How to choose a washing machine? - an overview of the types and functionality of the best option for the home.

In this article, we will talk about the choice, and I would not be afraid to say one of the most important helpers in the house - the washing machine.

washing machine
In our everyday life, a washing machine has long been an indispensable attribute, without which some cannot imagine their life.

Many, probably, do not even think about what a heavy burden was removed from the shoulders of housewives after the appearance of washing machines.

Perhaps someone found it back in the days when the washing of linen, for many, was carried out with the help of a washing board and subsequent boiling on the stove.
It is not for nothing that they say that laziness pushes a person to inventions, and now, as a result, progress has brought us another gift in the form of a modern washing machine.

There is a huge number of washing machines from different manufacturers on the home appliance market.
Prices for washing machines differ upward or downward even within the same manufacturer, and for many, when choosing a washing machine, the question arises - how to make the right choice, what functions are important for the washing machine, and what needs to be paid first of all when her choice.

In this material, I will try to tell you point by point about the functionality and other things that you should pay attention to when choosing a particular washing machine. I hope my review will help you understand and make the right and informed choice of exactly the option that you need.
Let's start in order.


The first thing you need to decide on is the place for the washing machine, much depends on where it is planned to be installed, price, functionality, performance.

If you plan to install a washing machine in a small bathroom, then, most likely, narrow options for washing machines will be considered. Such machines are called narrow for their shallow depth, which can be as little as 30 centimeters.

If there is no free space at all, there are even fewer machines, they are installed directly under the sink.
Immediately, I would like to note that there are not so many options for compact washing machines for installation under the sink, and their prices are often overpriced and do not correspond to not too rich functionality.

Moreover, to install such a washing machine, you will need to purchase a special sink.
Therefore, after weighing the pros and cons, it might be better to think about another place or consider, for example, a top-loading machine, but we will talk about them a little later.

Also, it is worth noting that narrow front-loading washing machines, in view of the specifics of their design, are subject to greater vibration when spinning the laundry, compared to standard ones.

Activator or automatic?

Washing machines are activator or automatic. Understanding the difference?

Activator washing machine

In an activator washing machine, washing is carried out at the expense of a rotating disc or a rod with blades located in the bottom or side of the tank. This rotating element is called an activator. In an automatic machine, the drum itself rotates, inside which there are also blades that help to grip the laundry.

Activator machines are the simplest option, and to ensure their operation, direct participation in the process is required, it is necessary to control the water filling, which is carried out manually directly into the tank, the drain is made through the lower drain hose.

Such machines do not need to be connected to the sewerage and water supply, these models do not have water level and foam sensors, you will have to keep track of everything yourself.
Activator washing machines do not have their own shade capable of heating water, therefore, water is poured into it that is already warm, there is also a limitation on the permissible water temperature, too hot water cannot be poured into such machines.
 Some models of activator machines may have a second compartment in which a centrifuge for wringing out linen is located. After washing, the laundry must be transferred by hand to the centrifuge and distributed so that there is no strong vibration.

In short, an activator washing machine is an inexpensive option for those who are not too lazy to participate in the process during washing, fill in and monitor the drain of water, transfer laundry for spinning into another tank. The advantage of such a machine is the low price, it takes up little space and consumes little electricity.

Automatic washing machines

Automatic washing machines can have both vertical and front loading of laundry.
Top-loading machines are distinguished by a narrower body, such machines, due to their specificity, cannot be mounted under a tabletop, in a cabinet or under a sink, since the loading hatch and control panel are located on top.

Top-loading washing machines are functional and reliable, also due to such constructive superiority over the front ones as the arrangement of bearings on both sides of the drum, this design allows the drum to work with less vibration and without obvious loads on the bearings.

Front-loading machines have a wider body, and the control panel and loading door are located on the front of the machine.

The drum of the front washing machine has bearings on only one, rear side, however, it is difficult to say that such a design strongly affects the accelerated wear of the bearings.
Statistics show that both vertical and frontal machines have their own long-livers, and the system of uniform distribution of laundry in the tub, inherent in some models, reduces unnecessary load on the bearings of front-loading machines.

Next, we will look at the functions and usefulness inherent in both types of automatic washing machines.

