Remember how I was doing a Happy Dance when I was chosen to be a Dependable Maytag Kitchen Mom?  My new kitchen appliances are making me very happy so far, and just when I thought I couldn’t have been honored more, I was chosen to be one of eight Maytag Mom’s with the opportunity to experience The Real Whirled for three days in Benton Harbor, Michigan.  Say what?

Yep, me and seven other amazing bloggers (and fellow Maytag Moms) got a deep dive into the entire line of Maytag brand home appliances, plus a behind-the-scenes look at the labs where the products are tested for their dependability.  This was our home for 3 fun and education-filled days:


The two-story house is actually a ‘training facility’ with 4 kitchens, 4 laundry rooms, 8 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms completely outfitted with Whirlpool / Maytag appliances.  Pretty sweet, no? 

Our first night, the awesome gals from Peppercom and Mom Central treated us to dinner a local fine dining restaurant, Bistro on the Boulevard:


I enjoyed delicious pan seared Skuna Bay Salmon with stir fried vegetables, Himalyan red rice and cilantro butter. Yum.  The dinner conversation flowed easily, and it was so much fun getting to know the other bloggers along with our Maytag and Peppercom ‘handlers’ (yes, I do watch too many CIA type shows, why do you ask?)

The next day our educational experience began at the Institute of Fabric Science:



So. Much. Testing.  You never think about the fact that they test everything – from how long buttons will last with repetitive pushing, to electronics, to hinges – absolutely everything to the smallest part.  Just to make sure your washer and dryer will last for years.  No wonder that poor Maytag Man was so bored and lonely.


We moved on to visit the Performance Cooking Lab to see how ovens are tested – and let me tell you, that was a delicious smelling lab.  There were too many proprietary things going on so we weren’t allowed to take pictures, but it was so interesting to see how they run the gamut with actually cooking cakes and cookies and everything else imaginable to make sure the oven cooks the way it’s supposed to – evenly and thoroughly.

Our tour guide actually had the name of Mrs. Cook – pretty cool, no?  She gave us quite the education of the entire stove – inside and out – then came over to our Real Whirled House to give us some hands-on pointers on cooking techniques and how to utilize the stove-top and oven effectively.  We split into two teams in two different kitchens to work our magic, my team was Team Hamburger:


We had so much fun cooking together – so much talent in one kitchen.  Mrs. Cook even had the full menu planned out, which consisted of:

  • Pasta with a Homemade Sauce
  • Focaccia Bread
  • Golden Cream of Potato Soup
  • Broiled Hamburgers
  • Sugar Cookies

We enjoyed eating dinner together, and conversation once again flowed freely and enhanced the overall fun.  After dinner we were educated on how easy it is to clean the kitchen, particularly when you’re talking about Maytag appliances – something I’ve learned with my new kitchen.

The dishwashers are made so efficiently that there is no rinsing required.  At all.  That’s proven to be a huge time saver for me in my own kitchen, and proved effective so we could continue to enjoy our evening without the typical drudgery of clean up. 

The next morning, our last day at the Real Whirled House, the inimitable Lucinda stopped by to show us proper dishwasher use.  Effective loading of the dishwasher is important if you want to make sure every dish is sparkling clean.  To that end, you’re saving energy (the self-induced kind as well as the electric kind) with an efficient dishwasher, so you need to be sure you’re also using the proper kind of dish detergent – don’t go cheap. 

It won’t break the bank to buy the ‘good’ stuff, so just do it.  Lucinda recommended the gel packs that have two different cleansing agents – that’s the kind I use, and they work great.  It’s also important to make sure you’re using a high quality rinsing agent – there’s a special compartment in the door for that – use it.  You’ll notice a huge difference not only on your dishes being more sparkly (and void of water spots), but the inside of the dishwasher will be cleaner, too.

We headed over to tour the dish labs and got to see them in action – they think of absolutely everything, right down to what kinds of foods will be left on dishes that need to be cleaned off.  It’s all very scientific:


Afterwards we headed over to a great place called the Pump House Grille for lunch:


I was so hungry I forgot to take pictures of my lunch before I inhaled it.  Trust me when I tell you the Pump House Burger was delicious.  After that we explored the local area which was beautiful:


After our fun exploration, we were whisked back to Chicago for our grand tour of the World of Whirlpool:



So many amazing things to see, with the impressive plethora of custom kitchens and appliances featuring all of Whirlpool’s brands.  The kitchens were dream kitchens – I made sure to make notes for my next house.  The World of Whirlpool is located in the heart of downtown Chicago, so the sights from the building itself were breathtaking:


The World of Whirlpool was the perfect grand finale of our Real Whirled trip, because it showcased everything they’ve worked hard to perfect and improve year after year – they’ve come a long way, and only get better.  Their never-ending dedication to quality and reliability ensures their customers will have the best appliances available – without worry.

Throughout the years of going on typical ‘business trips’, I have to say this was one of the best ones I’ve ever been on – largely in part by the organization and hospitality of both Peppercom and Mom Central.  They made sure we had everything we needed for our stay, went the extra mile and then some, and were so much fun to hang out with  It was fun to not only bond with them, but with the other Maytag Moms who are kindred spirits – and many of them will be lifelong friends in real life.

I was already sold on Maytag simply by virtue of the experience I’ve had thus far with my new kitchen appliances – but after this trip?  Even more so.  Seeing how much attention they pay to every minute detail in their design and testing phase – and the fact that the employees there are happy (and the ones that gave us our tour have been there for more than 20 years – that right there always says a lot about a company) shows in the pride of workmanship and quality of each and every one of their products.  I’m proud to be a Maytag Mom.

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I wrote this post participating in an Maytag Moms Ambassador program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Maytag. I was provided with a trip to the Real Whirled house to facilitate my post. All opinions are mine and not influenced by outside sources. See my Disclosure Policy here.


  1. So this is too interesting, and it’s right in my hometown. I had no idea. That one picture of the river and the bridges I use to walk across to and from work every day when I worked downtown at a law firm. It gets mighty cold down there in the winter time I tell you, but the sites you could see is amazing at times, and yet boggling in other places. Great job Stacy & you look marrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrvelous!

  2. what fun you had and though it looked a little cold out love the water shot. I love looking at new appliances so this was lots of fun to read thank you for sharing your trip.

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