Choosing a washing machine is tricky: the market is inundated with various models and features (front loader? top loader? smart spin? flexi-wash? agitator?) and it is hard to tell what exactly these features translate to.
So here’s a handy washing machine guide for you to cut through all the ‘spin’ and help you choose a washing machine to suit your needs.
Size is everything
The first thing you need to consider when choosing a washing machine is the size: not just of the machine but also the room where it is to be placed. If your bathroom is narrower than a prison cell or if your laundry room does not afford you much room to manoeuvre, then it is best to stick to a basic, single tub top-loading model.
If you have a slightly more space, consider a twin-tub washing machine that allows you to dry the clothes as well.
If you are on a strict budget and cannot afford to buy a washing machine or are worried about transportation when you move houses, then consider renting a washing machine instead.
That said, when it comes to the price of a washing machine, the more adjectives or verbs used in the description of ‘features’ the higher the price.
Do you really need a ‘smart’ washing machine that ‘talks’ to other appliances? The difference between a ‘semi-automatic’ and ‘automatic’ washing machine can come up to a few thousand rupees. Even something as basic as the colour of a washing machine (standard factory colours cost less) or the difference in loads all add up when it comes to the final price.
So if you are on a budget, then sacrifice some of the features and go for the model that suits your most basic needs.
Types of Fabric
If you have expensive taste when it comes to clothes, then set aside an appropriate budget to invest in a quality washing machine. Budget washing machines are indifferent to the needs of your fabric and won’t distinguish between the designer linen brand you wore once and the jeans you wear every day.
High-end washing machine brands have a variety of washing cycles for various fabric and colours. Look out for machines that offer custom features, highly adjustable washing speeds and spin cycles to increase the longevity of your clothes.
The laundry requirements of a family are quite different from that of a couple, or a bachelor. The most basic feature you need to decide on is the load a washing machine can take. If you plan on washing your quilts or household linen quite often, then go for a large front-loading washing machine.
Going for a completely automatic machine also makes sense for families, where the frequency of washing is quite high.
Energy and water usage
As a rule, automatic washing machines or front load machines tend to use up an astonishingly high amount of water. Most automatic washing machines also refuse to start unless they are filled with water. If you are concerned about electricity or water usage or live in an area with unpredictable water supply, then go for a top-loading machine. With a washing machine, the energy usage also shows up in the electricity bills in the long run.
Checking on energy and water usage beforehand would also save you any surprises, besides doing the environment a world of good.