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What Cleans Better? Washers with an Agitator vs No Agitator

Keith is here today to show you the difference between a washer that has an agitator and one that has a pulsator or an impeller.

An agitator is what are in older machines, mostly found in top-load washers. They are in the middle of the drum and turn. This allows your clothes to move through the water against each other to get the clothes clean. This method is more aggressive and is better for more dirty clothes.


A pulsator is a newer technology that does not have anything sticking out in the middle of the drum. Instead, in the middle of the drum is a wheel that moves the water. This allows your clothes to rub against each other to get them clean. The method uses friction between the clothes to get them clean. This method is more gentle on your clothes and is better for lighter fabrics. With a pulsator, it will not get stretched out like it would getting caught with an agitator. Without something in the middle of the drum, there is actually more room for your clothes.


The pulsator technology came from the front load washer. Front load washers do not have an agitator either and tumble clothes over each other. The manufacturers took this technology and applied it to the top load washers to improve the machine.


When looking for appliances in your next apartment or condo building, you will have to decide between an agitator or a pulsator washer. We hope that this will help you decide which one might be better for your units.