I will start by telling you that we have had this washing machine for just under 4 years now, so a fairly good test period I'd say. It cost around £650 and we chose this particular one for a number of reasons:
1) Bosch is a good, reliable make in our experience
2) Large wash capacity of 8kg (very handy for horse wear as well as human!!)
3) High spin speed of 1600rpm
4) Varied choice of programmes and temperatures
It has many different wash options which I won't list here as there are 14 of them and I think that would just be unnecessary, but suffice to say they range from delicate/wool to cottons/stains and include a super-quick wash and a couple of spin only programmes.
Each wash option, when selected, has a default temperature and spin speed which may be adjusted for most of the programmes. There are some restrictions, for example you can't change the spin speed or temperature on the super-quick wash option, but for the most part it is quite a simple process to select a different temperature or spin speed.
If you want to delay the start of the wash there is a button to do this by hourly increments up to a maximum of 24 hours.
There are some additional functions which I do find useful:
- Wash plus extends the washing time for a more intensive wash. I use this for filthy dog towels and it does seem to do a good job on them.
- Prewash, again for heavily soiled washing but I have never used it as I don't use the powder drawers therefore as I use a liquid detergent ball, all the detergent gets used in the main wash.
- Reduced ironing is a special spin sequence with subsequent 'fluffing' (don't ask me what this is, I doubt it has anything to do with the similarly named activity that I'm told takes place when filming rude films!!!) Apparently this function will include a gentle final spin, leaving slightly increased residual moisture in the washing. I have used this for shirts, but haven't really noticed much of a difference between using this and an 800rpm spin to be honest.
- Aqua plus increases water level and includes an extra rinse cycle, again I don't use this as we have very hard water and it is therefore unecessary but I should imagine if you had soft water it might come in handy.
*** Firstly the positives: ***
As mentioned above, I've had this washing machine for a number of years and it gets used day in day out, week in week out. I would say I use it for around 10-15 washes per week.
It does seem to get the clothes clean, and the spin works efficiently. It is very straightforward to use and there are a number of options so I can usually find the right wash for what I need.
Some of the more intense washes, like the cottons and the dark wash, do have a long run time - cottons for example is around 1hr 20mins (depending a bit on what temp and spin you choose). But over time I have learnt the different lengths of the washes and can choose what I think fits best.
I tend to use the 'power wash' and 'mixed load' washes the most. These take 1 hour and 50 mins respectively and both offer a thorough wash. The 'super-quick' is especially handy for when I've washed some horsy or doggy stuff and I want to run a quick empty wash through the machine to clean it before I put my lace undies back in there!
Until it has finished and alerts you (see below) this is a fairly quiet washing machine compared to others that I've had.
*** And the negatives?: ***
We've had a few problems with the machine resulting in having had an engineer to visit a total of 6 times, so I wouldn't say it has all been plain sailing. The door release mechanism broke which meant the washing kept getting stuck in the machine. This was fixed under warranty with no charge. The heater element repeatedly stopped working so all my clothes were getting washed cold. Initially this was done under warranty but the next time we had to pay for it. When it went a further time, they informed me that the recurring problem was due to the machine being kept close to a microwave oven and that we had to purchase a special shield lid which would put an end to this problem. After some discussion, they eventually agreed to provide this part free of charge for us, since we were never advised of this limitation at the time of purchase. Fair enough, but a lot of hassle and I could have done without the argument. Touch wood, it has been fine since.
I miss a creaseguard option which a couple of previous machines have had. This was an option where, when selected, the washing machine would hold the wash in water until you gave it the nod to continue with the wash, whereupon it would drain and spin the load. Really helpful if you want to start a wash but won't be there when it finishes to get the stuff out before it gets all creased. This Bosch doesn't have that option sadly.
Also, whilst the selector knob handles fine, I find the touch sensitive buttons are a pain to use. They often don't register on first touch and I have to try several times before I can get them to accept my touch. I find this very frustrating, particularly when I'm in a hurry (ie most of the time) and I do long for normal 'pressy button' type buttons!
And while I'm having a moan about it, the alert to tell you the wash is finished (which is a high pitched long beep) is incredibly annoying and I have not as yet discovered a way to turn it off in advance so I don't get alerted! I think there should be a simple on/off option for the finished wash alarm.
In general it does the job but I'm not a huge fan and wouldn't rush out to buy another one the same.
(Review will also appear on Ciao)
Having owned this washing machine for nearly 3 years, I can recommend it to anyone wanting a new washer with additional features.
It has a large drum which holds a lot of washing and the large door makes it easy to get the washing in and out. It has a huge number of programmes (most of which I don't use regularly!), but the most useful to me are the mixed programme and the super fast 15 minute programme. The programmes can be customised to change the temperature and spin speed. There is also a delay feature so that you can load the washer up and it will start at a later time - great so that the clothes don't get wrinkled in the machine waiting for you to get home from work.
The powder and conditioner drawer is easy to take out and clean, but doesn't need doing very often.
The only thing I am not so keen on is the rubber around the inside of the door which has gone dark and I can't get it clean!
Short name: Bosch WAS32466