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Buying Guide for Washing Machine

Introduction


In this fast-paced lifestyle, everyone’s looking for home appliances that are time saving and reduce time taken to do household chores. A washing machine generally tops the list of the must-haves in any home. Available in a range of sizes, shapes and capacities, washing machines meet every need and budget. This washing machine buying guide India will help you choose the perfect washing machine for your home.

First take a look at these five most important questions you should ask yourself before you go washing machine shopping:

Top 5 Questions to Ask

  1. How much can I spend for the washing machine?
  2. Which brand can I go for?
  3. Does the machine require running water?
  4. Should I get a fully automatic or a semi-automatic washing machine?
  5. What are the good deals of warranty and guarantee available on the model?

Budget


Do you want to go for a basic model or a high-end washing machine? Your choice greatly depends on how much money you are willing to shell out. Check out the price details of different manufacturers for various models before you decide on one product. If you don’t want to invest in a new washing machine, you can go for a used washing machine or rental option.

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Brand


There are many manufacturers offering washing machines in a variety of models. Each brand has its own unique features and functions, which will make it stand apart from the others. Check the market value of all the brands, their popularity and other factors before you decide on one washing machine. The top 5 washing machine brands are LG, Samsung, Bosch, IFB, Videocon and Siemens.

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Types of Washing Machine (Based on Loading Type)


Top Load

A top load washing machine is a traditional type of washer where you need to open the lid from the top and load the laundry into the machine. It is very efficient, fill it- shut it- switch it on machine. Most come with a transparent lid where you can see the clothes when the machine is on. The latest top loaders also have sensors to sense the load and choose the detergent amount required for washing.

Advantages:

  • It is easy to load clothes standing; you need not sit or bend.
  • It provides wash similar to hand wash
  • Lightweight and easy to move

Disadvantages:

  • Could damage delicate clothes
  • Power consumption is high

Front Load

A front load washing machine, while being in the market for many years, is now catching on with consumers. In this appliance, the washing tub opens in the front of the machine. The door is transparent so you can see your clothes being washed. This washing machine is power efficient and also comes with sensors that can sense the load of the laundry and use detergent and water accordingly. The new technology has come up with many washing techniques like steam wash, power wash and more, especially for blankets and other heavy laundry. It is expensive when compared to top load but boasts of plenty of benefits.

Advantages:

  • Fully automatic
  • Advanced wash settings enhance performance
  • Maintenance cost is less

Disadvantages:

  • It is very expensive to buy.
  • Very heavy and can’t be easily moved from one place to another

Types of Washing Machines (Based on Blade Type)


Agitator

There is a spindle kind of a device at the center of the wash drum. It has fins and vanes that turn, giving a hand-wash kind of treatment to the clothes.

Advantages

  • Gives a wash that is similar to hand wash
  • Suitable for washing large loads as well as blankets, bedspreads, curtains, rugs

Disadvantages

  • Hard on clothes and they easily tangle during a wash cycle

Impeller

An Impeller is a rotating disc or hub that has replaced an agitator in some washing machines. During a wash cycle an impeller rotates and the vanes create turbulent waves in the water. These strong waves work hard on clothes and clean them.

Advantages

  • Loading the laundry is easy as the impeller occupies less space than that of an agitator
  • The strong waves created by the impeller motion effortlessly remove dirt from clothes

Disadvantages

  • Clothes may begin to “lint”

Pulsator

A Pulsator is a plastic panel that is designed to rotate clockwise and anti-clockwise. As a result there is a gentle kneading action that slowly removes dirt from the clothes without damaging the fabric. The rapid rotation creates a strong water flow that agitates clothes and breaks away dirt and grime.

Advantages

  • The dancing action of the washing machine will remove almost all the dirt from the clothes
  • The clothes are not tangled during the wash cycle

Disadvantages

  • Some pulsators are fast so that the clothes might get tangled depending on the type of the wash
  • Lint may be formed
  • The clothes might fade quickly

Top Loaders Vs Front Loaders

Here is a table comparing the features of top load and front load washing machines:

FeaturesTop LoadFront Load
CostLowHigh
NoiseLouderQuieter
Water usageMoreLess
MaintenanceLessMore
Water leakageLess proneMore prone
Special item careMore difficultEasier
Wash cycleShorterLonger
Spin cycleFaster Slower
EfficiencyLowerHigher

Types of Washing Machines (Based on Wash Technology)


Semi-Automatic Top Loading Washing Machine

They are basically top load washers that have two wash tubs, one for washing and the other is used for spinning or drying clothes. This is called semi-automatic washing machine because you need to manually remove the clothes from the wash tub and put them in the dryer.

