What determines the best washing machine?
- Is it how user-friendly it is?
- Or how it boasts a wide range of cutting-edge features?
Well, we believe that the ideal washing machine must have a little bit of both. And more importantly, it must cater to all of its customer’s needs as well.
But finding the right washer that will fit your demands is not easy to come across. With various types and sub-genres, each machine provides unique features that satisfy different needs.
And if you are in a similar dilemma, then we have just the right guide for you. Today, we bring you a comprehensive list of the various types of washing machines, with some impressive features to look out for, along with a few things to keep in mind before making the purchase.
So without further ado, let’s dive in.
The Types of Washing Machines
When it comes to choosing the right washing machine that can match your needs, then searching for the best washing machine brand in Australia alone is not enough.
It is also essential to keep in mind the type of washer you want, and the features that it can provide.
And speaking of the types of washing machines, the washer category primarily revolves around semi-automatic and fully-automatic washers.
Whereas the top load and front load designs fall under the fully-automatic sub-genres.
So, let’s take a look at the two different categories in greater detail.
Semi-Automatic vs. Fully Automatic Washing Machines
1. Semi Automatic Washing Machine
The semi-automatic washing machines are the most economical entry-level washers. These cater to the ones who don’t mind getting their hands dirty during laundry time. Structurally, these washers are built with two tubs, one for washing another for drying; hence they need a lot of human intervention and manual work.
Using the semi-automatic can get a bit physically taxing for the older customers, but its features are quite user-friendly. All you have to do is manually add the required amount of water into the washing tub, with a bucket, or water hose. Then add the detergent, set the washing time and fabric type, and you are all set.
It is important to note here that the washer will not automatically drain the dirty water. After washing is done, you will have to change the washing mode to the water drain settings manually.
But, if you are looking for a more relaxing laundry experience, or suffer from severe back issues, then by no means do we recommend a semi-automatic.
Even with all its shortcomings, the semi-automatic washer is ideal when it comes to electric consumption and water efficiency. It is one of the most energy-efficient washers in the market, and as water is poured in manually, you will not have to worry about water wastage ever again.
2. Fully Automatic Washing Machine
The more user-friendly washer type, but twice as expensive than its semi-automatic counterpart. The fully-automatic washing machines can be categorized into two classes, depending on how you load the laundry in it; the top loader or front loader.
Both Top load and Front load washing machines differ in function, and they each have something unique to offer to all their customers.
Unlike the semi-automatic washers, the fully-automatic ones keep human intervention at a bare minimum. It has a single tub for both washing and drying processes, and all you have to do is put the clothes in and start it.
There is no requirement for pouring the water manually into the tub, and after washing is done, the mode is automatically switched to drying. The only time you touch the machine is when you have to remove the clean clothes from its tub.
No matter how convenient it feels, the fully-automatic is at a disadvantage when it comes to being energy efficient. It has a heavy built and is hard to transport and consumes a considerable amount of electricity while making a loud noise during washing.
But all in all, the fully-automatic provides a relaxing and fantastic laundry experience.
Top Load Vs. Front Load Washing Machine
You might be asking yourself, “Which washing machine is better front load or top load?”.
Well, the debate between the top load and front load washing machine is an age-old battle, that never ceases to amaze.
So let’s see which one of the two can best fit your preferences.
1. Top Load Washing Machine
As the name might suggest, you load the Top Load Washing Machine by putting the clothes in from the uppermost side, as the tub sits vertically in the machine. It has a single tube that caters to both washing and drying purposes, thereby limiting the need to move clothes between various tubs.
The top loading washing machines need a continuous water flow; hence they are attached to water pipe inlets which the washer’s control according to their needs and requirements. And even with fewer wash programs than the front loaders the top loaders more than make up for it with their flexible design and affordability.
The primary feature that the top loader holds over the front one, is in user convenience and cost-effective price. By virtue of its vertically placed tub, even if the wash cycle is on, you can always open the lid and add in more clothes whenever you choose.
And its design is comfortable on the back as well; you don’t have to bend too much to remove the clothes from the tub as you will have to do for front loaders.
2. Front Load Washing Machine
When it comes to managing dirty laundry, the Front Load washing machines genuinely represent the pinnacle of modern engineering. From remote controlled start and stop timers to fantastic wash settings for each type of cloth, the front loader boasts a wide array of functionality.
But such cutting-edge technology and utility come with its own cost; the front loaders are the most expensive brand of washing machines in the market today.
