There are some things you just can't live without, and unless you live on the set of Eastenders, a washing machine is probably one of them. It's also one of the things that we take for granted, as if said washing machine breaks down you're left with the task of shelling out a couple of hundred pounds for a new one.
So I'm here to tell you about the machine that's utilised in my household and has served us well for around 3 years now with no problems whatsoever. The Hotpoint Ultima WMA 61 isn't the newest washing machine on the market, but when bought, this machine set us back around £400, a top of the range model at the time, which now can be picked up for around £150 from certain online retailers.
There are plenty of upsides to this machine - beginning with the installation. I don't profess to know much about the installation itself, but it was completed within around 15 minutes, by someone who is by no means a professional, with the supplied manual. The manual is extremely easy to navigate and explains everything in laymen terms so that even I could understand it.
There are several different upsides to owning and using this machine - ease of use being one of them. The facia of the washing machine, not only stands the test of time (it still looks chic and modern even today), but it stands up to scrutiny too. All the buttons are laid out and labelled distinctly and the buttons come in a curved silver which blends well with the white exterior. The buttons have never had any issue with sticking and to clean the exterior all that's needed is a dry or slightly damp cloth. Cleaning the actual machine is just as easy too, there are mesh filters which are easily removed, meaning that cleaning the hose is a doddle, whilst the powder drawer removes and is replaced simply. There are two separate parts to the powder drawer, one of course for liquid detergent and one for powder, both of these are wide enough to spread a good load of detergent to fit your needs and the powder drawer is easily big enough for 3 washing tablets.
Safety first - isn't that what they say? Well this machine definitely follows that trend with the incorporation of an innovative child lock that's easily set and just as easily deactivated (as long as you know how). The machine doesn't stop trying to impress you though, as there are a range of washing options that you'll probably never use, but it's nice to have them isn't it?
There are many (useful) cycles included on this appliance, however, like all appliances, some functions are used more than others, with the Quick Wash feature being the most regularly used in my household. This sets the machine off on a 36 minute cycle (sometimes more depending on how big the load is). This cycle is predominantly for clothes that aren't particularly dirty and only require a brief wash. The cycle takes you through a brief wash and spin dry which is perfect for everyday use. If your washing is a little more soiled, the Hand Wash feature may be more up your street. This cycle does take rather a lot longer than the Quick Wash, however, it does a much more thorough job and gets rid of any marks or stains that the Quick Wash occasionally can't handle. Occasionally, you'll wash thick things like jackets or duvets which will take a lot more drying than the usual spin cycle incorporated on the Quick and Hand washes. There's a rinse and spin programme which takes approximately 30 minutes and after briefly rinsing the clothes, the majority of the cycle is taken up by the spinning process, therefore your items will no longer be dripping wet and will be fit to either be hung out to dry or placed in the tumble dryer.
The machine does incorporate more specific programmes, such as a White/Cotton cycle, an Acrylics/Synthetics cycle and a Machine Wash Wool programme. These all work marvellously well, particularly the White/Cotton cycle which leaves your whites and your cottons in a condition that even the Daz adverts would admire.
Besides the main wash facilities, there are also separate functions such as a Pre-wash, Gentle Action and a How Dirty function among others. The How Dirty option is one of the most useful and innovative features on this machine as it allows you to select how dirty your washing is to ensure that you need only one wash to clean all your items, therefore saving you water and electricity. There's also a Time Delay feature, again another innovative and useful feature which allows you to set when you'd like the washing cycle to begin. This may not sound all that useful, but when you think that electricity usage is cheaper between 12am-7am (this differs around different areas and energy providers), it can be increasingly advantageous to use the Timer Delay which works brilliantly everytime.
If using the Timer Delay at a time when you're most likely going to be in bed, you may be worried about whether the machine is going to keep you up at night, but fear not. Our machine is kept in the kitchen and with the kitchen door shut, you can still hear it in the living room, but it's not enough to really distract from anything you're doing (overshadow the TV), likewise when you're upstairs (even in a room precisely over the kitchen) it's still nothing but a bit of minor background noise and will not stop you from sleeping. The washing machine is only ever heard when it really gets going, and at 1600 spins a minute, this machine really does get going. Upon finishing, the 'on' light at the top right of the screen will be lit up and when the washing machine is completely finished (ready to open), it will bleep once at you.
Speaking of the screen, everything is wonderfully clear, it's mainly green numbers on a black background which are big enough for everybody to see. The door of the machine has a little lever behind it which needs to be pulled in for it to be open, but we've never had any problems with the functionality of the door and it's always been water tight. Occasionally though, you will have to push the door to shut it securely, otherwise the machine won't start and will regularly bleep at you until it's shut properly.
Overall this is a fantastic appliance that has served us well over the years, and with it still looking modern and functioning as if it were brand new I have no qualms about recommending it to you. If you search online you're likely to find yourself a real bargain.
Written by my wife
This machine is great. My washing machine which was a hoover decided that its motor needed replacing which costs over £100 and as the machine was 8 years old, I wanted a new one. So off I went in town. A sale was taking place in comet. The Hotpoint was £399.99 reduced to £250.00 a bargain if you ask me. So we bought it.