Advantages:

  • A continuous water supply is not needed.
  • The process of washing takes less time.
  • Requires less amount of water.
  • Less power consumption.

Disadvantages:

  • Manual intervention is required when changing it from washing to drying mode.
  • The machine requires more space.

Fully Automatic Top Loading Washing Machine

The fully automatic machine basically washes and dries clothes in one tub and doesn’t need manual intervention during the wash cycle. The machine washes, rinses and spin automatically dries clothes, though you will need to put them out in the sun finally. Different wash options like Soak (pre-wash), heavy wash, hot water wash, quick wash and normal wash are available in this machine. In this full automatic washing machine buying guide, we give you the pros and cons of this home appliance.

Advantages

  • The wash cycle is fast and clothes can be added in mid-cycle.
  • It is light in weight so it can be moved easily from place to place.
  • It is cheaper when compared to Front load machines.
  • It does not require manual intervention.
  • Can come in Agitator or Impeller or even Pulsator versions.

Disadvantages

  • Not many washing options will be available as compared to a Front Loader.
  • It consumes a lot of water.

Fully Automatic Front Loading Washing Machine

They are the most advanced type of washing machines available in the market today. Front loading machines have a wash drum that opens in the front of the machine. The washing technique is the tumbler type that consumes less power, less detergent and results in better washing of clothes. The fast spinner technology extracts moisture from the clothes in a quick manner thereby reducing drying time. Their capacity is very high when compared to other washing machines, and many clothes can be washed at a time without any difference in the washing result.

Advantages:

  • A built-in heater is featured for hot water wash and steam wash.
  • It is more water efficient as it uses less water than Top Loaders.
  • It is also power efficient.
  • Multiple wash modes are available.

Disadvantages:

  • It is very expensive.
  • It is very heavy so moving from place to place is tough.
  • It needs continual water supply.

Comparison of Different Types of Washing Machines

FeatureSemi-Automatic.Top Loading Agitator.Top Loading Impeller.Front Loading.
Capacity.4Kg to 8Kg5.5Kg to 6Kg5.5Kg to 10Kg5Kg to 8Kg
Wash Quality.OkGoodGoodBest
Delicate Clothes.OkRougherGoodBest
Wash Cycle.FastestFastFastSlow
Hot Wash.NoFewFewAll
Space Required.MoreLessLessLess
Easily Movable.YesYesYesNo
Water connection.Not requiredRequiredRequiredRequired with pressure.

Quick Link: Washing Machine Functionality

Capacity Types

If you have a small family, it goes without saying that a small machine will suffice, while for a larger wash load in a larger family you will need a bigger washing machine. Here is a guide to help you choose the right capacity of washing machine for your family.

  • Single person – less than 4.9Kg.
  • A couple without children - 5Kg – 5.4Kg.
  • Family with 2 children - 5.5Kg – 5.9Kg.
  • Family with 3 to 4 children – 6Kg and more.
No of times you wash in a week.Family SizeCapacity Guide
3 times a week23 Kgs
4Between 4-6Kgs
6Above 6Kgs
2 times week2Between 4-6 Kgs
4Above 6Kgs
6Above 6Kgs

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Features


Usage Pattern

The usage pattern defines the way you use the washing machine. Do you wash heavy laundry most of the days in a week or small amount of laundry every day? Also if you are a busy person and can give no attention to the machine once it is turned on you need to go for a fully automatic. You need to choose well when it comes to washer type and capacity taking into consideration of the needs you have.

Drum Capacity

The size of the wash tub refers to Drum Capacity. You need a spacious tub to wash as many clothes as you need without getting them entangled with each other. Other benefits of having a large drum capacity are:

  • Saves time, energy and power.
  • The number of times you need to put the laundry reduces.

Drum Material

The tub material is usually made of plastic, steel or porcelain-enamel.

  • Plastic is durable and affordable.
  • Porcelain-enamel is the most common one found and is very much affordable.
  • Stainless steel is expensive but highly durable.

