for a better view into the washer
Care - No-agitator design means less wear and tear, so your clothes look newer longer
Cleaning - removes tough stains like grass, blood and chocolate
Conservation - saves up to $150 per year in water and energy*- the washer that can pay for itself!
EQ Plus sound-silencing system for extra-quiet performance
ENERGY STAR® model - exceeds federal energy-efficiency standards
Rated #1 in a leading consumer publication
9-hour delay wash
Infinite wash/spin-speed combinations
Max Extract Spin option - removes more water from loads like jeans and towels
Extra Rinse and Warm Rinse options
Four water wash/rinse temperature selections
Stain, Presoak and Quick cycles
Cotton Sturdy, Wrinkle-Free, Delicates and Handwashables cycles
IntelliFill - automatically sets water level depending on amount of clothing
If you would like further information on this model, you can find the manual and specs at this location.....(cut and paste the following address into your browser's address line)
I have to say, now that we are aware of the REAL ability to use the regular detergent, but remember, only a TABLESPOON OR TWO FOR HEAVILY SOILED LOADS, the machine runs great. The clothes ARE cleaner, and we are saving money on detergent as well.
The only thing that I do NOT like about this machine, compared to the other one, is that for some reason, certain people who did not want to be bothered with simple problem solving techniques could not figure out that if they wanted to leave the door open to air out the washer, that all they needed to do was remove the bulb.
I preferred the light that was in the original model. On this model, it was removed. I mean, they COULD have simply put and on off switch on it for those people who prefer to keep the door open when not in use.......
The machine will turn itself on with the LED touch panel when you open the washer, but it will shut off after a few minutes if you do not press any buttons. That way the machine can air out if you want it to- preventing mildew or dank odors.
Another difference is the dial in the original vs, the push buttons on the touch panel. At first I did not like this, but now I am used to it. I appreciate being able to use the machine and zero right in on the target, rather than having to go around a dial all of the time.
The alert signal is kind of quiet, so if you have it in the basement, don't bother.
BREAKDOWN OF LIKES AND DISLIKES
LIKE Time shows on the screen nice and big so you know exactly how much time the entire cycle will take
Nice white interior
Every button clearly labeled
Easy to clean.
Dispenser is on top of the machine for detergent and clearly divided.
It saves on the septic system by using less water.
Does a beautiful job with delicates.
Great rinse cycle.
Max extract makes drying time a lot lower.
Compact compared to the older model by just a bit.
Can leave door open to air out of desired.
They still don't tell you that you can use regular detergent in tiny amounts.
Alert signal is weak
I WANT MY LIGHT BACK! I really miss it.
The pause button is the same as the start button, so if you want to unlock the machine, you have to press the start AGAIN, but I usually end up pressing the stop by accident and have to set the cycle all up again.
US MADE (not Korean like the newer Maytag machines are)
We love this machine. It is every bit as nice as the original except for a few tiny minor things that really don't matter.
The use of tiny bits of detergent makes our clothes beautifully clean now even though they seemed clean before.
Our repairman was right- it is just like our other machine, except better. Hopefully it will last a lot longer than the 6 years that our original machine lasted. Had we known about the detergent amounts, I know that it would have lasted a lot longer.
Oh, and as for the HE detergents.....they are very expensive and you have to use larger amounts of them to get the clothes clean. We prefer the regular detergent in minute amounts- it saves a lot more money and works just fine.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Here is the link again in case you missed it earlier....(cut and paste into your browser's address line)
IMPORTANT UPDATE NOTE REGARDING THE MILDEW PROBLEM THAT SOME HAVE WITH THE NEPTUNE I wanted to add a little blurb about the mildew problem that many have complained about with the Neptune. Never in the entire time did we have a problem with mold or mildew with the Neptune the first 6-7 years we had one. We did have to have the computer panel replaced as well as the door lock, even though it was not a problem, they fixed it for free so that it would not become one.
I never left the door open on our first machine either. I am VERY sensitive to mold and mildew and I kept trying to see what the big fuss was about, but we never had the problem with our machine, and it is in a basement too!
We have had this new Neptune machine for quite a few months and do not have a mold problem with this machine at all either.
We were told to run some dishwashing detergent through it once in a while if we did, but it never seemed necesssary. Sometimes I leave the door open to air it out and other times I forget.
Still no problem.
I just wanted to let you all know that, for whatever it is worth. I will update if anything changes or if we need more repairs in the future. But that is why we made sure to get the warranty plan from our repair guy.
Amount Paid (US$): 699
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About the reviewer
Capri G (Caprig)
I am a woman of many hats. I am an artist with makeup and other media. I am a clothing designer. I have such a huge list of things that I like to do that sometimes … more
This washer, the MAH500B, like the other washers in the Neptune line, is a front-load design without an agitator. The result is less wear and tear on clothing and improved cleaning and stain removal. This machine also offers remarkable energy and water savings and meets or exceeds the recent federal Energy Star® guidelines for efficiency. The Neptune boasts an automatic detergent dispenser and a bleach dispenser, ensuring that these additives enter the cycle at the optimum time. It has a large tub that can handle the cleaning of bulky items such as bedspreads and rugs. The tremendous variety of cycles ensures that this unit can handle almost any job. Of the many features included is an automatic water level selector, which saves energy by matching the amount of water to the load size. Additional workhorse features include an infinite-speed motor and infinite-speed combinations. The durable stainless-steel washtub will last a lifetime and will cut down on pilling the surfaces of garments.