New Samsung washer has a built-in sink

Everything old is new again with Samsung's HE top-loader

Published: June 24, 2015 02:30 PM

The washboard is back. Open the lid of some new Samsung high-efficiency top-loaders and you’ll see a water jet and a built-in sink with ridges—a modern take on the washboard—that enable you to handwash and soak stained clothes before they go into the washer. Consumer Reports tested two Samsung top-loaders with this Activewash feature and here’s what we found.

Soaking a shirt or blouse helps to remove stains, and so do the ridges on the Samsung’s built-in sink since they provide the necessary agitation. “Use the sink to work detergent or a pre-treat into grubby spots or stains. It’s a jump start at removing the stain,” says Pat Slaven, Consumer Reports’ textile expert. “You don’t have to be too aggressive because the item will go into the washer, and be careful with delicates, including loosely woven lace items.” Samsung’s manual warns that only clothes can be prewashed in the built-in sink and goes on to say, “Other items such as shoes, food, or animals can not be used for prewash.” Good to know.  

Samsung WA52J8700AP

Our test results

We tested the Samsung WA52J8700AP, $1,000, and the Samsung WA48J7700AW, $810. These are high-efficiency (HE) top-loaders so they don’t have an agitator and can hold more laundry than most conventional top-loaders. And they use less water and extract more of it so dryer time is shortened. Both washers were very good overall, delivering impressive cleaning and energy efficiency and superb water efficiency. These washers are relatively quiet but weren’t so gentle on fabrics, although that’s true of most HE top-loaders we’ve tested.

Wash time, using the normal wash on heavy-soil setting, was 75 minutes. You can shave off 15 minutes by using the normal-soil setting, and use the Super Speed option on the Samsung WA52J8700AP to save about 15 to 20 minutes. We tried it in past tests and it didn’t affect cleaning.This washer scored higher than its mate and is a top pick. It has a jumbo capacity and held about 26 pounds of our laundry, another way to save time by doing more laundry at once.

Shopping for a washer?

See our washing machine Ratings of front-loaders, HE top-loaders, and agitator washers. But first take a look at the washing machine buying guide to learn the advantages of each type. The brand reliability shows brands that are the least repair prone, and you can narrow your choices with the product selector. Any questions? E-mail me at

Kimberly Janeway

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