You fill this type of washer from the front as its drum sits horizontally. With over 30 wash programs and amazing features like advanced child lock, the front loader provides excellent wash quality and a fantastic laundry experience.
It honestly is one of the best when it comes to water efficiency and washing delicate clothes that need a different rinsing cycle and water temperature.
But if we are to point out the front loader’s downsides, then its shortcomings lie in its design. You will not be able to add clothes, once the wash cycle starts, and bending down to get your clothes every now and then can be tremendously taxing for the spine.
The front loader is not recommended for those with a spinal condition.
Some Unique Washing Machine Features
Irrespective of their types, each washing machine comes with a variety of unique features and programmes. And we have taken the liberty to chart out a few just for you.
1. Correcting Unequal Weight Distribution
This is perhaps one of the most essential features a washing machine can have.
It is not always possible for us to measure our laundry while filling in the wash tub. And an unequal load distribution can make the wash cycle spin out of balance.
The “balance sense” feature of a washer will help it detect and redistribute uneven load thereby preventing mid-wash cycle interruption. The washer corrects the load quite easily, either by spinning slowly before the full cycle or letting more water through into the tub, that helps to equalize the cloth weight.
2. Fuzzy Logic
It is the base AI for any modern washing machine. It is one of those features that is paramount to making every laundry experience a fantastic one. There are moments when a customer might not know what the best washing condition for a particular expensive cloth is. And putting in the wrong setting can affect its core material, thereby ruining it.
But Fuzzy Logic allows the washer to automatically choose the best washing conditions which include, wash time, amount of water and detergent. It senses the number of clothes loaded into the machine and their particular core build and then customizes the wash as it sees fit.
3. Quick Wash
Not all washing machines are capable of it. A quick wash entails finishing up the wash cycle faster than the ordinary one. But it is important to keep in mind, that when opting for the quick wash feature the amount of clothes you put into the wash tub doesn’t exceed the threshold.
The amount of time that a quick wash is able to reduce depends primarily on the load of clothes you put in. A more massive load may just take as long as a regular wash cycle, wasting much of your precious time.
4. Adjustable Spin Speed
We all know the enormous amount of water a fully-automatic washing machine takes up. But if you are willing to opt for a more eco-friendly approach to all your laundry troubles, then this feature might just come in handy. And almost every fully-automatic washing machines have it.
Higher spin speeds extract more water from your clothes, which in turn reduces drying time and saves up a lot on water usage and electric consumption. On the flip side, a lower spin speed would be much more ideal for delicates and easily creased fabrics.
5. Extra Rinsing Option
The stronger detergents can be very hard to remove in a single wash cycle; as a result, they leave white marks behind on your clothes when dried. Luckily, some washers have an extra run feature added to the end of every wash program, which allows the user to opt for an extra rinse once the primary wash cycle is done.
Some washers even go a step further and offer spray-rinse, that saves water and a deep rinse, which utilizes more water. Residual detergent on cloth can cause allergic reactions on the sensitive skin; an extra rinse feature caters to this problem quite nicely.
6. Start Delay
A lot of people like to soak their clothes in detergent water for sometime before giving it a thorough wash. This method ensures that the laundry turns out much cleaner by the end of the cycle. Many washing machines today, allow soaking with their start delay feature, as you will be able to start the washing machine at a predetermined time.
After setting the time, the washing machine fills its tub with the required amount of water, which mixes with the detergent. The washer then sits idle or the set amount of time and allows the clothes to soak in the detergent water.
7. Internal Water Heater
This feature is more of a front loader specialty, as their unique design enables them to incorporate a heater into their build. Even if the front loader is connected to a single cold water outlet, its warm to hot wash options, allow it to heat the water before use.
Needless to say, a washing machine with an internal heater provides more customizable temperature options that significantly improves wash flexibility. Different garments need different temperature settings that suit their base cloth material, a too high or too low temperature can ruin it beyond repair.
8. Auto Filtration
The dirtier your clothes, the more will there be residual unwanted dirt particles left behind in the wash tub. And without a proper filter, those particles can get re-deposited back onto your clothes no matter how thoroughly the machine washes it.
But a traditional mesh trap in the wash drum won’t do, to sieve out the most persistent dirt the machine needs a self-cleaning lint filter system. Which luckily a lot of semi-automatics and top loaders have.
Front loaders, on the other hand, don’t particularly need a lint filter as they are designed to be gentler on the clothes and have a trap filter that catches the dirt.
