Imagine that you have to dispense with a washing machine. How much free time do you have now? How many duties do you have now, presoaking clothes, squeezing them dry, hanging out the laundry? Scary?
Washing machines have become ingrained in our everyday lives for a very short period of time and nowadays every family has one. It really helps to save a lot of time and spend it doing more pleasant things.
But you also have to know that not every washing machine can make your life easier. It’s necessary to know what to look for in a washing machine to choose the perfect one, which may serve you for many years.
There are some criteria you must pay attention to, choosing a washing machine:
Criterion 1: The type of loading
There are two types:
- Front loading;
- Top (vertical) loading.
Front loading washer
The front one is more popular, and it’s no accident: the reason is that due to front loading, the top of the machine can serve as a shelf. Machines are usually in bathrooms, which do not always have much space, and that’s why it’s important to use every horizontal surface as a shelf where you can put all your necessary stuff: shampoo bottles, towels, etc. But do not put there any huge and heavy stuff; and stuff which may be easily broken: many of washing machines vibrate very violently, so be careful.
Models with top loading do not have such functions, and that’s their disadvantage. But don’t forget that front loading machines usually require more space for a hatch when opening.
Top loading washing machine
To be honest, in general, those types are the same, when we talk about safety and comfort: if you exploit it carefully, it would serve you well, no matter whether it has top or front loading.
Criterion 2: The dimensions of a washing machine
It’s one of the most important criteria, because it will determinate whether it fits in your apartment between other stuff or not. The height and the width of front ones are usually circa 85×60 cm. The most important parameter is the depth, because the more clothes you can load, the more capacity it has: you won’t have to load it twice or even more times.
There are some extra small front washers (the depth about 30-40 cm), and the main plus is that the energy consumption is lower, and it will perfectly suitable for small households. People usually put them under the sink.
The top washers do not have such variety of size. The height is usually about 85-90 cm, the width is circa 40 cm, and the depth is about 60-65 cm.
So you are to choose between those types and decide, considering the room you have.
Criterion 3: The capacity of a washing machine
The key aspect you much also pay attention to is how many laundry can the machine wash at a go. It depends on its dimensions as well: the bigger your machine, the more capacity it has. But now there is a new tendency: the increase of capacity of small-sized washers. Some narrow machines can receive about 7-8 kg of laundry.
The compact washing machines have about 3-4 kg capacity, and the biggest ones can wash 7 kg and more. Remember that cotton linen can be loaded in a bigger amount, that woolen one, for example. You can read more from the instruction and always weigh up your laundry.
If you have a big family, it can be a useful criterion, but for people, who live alone in the apartment, it doesn’t matter much, and there’s no need to look for big capacity.
Criterion 4: The type of a motor
Nowadays we have a bigger number of washing machines with an inverter motor than before. The inverter converts a DC voltage into a three-phasepulse voltage with variable amplitude and frequency. Such motors are more modern, work very silently (more quiet than the commutator motors), but they have more efficiency and service life. The range of algorithms of rotation of the drum is also wider, which makes the quality of washing better.
The rotor of a direct drive motor is usually fixed on the drum shaft and no main belt is needed. It’s better, because there’s no risk to overstretch the belt while overloading the washing machine. To make it sound simpler, such a construction is more long-living, energy-efficient, and more quiet.
Criterion 5: The spin speed of a washing maching
The slower your washing machine spins the better. It will be cheaper to buy, quieter, should be more reliable and should last longer. However, it’s not much use if the laundry is dripping wet so there has to be a certain spin speed that gives optimum results. It would be enough to set the speed about 800-100 rpm.
Washing manufacturers won’t tell us what the optimum spin speed is because they charge extra for spin speed and the faster they spin the more they can charge, that’s why it’s necessary to learn about it more.
Criterion 6: The material of a tank and a drum
Some years ago it has been said, that the tank of a washing machine should be made of metal. But now it’s not that obligatory, since polymer and composite materials can successfully supersede any metal. The plastic tank (which is more popular) makes the work of the machine quieter, and it doesn’t affect the quality. If you exploit it in a proper way, it would serve you about 10 years minimum.
Speaking about the drum, it’s usually made of stainless steel. Some manufacturers take efforts to make the washing more energy sufficient and change the form of a drum in order not to harm the clothes.
Criterion 7: The control system of your WM
Today most of washing machines are equipped with electronic control panels. Displays and sensors do not seem like an oddity to us even in cheap washer models. The electronic control lets the user set the optimal algorithm, taking into account the weight of your laundry, the materials it’s made of, the needed temperature and spin speed. And it can be run by just pushing a button!
Models with electronic control have software updates available, which may include even “remembering “ the algorithmsand washing programs the user have set himself. Some models have remote control function: you can control the work of your machine from a smartphone or tablet computer, for example. Some models even have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies.
Criterion 8: Additional options
Delay start function lets delay the washing. You may set the night time, when the electricity is cheaper. It’s also helpful, when you have to go, but don’t have time to wait until the washing ends.
There is also “Night mode”, which is set to make less noise and vibrations, and your neighbors will never know about your machine!
For highly allergic individuals there is extra rinse, which helps to wash out all the detergent.
One more useful program is the option of choosing the duration of washing. You set the time, and the washer chooses the best algorithm of making your clothes clean.
In some models you can adjust the end cycle sound, for you not to forget to get the laundry out. But there should be another option (turning it off), in case of the night time washing.
You can see most important criteria written above. Follow them, know your needs and be careful to buy the best machine for your family. It really will free you from household duties and let you spend more time doing more pleasant things.