Inverter motor or brushed

The development of technology has led to the fact that more and more washing machines are equipped with new, inverter motors, and in some models of washing machines the motor is generally integrated into the tank, such options are called direct drive, the founder of this integration was LG.

The inverter motor saves energy by consuming less power while delivering more power. Such engines are much quieter than their predecessors, because they have no collector and brushes, and the direct drive does not have a belt drive.
In any case, it is too early to write off collector motors, collector motors are quite common and are much cheaper than inverter motors.
Yes, the service life of a commutator motor is less than that of an inverter motor, but it is certain that such a minus is covered by another plus, a lower price of a commutator motor.

Therefore, when facing the choice of a washing machine with a particular type of engine, decide for yourself what is more important to you.
The opportunity to save money by buying a less expensive, albeit noisier, brushed motor machine, or a more expensive inverter motor machine, overpaying for which you will get a quieter and more economical washing machine.

Drying laundry

When deciding on the choice of a washing machine, you need to immediately understand whether you need such a function as drying clothes.

This functionality is inherent in more expensive models of washing machines. Drying of laundry takes place thanks to the fan built into the machine, which supplies heated air to the drum of the washing machine.It is immediately worth noting that this function contributes to a decent increase in the cost of the washing machine by an average of about 30 percent.

From the pros, we can say that thanks to drying, for a full cycle, calculated for example for 90 minutes, including washing, you get clean and dry clothes.

Of course, it should be understood that forced drying does not have the best effect on the fibers of the fabric, from which they can become thinner, and therefore, linen or clothes will definitely wear out faster.

Perhaps, at some point, drying can really be useful to you, because you can use it completely separately from programs related to washing.
But if you understand that you will rarely use drying, it probably makes no sense to make unnecessary investments in functionality that is not so necessary.

Washing programs

I want to say right away that in this video I will not analyze the nuances in the washing programs of individual models of washing machines.

All washing machines are automatic machines, have a set of all kinds of washing programs, one washing machine can have 10 and 20 of them.

Definitely, the more programs a washing machine can perform, the more choice you will have when washing certain things and you can’t argue with that.

But as the reviews of the owners of washing machines show, only a few programs are most in demand, for example, such as ...

  • short programs - they are also called daily - such programs are designed for 15-30 minutes, thanks to them, you can quickly refresh slightly soiled laundry.

  • long program - suitable for cotton or linen, allows you to practically boil bed linen at temperatures up to 95 degrees and spin it at high speeds.

  • as well as special programs - such as "gentle wash" due to which you can wash silk or woolen items at a low temperature and practically without rotating the drum of the washing machine.

Marketers of washing machine manufacturers, in the struggle for a buyer, come up with more and more new programs, and of course beautiful names for them.

But the essence of this does not change, the usual washing mode is complemented by the versatile rotation of the drum, the time it stops with water, the rinsing and spinning time, accompanying all this with the addition of detergents, conditioners, different amounts of water for washing and rinsing.

It may be useful, for example, such functions of the washing machine as:

  • manual change of water temperature for a specific program

  • manual change of the number of revolutions for spinning

  • adding additional soaking mode

  • additional rinsing and wringing

  • Sometimes it can be useful, the ability to turn on the drain of water at any time, as well as a separate start of spinning the laundry.

Next, we will consider the options of the washing machine based on the generalized information presented on the so-called energy label attached to each machine.

Energy class

When choosing a washing machine, you should pay attention to its energy class, here the letter classification from A to G is adopted.

Each letter of this class corresponds to the power consumption in kilowatt / hour required for washing 1 kilogram of linen. A detailed table of the energy efficiency class can be found in the article, the link to which will be in the description of this video or in the attached comment.

This classification was invented 20 years ago, class A has the lowest energy consumption, G is the least energy efficient, and at the moment the most economical is index A with three +++.

Energy consumption for the entire wash cycle

The energy consumption for the entire washing cycle (where the standard is taken to wash cotton fabric at a temperature of 60 degrees) can be seen in the next line of the washing machine's energy label.

Washing quality

The classification of the quality of washing also has its own letter index from A to G, index A is considered the highest in quality.

Now, it is rare to find washing machines with a washing class below the A index, moreover, manufacturers have gone even further ahead in improving the quality of washing and the washing classification began to increase, therefore, pluses began to be attributed to the A index.

