Washing machines have never been an appliance which I've given a huge amount of thought to. In the 14 years that we've had our own home, we've only had two washing machines, both of which have been passed on to us by family members. Our current machine, the Indesit IWB5123, is the one that I am reviewing here. We have had this machine for four years and it is used on multiple occasions throughout the average week (I have very mucky kids!).
* Basic Information *
The Indesit IWB5123 is average sized and average-looking. It is the typical 'white box' style washing machine, with a transparent circular door on the front to put the washing in and get it out again. It is fully automatic and freestanding. The machine has a maximum loading of 5kg (an average-sized wash) and has the A+ Energy Efficiency Class rating. It spins at 1200 rpm. Plumbing in was relatively simple from what I can remember (the husband did that job), but we just slotted it into the space where our home's previous owners had had their washing machine and connected up the pipes accordingly. The machine itself it simple to use - there is a large display panel with a list of all the different types of wash available (see below for details) and dials to select your wash type / temperature. There is the usual drawer for laundry powder / stain remover / fabric conditioner.
* Functions *
All I really want from a washing machine is the ability to get my clothes (and my family's) clothes clean. We do most of our laundry on a standard 40 degree wash (or 30 degrees on the days where I'm feeling a bit more environmentally conscious than usual, and things don't look too grubby). However, there are always items that need a little bit more careful treatment, so I do find it important for my washing machine to be able to wash those too. After all, I don't want to end up spending a fortune in the local dry-cleaners - or, more realistically, leaving the clothes that need dry-cleaning/special washes languishing in the back of the wardrobe until I get in a panic about needing to wear them for a specific event.... For different washes/cycles, this machine definitely doesn't disappoint. There are a total of thirteen different cycles available on this washing machine - ranging from the everyday (white cotton, colour cotton, synthetics), to the more specialised (wool, silk, jeans) to the sporty (sport intensive, sport shoes). There are also a variety of temperature settings, an 'eco function', an 'intensive' button and a 'timer delay' button.
* Performance *
Of course, the most important element of a washing machine is how well it washes your clothes. This one does a pretty good job. There have been the occasional items that have ended up with stubborn stains which the washing machine can't get out (no matter how much Vanish I put in with the wash. However, I'm not convinced this is down to the washing machine, more to the general muckiness of my kids. On average though, our clothes come out clean and fresh-smelling, with no signs of any damage, and you can't ask for much more than that. The items which I have washed on more delicate washes - woolly Christmas jumpers, silk party dresses etc. - have all washed well and survived the experience. We've only had one issue with colour running in the machine - and, to be honest, when you put a brand new bright red sheet in with a white duvet cover, you've pretty much only got yourself to blame for that!
The only issue that I do have with the machine is how noisy it is. When it is spinning, it is extremely loud, to the extent that it is virtually impossible to have a conversation in the same room. We have a big kitchen / dining room where the family spends a lot of time, and it is annoying to have such a loud washing machine drowning out our conversation. Also, I bake a lot and enjoy listening to music while I bake, and the machine drowns out the music as well.
* Price *
This is a discontinued model, although there will obviously still be some second-hand versions around. A similar current model costs around £200.00.
* Final Thoughts *
I would recommend this washing machine if you are looking for something reliable and relatively affordable. Ours has survived four years of pretty intensive use (we had a newborn and a three year old boy when we got the machine which will probably give you some idea of how much it has been used!) and, apart from the noise issue, I've always been happy with it. We'll probably keep using it for as long as it lasts - there is definitely no reason to replace it at the moment. In the meantime, I will just turn the music up and try and ignore the kitchen vibrating every time it spins.
Where did I buy it and for how much?
I've had several washing machines in my time and always worry when it comes to having to get another. I actually wanted a bigger drum than this one had (only a 5kg) but in all fairness, it did it's job until we had a new addition to the family and we had to finally opt for a bigger machine! I think we paid about £220 for this machine in the sale at Argos. It was orginally nearer £300 which I'm glad I didnt' fork out for.
Installing the machine was fine as far as I remember (fortunately I wasn't home whilst hubby faffed around with it) so it was all ready and working by the time I got home from work. It was very simple and easy to understand how to use it - basically just select the wash cycle that you wanted and set the temp. There are a couple of other buttons that you may wish to select as well and then its just a case of pressing start.
Features and Energy Ratings
The spin speed was 1200rpm which suited us well and the energy performance was a rating of A with a spin performance of B but a wash performance of A again. The usual feature I would use was the quick wash programme, lasting just 15 minutes! I really liked the eco cycle as it saved money and water. Everything was always clean and fresh running on this cycle and if items were badly soiled there was of course the more intense wash cycles. I didn't use these often in all honesty as it was an almost 2 hour cycle and probably a bit of a waste of energy! I didnt have any problems with this machine though. There wasn't a great deal of noise to the spin performance and the clothes were always very well spun.
