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~Wash and go with Zanussi~
Having had a Zanussi IZ161 washing machine in use for a number of years now I feel that I have most certainly had value for money from my purchase. In my opinion the washing machine is both easy to use and take care of, with it also having a neat and smart look that I feel sits well enough in the room setting I have it in. At the time of purchase I recall picking the machine based on the fact that I had bought another Zanussi washing machine previously and been pleased with its performance. I was also rather taken with the funky and slightly space aged front design that this particular model seemed to have, which made it stand out against other similar products in store. When I considered this along side the eco friendly jet wash system that meant I would use less water when using this machine to do laundry with I felt I was on to a winner.
The Zanussi IZ161 has a slightly unusual appearance from the front as it has a tilted wash drum that has had to be accommodated for within the body of the machine. This means that the machine front does stick out more at the base than it does at the top, which may be an issue if space is tight within the room you plan to site your washing machine. I found that the rather funky and unusual look of the machine was what attracted me to it in the first place and having had the machine in situ for a good length of time, I feel that it still looks modern and up to date when comparing it to cheaper less design conscious models.
The lower part of the machines casing does stick out as it curves towards the base, giving quite a pronounced effect, yet in use this has never been an issue, so I don't feel it is a negative point at all. In fact my feeling is that the sturdy looking curved base of the machine seems to add a sense of stability and strength to the over all design. This not only means that the machine looks weightier and more substantial than other washing machines I have owned, it actually does seem a little more meaty and weighty when you need to move the machine around for cleaning behind (which may be an issue for some but hasn't been an issue so far).
The glass fronted access door has a simple yet thick and well formed plastic surround that feels strong and reliable when being used with the built in grip and push style handle in order to open and close the door when loading and unloading the machine. The port hole door has a 30cm opening that is large enough for most laundry items. The door hinges have remained in the correct position and have not been any cause for concern. The machine has a well sized inner drum which allows you to fill it with quite a good amount of washing, with the recommended load amount being up to 6 kgs. To be honest I have never weighed the wash loads that the machine has dealt with but I can say that it works well even when filled almost to the brim and still provides a nice clean and fresh looking end result once it has run through its wash program.
~Settings and options~
There are a number of wash programs that come with this model and whilst I have used most of them at times, I tend to stick with the 55 minute quick wash program for most non delicate laundry items as it washes almost everything really well in just under one hour. This machine can be set to wash a range of different types of washing items from synthetics to cottons, delicate items, wool based items etc and all of these choices can be further enhanced or amended with the selection of a higher or lower temperature and/ or extra rinse options/ spin speeds than are offered by the standard settings. All program selections are made by simply pressing the soft touch button that relates to that option and then scrolling down to get to the option you require, which will then light up so as to let you know that you have picked the option you wanted.
~Eco friendly jet wash system~
There is a small but easy to read digital display on the machine that lets you know how long each program has left to run. I feel this is very useful when selecting your wash program as you can quite easily see which programs and combinations of adjustments will take longer to run through, allowing you to alter them if time is an issue. This machine has a jet system built in to it which means that it uses less water than a non jet wash system. The jet wash simply recycles the water in the machine and pumps it back through the wash load to maximize its use during each part of the wash program, which makes this a more eco friendly AAA rate machine. This very low use of water in each wash program was one thing that I felt was very attractive at the time of purchase and it has been something that has helped reduce the running costs over the years the machine has been in use.
~Spin speeds/ wash times~
The top spin speed for this machine is 1600rpm and whilst this works well enough it can be rather noisy. I like to use the 1200rpm setting for most wash loads as this tends to ensure the finished washing is well spun and just dry enough to be either tumbled or hung out on the line, without altering the shape of garments or leaving too much water remaining, which would mean longer drying times. There is a quick wash feature that I often use and this cuts times down by around 10 to 12 minutes at the very minimum which I find very helpful. The 55 minute wash cycle that I opt for most often can be stopped mid way if wanted so that you can cut out the last rinse if short on time and decrease wash times by around 15 minutes or so. All programs can be stopped and altered during the wash cycle if needed which can be useful at times.
You can on the other hand choose to run the machine with an extra rinse cycle which adds just a few extra minutes to the over all wash time and this can be useful on heavily soiled washing. This can also be of use for those who are sensitive to washing powder products as the extra rinse option may help to cut down on issues and reactions. There is a delay start option with the machine which I must admit I have never used very much as I feel I would rather have the machine running when I am taking care of it rather than leave it run during the night etc. I am sure the machine works perfectly well when using this function although it is not a feature that I feel benefits me personally.
~Summary and product rating~
Having had this machine in use for a number of years I feel I can honestly say it is reliable and easy to use with a good range of wash programs to suit most laundry items. The look of the machine is interesting as it stands out rather than hides in a corner due to the curved front. I have always found that the machine washes well and there have been no real issues that have caused me to be unhappy about the product so far. At the time of purchase I think this model was slightly over £450 which was a little more than some washing machines but not overly expensive when compared with others. As I have been happy with the product I feel it ought to get a full 5 star product rating as it has been something that has stood the test of time and continued to produce good results.
~Main product features~
Unique inclined wash drum and curved front design to the machine
Top spin speed 1600rpm, variable to suit by push button selection
Maximum 6kg load capacity for each wash
Unique Jetstream wash technology can help save water consumption
AAA rated machine, based on an almost fully loaded 5kg wash
Easy to use electronic push button controls with small digital display
Time management feature that includes a shorter quick wash selection
Large 30cm port hole that allows larger items to be washed
Virtually 180 degree door opening for ease of loading and unloading
Child safety features include safety door locking
W600 x H850 x D620 mm
Colour options of either white or silver
Wool wash option
Extra rinse option
Delay start option (to 24 hours)
Rinse hold option
Energy Efficiency:A / Wash Rating:A / Spin Rating:A / Spin Speed:1600 / Load Capicity (in kg):5 / Dimensions (H/W/D):85 x 60 x 61 cm / Washing Machine Type:Frontlader / Short name: Zanussi IZ161S