The Ultimate Guide to Find the Perfect Washing Machine for your Home
Stressed over the piles of dirty laundry gathering dust? Looking to replace your decade old washingmachine with a newer model or searching for your first machine? Picking the right washing machine isoften tricky. With so many brands and endless models, how do you sift through all the choices to pickone that works?
Well, most people play a blind guessing game. They first decide on a budget, pick a machine that fallswithin the price range and hope for the best.
Well, Nah! That doesn’t sound ideal, right? Fortunately, this guide is here to help. Consider this article asyour “Laundry Guiding Spirit” that leads you to the best model, which is perfect for your home. Withoutfurther delay, let’s get started in breaking this task, step-by-step for you.
1. Straight to Elephant in the Room – Semi Automatic vs. Fully Automatic
Choosing a washing machine, just like any other home appliance, is totally dependent on your usage. So,take a moment to consider your schedule, your laundry style to help you decide between a fullyautomaticand a semi-automatic one.
Semi-automatic – As the name implies, these machines require human intervention to get the jobdone. They are available in low-entry level models, and you can find a semi-automatic washing machinestarting from Rs.6000/- going up to Rs.12,000/- price range. Almost all leading brands have at least a fewmodels of semi-automatic washing machines.
It usually consists of two tubs. One is for washing and the other for drying (spinning), the washedclothes. At the end of the wash cycle, you have to move the clothes from one tub to another manually.
- Consumes less power and water.
- Doesn’t require a continuous supply of water, as you can manually pour water into the washingtub. This is helpful if you have a water crisis in your area and water supply is intermittent.
- Takes less time to complete the washing cycle.
- As it isn’t fully automatic, you have to be present and lift the clothes from one tub to another at the end of the washing cycle. Over time, this chore can become tiresome, and you may be forced to spend more time doing the laundry room than you would probably like.
- Washing quality isn’t that efficient. You may have to manually scrub stains off the clothing at the end of the washing cycle.
- Can pose an electrical hazard if the earth connection is faulty. To avoid electric shocks, disconnect the machine from the plug while transferring clothes from one tub to the other.
Fully-Automatic – As the name suggests, these machines are completely automatic and don’t require human intervention. No more scrubbing and taxing your arms. All you have to do is drop in your dirty clothes into the machine, load the detergent drawer, switch on and you can completely forget about the washing. The device soaks, washes rinses and dries your clothes all on its own. It even turns off on its own.
These are high-end home appliances and have a huge range of features and functions. The price of this type of machine starts from Rs.8,000/- and can go all the way up to 1 lakh rupees and beyond, depending on the size and additional features.
- Ergonomic design that occupies less space in your home
- Have inbuilt features and modes to handle different types of washing loads
- Some models have hot wash and steam that gives you pristine clothes
- Highly convenient to the user
- These machines require continuous water supply to complete the entire washing cycle
- Consume more power and are more expensive when compared to semi-automatic machines
Fully-automatic machines are of two types: front load or top load. This brings us to the next choice.
2. Washing Machine Landscape: Front Load Vs Top Load
Top loading machines have a vertical tub, whereas front loading machines have a horizontal tub. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Top Loading – As the name suggests, you load the clothes in the machine from the top. It has a lid that you lift open and then drop your laundry into the upright tub. These are generally low-end, entry-level machines that don’t have as many features as in front-load machines. However, most Indian households prefer top loading machines for their convenience and ease of use. They range from Rs.8000/- to Rs. 40,000/-.
- You need not bend down to load and unload clothes in the tub.
- Less expensive when compared to front-loading machines.
- Compact, light-weight makes it a good fit in even tiny spaces.
- You can add clothes to the machine even after the washing cycle has begun. Just open the lid and drop in any extra clothing without any issues.
- Similarly, you can take clothes out of the machine half way through the cycle without any problems. This works great when you have left something in your pocket (think keys, loose change, cards, and wallet) and remember it only after you have started the machine.
- They consume more water when compared to front-loading machines.
- Don’t have a whole lot of additional features.
- Can be a bit noisy and washing quality is not that good as in front-loaders.
Top Loading machines are further divided into two sub-types depending on how they handle the laundry. They are:
- Agitators – These models have a spindle that is placed right in the centre of the tub and sticks up. It has fins, paddles or vanes that help in twisting and turning the clothes during the wash cycle. So, if you select a delicate wash cycle, the speed of the agitator is less, and it’s high for a full wash cycle. Agitators are rough on clothes and tend to wear them out. Also, this model requires more water when compared to the impeller based model. You may find it difficult to load bigger laundry like bed spreads and sarees.
- Impellers – In this model, the central agitator is replaced by a rotating hub that is attached to the bottom of the tub. During the wash cycle, the impeller rotates and creates turbulent water currents in the tub. These currents move the clothes and remove dirt from them. The impeller isn’t hard on the laundry, thereby extending the life of your clothes. Also, it requires lesser water and is easier to load than agitator drums.
Front loading – Instead of the top lid, these machines have a circular door at the front side of the machine. This is the reason for the name front loading. These machines are a bit on the expensive side and range from Rs.20,000/- to 1 lakh and even beyond. The horizontal tub makes use of a tumbling action to remove dirt from clothes.
- Consume lesser water and lower power, making it cheaper in the long run
- Better wash quality and are gentle on clothes
- Less noisy
- Broad range of settings and features
- Quicker dry times
- Excellent wash quality
- Higher initial investment
- You have to bend down to load and unload clothes
- You can’t add or remove clothes once the wash cycle has started
So, which one to choose? As you have seen, each type has its own pros and cons. There is no one definite answer. Take your time, look at the various factors and decide which model works better for your requirements. If you’re looking for a machine that is easy to use, then you can go in for a top-loading one. On the contrary, if wash quality matters to you the most, then choose a front-loading machine.