Would I recommend this machine to others?
Yes, although I wouldn't pay any more for it than I did. I would say about £190-£200 is a fair price for it. I've had much better machines, but couldnt fault this one really. In the end it just wasn't big enough for my family of 5.
After 15 years of faithful and trouble free service, my Whirlpool washing machine sadly died. I'll rephrase that, the machine itself didn't die, it was still in full working order but the metal housing was so corroded it was literally falling apart and had taken on a very lopsided look. So I began the search for a replacement. Sadly, funds being low and Whirlpool machines having a starting price of around £350, I had to look for a less expensive washer and eventually plumped for the Indesit IWB5123 which was £209 from Argos. The new machine was duly delivered and installed and my old Whirlpool taken away. May she rust in peace.
The Indesit comes with the usual one year guarantee plus an optional five year guarantee on parts and labour. It has an A energy rating and 13 different wash cycles which includes all the usual cotton, silk, wool and synthetic programmes with the addition of an Express cycle which completes in 15 minutes and is for very lightly soiled clothes and takes a half load only. There's another cycle called Special Shoes, which is for cleaning lightly soiled sports shoes. The temperature range goes from 30 degrees up to a 90 degree wash for heavily soiled cottons and the maximum load for this machine is 5 kg of dry weight. The machine's spin speed ranges from 600 to a top speed of 1200 rpm.
There are a couple of other functions worthy of mention, one being the Eco time setting which allows certain wash cycles to be completed more quickly by adjusting the rotation of the drum, the temperature and the amount of water for a lighter load which completes the cycle in a shorter time period saving water and electricity. If using this function, it's recommended that a liquid detergent is used rather than powder or tablets. The other useful function is the delay timer which allows you to set the machine to come on up to 12 hours after setting. This would be particularly useful if you're on an economy tariff. I find this comes in handy on work days when I can set the timer to come on before I leave work at the end of the day and arrive home to newly washed clothes rather than a soggy and creased mess that had been in the machine all day.
So, how does the machine perform?
Well, like most people, for the majority of the time we only use a limited number of the programmes on offer, although most of the other programmes will probably be used during the lifetime of the machine, with the possible exception of the sports shoes cycle. The cycles we most commonly use are those for synthetics, woollens and flash cotton, which is a reduced time programme, again for half loads only.
There's no denying that the machine gets the clothes clean but it takes a hell of a long time to do it. The synthetics programme takes 82 minutes to complete the full cycle or 65 minutes if using the Eco Time programme, which I feel is unacceptably long. My previous machine washed synthetics perfectly adequately in about 40 minutes and if I used the economy setting, it did it in 25 minutes.
I doubt I'll ever use the primary cotton function because it takes over 2 hours to complete that cycle, which must use a tremendous amount of energy and with rising electricity prices, it will definitely remain off limits. The length of time taken to complete the programmes makes me doubt that the machine is deserving of the A rating they claim to have.
I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent but the variety of programmes and options make setting the machine far more complex than it needs to be and even a couple of months on, we're still having to refer to the instruction booklet. I wanted a washing machine, not something that resembles the flightdeck of the Starship Enterprise.
On reflection, I wish I'd paid the additional £150 and bought another Whirlpool washer because I rather suspect that the money I thought I'd saved will be spent on extra energy costs over the lifetime of this one. I also would have preferred a machine with less complex programming. I'd have been perfectly happy with a 'bung 'em in and push the button' sort of machine, rather than all this twiddling knobs and selecting various options. I'm wondering whether the length of time given for the programmes includes the additional time spent faffing about setting the wash programme to get the darn thing started!
Would I recommend this machine to other people?
In a word "No". The trouble with buying a washing machine is that it's generally only done when the previous machine needs replacing so is usually done in some haste. I'm sure had I put in a bit more research, I wouldn't have chosen this washing machine at all. The time taken to wash clothes is far too long and no more effective than a machine using shorter programmes which would also be cheaper to run. Most people nowadays are "time poor" to use a current buzz word and I feel that
the programming is far too complex and although the load limit of 5 kg is reasonable, I don't feel it compensates for the very long programme timings.
All things considered, this machine certainly lives up to the maxim of "you get what you pay for" and I'm afraid I think I got a bad bargain.
When we moved into our new property of which we are renting, it can with few white goods one of which is this indesit washing machine.
One word to describe it, POO.
The instructions are useless, can't make head or tail of them, when cycle is finished clothes come out all creased which are hard to iron out, so it makes it twice as much work, which is no good if you are on the go and need it as easy as possible.