Five days later it was here. With me a husband and a child. There was plenty of washing. So the man plumbed the machine in and left. I decided to start the washing off. I started with whites and lights. So I followed the instruction manual on how to use the machine very easy to use and read.
I decided to use 40 degree cotton wash which takes 1H 33M
This is quicker than my old one and also uses less water.
At the end of the wash I unloaded it to find my whites cleaner and dryer. I was very pleased. This machine is a very good investment.
The programme times vary from 26 minutes for fast wash to 2hours for 90 degree cotton wash. I use 40 degree cotton wash all the time. If the weather is nice and I dont have much washing I use quick wash which still achieves great results.
The machine is now three years old and I have another child. As I have a baby I no longer use 1400 rpm for the spin but 1000rpm this still achieves dry clothes. The machine is till going strong with no problem s at all. The machine is on once a day and is great. Bedding is great as I can fit a double duvet set and single set with no problems at all.
After my trusty Whirlpool Washing Maching packed up after four years, I decided on a Hotpoint Ultima. I liked the look of it (although I had to settle for white as Curry's has no silver in stock and it was needed urgently!) I was very pleased with it, I liked all the features, especially the child lock, which comes in handy with two young children. I liked the flexibility of the programmes, and used the timer on it regularly so I could have my first load of washing done by the time I got up in the morning. All went well until last week. In hindsight, it had been making more noise than usual when it was doing the 1400 spin. But I didn't think it was anything to worry about until last sunday. I had just washed my childrens school uniforms and went to empty the machine to hang the clothes out. Inside the machine are three plastic 'ridges' (dont know the technical name) they go from the front to the back of the drum and most machines have them, although on previous machines they were made of metal and were part of the drum itself, rather than plastic and screwed to the drum like on my Ultima. One of these plastic ridges had completly come away from the drum, leaving two gaping holes in the drum. On inspecting my washing, over half of it had been ruined. One item was completly shredded and the rest were covered in oil. I inspected the other two 'ridges' and found they were both loose. The screws that held them had gradually started to come loose and one had finally given way. After spending half an hour on hold, I managed to get through to the service department and they told me someone would come out in five days time. The engineer is due tomorrow. In the meantime I have had a week with no washing machine, and over £50 worth of ruined clothes. I don't know whether the machine will be fixed tomorrow or not. I have enquired about being compensated for the loss of clothes but everyo
ne I have spoken to had passed the buck to someone else. I will keep trying as someone should be held responsible. The machine is just over a year old. Luckily I took out an extended warrenty on it but for £176 I expected better service than having to wait for five days before an initial visit. God knows how long it will be before I have a working machine again. In future I will always inspect the drum of any machine I consider buying and only buy one with 'ridges' as an integral part of the drum, and not some flimsy plastic efforts that are held in with a couple of screws.
My Creda washing machine was 15 years old and although still working - after a fashion - decided not to rinse the clothes properly and would also snag the occasional item. Time for a new model methinks. I looked in my mail order catalogues for its replacement as I wanted to 'buy now pay later.' Then, after checking out what I did and didn't want on Dooyoo, and reading several opinions, I decided to go for one I hadn't actually been able to find an opinion on! - the Hotpoint Ultima WMA61. It was delivered and installed by Hotpoint last week, and what a fantastic machine. It has lots of programmes and although I know a lot of people would say that you only need the basics, and what's the point of paying more for programmes you probably won't use, I disagree. Yes, there are lots of different ways of programming it, but I know that I will use nearly all of them at some time. The one thing that swayed me to buy this particular model is the fact that it will do a hand wash. I have a quite a few bits and bobs that must be hand washed and I admit to leaving them sometimes in the bottom of the laundry basket, because the one thing I hate about hand washing is the fact that it takes ages to get rid of all the suds, so that you can rinse it out. This will be great for me and I'm sure many other busy Mums. I've yet to use it, but I can't wait to try this programme out. (I need to get out more!) There is variable rinse, so, for instance, if you have a skin problem such as eczema which means you must be 150% positive there are no soap deposits left behind on your clothes at all, you can add another rinse. There is also variable spin speed; once you have chosen your programme, you have a choice of spin speeds, which is quite handy. Although I have an 18 year old daughter, who I don't think is going to start tampering with the machine's buttons when it's on, it does actually have a
child lock for those Mum's with toddlers who love pressing buttons. With the child lock on, the buttons won't respond. Another useful programme is the 'One' choice. This is for when you don't have a full load, but perhaps just want to wash a pair of jeans, for instance. The machine will fill with just the right amount of water for a single item. I have forgotten how many times in the past I have wanted to wash something and realised that was all that needed washing, so I have wasted water -I am on a water meter - and electricty with the machine filling up to the top, just washing this one item. The spin speed I have is 1400 but for a few pounds more you can have the 1600 speed. As far as looks go - and we women like a nice looking machine, don't we? - this is very smart and modern. It has an electronic display and controls which are easy to understand. It comes in three colours, Polar white, Linen and Silver. We have it in the White as it fits in with the rest of the appliances, but the silver is very snazzy. I now have 3 Hotpoint appliances. I trust the name and hope it will serve me for many years - just like my previous washing machine.
Short name: Hotpoint WMA61