* Prices may differ from that shown
When my Zanussi washing machine decided to start depositing black and grey marks all over my washing, and refused to take the softener from the drawer, and also started to smell vile...I knew it was time for an upgrade.
We went to Comet, spoke to a sales assistant and told him we had very simple criteria - a large drum, fast spin, and quick wash option. He led us straight to the LG machines and basically said the LG F1256QD would be just fine for us. I am not one of these people who endlessly researches kitchen equipment, I just need something that works, and as I said above I don't want much from a washing machine. So within 30 minutes we had paid for the item and walked out the door with it, probably one of the most pain free shopping trips I have ever had when my husband has been present!
I'm hoping as I write this review that it will be useful to some, even if it isn't filled with technological descriptions of how the washing machine works and how much power it uses etc. I am basically going to review how well it washes my clothes and how easy it is to use!
When my husband had installed the machine (must have been easy as he is no expert in this field), I set about studying the controls to see how easy it was to use. I didn't bother with the instruction book because it all seemed pretty straight forward. On the front panel of the washing machine is the detergent drawer, to the right of this is a large white dial where you select your wash cycle, then further right are a series of buttons where you can alter certain aspects of the wash cycle you have chosen. For instance you can make the wash 'intensive' if your clothes are particularly dirty, or you can use the prewash, medic rinse or crease care, and you can alter the spin speed and temperature of the wash. The spin ranges from 400 to 1200, you can also choose 'no spin'; and the temperature ranges from cold up to 95 degrees. Obviously not all of these settings are available on every wash cycle but you can alter things to suit your needs. On the top right of the front panel is a digital display and this shows you the length of time the wash will take and counts down as the wash progresses - very handy.
You can also delay the start of the wash, I'm guessing this is for people at work who want to put a wash on before they leave for the day but don't want the washing sat wet inside the drum all day. I never use this feature because I am always at home, but I can understand why some might find it helpful.
One more very useful feature is the child lock facility - this is an absolute must if you have small children in the house because if you don't have it on then a kid can press any button they like and alter your wash cycle!
The LG F1256QD is a Direct Drive machine which is apparently a good thing, but I don't really have any idea what this means, but I think it has something to do with the drum spinning better, or quieter? I haven't noticed any real difference from my Zanussi, but the sales assistant assured us the Direct Drive was the way forward, so I believed him!
This particular washing machine also has a 7kg capacity, which is one kg more than my Zanussi, and I have noticed I can get quite a lot in there, but I don't tend to stuff it too full if I can help it. As an example, I can get my king size quilt cover plus sheet and pillowcases, and a perhaps single sheet or two in there as well, so it can hold quite a bit.
The one drawback of having a large drum is that I tend to wait until I have a lot of dirty clothes before I embark on a washing spree. So I can sometimes get to a point where the kids have no clean clothes, this is because I split my washing into 3 piles, darks, colours, and whites, and to get 3 'full' loads of all three requires rather a lot of clothes, so when I do get around to doing the washing, I have an absolute tonne of it to get dry (I do not possess a tumble drier), and then of course to iron.
So an advantage of the 7kg drum is that I have less days in the week where I am washing, but the disadvantage is that I spend an awful of time on those particular wash days pegging washing out and bringing it in, putting it on airers, folding it up, ironing it, putting it back on airers if it's not dry, and then ultimately putting it all away. So although this may not be a point I initially considered when buying my washing machine, it would be perhaps one I would think about in the future.
There are 11 different wash cycles to choose from and as I stated earlier on, you can also choose temperatures & spin speeds within each cycle, but some cycles limit what temperature and spin speed you can choose. You can easily select the cycle you want using a large white dial located on the front of the machine.
Just for information purposes rather than review purposes below is a list of the different wash cycles:
Rinse and Spin
Each of these cycles have different settings and different wash lengths, and depending on if you alter the temperature or the spin speed, then the length of the wash will also be altered. For instance, I use 'Cotton Quick' rather a lot and the default setting for this is 800 spin and 60 degrees which is 1 hour 35 minutes, so I usually drop the temperature down to 40 degrees, and the time is reduced to a short 56 minutes, which suits me fine! That way I can put a wash on when I get up in a morning and have it pegged on the line before I have to do the school run.
To be honest I rarely use any other cycle apart from the 'Cotton Quick', I do sometimes use the 'Cotton' cycle when I wash the towels (if I am feeling generous) but it can take up to two hours. When you use the cotton cycle, it weighs the washing before setting a timescale, so you have to set the thing going before you know how long it is going to take, and this sometimes is rather annoying, because sometimes it takes just too darn long!
I also use the 'Quick 30' wash if I am doing a small load, I sometimes forget to wait for my daughter to finish school on a Friday before doing a dark wash, and then I realise that I need her school uniform clean for Monday so I will have to do a very small load, and the 'Quick 30' is ideal for that purpose.
Having looked through the others cycles, they all serve a specific purpose and really wouldn't get regular use anyway - I mean how many times do you do a bulky wash - I'm guessing this is for quilts and such like. The only other cycles I would get regular use out of would be the 'Whites' and the 'Baby Care' and this is only if I had a baby in the house again - for nappies and towels.
The rinse and spin option is also a very handy feature for when something just needs a quick rinse, for instance swimming gear, or even if you have left a line of clothes out on the line and there has been a downpour (happens to me a lot). Then you can just put everything back in the washer, rinse it off and give it a spin, rather than going through a full wash cycle again.
