Washing Machines

Image Credit: djeyewater on stock.xchng (http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1056073)

Image Credit: djeyewater on stock.xchng (http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1056073)

Shopping Checklist - Washing Machines

  • Top or Front Load Determine what sort of washing machine you wish to purchase and then weigh up the advantages and disadvantages based against your needs.

  • Drum size The size of the drum tells you how many clothes can be washed in it. For a single person, something around a 4.5kg unit is more than enough, while a family with two or more children may want a 6kg or bigger unit.

  • Water use This is an important consideration as the less water the machine uses, the more money you will save in running costs. Make sure to check the WELS rating before making your purchase to determine your annual running costs.

  • Electricity use The less electricity the machine uses during operation, the more money you will save. Make sure to check the WELS rating before making your purchase to determine your annual running costs.

  • Cycle length Washing machines can offer a variety of cycle times, or a few as two options and many of these can save washing time and water use too. Depending on your laundry needs - for example a family versus a couple -- the cycle length options need to be considered.

  • Steam Some of the latest washing machines offer a steam cleaning functionality, which is designed to use a lot less water.

  • Gentle cycle Gentle cycles are an important cycle option to make sure fragile fabrics, such as silk, are not damaged during the washing process.

  • Spin speed Faster spin cycles can help dry your clothes, reducing the time your clothes need to be in a dryer or on the drying line.

  • Machine size Depending on your living space available, you will want a machine that fits in your designated laundry area.

  • Noise Some washers are louder than others, and depending on where it is located in your house, this may be disruptive to those in adjacent rooms.

  • Extra features Some machines will offer several washing cycles, which may be important if you wash laundry comprised of a variety of fabrics, and weights.

  • Special detergent Some front load machines require special detergent to operate, which may be an added expense, so check to see if the machine needs it.

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