Whirlpool WFW97HEXL (or WFW97HEXW or WFW97HEXR) Front Load Washer Review and Manuals

The Whirlpool Front-load Washer 97 High Efficiency eXtra-large or (WFW97HEX) is the best in a series of 2011-2012 washers from Whirlpool because of the following major features.

  • Major Energy Savings
  • 4.3 cu. ft. size
  • NSF Certified
  • Ultra-Precision Dispenser
  • 26 Different Cycles
  • Quiet and Intuitive Design


It meets the highest energy standards (CEE Tier III) reducing the long-term cost of ownership up-front (energy star rebates) and in the long-run (water and  energy savings of over $2000 over 11 years compared to pre-2004 top-load washer) making it better for the wallet and the environment.

Energy Guide for Whirlpool Washer WFW97HEX (2007 data)

For energy intensive loads (Bulky items, Heavy Duty, Whites), the ECOBOOST option (pic of EcoBoost button) uses even less energy by lowering the water temperature and extending the tumble action. The DELAY WASH feature allows the washer to operate when energy prices are lowest (i.e., overnight, weekends, and holidays). The direct-drive motor improves the efficiency of the dryer. It has fewer moving parts and allows the washer to spin faster (maximum spin speed of 1400 RPM’s) than most other washers (traditional top-load ~600 RPM’s) so that your clothes come out more dry, a big energy saving feature.


The extra-large 4.3 cubic foot stainless steel drum can clean 20 pairs of jeans or about 30 pounds of dirty laundry resulting in fewer loads per week.

6th Sense™ Care Control regulates the amount of water used by determining the weight of the load. If the load is heavy, more water will be added. It also regulates the mix of incoming hot and cold water, ensuring a consistent temperature for every wash, whether it’s a freezing winter or a scorching summer.


This machine is a certified Sanitizing & Allergen (NSF certified) reducing washer, mainly due to an internal water heater that can raise the temperature of the wash to over 131 degrees Fahrenheit. This acts to  “reduce 99.9% of microorganisms” and remove “at least 95 percent of household dust mite allergens and pet dander”.

Every Allergen certified washer must, “be easily cleanable, corrosion resistant and designed to avoid accumulation of dirt and debris”. A cup of chlorine bleach or a tablet of Affresh used with the “Clean Washer” cycle removes soap residue and any mildew that may build up overtime. Every front-load washer today has a rubber gasket that should  be occasionally cleaned to prevent mildew buildup. The stainless steel drum resists rust. Every Whirlpool washer in this series includes the “FanFresh™” feature designed to keep clothes fresh, remove moisture, and even dry small loads overnight by periodically tumbling and drying with an internal fan. Also, HE detergent and proper drain installation are  required to prevent moisture and residue buildup.


At the appropriate time, the dispenser compartment automatically dilutes and dispenses the detergent (during the wash), fabric softener (use only liquid during the last rinseI), or chlorine bleach  (during the first rinse cycle) into the washer drum. Do NOT overdose the HE detergent as this may cause over sudsing, left-over residue, and possible malfunction.

The dispenser has a special cartridge that can hold enough typical liquid HE detergent to last about 12 loads. (If you buy the 6X detergent, it will last the advertised 36 loads!). Just add the detergent, select Precision Dispense, and pick the correct detergent concentration and water hardness. If you use powder detergent, remove the cartridge and add powder, but if you use the “Delay Wash” feature, you should use the liquid HE detergent in the cartridge to prevent premature seepage .


All the standard cycles are on the center dial. Here is a brief overview that will help optimize wash times and fabric care.

The Handwash cycle alternates between low-speed tumbling and soaking, to clean fabrics that are labeled “handwash”  like undergarments and silks.

The Delicate cycle is designed for sheer fabrics and lingerie, by combining gentle tumbling with a slow spin speed.
And the Quick Wash cycle is for lightly-soiled, small loads (3-4 items) that are needed right away (about 20 minutes).

For the best energy performance, the Normal cycle is ideal for lighter fabrics (cottons, linens, blends, synthetics).

The Bulky cycle is designed for large, thick items (sleeping bags, pile jackets) because it begins with a soak that saturates the fabric.

For people with allergies, the Allergen cycle uses a hot wash, fast tumbling, and a high spin speed to remove pet dander and dust mites from bedding and clothing.

The Heavy Duty cycle should be used for sturdy, colorfast fabrics (color dyes that don’t bleed) and really dirty clothes (dirty work clothes, towels).

A special cycle for Whites is designed to work best with chlorine bleach by using a hot wash and an extra rinse to remove residue.

The Jeans cycle  uses slow tumbling, more water, and medium spin speeds to reduce tangling, and prevent fading.

The Specialty Cycles menu adds many options for cleaning particular things like:

  • Blankets: Cotton, Synthetic, Comforter;
  • Pillows: Feather, Fiberfill, Decorative;
  • Sheets: Cotton, Synthetics;
  • Wool Sweaters;
  • Kidswear;
  • Sportswear: cotton, performance;
  • Intimates;
  • Business Wear.

And the My Cycle option can be used to create up to 7 of your own custom cycles.

You can also add a Pre-Wash (8 min.) Pre-Soak (27 min), Deep Clean (27 min), or Extra Rinse (12.75 min) to most of the cycles. The Deep Clean option uses steam to penetrate fabrics and remove organic stains more thoroughly.


The most attractive design feature is the full-color widescreen LCD display where you get specific information about each cycle or you can just save this video and watch it again later.

The Stain Assist feature gives you specific, relevant information on how-to remove about 40 different types of stains.


If you like using Oxi products or color-safe bleach, add it to the drum  before loading the clothes. Then add your other cleaning agents to the dispenser and, of course, your dirty clothes.

If you forget to add something, press the PAUSE to stop the washer and unlock the door , add your stuff, then press START to resume.

The six-point suspension system will reduce the initial vibrations as the washer picks up speed.

For washers going into the living space of a home, this machine uses an accelerometer to detect and correct imbalances and dual ball-balancing rings to reduce noise and limit shaking. Also, the washer drum is coated with sound-reducing material, making the machine an ideal choice for the kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom.


You can stack the units (with the stacking kit) or set them up side-by-side (pedestals sold separately). The washer door always swings to the left, but the dryer door can be reversed. The feet should be adjusted to level the machine. You also need a hot water and a cold water supply as well as a drain set at the proper height (above 36 in.)  to prevent moisture buildup.

Use and Care Guide for Washer WFW97HEX

Installation Instructions for Washer WFW97HEX

Dimension Guide for Washer WFW97HEX



Use and Care for Gas Dryer WGD97HEX

Installation Instructions for Gas Dryer WGD97HEX

Dimension Guide for Whirlpool Gas Dryers WGD97HEX

Ventilation Specification for Gas Dryers  WGD97HEX


Use and Care for Electric Dryer WED97HEX

Installation Instructions for Electric Dryer WED97HEX

Dimension Guide for Electric Dryer WED97HEX

Ventilation Specification for Electric Dryer WED97HEX


  1. Energy Savings
  2. 4.3 cu. ft. size
  3. NSF Certified (Steam & Allergen)
  4. Ultra Precision Dispenser
  5. Special Cycles
  6. Quiet and Intuitive Design

This washer saves a ton of energy, cleans huge loads of laundry, sanitizes clothes, removes allergens, ensures correct dispensation of cleaning agents, offers many specialty cycles, and makes laundry less of a chore.

Warranty for Whirlpool Appliances