Nowadays, you can find models of washing machines with washing class A +, A ++ and A +++.

Which class is better? If you believe the index, then it is clear that it is better, of course, A with three pluses, but the whole point is that you still cannot check the difference between A + and A +++, so here you should rely only on your intuition, faith in the veracity of the index and the integrity of the brand of the washing machine.

Spinning efficiency class and drum rotation speed

The required number of spinning revolutions depends on how dry you need the laundry obtained after washing.

At the moment, the machines on sale have a choice of 600 to 1600 rpm. Here, the classification also has an alphabetic index from A to G where G is the lowest spinning index.

In a machine that has only 600 - 800 rpm, after spinning, you get your laundry fairly damp, with a moisture content of 63 - 81%.

In a machine with 1000 -1200 rpm, the laundry will already have a moisture content of 54 - 63%, and in a machine with a speed of more than 1500 -1600 rpm, the residual moisture will be no more than 45%.
As you can see, the difference in residual moisture between 1200 and 1600 rpm machines is not that great, but the cost of a 1600 rpm machine may be significantly higher than the price of a 1200 rpm machine.

Such a difference in price is due to the fact that the higher the revolutions of the car, the more powerful the motor is required for it, as well as the entire structure responsible for rotation: bearings, brackets, etc.
Also, it is worth remembering that high speed can ruin delicate and thin linen, it is customary to wring out such linen at minimum speed, but things made of coarse fabrics with high density are squeezed out at maximum speed.

Also, some manufacturers are definitely disingenuous, for example, indicating the spin class as C for a washing machine with a maximum 800 rpm, 800 rpm will most likely not be enough to obtain laundry with a residual moisture content of 63 -72%.

The link to the Spin Quality Classification Table compared with the number of revolutions and the percentage of residual moisture - also look in the description or comments under this video.

Permissible load weight of dry laundry

One of the characteristics of the washing machine is the maximum load of laundry, measured in kilograms.

Of course, you need to understand that this figure is relative, it is intended to classify the washing machine according to the possibilities of a one-time load.
Indicating that a washing machine, for example, with a permissible laundry weight of 7 kilograms, will work in absolutely normal mode without overloading the mechanical and electrical components of the unit.

When choosing a washing machine, you should definitely take into account the weight of the maximum load, since for a small family of two, a 5 kg load may be enough, and for a family of 3-5 people, a large one-time load of the machine will already be required.
Many, buying a machine with a small load, sometimes face the fact that they really do not have enough space in it and have to wash the clothes by starting the machine several times.

And if you, for example, live alone, there is no point in driving a washing machine with a large load, since an ordinary washing machine with a large load usually uses more water and electricity, this is where machines with an intelligent "laundry weighing" system come to the rescue.

Such a system is inherent in more expensive washing machines, and its essence lies in the fact that after loading and starting the desired washing mode, the system, as it were, weighs what is in the drum.
 Of course, there are no scales in the washing machine, just the washing machine, before starting the selected washing mode, scrolls the drum with the laundry and estimates the load on the electric motor necessary to turn the drum, after which the machine determines the optimal time and amount of water for washing ...

Such a system is definitely good, because it allows you to save water and electricity, but unfortunately, as they say, you have to pay for everything.

Water consumption

When choosing, you should also take into account the water consumption indicator, it lets you know how many liters of water the machine consumes for a full wash cycle.

Of course, it should be understood that this figure is for informational purposes and may vary depending on the operating modes of the washing machine.

This indicator turns out to be very useful when comparing different washing machines, and by making simple comparisons, you can immediately understand which machine will be more economical in terms of water consumption.

Noise level

For a washing machine, there are two sound power levels to consider. The first sound power level is indicated for a running washing machine during washing, and the second, higher sound power level, is measured during spinning.

Leakage protection

An important advantage when choosing a washing machine can be the presence of a water leakage protection system.

Not all washing machines are equipped with such a system. Leakage protection can be of different principles of action.

The simplest protection against water leakage, it is also called PARTIAL, is that the machine has a lower pallet, on which a special microswitch with a float is installed.

