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Washing Machines buying guide

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Introduction to washing machines

Gone are the days where people would take their washing to be done by somebody else, with the credit crunch in full swing it's crucial to ensure that you get the right washing machine at the best possible price. Washing machines have come a long way and some are more advanced than others. Some models have so many programmes, that will cater for different fabrics, but this will cost you, for the more basic model you are looking at around £150. These days, for your money you would be looking to get about 10-20 years out of your new washing machine.

Many people who have the larger family and are more inclined to do a large number of washes each week, it would be worth considering the larger washing machine, it's cost effective and would need to be rather durable to cope.

Here are 3 main types of washing machine

Firstly we have the Front Loading Washer, the good old timer in washing machine terms been around a good few years. The main advantages of this are that it has been tested over and over again - so it should be good! It also tends to be quieter than the top loading washing machines. Front loaders tend to be for those of you that are really keen on saving the planet it uses less water, energy and detergent. It also has a much larger capacity. Now the down side, this is not cheap it could cost you a whopping £1000. It only really works with HE detergent and you cant add things mid cycle.

Standard top loader - now on the other hand this model will allow you to add mid cycle and is very easy to load too. It also uses normal detergents. Its also cheap starting at £160 and goes up to £600. Now unlike its older rival this particular model can be rather loud, so if you have an open plan kitchen it may not be a good idea when eating those family meals and hearing the washing machine go round and round! You should bear in mind that it does use more water and energy, and you may find that it can be rather harsh on your clothing too.

Top loading high efficiency washing machine - This has no central agitator but in english terms its means that its not as harsh on your clothes and that can only be a good thing. You can also add mid cycle and it uses less water so more energy effecient. You may tend to find with this machine inorder to get the best results you will need to use HE detergent and this can be rather costly. This model starts at around £500.

Useful buying tips

We would say that some of the key things to consider when buying your washing machine are:

  • Noise - Make sure you put your washing machine where you will least likely hear it when it is in cycle.
  • Size - Make sure you buy the biggest machine you can for your budget and available space.
  • Settings - Have you honestly ever used all of the available programmes on a washing machine? Don't be seduced by all of the different settings if you really don't need to use them. The main standard ones include Whites, delicates and bright colours.
  • Porcelain or Stainless Steel - Stainless Steel tubs will generally last longer than porcelain so expect to pay more.
  • Colour - White washing machine models tend to be cheaper than the others, stainless steel or silver washing machines are usually a few quid more and can add that wow factor to your setup. If you are looking to hide your appliance away, you should consider an integrated washing machine.


If your kitchen is tight on space, you may want to consider a compact washing machine. Look for Miele as they are the better brands for this type of machine.

Here is a list of the main manufacturers:

Buying Guide to Washing Machines
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