Definately not a good machine if you have lots of muddy clothes because the clothes will come out looking the same as they went in.
These are cheaply made and not worth half the money that is paid for them.
I don't rate this product at all.
Looks a nice machine, but the working of it ae absolutely useless.
Used it twice and then main master board has malfunctioned after less 2 years use, machine is only used twice a week as there is only two of us that live here.
Repairman came out this morning, even he said he would not recommend this machine to anyone, they are cheaply made and won't last, he said it is a problem he often see's with this machine, even he tells customers not to use indesit. And in my words I agree with him.
So don't be fooled by the design as nice as it looks it's the worst piece of machinery I have ever seen and used. Not only that it trips everything, which defiantely is not a good sign, my advice stay away!
We got our Indesit IWB5123 washing machine in the Argos January sales. We knew we'd be needing a new one in advance, and waited to see what deals came up in the sales before making our choice. This one was by far and away the front runner in it's price range. The usual retail price is £299.99, and we paid just £179.99 for it on sale!
WHY WE CHOSE THIS MACHINE
When we chose this machine, we looked at a few different things to help us decide. Firstly, the size of the machine's drum, which is a modest 5kg. This won't be big enough for some large families, but as we tend to do our washing little and often, we felt that this was plenty for us. On receiving the machine, the drum actually looks a little bigger than our last one, despite having the same holding capacity.
The next things we looked at were the energy ratings, the spin capabilities and the wash programmes that this includes. The energy ratings are first rate in this price range, with an energy rating of A, a wash performance of A and a spin performance of B. You can equal those ratings in this price range, but you're unlikely to top them. The spin speed is up to 1200rpm, which again, we could not beat for the price. 1200rpm is the lowest you want if you're washing for more than one person really. A single man can get away with lower, but couples, and definitely those with kids, really can't! Without a decent spin, your clothes take far too long to dry, especially towels and linens.
The wash programmes were what really clinched the deal for us with this machine, as this was the only washing machine within this price range (at the time) that offered a quick wash programme. This machine can do a 15 minute quick wash, which is an incredibly handy function to have. Imagine you've just spilled coffee down your smart jacket and you're due to leave for an important function or meeting in half an hour? You'd be hard pushed to sponge it all out in 15 minutes by hand.
USING THIS MACHINE
Getting this machine up and running was really easy, with only one complaint that's worth noting. When I took the transit bolts out, the instructions told me I could use a regular spanner to achieve this. That's not the case though, what I actually needed was a socket spanner as the bolts are located a good centimeter or two below the back plate. Attempting to remove them with a normal spanner just wore away the bolts! If I'd have continued to go at them with a normal spanner, I wouldn't have wound up with rounded bolts that I'd have been unable to ever remove!!
Other than that, installation was straightforward, and as per the instructions I was quickly able to run the first empty cycle. This is to wash away any residue that's in there from the manufacturing process of course, so it's important to do this with every new washing machine. Working out which buttons to press to get every going is a doddle as well, especially since there is an easy-to-read chart inside the instruction manual. To work the machine you just select the cycle you want, set the temperature (two big knobs control these functions) and then click on any extra buttons you might want to use before hitting the start button.
There are all the usual functions on this machine that you'd expect, plus a couple that make this worth that extra few quid on top. The eco cycle has been quite impressive for us, as we've saved money and water (around 30%) yet still gotten very clean, fresh laundry at the end of the cycle. There's also a timer delay, so you can set the machine to run at night on cheap rate electricity, and there's an intense wash for dealing with stubborn stains too.
We've had this for several weeks now, and the performance has been a noticeable improvement on our old machine. When we pull out the soap tray, we find it nice and empty and clean - meaning that the machine is taking all of the detergents properly (not all do even when they're brand new!). Clothes come out looking and smelling very fresh and clean, and this machine is getting out a lot of stains that our old machine just couldn't manage anymore.
I'm not overly impressed with the noise of this machine, but then I guess I've yet to meet a quiet washing maching within this price range. It doesn't make a racket in fairness, it just gets a bit enthusiastic during the finishing cycle when it's spinning. The spin performance makes up for the noise anyway, and I'm really impressed with how dry the clothes are when they come out of this machine. Things like jeans and towels are still quite damp, but a lot of cotton and wool items are almost dry! Considering that 1200rpm isn't overly high, I've been very pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of the spin cycle on this machine.
If you can get this machine for anything under £250 then you're getting yourself a real bargain. This machine even comes with a five year part guarantee, so you can be confident that it's built to last (and fall back on the guarantee if it doesn't!). I'd happily pay an extra £100 for this over one of those inefficient little £150 machines any day of the week.
Short name: Indesit IWB5123