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They say it always rains in Manchester. Dont you believe it. But, come rain or shine, theres always washing to be done. Its an indoor job for me because around here, nobody has a washing line anymore. Those who do have been known to lose their knickers, its just an expensive gamble these days.
There are six of us in our house. Thats a lot of socks and pants, shirts and trousers, sheets and towels on a weekly basis believe me. Although I dont really like using a dryer from an environmental point of view, there are some times that they are a must especially when its Sunday night and you realize youve forgotten to wash the only pair of school trousers that dont have holes in the knees.
Hubby bought a Zanussi dryer before I met him and when it finally died some 12 years on (not bad since the average lifespan of a vented dryer is 8 years), we decided that another Zanussi was a good idea. When it began to make horrible noises, we got it fixed quite cheaply (broken bit of fan) but when the clothes came out so hot that I got fried fingers, it had to go. All I wanted in my new replacement was :
~ A front loading drier which opened right to left;
~ Rear vent outlet;
~ A hot or cool drying option;
~ A white machine.
The fairly basic white Zanussi seemed suitable so we ordered it online. A major criteria for us was that it had a vent located on the back of the machine. Some machines have them on the right or the left. This model has a rear vent and a left and right vent. Take your pick. The model we ordered was the TD383 which has now been replaced by the TD4113 model, the same but with a slightly larger capacity of 6kg.
The Zanussi dryer is white and has a large porthole with an opening catch on the right which opens to the left. However you can reverse the door to make it swing the other way if you wish. It swings widely too which means that it has good access for your wet or dry stuff.
It is an electric dryer which takes a maximum load of 6kg (our model has a maximum load of 5kg). This always amuses me as kg laundry means absolutely nothing to me and I point blank refuse to weigh my washing before bundling it into the dryer even for the purpose of a review. However, luckily for me, the instruction manual tells me that for example:
Sheets weigh 700g 1000g
Bath towel 700g- 1000g
Pillowcase 100g -200g
Shirt 200g 300g
I have discovered that the dryer will happily hold two huge bath towels and two bath mats but if I add a couple of extra towels it makes a horrible squeaky noise and is probably unable to cope with the weight.
On the whole however, I use my dryer for socks and pants in abundance (note to American readers, pants are not trousers, pants are male equivalent of female knickers). Our house has a large Victorian drying rack which I use more than my tumble dryer and saves loads of energy in the process (and gives me biceps that female body builders would be proud of). I use it for big items and my delicate and flimsy non tumble dryerable knickers. Theres often a pretty sight for visitors if you look up at the ceiling in our kitchen.
On the front of the machine is a detailed chart stating how long cottons and synthetics take to dry according to the weight of the laundry and the drying temperature selected. You can determine how long it will take to be fully dry or at a ready to iron level of dryness. I do find this information a bit silly. Its not as if Im waiting for the dryer to finish so that I can neatly fold everything on completion for transfer to the ironing basket. Sometimes it stays in there for a couple of days. My failsafe method is to bung in cotton laundry and set it at 40-50 minutes on hottest drying speed.
On the rare occurrence that I have to dry something delicate in a hurry that would normally go on my rack, I might be a little more cautious and select the lower temperature option. On an even rarer occasion I might choose the cool tumble option too. It is nice to have the button there to select if deemed necessary. These two buttons are located on the front panel near the main time selection dial.
Turning the machine on to the desired time setting with the manual twist dial starts the machine. You can select either high temperature for linen and cotton (up to 120 minutes) or a lower temperature for synthetics (up to 80 minutes). It is easy to use without an instruction booklet. Opening the door at any point of the cycle is possible. This model has reverse action drying so it tumbles one way and then tumbles back the other. This allows good mixing of the contents so that you dont end up with a bundle of clothing that is wet in the middle. Opening the door stops the reverse tumble action immediately so you can check whether your washing is dry. Beware, the laundry can be really hot if it is not in the final 20 minutes cooling down period of drying. Popping your hands in and checking the dryness of the pants is a good way to warm up cold hands on a winters day though.
Whats all the fuzz about?
This model of dryer has a circular fluff filter just inside the door. Our previous machine had a lift out one which gathered a nice big sheet of fluff. This one is a bit messier. If you dont remove the fluff immediately as you open the dryer, the fluff will stick to you pants as you remove them. Hot Pants with added fuzz is not really very attractive even if you have the nicest bottom. If you do not remove the fluff, this can cause eventually clog the machine and cause it to overheat.
Tumble drying is expensive and on high heat setting, this machine uses 2.6kWh electricity. To reduce the cost of drying your washing:
~ Fill the dryer to maximum load when using (drying one item at a time is very expensive);
~ Dry as much as possible outdoors or on an indoor maiden in a well ventilated room;
~ Spin your washing well so that it dries faster;
~ Dont set the timer to an excessively long period, over drying produces creased and crinkly clothes and wastes energy;
~ Regularly clean the filter to keep machine working efficiently;
~ Ventilate the room; hot and steamy doesnt help clothes to dry.
This is a good bottom of the range dryer and works efficiently. It holds a decent volume of washing but ours seems to screech a bit if overfilled. Its not too noisy when not overstuffed. It has an energy rating C which is typical for most vented dryers and costs around £170. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it if you are looking for a quick and easy tumble for your pants and stuff.
Thanks for reading.
Tumble dryer / Zanussi reverse action tumble dryer with wide opening door for ease of use / Drying capacity: 6 kg / It has a 120 minute timer / Short name: Zanussi TD4113