Our machine, commisioned2004 has given 2yrs of sterling service used almost every other day. This machine CLEANS clothes and the service back-up from Dyson has been superb. First year teething problems as expected with advance technology fixed by Dyson at no charge. Next day each time! Their technician apprenticed at Rolls Royce! Built-in computer told him all he needed to know to fix it each time! Price demonstrates that you get what you pay for!
I realise that as a man I'm not supposed to know anything about washing machines! Until last year that would have rung true. Now, however I am continuing on my journey to new, enlightened, sensitive man of the naughties (urgh!) by being able to wash my own unmentionables, not to mention those of my little boy (whose are much more unmentionable!).
I remember, when I was a wee fella, looking at my mums washing machine in wonder - there were dials with nothing but randomly placed letters and symbols on, a long list with strange words in Monty Pythonesque repetition (rinse and spin, rinse and stains, rinse, rinse and chips, spam, spam, spam and rinse) and thinking that I would never be able to work this machine or any like it.
Luckily Dyson have saved me the bother of having to phone my mum every time I put a load of washing on. At the (conveniently angled) top of the machine are several buttons that are labelled with things that you actually need to think about and in a sensible order. From left to right you are asked:
Fabric type (choose from cotton, synthetics, wool, delicates, hand wash items and duvets),
Temperature (from 20 - 85 degrees - though what you are allowed to pick depends on what fabric type you have selected),
Spin speed (0 - 1400 rpms),
Soil type (dirt, dirt and stains and heavy rinse).
You are then presented with extra options (which I will one day try out - if I can work out what they are for): Minimum iron, pre wash, extra rinse and rinse and spin/spin. In case your memory is not up to scratch there is not only a handy red led next to each set of choices to show you what you have selected, there is also a display telling in real, actual words what program you are about to put on. There is also a child lock which keeps little mitts away from the machine - ensuring you don't start boiling your socks and a start delay feature so you can get your machine to switch itself on when your economy 7 hours kick in. Nice.
So you've selected what sort of clothes you are going to wash, what temperature they will be washed at, how fast your little boys head is going to spin as he watches them go round and told the machine how dirty you've got your clothes. Now how many items of clothing can you stuff into it? If like me you leave all your washing until the day you realise you about to put on your least favourite pair of pants because it's all you've got left then worry no more! You can fit 7kg in the spacious 2 drums. That's a lot. Especially in terms of baby grows. That's about a million of them! This has drastically reduced the amount of washes I have to do in a week, thereby saving my water usage without even utilising the machines capability to determine the amount of washing you have put in and adjusting its water consumption accordingly (I don't know how it does it - just be happy that it does!).
Ace, so now we've got our program sorted and we've put all our clothes in, so what really justifies the huuuge price tag? Well, the clue is in it's name - 2 drums. Apparently those clever chaps at Dyson did some clever experiments with different methods of washing and the most effective was hand washing - who knew? To replicate this in a mass produced machine, they decided to have 2 drums contra-rotating (don't be too impressed - I looked it up, it seems that is what the CR stands for in CR02). I was very excited about this (don't get out much) and sat down for the first wash expecting to be blinded by the scientific wonder of it all. Instead what I got (apart from bored) was 10 minutes out of the, pretty quick, 60 where it was contra-rotating it's little socks off. I only mention this to save anyone else the trouble of watching theirs - it's not worth the wait! It does the job very, very well and that's really all that matters isn't it? Even if it is bright purple!
And that's pretty much all you need to know I think? I know some people worry that because it fits so much in, it will be much bigger but worry not - the width is exactly that of any other domestic model, the only difference is that they stick out about 3 inches from your cupboards. Therefore you can buy one, even if you've got limited space. The machines have been discontinued but this is apparently only due the cost of producing and there will no doubt be a new Dyson machine on the market soon (or so they told me when I asked them). A few titbits of info about the less important aspects of the machine:
It tells you if you get anything stuck in it, though the 'coin trap' is see through so you should be able to see anything blocked in it anyway, the soap tray is spring mounted so is very easy to get at, it comes (if new) with the usual Dyson 2 year guarantee, it's very heavy to lift (about 100kg) but has a 'rollerjack' handle under the machine which does make it easily manoeuvrable and has one of the easiest to read manuals or so I've been told, I'm a man remember - I don't need manuals.
I would recommend the machine to anyone who can a: afford one, b: find one in a store or c: find someone who actually wants to sell theirs (not me!). Top notch.