Monday, July 6, 2009

Washing Machines

Washing machines has become one of the essential gadgets in modern day life. It has proved to be a great help with washing clothes in today's era where time and effort has become very expensive! There are many small things which we are not aware of or want to know. So I have tried to compile some basics about washing machines here. Hope this is of some use to you  :) 

Types of Washing Machines

They are categorized into various groups according to the functionality as follows:

By Loading:

  • Front Loading
  • Top loading

Difference between front loading and top loading washing machines:
(Front Loading vs. Top Loading)

  1. Front loading washing machines are heavier than top loading counterparts. Thus top loading machines are easier to move.
  2. Front loading machines cannot be stopped once you start the process, whereas in Top loading machine you can add clothes anytime in between the process.
  3. Front loading machine gives better performance as compared to the Top loading ones.
  4. Front loading machines are also comparatively more efficient in terms of resources, like water and power.
  5. Not necessarily always but usually Top loading machines are cheaper and easier to handle.
  6. Top loading machine is not good for delicate laundry but Front loading can handle them.
  7. Maintenance cost is almost nil in Top loading machines, whereas Front loading machines have maintenance cost, as it has some serviceable parts.
  8. Front loading washing machines takes longer washing time. Thus it consumes more energy as well.

So if you ask which of the two is better, then I would say that it’s all about preferences. The choice has to be optimum based on your priorities of cost, efficiency and performance. 

Summary: Front loading machines are better in performance and efficiency, and its top loading counterparts are cheaper, easier to handle and need less maintenance.

By Function:

  • Semi Automatic
  • Fully Automatic

These two types can be compared as follows:

(Semi automatic vs. fully automatic washing machines)

A semi-automatic, as the name suggests, will involve some manual work. For one thing these are top loading twin tub machines where the washer and the dryer are separate units. So you have the task of loading and unloading a couple of extra times.

A fully automatic, on the other hand, can be either front or top loading and only requires you to load the dirty laundry and unload them after the wash. It goes without saying that a semi-automatic is cheaper than the fully automatic machine.

About Load of Washing Machines:
Generally standard load for washing machines is 5 - 6 Kg, a bit higher loads is becoming standard this days. Also 7+ kg are available in the market, for higher usage i.e for need involving more volume of clothes. Also higher drum size means less creasing of clothes, which in turns means easier ironing.

Required Features in Washing Machines:
Must required:

1. It should have good washing quality in a given price range - Obviously!! :).

2. Not just good looks, but solid build is also very much required. Your machine should be robust for minimum wear and tear.
3. On power or machine failure, you should be able to remove soap water and clothes from the machines for manual washing and drying.
4. While spinning, it should not do be vibrtaing or sliding or moving around. It should be stable at one place.
5. On power failure, it should restart from the point it stopped. (i.e. should have Memory of wash cycle) 


1. Noise made while operation should be minimum.
2. May have an inbuild water heater if you need it. 
3. Water softeners or connector for areas having hard water.
4. Delayed wash (timer for starting at specific time, but for safety never start these kind of home
appliances in your absence).
5. Adjustable volume for alarm/buzzer sound.
6. Child lock for front loaders. A good safety feature.

Companies to look out for:

There are lots of brand for washing machines like LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, Onida, Godrej, Electrolux etc.
But the better machines are from Samsung and LG. Moreover these two companies have a wider presence so you get a better service!

For more comparisons and feedback on various machines available, aslo for prices check CompareIndia:

Choosing a proper location for installation of Washing Machine:

When planning to buy a washing machine, it is quite necessary to choose an appropiate place to install it. The factors to keep in mind are Power Supply, Water Supply and Drainage system. Good and easy access to all these is required.

You can put your questions here and I will try to get more details here :)