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Washing machine number three...
Member Name: melinda3536
Date: 09/03/12, updated on 17/03/12 (190 review reads)
Advantages: Space-saving design, relatively quiet, efficient
Disadvantages: Fluff filter's pointless
We have been married for 18 and a half years, and in all that time, we've only had to change our washing machine twice, despite them being in pretty much daily use. Our first machine, a Creda, was a wedding present and lasted around twelve years. Our second, a Hotpoint, lasted for about six and gave up the ghost early last year. It was replaced by this Hoover model last March, so by the laws of maths we'll have it for 3 years... I hope very much that the salesperson's prediction of four years' lifespan for a modern machine is at least reached!
We arrived at our decision to buy this model by process of elimination - first by price, and then by depth front to back, since the space we have to house it is inside a cupboard (a strange arrangement that we inherited when we moved here), and since moving in our old machine had been sticking out of said cupboard due to it's size, and I'd been unable to close the doors. This machine is extremely shallow front to back, and it took me a while to figure out why, until I looked inside.
This is the first time that I've had any experience of a 'high' drum, that is a shallow front to back, but higher top to bottom drum (the bit that the washing sits in). I was at first concerned that it would be hard to balance the washing in it, since I'm used to one that goes back a fair way that I can just throw things into. It is certainly a bit more awkward to stack when it's nigh on full, as it does tend to tumble the contents back out very easily, especially if the drum is at all rotated, but I've got used to it. I use one of those liquid detergent dispenser balls so I have to be more careful with that now too in case it falls back out, but it's only happened once so far.
The joint third considerations were capacity and spin speed - we have two daughters, one 15 and the other 11, with all of the extra school etc washing that they bring, and I generally do about ten or twelve washes a week, so the 7 kg load, one kilo more than our previous one, was a draw, as was the spin speed of 1400 rpm (which was 200rpm up on the last one). I can get noticeably more washing done per load now so that was definitely a good move, the only downside being that I need more space to hang it all up!
The spin speed varies. Obviously, as with all machines, the actual top speed depends on how well the load is balanced. It has once just stopped when unbalanced, with no warnings apparent on the display panel, appearing to have finished quite normally, but when the door was opened there was still quite a lot of water in the machine, which made a bit of a mess. That was quite early on though and it hasn't happened again yet. There's often a difference between loads though as far as wetness is concerned after spinning. When it does achieve top speed it's very good, the clothes come out much drier, and are pressed so hard to the sides that they come out covered in small round indentations where they've been pressed against the sides of the drum. It's hit and miss, although this is largely my doing as I don't have time to be worrying how balanced the initial load is!
The display panel on the front at the top tells you how fast a spin you've selected and how much time there is left on the cycle. This can be extremely useful when you're waiting to see if you'll be able to hang out your washing before you go out. There's a good selection of cycles to choose from, and I've used quite a few of them over the last few months. My normal one is the 40 degree wash, which when full takes around two hours, but I've used the 60 degree one for bed & bath linens, the three different quick washes (29 - 59 minutes, 30- 60 degrees), the wool cycle and the hand wash/silk cycle. There are quite a number of others that I have yet to use, but each of the ones that I have used has functioned effectively enough for me to believe that this huge variety isn't just window-dressing! One to note perhaps is the 'sensitive' wash cycle, which uses more water to ensure a more thorough wash & rinse for those with sensitive skins.
I never use the powder drawer, and only rarely use the compartment for softener - both of our daughters have occasional problems with both eczema and psoriasis so I have always avoided using conditioner for their clothes, and therefore ours too since everything tends to end up in together. I do however check it occasionally as it tends to get mildew in it & needs cleaning out.
One thing also worth mentioning is the fluff filter, which in my experience is completely useless. I know how they're meant to work as my Mum's old machine has a wonderfully effective one, but this is nothing more than a giant plastic cotton reel with nothing to catch anything, consequently it's empty when I check it, even after a couple of month's use. Most of the fluff conveniently gathers on the edge of the seal at the bottom of the window so that you can just wipe it away....
On the plus side though, I have never yet had a tissue break up in the wash - I have on several occasions found whole paper tissues scrunched up in amongst the wet clothes. This is something that I am more than prepared to balance with the non-functioning fluff catcher!
On the whole, we've so far been happy with the machine, it's quieter than our last one, seems to be relatively economical to run (it's rated A+AA), and washes and rinses well. We bought it in March 2011 in Comet for £299.99, so it's approaching it's first birthday. It doesn't sing, dance and do the ironing, but it gets the clothes washed which is what we bought it for, so I'm happy to recommend it!
Summary: A decent machine so far, hopefully will last a while longer!
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