What is a washing machine and why is it so popular

What is a washing machine and why is it so popular?

What is a washing machine?

The washing machine is a household appliance that we can use to do our laundry. A life without this household appliance is probably no longer imaginable and would also be very tedious. In some households it is used every day, not only to wash clothes, but also to clean dirty blankets, towels, curtains , bed linen and many other textiles.

COMFEE' Portable Washing Machine

The current washing machines are usually filled at the front through a round opening and are referred to as front-loading washing machines. In contrast, there are also washing machines where you load the dirty laundry from above. These are referred to as top loading washing machines . These top-loading washing machines are suitable for small, narrow spaces due to their compact dimensions.

The front-loading washing machine is easy to fill because the opening is quite large. Smaller people in particular have fewer problems with the front-loading machine than with the top-loading washing machine. Since this is filled or cleared from above, you sometimes have to bend far into the drum to be able to remove smaller parts.

How does the front loading washing machine work?

Front-loading washing machines are loaded from the front. Fill the washing powder into the appropriate containers . During washing, the laundry drum rotates, the laundry in it is moved back and forth and the laundry is cleaned by the washing powder, the dirt particles are washed out.

The washing water used is drained off via a drain hose , then the laundry is rinsed and spun. Spinning reduces the residual moisture in the laundry, which means that the laundry dries faster in the dryer or on the clothesline. However, you should make sure that you do not spin very fine textiles such as silk or wool too hard. For this reason, there are different washing programs aimed at such specific washing functions. When spinning, it is important that the washing machine stands firmly and securely. If the washing machine is correctly aligned, it will not move an inch from its place, even with strong spin cycles.

The opening for filling the front-loading washing machine has the shape of a porthole, which is why this opening is called that. The porthole is usually made of shatterproof glass. So you can take a look inside the washing machine during the washing process. A corresponding lock on the door ensures that you cannot open the porthole during the washing process. Some washing machines – including some in our comparison – have a so-called reload function , which makes it possible to put items of clothing in the washing machine later when the machine is already running.

When washing in the washing machine, the water in combination with the washing powder ensures that the laundry comes out clean. Various washing programs are available to you, which are tailored to the individual materials. Some of the washing machines also have a program that can be selected for heavily soiled laundry.

As a rule, the washing machine drum holds around 6 kilograms of laundry, but there are also machines that can hold 7, 8 and more kilograms. The maximum for household washing machines is 10 kilograms.

The different model types of washing machines in comparison

When choosing a washing machine, there are basically two different models that are common in US. These are the types that have to be operated either from above or from the front in the classic way . This affects the input of the laundry to be cleaned, which you would like to process in one wash cycle. Special built-in appliances are also available for the kitchen, as well as universal washer- dryers that combine the functions of a standard washing machine with a dryer in just one appliance. You can save a lot of space and depending on the household appliance and the brand, you can also save money.

1. Front loader: You can easily recognize classic washing machine front loaders by the fact that you have to operate the appliance door on the front. A front loader could be an alternative for you , especially if you are looking for a built-under device. You can use the upper side as a shelf or place a dryer on it, provided the technical specifications of the washing machine allow this. Front loaders are among the preferred models in many countries. Corresponding devices cost between 150 and up to around 1,000 euros . For some branded devices that stand out with many different functions and selected programs, you have to expect even higher prices.

2. Top loader: If you only have a small amount of space and would like to load the laundry into the washing machine from above, a top loader , which is particularly common in America, is ideal for you. One advantage of the front loader is that the back is protected when filling. The filling window is easy to reach from above, so there is no need to bend down. Anyone with back problems can benefit from it. However, most devices with this classic design do not have a viewing window, so you cannot see exactly how the wash cycle is being carried out.

3. Built-in appliances for the substructure in kitchen units and special cupboard systems: In addition to the front loaders, there are also special built-in washing machines . Basically, these devices hardly differ from the commercially available front loaders. As a difference, however, it must be mentioned that the devices can be built under. This means that they are suitable for being built into kitchen units or cupboard systems. The space-saving accommodation of the washing machine is completely uncomplicated for you. With some systems you have the option of installing a door in front of the washing machine.

4. Washer-dryer: If you like to use a washing machine with a drum function, you can opt for a washer-dryer. They combine the two important functions of cleaning and drying laundry in just one single household appliance. Washer dryers are available at a higher price. You should budget at least 1,000 USD for appropriate branded devices that are well equipped.

The right washing machine for your home – you should pay attention to this!

