The automatic washing machine has long passed from the category of luxury goods to the category of necessary devices, along with a TV or electric stove.
High demand gives rise to a corresponding supply: you have to choose among two dozen manufacturers, each of which produces more than a dozen different models. The question arises: how to choose a washing machine and not get confused in this variety?
Place of installation
The choice of a washing machine should start with determining the place where it will be installed. Usually it is a bathroom or a kitchen (less often a corridor). Unfortunately, neither of these places can be called successful. The bathroom is too humid (bad for sophisticated equipment), and the kitchen is not the best place to use detergent.
But the proximity to the water supply and the inability to allocate a special room for washing does not leave these two parts of the apartment with alternatives.
For many, the noise generated by the washing machine during operation may be an important factor. As a reminder, a washing program can last for several hours. In this case, it is worth placing the washing machine in the bathroom (it is usually locked) or choosing a silent model.
Dimensions and loading volume
If you decide to wash in a standard bathroom measuring 1.7×1.7 meters or even less, then you should choose a small washing machine. But keep in mind: miniaturization increases the price while decreasing the reliability (this is the price to pay for the complication of the device).
Small dimensions impose restrictions on the amount of laundry that can be washed in one go (drum capacity). However, experience shows that for small families of up to three people, a washing machine with a maximum load of 3 kg is sufficient.
Manufacturers such as Electrolux or Samsung are famous for small-sized models. Washing machines with a load of more than 6 kg are necessary for families of at least seven people.
Front or vertical loading
Front loading washing machines (windowed door on the side) are good for kitchen installations. The top surface can be used as a worktop: it is usually sized to match the standard dimensions of kitchen furniture.
Vertical loading allows you to add laundry at any time of the wash (unless, of course, this is not prevented by the excessively smart electronic filling) and use any detergent (and not just those intended for washing in automatic washing machines). True, you will lose the pleasure of watching the washing process through the window in the side door.
Manufacturers offer proprietary technologies with trendy, sonorous names and promise miracles of washing, saving electricity and water, not to mention speed of the process. Studying the brochures of manufacturers, one should not forget about the main thing: the machine, first of all, must wash well! Therefore, you can safely skip the descriptions of the tricks of the washing technology and, first of all, look at what class of washing this or that washing machine provides.
Classes are designated by Latin letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G in decreasing order of quality. These are quite objective indicators, determined when comparing the washing efficiency of this washing machine with the reference professional washing machine Bosch. The whole process is extremely standardized, the quality of washing is determined with the help of instruments (the quality of washing of neighboring classes is not discernible by eye). So this indicator can be trusted.
Manufacturers pay a lot of attention to the economy of their products. This is important for Europe, but in India conditions it is customary to save only washing powder and your time.
And saving water can lead to the fact that the laundry smells like detergent after washing. Therefore, the class of energy efficiency when choosing a washing machine in our conditions should be given much importance. Excessive consumption of water and electricity will affect the family budget.
Nevertheless, it is pleasant to know that you are the owner of a unit with the Fuzzy Logic system, which automatically controls the washing process depending on the type and amount of laundry.
Spin and dry
When choosing a washing machine, you should not forget such important parameters as the maximum number of revolutions, spin speed or spin class. A low speed of about 400 rpm is not enough for a high-quality spin, the laundry after the washing machine is so damp that it can often be wrung out again with your hands.
Starting from 500 rpm, this is already difficult. Spin speeds of 600 rpm or more are usually sufficient. And therefore, as modern units rarely have a speed of less than 800 rpm, you cannot focus too much on spinning when choosing a washing machine.
The presence of drying does not hurt, however, this function usually makes the washing machine significantly more expensive. It is also not worth getting too carried away with drying: dry linen is difficult to iron, and drying is often not reflected in the best way on the service life of clothes.
Modern automatic washing machines, as a rule, are equipped with a sufficient number of washing programs for all occasions. Often there are even more programs than needed, which only complicates the operation of the “fancy” device. However, you can pay attention to some additional functions:
- soaking (laundry can stay in water with detergent for about 2 hours),
- prewash (for heavily soiled laundry),
- quick wash (saves time when washing lightly soiled laundry),
- intensive wash (to remove stains),
- delicate washing (for example, for washing wool products),
- bio-phase (for washing with powders with bio-additives at low temperatures),
- the function of an additional rinse or raising the water level will help allergy sufferers.
A few more recommendations
Unfortunately, in many cities the water hardness exceeds the standard for Europe. In such cases, limescale deposits can form on the heating elements of the washing machine. Therefore, for durability, choose washing machines that connect not only to cold, but also to hot water. However, keep in mind that hot water is turned off for twenty days a year. Hard water is especially contraindicated in bubble-type washing machines. It does not foam well and can negate the benefits of advanced technology.
Warranty of washing machine
An important quality of the washing machine is reliability. The problem is that you can only determine exactly how long a particular washing machine will last by purchasing it. It is worth, of course, to pay attention to the country of assembly (the same models of washing machines can be assembled in different countries). It is good if the assembly was done manually, and not on an automatic line. But the easiest way to guide the purchase is the maximum warranty period.
You need to pay attention to the availability of spare parts and service centers: the more common the model, the less problems with repairs will arise. If repair is possible only in a single company workshop, then it will most likely be easier and cheaper to buy a new washing machine than to repair an old one.
The final touch: having decided on the choice of model and store, do not forget to inquire about the delivery terms – most washing machines cannot be brought home in the trunk of your own car. It is advisable to choose a washing machine in a store with free home delivery.
Choose high-quality appliances and enjoy the washing!