There was a time when washing clothes was a difficult and laborious activity, as everything had to be done by hand. Thankfully the washing machine was introduced to the world and hands were untied and time freed up. Washing machines are now commonplace and an indispensable appliance in the daily life of most households.
The first washing machine was very simple, featuring a basin that could automatically spin the clothing. With technological advances came modern washers, that had evolved from their predecessors, which boast a variety of features and settings, such as predefined programs for different clothing types, spin rotation speeds, varying temperatures and drying.
We are lucky these days to have an abundance of choice with almost anything we wish to buy but that does throw up the problem of knowing where to start. It can feel like too much choice. Amongst other things, you need to consider your budget, research every detail of the product and take into account the available space in your home.
So, we decided to provide a handy checklist of things that should simplify the buying process.
First of all you need to know how much you can afford spending on a washing machine.
As with most things, the cheapest option is not always the best option, especially when it comes to appliances that get used regularly. Consider your needs carefully and find washer at a reasonable price that best meets your requirements.
One of the determining factors should be the energy efficiency of the machine as energy and water consumption will be a recurrent expense. Paying a little more upfront could save you money in the long run.
When you start researching buying a washing machine you will notice that there are automatic and semi-automatic options.
On one hand, automatic washers do all the processes by themselves, from programming cycles to spinning. There are even models that can choose the required amounts of detergent and fabric softener according to the type and amount of clothing.
On the other, semi-automatic washers are usually cheaper and more economical in terms of energy and water consumption. However, they do require a little more manual input that their automatic counterparts so balance the pros and cons of both and find the best fit for you.
Washing machines that offer a drying setting are great and especially useful for smaller homes that don’t have much space or gardens to dry clothing. It also obviously removes the need to invest in an additional large household appliance.
These washer/dryer combination machines can also be energy smart as they usually come with advanced technology that limits water and energy usage. Of course, if you find that a washer dryer is above your budget you can always opt for a drying rack, which is a simple and affordable solution.
A feature that you might want in a washing machine is a centrifuge.
In essence, a centrifuge allows your washer to spin wet laundry at high speeds in order to remove the water. And dry the clothing more quickly, which is handy if you need those jeans dry in a hurry! Again, as with the washer/dryer, this is useful for smaller homes that have limited space for drying clothing.
Air dryers can accelerate the process of drying wet laundry by using hot or cold air.
What will you need cold air for? Well, firstly there are clothes that are heat sensitive and therefore unsuited to being dried with hot air. Secondly, after your clothes have been dried with hot air, you have the option to supplement this with a 10-minute blast of chilly air, which leaves the fabrics soft and fresh.
Air dryers are suitable for large families who do more laundry and households that have enough space to facilitate them as you would still need a washing machine. So if space isn’t an issue in your laundry, kitchen or bathroom and your budget can accommodate, consider adding an air drier!
You will finally need to consider the size of the washing machine, which is measured by the holding capacity of the basin.
According to the amount of people living in the home you should have a pretty good idea of how often clothes will need to be washed and in what quantities. For example, for a family of 3, a washing machines that can handle 9-10kg loads should be ideal.
You almost mustn’t ignore the type of laundry you will wash most often as things like towels and blankets require greater capacity and, therefore, will increase the frequency you will use the machine.