Washing machines have become an inevitable part of our household appliances; however, deciding which washing machine is the best can be quite a task. We’ve learnt that we should consider certain factors before plunging in and making a decision about buying a washing machine.
To help you, we have simplified the entire market research process. All you need to do is go through this guide before zeroing in on the best washing machine for your home!
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Since we live in different households and have varied lifestyles, our laundry needs are bound to differ. Therefore, the ‘one size fits all’ approach does not really work when deciding which washing machine is best. We realised that it was essential to understand our specific needs when purchasing a washing machine. Some needs that we identified were
Budget- How much are we willing to spend on a washing machine?
Looking at the larger picture- While many of us only consider the initial investment, we must also think of machines that can provide long term savings in terms of energy, water, power and thereby smaller bills
Loading capacity- A small family might just need a low-capacity washing machine to cater to its needs whereas one would probably require a bigger machine. Loading capacity is measured in kilograms. For 1- 2 family members, a 5-6 kg capacity would be ideal, and for a bigger family, a 6.5- 7kg machine would be the best option.
Convenience- Do you prefer a washing machine that does everything at the press of a button or one which requires manual intervention.
What format of detergent do you currently use for your washing machine?
Types of Washing Machines
1. Semi-Automatic Machines
As the name suggests, these machines are partially automatic and are basically entry-level washing machines. They generally have two tubs, one for washing and one for drying. After the washing is over, the clothes need to be moved manually into the other tub for drying. While we understand that this machine requires a lot of human intervention and manual work, we realised it could be the best washing machine option if you have budget constraints.
2. Fully Automatic Machines
These machines do everything at the touch of a button. Sounds terrific, doesn’t it? They have a single tub that takes care of washing, rinsing and drying. There are two types of fully automatic machines.
Top Load Washing Machine
Hate to bend each time as you load your washing machine? If the answer is yes, then top load machines are the best bet for you! As the name indicates, you need to load the clothes from the top of the machine. We have noticed that they take up less space, making it an excellent choice for people who have space restrictions.
The machine is attached to a water inlet tap, and it controls functions like ‘when to stop’ and ‘take water’ to maintain the required level of water within. These machines have fewer wash programs than their front load counterparts, but we suggest these machines because of their economical pricing, if you are on a budget.
Front Load Machine
As you can guess, in this washing machine, the clothes are loaded from the front side as its drum is seated horizontally. We are in awe of these machines due to their advanced technology. They also come with additional features that you can’t find in the top load variety, like a timer for when to start and stop the machine, soak the clothes, a hot water supply and an advanced child lock.
Wondering What a Child Lock is? Here’s the Answer!
Most advanced machines have the child lock function, a safety feature that protects children from accidentally getting hurt when the machine is on. It prevents any injury or malfunction of the machine due to inappropriate operations by children and the elderly or frail. If the door opens when the child lock is activated, the water within the machine drains automatically to prevent the child from drowning.
Some other things to keep in mind while selecting the best washing machine for your home:
1. Power consumption
We definitely don’t want machines that consume a lot of power and work up substantial energy bills; hence before buying a machine, it’s essential to check its power consumption efficiency.
So how do we go about it?
Did you know that appliances in India have their efficiency specified using a 5-star system? The star rating tells us how much energy the machine consumes for each wash. A five-star rating for a machine indicates that it is best in the market in terms of energy efficiency compared to a 4 star or 3 star rated washing machine. While these machines are more expensive, their initial price is compensated by lower electricity bills.
2. Type of Drum
Most machine drums are either made of stainless steel, porcelain-enamel or plastic. We have seen that plastic lasts longer than enamel as it is resistant to corrosion. But, experience has taught us that stainless steel tubs are the best as they last long, can withstand high spin speeds, are easy to clean and keep clothes safe from damage.
Trivia: Does Your Washing Machine have Bubble Wash?
This technology produces very small bubbles that can go deep into the fabric and provide superior quality of washing!
3. Wash Settings
Some washing machines come with wash programs that offer water level alternatives and gentle wash for delicate clothes. Some other settings are:-
Pre-soak- This feature will first soak the clothes and then stir them up before the normal cleaning process making it an excellent option for cleaning heavily soiled clothes.
Quick wash: - This is available in most fully automatic machines and helps wash and clean clothes within a short period, ranging from 15 to 30 minutes. Amazing, right?
Daily wash: - This program is for clothes worn every day. The machines use less water, and less time to wash the clothes we clean daily.
We have noticed that some machines make it possible to customize and save favourite settings that we can adjust through a touch screen, touchpad or rotary controls.
4. Spin Cycle
Now, this feature dries clothes and the revolutions per minute measure it. Remember that the higher number of revolutions per minute, the better it will dry your clothes. It also depends on the material of the clothes you want to dry. We learnt that the spin cycle for delicate clothes like satin/lace is 300- 500 rpm, whereas, for thicker clothes like jeans or corduroy, it is around 1000 rpm.
5. Fuzzy Logic
We can describe fuzzy logic as artificial intelligence for washing machines. It uses different sensors and selects the best washing conditions automatically based on the type of clothes to be washed. It can determine the weight of the laundry and establish the amount of water, detergent, and time needed to clean the clothes in the machine. We love washing machines with this feature as they are the easiest to use. All you need to do is press a button, and the rest will be taken care of by the machine!
6. Temperature Control
Washing machines with this feature come with an inbuilt heater and can thus regulate the temperature of the water. We find this feature particularly useful during the winters. Also, hot water wash is best to remove germs and heavy soil, making it a great option to clean items like towels, bed sheets etc.
GSC Tip: - Always use low sudsing or low foam detergent for high-efficiency washing machines- These machines use low water levels to wash clothes; thus, rinsing off less foam is easier.
7. Delay Start Feature
This feature allows you to load the machine, but gives you the flexibility to start the wash at a time you choose. We find this function extremely useful when we want to shun the noise during a particular time, like when a child is sleeping or when an important meeting is taking place.
8. Smart Diagnosis and Control
Some machines allow checking the status of the machine through apps. All we need to do is download the app on our phones, and in case the machine encounters some issue, the phone receives a notification.
Buying a washing machine is one of the best investments you can make, and we hope this guide will help you buy the best washing machine for your home.
You May Also Like to Read: How to Buy the Best Detergent for Your Washing Machine
Are top load machines gentler on clothes than front load machines?
Most modern washing machines are designed in such a way that they are gentle on clothes. As long as the machine does not use a rod-like agitator, it should be fine, regardless of whether it is front load or top load.
How long should washing machines last?
This depends on two factors- how you use them, and the quality of the washing machine you have bought
How much more efficient is machine washing than hand washing?
Washing machines have the ability to effortlessly remove moderate stains, dirt, dust and sweat. However, for very tough stains, hand wash is recommended, the only problem being that there is a lot of time and energy involved in the whole process. The good news is that if you use a high-quality liquid detergent like Surf Excel Matic Liquid, then even the toughest stains can be removed in the washing machine.
Why are front load machines costlier than top load ones?
The basic difference is the tumbler washing system in front load machines proves to be more expensive than the pulsator washing system in the top load machines. Also, manufactures include more advanced features in front load as opposed to top load machines.
Is water pressure essential for a fully automatic machine?
Yes, there could be instances when the machine gets damaged due to low water pressure.If the water pressure is low, you will need to install a water pump for greater pressure.