As soon as the water overflowing from the tank or other place of the washing machine enters the bottom pan and accumulates in a sufficient state to raise the float of the microswitch, the washing machine pump turns on, the alarm on the display is turned off and the water supply is turned off by the intake valve.
 Precisely because in this situation the possibility of a break in the hose supplying water to the machine is not taken into account, such a system is called PARTIAL protection.

Such a system can be supplemented with special hoses with burst protection. Here the system is divided into several types, namely, the difference in the principle of protection in the hose itself.

The first and simplest type is a hose with an outer sheath and a special shut-off valve located directly at the point where the hose is connected to the water supply.

To put it simply.

Then in the body of the hose there is a shut-off plunger, the position of which in the open state is held by a special spring and an absorbent having a small volume in a dry state.

 As soon as the main inner hose ruptures, water flows between the inner and outer shells, rises to the top of the hose and enters the body with an absorbent, which, getting wet and increasing in volume, compresses the spring and activates the plunger that blocks the flow of water entering the hose inlet ...

This hose is sold separately and can be installed on absolutely any washing machine.

The second option for protection against leaks includes a multi-stage shutdown of water.
In such a system, a special inlet hose with an integrated solenoid valve plays an important role.
The electrical control wires of this valve are connected to the control system of the washing machine.

This option is called FULL protection against leaks, since the switching on and off of the solenoid valves for the water intake is carried out both at the inlet to the hose itself and at the inlet to the washing machine.
Such a hose also has an inner - the main hose, and an outer shell, where, when the inner shell breaks, the water that has got between the two shells through the drainage tube begins to flow into the pan of the washing machine where the already familiar switch with a float is located.
 Even with the washing machine turned off (of course not from the network), when the float switch is triggered, the washing machine turns off the water supply directly at the inlet to the inlet hose.

Definitely, full protection against leaks is more expensive, and here, of course, everyone decides whether he needs protection against water leaks.

Washing machine tank

Many people confuse a washing machine tank with a rotating drum. The tank itself is invisible, since it is located in the space between the walls of the washing machine and the drum.
 The tank of the machine can be made of either metal or plastic.

Both options have their pros and cons.

It is certain that a tank made of stainless steel will be the leader in strength and durability, but a metal tank requires more electricity to heat and maintain the temperature of the water, and cars with such a tank are considered more noisy.

The tank is made of plastic, better conserves heat and less noise, but more fragile.
A stainless steel tank is more expensive compared to plastic, so stainless steel can often be found on premium washing machines.

Loading hatch

On front-loading machines, pay attention to the loading door.
Definitely, the wider the hatch, the more convenient it is to use the machine, load and unload laundry from it.

Also, it is worth seeing how the door opening mechanism works, if the opening handle seems flimsy to you, and when you close the door it warps, it may be better to look at other options, by the way, there are already options for covers without mechanical handles.

Control display

The presence of a display on which programs are displayed, and all the necessary information during the wash, will definitely facilitate interaction with the washing machine.
Sometimes it is very useful to see how much time is left until the end of the wash, or, for example, to find out that the water pressure in the supply water supply is insufficient.

Steam function

This function, in some cases, may be an additional option that can persuade you to buy a car.
As the reviews of buyers of washing machines with this option say, the steam function in different washing machines can be very different in quality.

To generate steam, in some models of washing machines, a regular ten can be used, which creates a kind of cloud of water vapor, thanks to which you can only freshen things up, in other models, there may be a separate steam generator that can create a powerful jet of steam supplied to the drum of the machine.

In some models, with a good steam generator, steam washing is possible.

System for suppressing imbalance during spinning

The automatic system for suppressing imbalances during spinning detects imbalances and ensures even distribution of the laundry by starting and stopping the rotation of the drum.

Foam suppression system

If you use too much detergent during washing, too much suds will form. Foam can even come out of the detergent drawer. To remove foam, the machine automatically activates additional rinses.

When choosing a washing machine, I can advise, first, to read the reviews of the real owners of different machines, and then compare their reviews with the official statements of the manufacturers.

After all, making the right choice is much easier on the basis of the information received from the real owners, and not from advertising brochures.
Also, after you have decided on the choice of a specific model, I would advise you to find out information about the possibility of repairing it in your region, and whether there are spare parts for your chosen model.

You can watch a detailed video about choosing a washing machine on the channel CleverBill DIY

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