Top-loading models look like conventional machines from the outside, but these ENERGY STAR qualified washers use different types of washing action to get clothes clean with less water and energy. Many have sensors to monitor incoming water temperature closely. They also rinse clothes with repeated high-pressure spraying instead of soaking them in a full tub of water.
Front-loading models are similar to machines used in laundromats. They use a horizontal or tumble-axis basket to lift and drop clothing into the water instead of rubbing clothes around a central agitator. Both top-loading and front-loading ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers save water and energy. They also use faster spin speeds to extract more water from clothes, reducing dryer time and energy use.
For both models, check to see if you need to use special detergent. Low-water washers use special low-suds detergent for best results. Ask your sales representative for recommendations on detergent use.