3. Physical Dimensions of the Machine – Can it fit in your Space?
If you have decided on a particular space for the machine in your house, then measure the space carefully before you head out for washing machine shopping. Ensure that you factor in the space for opening the lid or door. Also, see to that there is at least 2-4 cm space between the machine and the wall for the power cables and water connections.
4. The Capacity – Figuring out the size of the Laundry Load
Washing machines are categorised depending on their weight. This doesn’t refer to the weight of the machine, but points to the weight of the clothes it can wash in a single load. For instance, if a machine specifies a 7kg capacity, it means that you can add clothes up to the seven-kilo mark give or take a few hundred grams. Loading the machine beyond the capacity can end up damaging the essential parts.
Here are few pointers that help in deciding the right capacity for your household:
- If you have a large family (4 or more members) and do the washing only once in a week, then investing in a bigger machine makes better sense.
- If you are a small family (2 to 3 members) and wash frequently, then a smaller capacity machine is better for you. But, bear in mind that a washing machine lasts for a number of years, so choose a large machine, if you expect your family to grow bigger.
- Don’t be tempted to choose a smaller machine just for its low price. If you use it twice as often, then it’ll end up being costly in the long run.
Here’s a rough guide on washing machine capacities for different family sizes:
|No. Of People||Machine Size||Clothes in a Single Load|
|1-2||4 to 6.5 kg||4-6 beach towels or 4-6 sets of outfits (pants, shirts, tops, undies, and socks)|
|3 – 4||7 to 8.5 kg||7-8 beach towels or 7-8 sets of outfits|
|5 or More People||9+ kg||9+ beach towels or 9+ sets of outfits|
5. Washing Machine Spin Speeds – Is faster always the Better?
Another important factor you have to consider is the spin speed. The spin cycle helps to remove moisture from your washed and rinsed clothes. It’s generally done at the end of the entire cycle. The spin speed of washing machines can vary from 1000rpm to 1800rpm, while 1200 and 1400 rpm are the most common.
A machine with a good spin capacity reduces the time your clothes spend hanging on the washing line. That doesn’t mean higher the number is always the better. This is because some machines spin at the advertised speed only for a few seconds and work on a lower setting most of the time. So, check out reviews to get a fair idea of the average spin speed to help you make the right choice.
6. Brands – Which one to Choose?
Washing machines in the Indian market are available in a dozen or more different brands for e.g. Samsung, LG, Whirlpool etc. There is “No one choice that fits all.” When choosing a particular brand look at installation support, maintenance, extended warranty and guarantee to help you find the right one for you. The duty of the brand doesn’t end with setting up your washing machine. They must be able to provide you with expert and quick service, in case if anything goes wrong later on. So, look out for brands that have service centres in your city. This ensures that you can replace any faulty part quickly without much of a hassle.
7. Advanced Features that add to the User Experience
While the basic functions of all washing machines of different brands remain the same, several additional features enhance and elevate the user experience. Let’s take a look at a few top features and understand their functions:
- Fuzzy Logic – A machine with this feature intuitively selects the right washing mode, depending on the weight of the load in the tub. It weighs the load you have added to the tub, sets the time it will take to complete the wash and chooses the right amount of water and detergent. This saves you a lot of guesswork as the machine itself decides everything.
- Delay Start – Have you ever wished that your machine could finish washing just as you enter the house, so you can hang up the clothes to dry? With delay start, you can set the time you want the washing to begin. This lets the machine complete the cycle in tune with your schedule.
- Hot Wash: Makes use of hot water to wash your clothes to give a pristine washing. This is especially useful during winter when it isn’t possible to sun-dry your clothes.
- Child Lock – Do you have curious toddlers who fidget with the machine’s panel? Then this is the feature you need. When you set this, it prevents children from meddling with the buttons during the cycle.
- Auto-dispense: You can add a whole month’s supply of detergent in the specified slot. The machine automatically dispenses whatever is needed for every wash. No more forgetting to add the soap.
- Inbuilt Sink: Do you have the habit of soaking tough stains and hand-washing delicate items? Then this feature is for you.
- Air Dry: This completely removes moisture from washed clothes by circulating hot air into the tub. Ideal when you don’t have the time to dry your clothes.
- Tub Clean – Helps to clean the washing machine tub to eliminate bad odours, dirt, and hard-water scaling.
- Auto-softener and/or Bleach Dispenser – This feature lets you add bleach and conditioner into the load as and when required.
- Aqua Energie – This feature converts the hard water in your taps to soft-water for better cleaning. This also prevents scaling from occurring in the machine.
- Rat Mesh – This is particularly useful for Indian conditions. It keeps the rodents out by providing an extra cover underneath the machine.
Smart Machines – Are they the Future?
Several high-end washers are integrated with a mobile app that lets you start, pause and stop a cycle remotely with the help of an app on your phones. While laundry apps are rudimentary as of now, they are making progress at a rapid pace. The days when you can just issue a voice command to your phone and get your machine to start right away aren’t that far away.
The Expert’s Opinion
Ultimately, it’s essential to pick a washing machine that not only fits within your budget but also provides you with all the functionalities that you require. Also, check the energy rating stars of the machine, to cut down on energy bills in the long run. Indeed, the right washing machine can save your sanity and provide you with free time, that you can spend on doing something you love. So, take the time to compare the features, price and specifications online on Compareraja, to find the “Perfect Washing Machine for your Home.”