Wash Programs

You can set the type of wash using the program dashboard. Wash programs differ for different fabrics like cotton, wool, nylon and other materials.

LED/LCD Display type

In washing machines that have advanced settings, the display is provided in an LCD or LED screen. The conventional type of display is digital.

Spin Speed

Usually a washing machine has a spin speed of 800-1800 RPM or revolutions per minute. The higher the RPM, the more the washing machine will be able to remove water from the clothes, reducing drying time. The best option is to look for a washing machine with variable spin speed setting to protect delicate and woolen clothes from damage.

Wash Settings

Some machines come with presets of different wash types like quick wash, gentle wash and more. These settings will help wash different types of fabrics without damaging them. The quick wash setting will give an option of a quick wash to the clothes you need immediately.

Fuzzy Logic

Advanced washing machines come with fuzzy logic where the whole wash cycle is performed by pushing one button. The Fuzzy Logic senses the amount of laundry placed in the wash tub and sets a wash program according to it. It controls the water level, the detergent and the washing time.

Time Delay & Pre-soak

This feature enables you to load the machine with laundry and soak it for a required amount of time. The pre-soak will let the clothes soak in soap water till it is ready to start the wash cycle.

Auto-restart

In case your wash cycle is interrupted due to any reason like for instance, an power cut, the Auto-restart feature resumes the wash cycle from the point of interruption once you turn it on again.

Auto Drainage

This features of the washing machine drains water automatically once one wash cycle is finished. You do not have to worry about draining out the water after every wash cycle. The benefit of Auto Drainage is that the clothes do not have to soak in dirty water for long time.

Hot Water Wash

A hot water wash ensures the clothes will be bacteria free. Clothes worn by persons with skin infection or diseases will be disinfected by the hot water wash cycle.

Air dry

The Air dry feature helps you to dry the clothes. If you are in a tearing hurry to get dry clothes, you can opt for this feature. Also, during monsoon, air dry comes very handy.

Noise

You might need a machine that runs quietly when you have to place it in the living room or bedroom. Some washing machines are provided with No Noise feature that works silently and you can be sure of not being disturbed by the washing machine during a wash cycle.

Child Lock

This feature ensures that kids will not be able to play with the machine. You will need to set a lock code or password to access it.

Wash load sensor

Usually advanced and high end washing machines have wash load sensor. It helps to identify the load and modify or reprogram the wash cycle according to the load. Even if it is overloaded on a particular side because of entangled fabrics this feature manages to balance the machine if it jumps or hops due to overload (This can happen when large amount of clothes get entangled while washing).

Auto dispensers

Auto dispensers dispense the used detergent or fabric conditioner or softener or bleach once they are used. The cabin provided to fill the detergent and fabric conditioner can be filled once in a while for a particular number of washes. So even if you forget to fill the cabin before your start washing, you need not worry.

Extra rinse cycle

The extra rinse cycle allows the machine to rinse the clothes for more than required time. This will be handy if there is a laundry full of towels, blankets or curtains.

Steam programming

Some machines have this feature that sends steam into the clothes while washing to remove allergens. The clothes are refreshed as the stains are removed effective by the steam. It can also be used to dry clean clothes.

Control

Control pads come in two forms: dial type and digital controls. Now, of course there is a new entrant: LCD touch pads.

Energy Star rating

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) gives an Energy Star rating to all washing machines in the country. The more the stars, the better the efficiency of the machine. Star ratings start from one star to five stars!

Warranty

Washing machines are high end home appliances with lot of functionalities. Though tough built and efficient, these too are prone to wear and tear. Most top brands of washing machines offer warranty on various parts and guarantee on their product. Make sure you check the warranty and guarantees before picking up your appliance.

Service and Maintenance


Keep your washing machine running in top condition with regular service and maintenance. Sign up an AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract) to ensure reliable repair service even after the warranty period is completed.

Installation Tips


A washing machine is an electronic appliance that needs expert installation. Most companies will send a service engineer to install the machine and give a demo to show how it works.

  • Ensure that you have the plumbing to connect a water source to the machine.
  • Make sure that there is an adequate water outlet as well.
  • Be careful before deciding the place to fit your washing machine as Fully Automatic machines are pretty heavy and it will be a tough task to move it to another place.
  • Ensure that the machine is well earthed to prevent electrical shocks.

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