Overall I am happy with the options available on this washing machine, you can generally get what you want out of it, the only niggle I have is that you cannot select the 1200 spin very often, so I mainly use the 800 which doesn't get as much water out of the clothes as I'd like, especially now Winter is approaching. I think they should have allowed the 1200 spin on the quick washes as well as the longer intensive ones.
Since I started using my new washing machine I have been so pleased with the way my clothes have been coming out of the drum - they are clean, smell gorgeous, feel lovely and soft, and are an absolute joy to iron. When I think of how long I suffered with my Zanussi and how the clothes sometimes came out with a fusty smell, and were sort of 'crunchy' when because they weren't getting rinsed properly, well I really wish I'd upgraded sooner! It's surprising how an excellent washing machine can make you feel so upbeat about pegging your clothes on a washing line.
**Noise and Vibration**
On the first few uses of the washing machine, the vibration from it was unbelievable; the whole house would shake on the 1200 spin, but once my husband realised it wasn't actually level and rectified this, it was much improved. I don't think it helps that some of our kitchen floor boards are pretty old and loose because this only exaggerates any vibrations. If I stand in a particular spot when the washing machine is spinning, the whole kitchen starts to shudder. So I wouldn't say the spin is particularly quiet, but that might be down to a dodgy uneven floor rather than the washing machine itself. When it is just going through the washing and rinsing, you can barely hear it, and I often find myself going back into the kitchen to double check I pressed the start button because I can never hear it washing!
It beeps! When you turn it on it makes a very friendly little beeping sound, and when you press any of the buttons it beeps. And finally when the wash has finished it makes a nice 'bing bong' sound which is repeated several times, this is useful to remind you to take the washing out.
I love this washing machine, it is so much better than my previous model; easy to use and very adaptable to my needs - if I am short on time I can do a quick wash, but if I have all day I can let it wash at its leisure, so it really is quite versatile. The digital display is a really nice feature because if you need to go out but have a wash in progress, you can judge whether its worth waiting in for the wash to finish before going out. It looks nice, and I feel it was quite reasonably priced too, £399 at Comet.
Recommended if you want a simple washing machine that does the job it was intended for.
Having moved into a part furnished flat I was disappointed to find there was no washing machine included. So my partner and myself did a whole lot of research on the best value for money machine we could get, that would last us but wouldn't break the bank. We had no cosmetic preferences so more choice we were very open to recommendations and advice.
The machine we ended up buying was an LG F1256QD, I knew of the brand LG more for their range of televisions and mobile phones rather than washing machines, though this was the first I had ever had to purchase for myself. The company is based in South Korea and is a multinational corporation; LG is the abbreviation of Lucky GoldStar but is more commonly known in adverts over here as standing for 'Life's Good'.
This washing machine is completely white, with a front loading door and see through plastic centre, the door is opened with the pull clip behind a solid plastic support. The dialler interface is very user friendly in both appearance and during use. With the usual draw insert on the left hand top of the machine that pulls out with three compartment slots to put your powder and softener. There is then a dial in the centre of the top that juts out which you use to set the type of wash you want, the dial has a good grip on it and is very easy to turn; it also beeps when you turn it, which can be slightly annoying. There are then a number of buttons and an LCD mini screen on the top right of the machine on which your settings, timer etc. are displayed. The top of the machine is a dappled grey on white, all in all it is a very modern and good looking piece of equipment.
I wanted a machine with a large drum capacity; even though there are only two of us I didn't want to do more than 1 or 2 washes a week on clothes, to be more economical. So the 7kg drum on this LG was great in my eyes. I have only ever used before now unbranded tiny and noisy washing machines so this was a great size to have available. The dimensions of this machine are 84.20cm height, 60cm wide and 55cm depth so quite an average sized washer for the 7kg space available. The drum total volume is 58 litres.
This machine has a great variety of wash options which are chosen via the dial and buttons on the front panel including delicate, hand wash/wool, baby care, white, cotton, synthetic, blanket, bulky and quick wash options. These are all chosen with the turning dial. Optional button extras (which I have not tried) include medic rinse (apparently removes detergents), pre wash, intensive and crease care which is simply pressed in once you have chosen your main wash type.
The spin options on this model are 400, 800 and 1200 and temperature options are cold, 30, 40, 60 and 95. I tent to use the cotton wash at 30 degrees to save on energy costs. This tends to last for about 60 minutes and the spin at 800 so the clothes don't get too creased. This machine is good because you can individually pick your temperature, spin and wash to whatever combination suits your needs. Our clothes come out almost dry at this spin speed and smelling great.
The Special Bit
This LG washing machine has an innovative Direct Drive technology, which attaches the motor directly to the drive which means that it gives off less noise, vibrations and uses less energy. I can definitely vouch that this is a very quiet washing machine to anything I have used before. The drive motor has no belt, which is a common repair on conventional machines. This model also has inbuilt sensors that detects the size of your load and adjusts imbalances for optimal washing performance, thus saving energy and money, great stuff! There is a countdown timer on the LED display and a pause and start timer function available to use.
Price and Availability
We bought this just over a year ago from an online electrical shop for £289.99 which had about £50 off the RRP. This is available in most electrical stores such as Dixons and Comet both instore and online. Although this is not the cheapest washing machine on the market it is energy efficient being A++ and the direct drive technology really does make a difference and I hope (fingers crossed) gives it a longer lifespan. I would definitely recommend this machine to perspective buyers and people looking for great performance and cost effectiveness in a machine.
Short name: LG F1256QD