Many consumers ask themselves which washing machine is best suited for their own purposes. We have attached an overview with various recommendations and important features that you can use to help you decide when to buy your washing machine.

1. Washing machines for singles and two-person households: If you live alone or with your partner, the laundry to be cleaned every week is quite manageable. So you can use a washing machine from the entry-level range and make compromises in terms of capacity. It can be between 2 and 5 kilograms.

2. Washing machines for large families : In a family with several children or in shared apartments , the volume of dirty laundry is significantly higher, so you should rely on a model that offers a sufficiently large drum. You should also make sure that the washing machine has the energy efficiency class A +++ and also offers a good spin efficiency class. Some convenient functions, such as dosing aids or different washing programs, are also recommended.

3. Washing machines for large families: If you have to clean the laundry for at least five people, then you should buy a washing machine that has a capacity of 10 kilograms. Of course, energy efficiency also plays an important role in this case. The same applies to some washing programs, which often have to be selected. This applies, for example, to white, dark or wool laundry that needs to be cleaned regularly.

The differences in washing machines

1. One difference in the washing machines is the capacity . This ranges from a laundry load of 5 kilograms to a maximum of 10 kilograms. Purchasing a smaller washing machine can be worthwhile for individuals. However, a washing machine with a larger capacity makes sense if you want to wash larger textiles such as bed linen, blankets or curtains. A washing machine with a capacity of 5 kilograms can quickly be too small. The washing machines with a capacity of 7 to 10 kilograms are suitable for larger families.

2. Of course, it is the different program selections that make the difference in the washing machines. While some washing machines have the standard programs, more modern washing machines also offer special washing programs for outdoor clothing, lingerie, silk, wool and other delicate fabrics. The spin speed of the washing machine is also controlled based on the program selected, so that the textiles are cared for accordingly.

3. Special programs such as the jeans program, savings program, shirt and blouse program or even programs for pet owners make all the difference. Corresponding washing programs are also available for cleaning baby clothes. These ensure hygienic cleanliness and remove germs and bacteria.

4. The operation and the display of the washing machines are also to be mentioned as differences between the individual versions and types. While all washing machines have a corresponding display, other machines can already be checked and operated via smartphone, or problems can be sent to the service technician via mobile phone.

5. The revolutions per minute are also a difference. The spin speed is between 400 and 1,800 revolutions. The programs specify the rotations independently, so that, for example, lingerie is only spun at 400 rotations and towels at just under 1,400 rotations.

6. As already mentioned, the washing machines differ in their energy efficiency, i.e. the energy consumption. The annual consumption of water also varies from washing machine to washing machine. The models in efficiency class A are particularly efficient and energy-saving. You should choose them, especially from the A+++ class, if you place greater value on the environment and low energy consumption.

7. Some washing machines also offer a few technical extras , such as the refill function . Laundry can be placed in the drum via an extra opening once the washing process has started. Start and end time preselection are also useful extras.

8. In terms of operational safety , modern washing machines have certain safety devices that prevent water damage. The integrated water stop prevents water from escaping if the washing machine malfunctions. Some washing machines have an alarm that reports directly if a valve is defective or a hose is torn.

9. Various convenience functions are also in demand these days. This applies, among other things, to a practical child safety lock, which means that the door cannot be opened during operation without special handling. Automatic functions should also be mentioned in this context.

10. The start time preselection is also very interesting . This feature allows you to set when to start the washing process. For example, you can select the washing cycle for the period when you are at work. This makes it easier to use.

11. Most washing machine displays allow you to operate them by touch. This is particularly intuitive and offers a number of advantages compared to countless buttons.

12. A practical control of the washing machine via app is also supported by many modern household appliances. All you have to do is install the free apps on your smartphone or tablet computer, after which you can use a form of remote control.

What should you pay attention to when buying a washing machine?

When buying a washing machine, the first thing that matters is how much laundry accumulates. Based on this assessment, you can decide on a specific drum size. Of course, by choosing a large-capacity washing machine, you can reduce the number of washes, provided you have enough clothes to get you through that week.

If you often wear blouses or shirts, it makes sense to use a washing machine with a special program for these textiles . Precisely because these items of clothing crease easily, a washing machine with crease protection is worth considering. Most washing machines are already equipped with the crease protection as standard.

Otherwise, you should pay just as much attention to the normal washing programs as to any additional programs. You know your clothes best, so you decide which additional washing programs you want the washing machine to have. Some washing machines offer a special jeans washing program , which is definitely useful if you wear jeans frequently.