9. Crease Protect
A crease is a mortal enemy to any well-starched garment, and if you ask us, ironing is just a hassle. But there are a lot of washing machines that come with anti-crease features which will reduce a lot of ironing from your life.
The anti-crease comes with some extra utilities like rinse hold and drip dry as well. Rinse hold makes the washer hold on to the last bit of rinse water and not completely drain it. The drip dry on the other hand gradually stops the cycle spin while the rinse water is being drained, and also reduces the rinse water temperature after a warm or hot wash.
How to Choose the Best Washing Machine (Australian Guide)
We have cataloged a few things to look out for before making your washing machine purchase for picking the best washing machine in Australia.
1. Washing Machine Capacity
The primary thing that you should consider before getting a washing machine is how big your household is. A washers capacity ranges from 5kgs to a little over 18kgs, so picking the one that fits the needs of your home will not be a problem.
The larger washers go well with homes that have a lot of members or if you’re planning to wash bulky items like bedding. But then again, no matter how large your family is, buying the biggest machine may still not be a necessity. Because at an average none of us use more than half of the wash tub space and load a maximum of about 3.5kg.
2. Washing Machine Tub/Drum Material
Generally, a washing machine tub is made out of either stainless steel, porcelain enamel or high-density plastic. But when it comes to durability and longevity, in our opinion, stainless steel is perhaps the best. But not all washing machines have built their washing tubs with stainless steel.
The main issue we have with porcelain-enamel is that it very easily chips under too much laundry load or excessive cycle speed. Additionally, it easily rusts and corrodes as well. Plastic, on the other hand, is much more durable than enamel, but cracks under too much pressure.
3. Storage Space
The size and type of washing machine you choose to get will depend on the amount of space your home can provide in housing it. But not just housing space, you should also take into account the availability of adequate room for the machine to function correctly. From opening and closing the lid to loading and unloading the washtub, there should be enough space for you to work around.
If your laundry space is too small, then perhaps a front loader would be a better fit, as then you can mount the dryer of its top surface which can even double as a workspace.
4. Faster Wash Cycle
We are all victims of busy schedules and deadline driven lifestyles, which make proper time management essential during laundry time. But your clothes will get cleaned quicker only if there is a fast wash cycle, which is primarily a top loader specialty.
But if you are planning to get a front loader then make sure that it has a ‘fast wash’ settings program. As front loaders tend to use less water, it has a slower spinning action that is gentle on your clothes. But with the ‘fast wash’ feature it will yield a higher spin speed and extract more water from the clothes, reducing after wash dryer time significantly.
5. Noise Reduction
When it comes to spin cycle noise, the front loaders top the decimal chart. When compared to the top loaders the front loaders are bulkier, not at all easy to transport and create a louder and high pitched noise with every spin cycle.
You might be thinking that this may not be all that big of an issue, but hear us out on it first. The louder noise can have a significant impact on your lifestyle if your laundry is close to the living area. Not only will it ruin your living room experience, but can disturb a social gathering as well.
6. Cold and Hot Water Connections
A lot of washing machines require both hot and cold water to function optimally. So it is important to make sure that the plumbing in your laundry can provide both cold and hot water outlets. Excessively hot water can often fail at removing stains from your clothes. In such situations, a cold-water fill and slow heat up to the required wash temperature can aid the stain-removal process.
Getting a front loader will solve all the water inlet-outlet plumbing issues, as they generally come with their own heaters and need a single cold water connection.
7. Convenient and User-friendly
The modern day washing machine boasts a lot of features and functionality that look like glorified jargon to the average homeowner. So when you compare the different models in the store, make sure the washer you choose to buy not only has the features you need but also has straightforward program selections which are easy to set.
Fancy features and high-end models sound good in theory, but when in practical use, nothing tops convenient and easy to use functionality. Also, make sure that the machine has legible labeling on the controls.
8. Child Lock
In the past, there have been a lot of washing machine accidents with children, especially when the more playful ones choose the wash tub as their hiding spot. This is why some machines come with “child-lock” functions which could be either a physical lock on the washer or a programme that doesn’t allow the lid to open without the correct password.
In a home with curious children, it is essential to activate the door lock when the washer is not in use. Even though some manufacturers recommend keeping the lid partially open to reduce the risk of mold growth, safety is paramount.
When you are out to buy a washing machine, merely searching for a good washing machine is not enough. You have to keep in mind the different types and features and see which one best suits your laundry needs.
We hope you found our washing machine guide today to be helpful.
You can find more helpful washing tips in the home section of our website.
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