Since the invention and mass production of washing machines in the middle of the last century, you might be forgiven for thinking that in the following decades, there could be little that you could improve to the machine. After all, you just put the clothes in, put in the washing detergent, and press the wash button, right?
Wrong. Washing machines these days have undergone something of a revolution. Machines today are much quieter, much more energy efficient, and some even have detectors to sense what clothes you have put into the machine, and select the best wash cycle combination for them. Here’s a round-up of the types of washing machines you can buy today. Bear in mind it’s not just a question of buying the most expensive one you can afford, or even of going for the rock-bottom cheapest one. The type of machine that will best suit you depends on your washing requirements.
Washing machines basically have one or more of a number of the features shown below, and once you’ve mixed and match your requirements, you should have formed a good idea of the ones on the market that will suit you.
Top Loaders. These are washing machines that are popular for people with a utility room, or large kitchen area. They are more convenient to load, and so may better suit a person who has difficulty bending. They also can take more clothes in the drum, and so might suit those with large families, or clubs where you’ve got to regularly wash all the teams’ kit. Front loaders tend to have faster spins than top loaders. They can also be noisier and less efficient than front loaders. On the plus side, they tend to be cheaper.
Energy Efficient. In the last decade this has become a prominent feature of many washing machines. An energy efficient washing machine will use less water and less power to clean your laundry. That means that the more you wash, the more you save. Some people say that you should only go for the most energy efficient washing machines if you do a lot of washing. I think that’s nonsense, we all want to save money every time we use the washing machine even if we only use it occasionally. It’s also helping the planet by reducing carbon emissions.
Lots of Features. A washing machine with many different combinations of cycles, temperatures, sensors etc., may well suit someone who will be doing many different types of washing, but beware, you may need to spend some time understanding the instruction manual only to find that you’ll never have cause to use many of the buttons and dials. You might do better to get one that does straightforward washing well, if your requirements are simple.
Size. Will your washing machine fit into your kitchen? If there’s not much space or depth, you can get machines with smaller drums and that have less depth than standard machines. This might also be a suitable type of washing machine if you live alone, and/or tend to wear suits and have them dry cleaned.
Washer/Dryers. These have a dual purpose, to both wash clothes and to dry them. Whether you need this facility depends on how much access you have to natural drying, such as a clothes line in a sunny garden.
An Intelligent washing machine. These are the latest generation, and have what some manufacturers call fuzzy control. They have sensors which automatically detect the fabric type and accordingly determine the wash time, water and detergent required. You don’t have to do a thing- well, apart from putting the clothes and detergent in. All the controls will be set by the washing machine itself. That includes temperature, amount of water, amount of detergent and the time required for the wash, the spin and the dry.
These are the basic types of washing machines, or main features of washing machines. You are unlikely to buy many washing machines in your lifetime, so it behoves you to take your time and select that one that will most suit you! You can start the search for the perfect washing machine here: http://www.panasonic.co.uk/html/en_GB/2134489/index.html.