Bringing home a new washing machine means reducing your load of laundry and getting more fresh and clean clothes to wear. But considering the numerous options available in the market, buying a washing machine is no mean task and needs a bit of homework and research on your part. What makes a good washing machine different from an ordinary one? The answer lies in various factors. Before making that big decision, evaluate the type of machine, its functioning ability, temperature controls, special features, size, and price.
To help you choose the best washing machine that takes care of your laundry we help you unlock the secrets of a good washing machine by assessing each of the above factors. Read on to know more…
Size and Capacity
Before deciding on a washing machine consider your laundry needs and the space you have to accommodate the appliance in your home. The loading capacity is generally marked in kilograms. It is closely associated with the number of members in the family. Choose a capacity that allows the entire laundry to be washed in one cycle without having to run multiple cycles.
For choosing the size of the machine, you need to consider the space where you shall install the machine and the door size through which it enters your house. Modern-day washing machines are designed to be compact, not occupying much space.
Types of Machines
Washing machines can be categorized into two broad types depending upon their operations:
Semi-Automatic Washing Machines
Based on operations and the level of human intervention, washing machines are classified into two broad categories each of which has its own merits and demerits.
Semi-automatic machines come with a higher degree of manual intervention. They have two tubs attached. One for washing the clothes and the other for spinning and drying. The clothes need to be transferred from the washer to the dryer manually after every wash cycle. Here doing your laundry needs your physical presence because you fill the washer tub with a pipe, add the requisite amount of detergent depending upon a load of clothes, and set the washing time. The machine makes a buzzing sound after every wash cycle. This indicates that clothes need to be moved from the washer tub to the dryer.
These machines are labor-intensive, requiring your presence and effort. They are easy to operate and cost less when compared to their fully automatic cousins. They always come in top load design but occupy much space and have no temperature setting features.
Fully Automatic Washing Machines
Fully automatic washing machines are smart models that can handle your laundry at the press of a button without much intervention. You just load the machine and it fills in the required amount of water. The settings for the wash cycle, rinse, and drying is all selected by the machine itself depending upon the load. All the operations happen in the same drum, without you having to shift the load.
It comes with the benefits of no manual operations and has multiple wash programs. It features different temperature settings and is compact, occupying less space. However, its price is on the higher side and takes more time to complete your laundry.
Modern-day fully automatic machines come in two varieties-Top Load and Front Load. In the top-loading machines, clothes are loaded from the top. The tubs are designed vertically in such machines. Front-loading machines have a door on the side from where the laundry is loaded. By far, top-loading machines are considered more convenient. You do not have to bend while operating them. Loading and unloading clothes are easier, especially for older people. Adding clothes while the wash cycle is on is also easier in top-loading machines. Front-loading machines have the door locked while the wash cycle is on, making it difficult to do so.
Clothes are made of different fibers and textures, therefore they need different washing treatments. Common wash programs to look for in your laundry appliance are-Hot wash, Wool wash, Dry Wash, and Cotton wash. Besides these, the Aqua Energy Technology is a trending feature in IFB washing machines that convert hard water to soft water, enhancing the wash quality and protecting your clothes from harsh cleaning.
Some clothes wash well in hot water while some prefer lukewarm water. Heavy stains and spots usually need cleaning with hot water and detergent. Baby clothes are recommended to be washed in a high-temperature setting as it helps to disinfect them from germs.
Temperature control settings help to change the temperature of the water as per the requirements of the laundry. Some of them have in-built heaters for warming water and come with distinct inlets for hot and cold water. Certain models also have steam functions that help remove stains and sanitize efficiently. But as per Smart Home Guide, steam function doesn’t have much benefit because the clothes are already drenched in hot water. Also, due to the design of the drum, the steam won’t penetrate the clothes with sufficient pressure to dislodge the stain. So, it may be helpful for sanitizing the clothes, but not so much for stain removal.
The spin cycle in a washing machine helps to dry clothes so that the laundry process can be completed fast. This factor is important in determining how long the machine will take for drying clothes. The spin capacity is measured in RPM (Rotations Per Minute). If you are looking for a machine that dries clothes faster, opt for one that has a higher rotation per minute.
Washing machines consume relatively high power and choosing a machine that is energy efficient saves the spike in your electricity bills. Machines with a 5-star rating are better in saving power as compared to 4-star and 3-star rated machines. Most 5-star rated machines are more dearly priced. But they certainly help to save on the electricity bill throughout their lifetime.
Here is a quick look at some other features to be considered when picking a new washing machine beside the above factors.
- If you have kids around, check out for the child lock feature to prevent accidents and hazards during a wash cycle.
- Soiled clothes wash well in a machine with a pre-soak option. It allows clothes to be soaked in detergent water for some time before washing. This helps in obtaining clean and fresh laundry.
- Working couples and busy households can opt for a machine with a delayed wash to help you do your laundry at a time when you are home or while you are sleeping.
- Tech-savvy consumers can prefer to buy machines with in-built apps. These allow you to control the functions of the machine through your smartphone.
- Look out for an auto-detergent dispenser feature if you are not sure about how much detergent to add to your laundry.
- Bubble wash and steam wash are some other modern features to look out for. They give you a crisp laundry free from odor and germs.
With an overview of the above factors, make a more informed decision before going for that big purchase. Keeping in mind your budget and these operational aspects take the leap and bring home the best washing machines.