Washing Machines: Keeping Your Load Light and Clean
Doing laundry is something you don't really look forward to. However, you can make it bearable or even convenient through the help of a washer, or better yet, a matching washer and dryer bundle or combination. Though basic and more economical models only offer washing, washer and dryer sets from brands like Panasonic, Samsung, Electrolux, Toshiba, Sharp, LG, Cornell, Whirlpool, and many more, are capable of delivering thorough cleaning and quick drying in one convenient package. Newer models can easily be customized to match your color schemes or be hidden under a cupboard making them not just helpful, but also stylish.
The last decade revolutionized washing machines, they've become more efficient, feature filled, and more affordable. However, not all washers are created equal, some are having a tough time meeting energy efficiency standards without sacrificing cleaning, while some are very capable and efficient. Capacities of washers (be they a top or front loader) continuous to increase, with some models handling up to 20 kilograms of laundry. Other improvements include mid-wash soaking and more aggressive sanitation and agitation. Newer models also come with programmable wash menus and even built-in USB ports (and soon Wi-Fi) that will allow for future software upgrades and multimedia connectivity. There may only be two major types of washers, but choosing one that will deliver your needs and fit your space can still be daunting, you have to consider location, check for noise and vibrations (this is very important especially if you have limited space or you aer if your laundry room is near bedrooms or the living room), look for models that let you silence end-of-cycle signals, finally, you should also consider size (how much laundry do you do on a regular basis? Will you need to stack a dryer on top of it? Does it need to fit in your built in shelf or cupboard?). Having considered all this aspects will help you narrow down your list of suitable appliance.
Technically there three major types of washers, the very economical and traditional top loading one, the all-around front-loading one, and the easy to tuck away compact type. The compact type is, well, basically a smaller version of the traditional top loading type and it has very limited capacity, they are ideal for those living in smaller spaces and of course, does not do so much heavy laundry. Top-loaders with center-post agitators typically cost less and wash the fastest. They also come in high-efficiency version which can hold more laundry, use less water to wash, and extract more of it cutting drying time, saving energy and money. however, top-loaders still underperform compared to the slightly pricier front-loaders. Front-loading types generally use the least water and spin the fastest, resulting in the most savings. Both types, at least the more modern ones, come with electronic controls which lets you quickly choose cycles and keep an eye on the remaining cycle time and status. Detergent, bleach, and softener dispensers release the powder or liquid automatically in the front loading type at the right time in the cycle, this makes a difference on their efficacy and the cleanliness of your laundry.
Features to Look Out For
Aside from considering whether it is a top or front loader or how much its capacity is or whether it has a stream feature, there are other extra features that you should consider before deciding on a unit. We've listed some of the more desirable washing machine features that you should check out to make sure that the unit you will be buying really does what you need and what you expect it to do. Here they are:
- Automatic temperature control: This feature adjusts the water to the correct temperature for the cycle you're using. Most machines mix hot and cold water in preset proportions and an automatic temperature control adjusts for especially cold incoming water.
- Automatic dispensers: Auto dispensers for bleach, detergent, and fabric softener release powder or liquid at the appropriate time in the cycle; bleach dispensers also prevent spattering. Some models hold months' worth of detergent, dispensing it automatically while letting you refill the reservoirs less frequently so you don't need to estimate how much detergent you need to scoop or pour before every session.
- Automatic load sensing: This feature is very handy and is often available on front-loaders and most high-efficiency top-loaders, this automatically determines load size and the amount of water needed.
- Extra rinse cycle: Not all models offer this option and this is helpful if you're sensitive to detergent residue.
- Controls: Though dial-controls can still be found even in newer traditional models, electronic controls with a dial, push button, or touchpad tend to be more versatile, letting you save favorite settings and are more durable. Some upscale models offer dedicated controls for different fabrics such as cotton, wool, silk, denim, etc. Touchscreens are also available on higher-end models and have a display with a progression of menus with customized programs, though they can be tough to learn and navigate for not so tech-savvy users. However, they offer the most options and added information, such as a stain guide, and an overview on how far along are you on the cycle.
- High-quality tub: Look for a stainless-steel or plastic tub as unlike a porcelain drum, stainless or plastic, it won't rust if it's chipped and stainless tubs can withstand higher spin speeds, which extracts more water and speeds up drying.
- Remote control: Some washers from LG, Samsung, and Whirlpool are Wi-Fi enabled (that's right, Wi-Fi is no longer limited to TVs, gaming consoles, computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets!), providing remote control via your smart device and letting you monitor your laundry's progress, start/stop the machine, and more. Needless to say,this feature is found on the more expensive models.
- Steam setting: Don't buy a washer for the steam feature alone. Steaming is supposed to boost cleaning, but washing machines that have this feature cleaned well without using the steam option. This feature also consume way more electricity that can rival those of an air conditioner's.
- Time-saving wash option: As washers have become more water efficient, wash times have increased and can range from 60 to 90 minutes for high-efficiency top-loaders and 60 to 100 minutes for front-loaders. Some manufacturers add a time-saving option to trim normal wash times.
Front Loading vs Top Loading Washing Machines
You have a choice of three types: traditional top-loaders with center-post agitators, top-loaders without center post agitators (also known as high-efficiency or HE top-loaders), and front-loaders. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. However, the compact type, though able to wash clothes efficiently, is only advantageous for those concerned with space. It is when comparing front and top loading that the decision making starts getting tough. Below are the advantages of each type:
Front load washing machines:
- Spins faster than top load washers, meaning more water is extracted and therefore shortening the amount of time needed in the dryer and washer. They also often have more spin speed options compared to traditional types.
- The best front-loaders typically clean better and more efficiently than the best high-efficiency top-loaders.
- Use less water with the Energy Star certified models using 25 to 50 per cent less water.
- Rely on tumble action to clean clothes and is gentler.
- Most can handle roughly 8 to 20 kg loads and spin even faster than high-efficiency top-loaders
Top load washing machines:
- Generally cost less than front loading machines, but are less efficient.
- The machine itself can easily be cleaned.
- The higher spin speed reduces dryer time and energy consumption by extracting more water.
- Clothes can be added after the cycle has started.
Find the Best Deals and Prices in Malaysia
When you need a convenient and fully functional washing machine for your home, consider top-load models from trusted brands such as Panasonic, Electrolux, and Meck. There are also units with more than 4.7 cubic-feet of interior washing space, that are also Energy Star compliant like most models from Whirlpool, Samsung, and LG. You can also choose one that is both a washer and a dryer, allowing you to save space and money as you are buying two devices for the price of one. We understand that washers, especially excellent quality ones, require a small investment, that is why we are giving you the chance to conveniently hunt for bargains and compare for prices from different retailers and stores here in Malaysia. Read reviews and check out product specifications while deciding on the payment and delivery method you prefer, all in one easy to navigate site.