Depending on the room in which the washing machine is installed, the noise level can also play an important role in the purchase. In the basement, nobody is usually disturbed by the running washing machine. However, if it is in the bathroom or in the kitchen, the low noise level of the washing machine can be an advantage.

Whether a start or end time preselection is important to you is up to you. Most washing machines have this feature as standard.

How is an economical washing machine defined?

When buying a washing machine, the lower price can be tempting at first. But in the long run, a more expensive model might be worth it if it can boast low power consumption. In this way you save on household costs in the long term and the machine becomes cheaper and cheaper over the years.

The devices must have the US energy label, on which the manufacturers state the annual energy consumption in kilowatt hours per year. Category A+++ offers the lowest energy consumption with a maximum limit of 196 kilowatt hours per year. Many manufacturers are now well below that, so that there are models with a consumption of less than 100 kilowatt hours per year on the market.

Another important point in the economical washing machines is the water consumption. Make sure that the washing machine does not use more than around 11,000 liters a year. The lower the consumption of the device, the more economical the machine. As a rule, however, the commercially available machines have a consumption of between 9,000 and 11,000 liters. Water consumption is also measured on the basis of 220 wash cycles per year – with the standard program at 60 degrees Celsius. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection gives some tips for economical washing.

How much money should I spend on a washing machine?

The purchase price for a washing machine is certainly an important factor in the purchase decision for many households. A look at the commercially available devices makes it clear that the price difference between the individual models is large. This is how you can find the cheapest devices between 200 and 400 USD. On the other hand, you can also buy a corresponding model that costs well over 1,000 USD.

The price depends on many factors. Among other things, the design, capacity, programs, revolutions per minute and other functions play an important role here. In addition, you pay a few euros more if you choose a model from a brand manufacturer. When buying a machine, you should look for the right mix of quality, extensive range of functions and price if possible.

In addition, the intended use plays a role. Singles who only do their own laundry can find simple models around 300 USD. However, if you are fighting the mountain of laundry in a household with several children every day, the range of functions should be greater, so that the price of a washing machine is also higher. In this case, you should be able to find a good product in the price range between 500 and 700 USD.

The care of the washing machine - an important point for long durability

1. You should occasionally clean the door seal with a damp cloth. Residues can accumulate in the rubber seal of the porthole and should be removed.

2. Descaling is useful for the care of the washing machine. You can either use special descaler, but you can also use citric acid or acetic acid to descale the washing machine. The washing machine should be decalcified about every 6 months. Limescale deposits in the washing machine drum, on the heating elements and in the hose system disappear when the washing machine is decalcified. Descaling improves the cleaning effect of the washing machine and at the same time extends the life of the washing machine. If the water hardness is below 2.5 mmol/l, you generally do not need a descaler, as the soft water leaves only minimal limescale deposits. For example, to descale, add 100 grams of citric acid to 2 liters of water and pour this mixture into the drum. Then add the laundry – it’s best to use hot wash without a pre-wash. If your washing machine has a pause button, you can stop the machine during the wash cycle so that the citric acid mixture can work better when it is idle. Then let the wash run through to the end. In order to effectively descale the washing machine, you need information about the water hardness in your region. You can ask your responsible water supplier about this or you can measure it yourself.

3. From time to time you should also clean the lint filter of the washing machine . If the laundry smells unpleasant after washing, this may be due to a clogged fluff filter. When cleaning, note that when you remove the lint filter, water will drip out of this opening. It is best to put a container underneath to catch the water.

4. Clean the detergent drawers every 3 months. Residues of liquid and powder or heavy-duty detergents collect here.

5. As soon as the washing process has ended, you should remove the laundry from the appliance promptly.

6. It is also recommended that you run the washing machine regularly with an empty cycle at at least 60 degrees. Accordingly, the formation of odors is greatly restricted or prevented.

7. In order to wash the laundry efficiently, the machine should be sufficiently filled. However, overfilling is to be avoided in any case.

3 tips for washing in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way

1. No half full washes: You should always avoid half full washes. Otherwise, the washing machine wastes water, energy and detergent intended for a larger volume. It is therefore advisable that the laundry can be collected separately according to color or material and then washed in one go.

2. Too much detergent for the laundry: Some consumers often use too much detergent. Since many detergents are not particularly good for the environment, the amount should be strictly adhered to at best. Many manufacturers give a dosage recommendation that should be observed.

3. Washing processes that are clearly too hot: As a rule, it is not necessary to select certain washing programs with particularly high temperatures in order to process the dirty laundry. Instead, programs up to 60 degrees are usually sufficient. The higher the temperature, the more energy is consumed.

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