* Prices may differ from that shown
I am the first to admit that I am not a Domestic God, and so my buying decisions and opinions are a bit hit and miss when it comes to cleaning products. One of my more recent purchases is the Beko WM6143W Washing Machine. Although this is now a discontinued product according to Beko themselves, it was available in black, white and silver, the 'W' at the end of the model number signifying mine is in white. I paid £140, which is a significant discount on the price last year when it was still being made, of £230. I know that buying a discontinued product can pose future problems, but I am willing to take the risk at such an affordable price.
My machine is plain white in colour and as such doesn't appear to be a top-range washing machine. I don't care too much about things like that when it comes to a washing machine, so that isn't a worry to me. The WM6143 is a front-loading machine which is ideal as it is situated in the kitchen under the worktop. The door is simple to operate with a safe and secure catch to prevent accidents. The capacity of the machine is 6kg, with a wash speed of 1400rpm.
I find the machine very simple to use and set on a daily basis and there are easy to follow instructions just in case you do find a problem. There are two knobs to control the machine with, one for setting the time and the other for the different wash settings. There are 16 programmes, though I stick to just a couple. Some of these are based around fabric types (wool etc.) and others are for stains and handwashing. There are LED's to indicate wash progress as with all modern machines and overall I find the strength of functions will cover pretty much every eventuality. There are also added functions to complement the wash you select, including extra rinse and time save.
Although the machine is of a basic appearance, I find the functions to be strong enough to keep most households happy. An A+ Energy rating will appeal to those worried about energy bills. The Beko WM6143 is great for everyday use and I haven't had any problems with it so far. I can happily set it in the evening and have no trouble with it keeping me awake as it isn't as loud as machines I have used in the past.
If you are looking for a very affordable washing machine with a good set of functions then perhaps the Beko WM6143 is worth a look. You might struggle to get hold of the machine as it is discontinued, but I cannot complain with efficiency or wash results.
My first trip away with Mr Minkypolly was a fortnight in North Berwick in spring 2008. We rented a beautifully converted cottage on a country estate with private beaches and acres of misty green woodland. It was the first time we had really had alone together, and I was the happiest I had been in my whole life. It was like a dream...
Until the third day. I was reading in the sunlight beneath the big velux window, when he sidled up and spoke the immortal phrase: "Do you think you could show me how the washing machine works?"
It was of no import that I had the exact same experience of using said machine as him (ie none!) - obviously, as a woman, I had the innate divine power of household appliance know-how, and would be able to operate the washing machine by instinct. He can build furniture, fix cars, insulate lofts and seal bathrooms, but as a man, should not be expected to understand the mysteries that lurk in the kitchen! Similarly, whilst I was the only one to comprehend such mysteries as washing machines and dishwashers, this special knowledge definitely does NOT extend to such items as remote controls, which apparently are for male use only.
Eighteen months later, he has had to learn! I wish I could say that I had enforced a training programme and rendered him more useful that way, but in fact he was forced into it by the fact that I spent this summer in bed with a back injury. Since I have recovered, he has been reluctant to hand back the laundry to me, as he now sees it as "easy points" in the household chore battle.
Our washing machine can probably take some of the credit for that. Its very easy to use. There's a very good instruction manual, but I have only really looked at it for the purposes of this review, as I have never needed to refer to it before. I'm not one for faffing about, and the basic functions are intuitively controlled via a large knob. A bit like Mr Minkypolly, really. There is a secondary knob which sets spin time, and this can be adjusted while the cycle is in progress, which is helpful if you need something out double quick. Then there are some led lights which indicate how far on the cycle is - useful but not really a must-have in my view. Then a button which allows you to delay the start of the wash - I really like this feature as you can set the wash to come on and finish just as you get in from work - that way you don't have to leave it damp in the machine if you're heading out in the morning.
Being female, the colour of my washing machine is an important advantage. Its silver - not shiny, but an easy-clean matte aluminium colour - and I'm a big fan of white goods that aren't white.
Our clothes come out lovely and clean even when I use dodgy value brand laundry capsules, and I've never had an issue with shrunken, misshaped or stretched clothes. Considering I tend to do everything on either Cotton 60C or Delicates 30C, I think thats pretty impressive, and makes this a foolproof washing machine.
It's not perfect though - it's quite noisy compared to others I've had in the past, and the cotton wash takes nearly two hours to complete. But for a budget brand like Beko, this is a higher than expected quality of machine. I didn't buy ours, as we rent, but the average price is £250, which I would say is good value considering how painless it is to use.
You could do a lot worse than this if you're on a budget - its a good-looking workhorse that even a man can understand!
Short name: Beko WM6143