Wash it out! Your guide to washing machines

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Doing the laundry is a task many dread, yet it is one of the necessities in every household. And it almost always begins with the appliance most of us recognise: the trusted washing machine. Nowadays though, we are not restricted to just washing machines, as washer dryers and tumble dryers are also available to help us both wash and dry our clothing more effectively.

Basically, a washer dryer is a washing machine with a built-in tumble dryer, whereas a tumble dryer complements a conventional washing machine by drying washed clothes using hot air inside a rotating drum. Whether you need a washing machine and tumble dryer, or a washer dryer, boils down to space and family size factors.

Washer dryers are useful if you are short of space, but there are certain limitations as they are not suitable for large families who want to use it for all of the drying, due to its dryer part usually coming with a reduced load size. This means that you would need to remove some washing before you can dry it, leading to a longer time for a complete laundry wash and dry of up to 5 hours.

Deciding on a washing machine comes down to many different factors and preferences, but this guide has been designed by our in-house professionals to ease you towards making the most informed choice on your next purchase with COURTS!

Capacity

Capacity is an important factor when selecting the washing machine you need, and it helps to check the internal drum dimensions as bigger drums allow you to wash more laundry. As a guide, 1 kg is roughly equal to a shirt, pants, underwear and socks. High capacity machines allow you to wash less often to reduce your energy bill and gain savings.

The average load size in Singapore is about 7-8kg, although there are larger capacity machines up to 11kg. Whatever drum size you choose, always stick to the machine’s capacity and do not overload it. For instance, a 7-8kg washer can fit a queen size comforter, but for a king size one, stick to a washer capacity of 9kg and above to be safe.

Spin speed

Washing machine spin speeds vary; the higher the spin speed, the faster moisture is extracted, so your clothes dry faster. High spin speeds are useful if you need a particular outfit ready to wear in a short time, especially for items like jeans that usually require a longer drying time.

For everyday laundry purposes, a spin speed of 1400-1500rpm is good enough. However, for those who prefer shorter waiting times, a washing machine with a spin speed of 1600rpm and above would be more suitable.

Cleaning capability

In general, front loaders provide better cleaning results than top loaders. Machines with special stain-remover or pre-soaking cycles, or those with a steam feature, will enhance the cleaning experience too. Also, a “cool” temperature setting that mixes in a bit of hot water will help powdered detergent dissolve completely for more effective stain removal.

Moreover, front loaders use way less water than traditional top loaders, which have to fill up entirely for the wash and rinse cycles. However, top loaders still clean relatively effectively for general laundry with less probability of trapped water or residue left inside.

Noise level

When it comes to noise, most of us would agree that less is better, since there would be less background interference if the family is sleeping or you’re catching your favourite TV programme. Machines rated under 50 db(A) offer quieter performance – equivalent to the noise level of a refrigerator humming.

Energy and WELS rating

To identify your washing machine’s energy efficiency, look out for the Energy Star Rating label, which rates the machine on a scale of 1-10. Also, check the actual consumption, measured in kilowatt hours per year, for a better idea of how much power it needs to run.

Australia’s Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) is used to rate how much water a washing machine gets through on each cycle, with a scale of 0-6 stars for efficiency. The more stars, the more environmentally friendly the machine is. The label should state how many litres of water per wash the product requires, giving you more complete information about its water consumption flow. In summary, the lower the water and energy consumption, the more energy savings you get.

Special functions

Most machines usually contain settings according to the fabric of your clothes, temperature and spin rate controls. Some additional functions can be truly useful depending on your requirements, including: hand wash; fast wash; baby cycle; half wash; heavy duty; touchpad controls; noise reduction dampeners; auto lock function etc. These tend to come at extra cost, so evaluate if you truly need a special function before committing to your purchase.

Introducing a smarter way to do your laundry

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It’s called pureWash Pro, an innovative laundry solution that uses no hot water and little or no detergent. Instead, it uses 100% natural activated oxygen for better health, cleaner and fresher clothes as well as energy and cost savings. And now, you can save $50 with our special washer bundles. Experience the pureWash Pro difference at COURTS today.

For more information on how to choose the best washer for your needs, visit http://www.courts.com.sg