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This is a great washing machine! It's all white and looks just like a regular front loader. Nothing very startling about it; it's not particularly sleek or stunning but it's not particularly ugly either. Its vital statistics are 56.5 x 59.5 x 85 cm and it's energy rated A. My husband fitted it and I gather this was pretty straight forward as it only needs a cold water connection.
On the left of the control panel is the detergent dispenser drawer. This actually is my only niggle. I find it quite difficult to take out to clean. Next comes the on/off button and next to that the wash cycle know where you select the particular cycle you need. There are then two smaller knobs - one to select the temperature and one for the spin speed (600, 800 or 1400 rpm). Under these two knobs there are four function buttons with indicator lights. These are:
* Super wash - this is described as a high performance wash as it uses more water in the initial phase of a programme.
* Extra rinse - this is suggested for anyone in the household with sensitive skin as the extra rinse will guarantee that all detergent is removed.
* Mini load - basically for a half load of laundry or less
* Reduced crease - it still gives a good spin but the wash and spin cycles are modified in some way to reduce the formation of creases. Sounds like magic to me but it does work.
Depending on what cycle you select these are not always available - for example you can't use the super wash with the fast wash cycle. They are useful, I typically used the reduced crease function and if I'm washing my son's work clothes I will select super wash.
Finally there is an array of indicator lights which show progress - whether the programme is at the wash, rinse, spin, or pump out stage. There is also a light to show when the door is locked. Below this is a start/pause button. The great thing is that you can pause the wash and you can open the door to add something you've forgotten. I have found this so useful as I'm always dropping a sock on the stairs as I carry the laundry to the machine. The downside is that when you start the programme, the setting will default to pause so you have to make sure that as well as turning the machine on at the main on/off switch, you press the start button.
Lots of wash cycles
There are 16 wash programmes in all divided into essential, special, eco and partial wash cycles.
~ essential cycles ~
2 x white cotton programes - one for 'extremely' soiled (max temp 90º); one for 'heavily' soiled (max temp 60º).
Fast Wash - max temp 60º.
~ special cycles ~
~ eco cycles ~
3 cold water programmes for cotton, synthetics and fast wash (liquid detergent is recommended for these cycles and I can bear this out; powder doesn't always dissolve properly in the cold water and results in residue on the clothes).
~ partial ~
Rinse, spin and pump out.
The one I use most is the fast wash cycle for every day type washing, typically at 30 or 40 º. For my son's work clothes (he's a race engineer so tends his work clothes tend to get covered in oil) I use one of the cotton programmes on a high temperature. I also use the eco fast wash for items that really just need quick rinse through. The rinse cycle is also quite useful particularly for when a rogue tissue has got into the wash and as a result left annoying remnants of wet tissue on what otherwise would have been beautifully washed clothes!
When we first got the machine we thought it was really quiet in comparison to our previous one. I think it is still pretty quiet - sometimes I think it must have finished because I can't hear it but when I check the laundry room I find it's still mid programme.
I'm almost frightened to write this review. I don't want to tempt fate. We've had it for five years and it's not put a foot wrong. That has to be some sort of record in our household particularly since there are few days when the washing machine hasn't been in action. Even if the washing machine was only on 200 days in the year (conservative estimate), that works out at 23p a wash! We bought the machine at Costco for £235. Today I've checked on Amazon and you can get it for £340. While checking today's price I have to say that I did see one review for the machine on Amazon that is in complete contrast to my experience. Perhaps we've just been lucky but based on the machine we've had, I would wholeheartedly recommend this machine. I'm just knocking off one star for the difficulty in removing the detergent dispenser for cleaning. I'm also keeping everything crossed that this trusted machine continues to perform....
This Hotpoint Aquarius washing machine has 1400 Spin Speed, LED User interface and AAB Rating.