Buying Guide : Washing Machine

Updated : 18-Aug-2013.

This is in continuation to our buying guide series and as before it will be focusing on basics.
This time we’re detailing a buying guide for Washing Machine.

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Needless to say and further waste time on requirement/importance of this, i will straight away get down to the pointers.
The following steps will help you short list your purchase for a washing machine:

  1. Size: Decide the size of washing machine. You can weigh the clothes in a bucket for approximation.
  2. Frequency: Note down your wash frequency. If the frequency of wash is high (More than 3/week); you must consider a more durable machine and give importance to after sales service.
  3. Semi Vs Fully Automatic: There is a lot of information about this over the internet but the following questions can help you decide which one:
    1. Is your wash frequency per day more than 1; then go for semi in order to multitask.
    2. Do you like a manual intervention during your wash cycle? If yes, go for Semi-Automatic.
    3. Do you have space in your house to place a semi-automatic as its bigger in size?
    4. Per Salesmen across stores; Semi-Automatic are more efficient and offer better wash quality.
  4. Drum: Nowadays, most companies are shipping stainless steel and they are supposed to be the best option.
  5. Functions: Various models have a variety of running features and modes. But ask yourself, will you really use all of those? If not; why make it complex. Keep it simple and move ahead.
  6. Top Vs Front Load: This is the most debatable topic and deciding factor in buying a washing machine. Following table summarizes our experience:
  7. Factor Top Load Front Load
    Cycle Duration Less (45 Mins) More (60-90 Mins)
    Wear N Tear More Less
    Water Consumption Mostly Less (1/3rd of Front
    Load). However, there are exceptions around this.
    More. There are some models that can save more water than Top Load.
    Price Less Expensive More Expensive
    Heater No. Whirlpool has some models with
    heaters.
    Yes.
    Hard Water Issue Yes. No. Heating water removes its
    hardness to some extent.
    Efficiency Less (70-80%). Spoke to parents
    about this and they consider Top Load to be efficient enough for
    handling kid play 🙂 🙂
    (88-92%). I had a word with
    various salesperson and they insisted that Front Loads are any day
    more efficient because of their tumble wash concept.
    Mid-Cycle Interrution Yes. No.
    Reviews On papers or reviews,
    Front Load comes ahead in efficiency but practically presence goes
    to Top Load for its ease of use, less water consumption and cycle
    duration.
  8. Company: Everyone has their favorites based on experience and many other factors. IFB have been famous with their top loads since ages and LG/Samsung lead the space because of their service/support. Whirlpool isn’t far behind as well. If you work well with the 7 pointers mentioned above; this one will be relatively simple.
  9. After Sales Service: This is a key factor and should be decided based on the location and dealer views. LG has excellent service in Delhi. However, that might not be the same in your region. A trick to get this short listed is; Visit a store that has all brands and cross question about each company’s support/service.
    I’m sure it will be helpful.
  10. Extended Warranty: I will not suggest this option considering the default warrant option and local repair availability; especially in India.
  11. Power Consumption: This depends on the wattage and cycle run time and varies as per usage. You can calculate it depending on the model. More thoughts on electricity conservation here.

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35 thoughts on “Buying Guide : Washing Machine

    • Mike,

      Thanks for your inputs. I admit but do not agree.
      Based on our review and experience(India), we found that most of times Front Loading washing machines take separate water for soaking,washing & rinsing.
      Top Loads have the capability to function the other way round with just a single intake of water.
      Of course, the total numbers per capacity from each type will draw the real picture here.
      But we went with the stats considering a majority and that’s why i admit to your inputs but do not agree completely.

      Thanks again for providing your inputs.

  1. Not sure which brand uses just a single intake of water as you mentioned.
    I know someone who has an top loading LG machine which uses one intake of water for washing. When this wash cycle is done, the water is drained and another intake of water fills the drum for rinsing. In a top loader, the water level needs to be above the top of the clothes (which could be a couple of buckets) but for a front loader only part of the drum is filled. So on balance it still means top loaders use more water for washing and rinsing.
    Anyway the info was useful.

    • Appreciate your inputs and agree to the point you are making.
      I have updated the document as per your inputs. 🙂
      However, there are times when you can run more than one set of wash cycle in same water set with top load machines.This could save some water.
      Thanks again !!!

  2. Front load are better at washing clothes. All commercial washing machines are front loading.
    It because clothes will be better washed by the tumble wash (pulling out and immersing in into water many times over and over). On the other hand, top loading machines mainly rotate round and round in the tub. Imagine if you were washing clothes by hand, you will definitely prefer front loading technique.

    A salesman may tell u that top loading is good, but ask him why do people still buy top loading if it is more expensive.

    Note – the top loading machines we get in India are totally obsolete in developed countries. The only “top loading” machines sold in the west are ones which have same drum like action as in front loading machines, but they have a slot in the drum to put in and remove clothes from the top.

    • Gautam,

      That’s a dynamic factor based on model and its power consumption.
      However, if both types consume same power, then front loads would be costly considering their cycle time.

  3. Hi Guys..

    Please let me know which washing machine one is better to buy.
    which one is good? TOP LOAD or FRONT LOAD?
    which brand can i select?
    I can not spend more than 15000 rs for it.

    Thank you.

    • Srikanth,

      We cannot post a biased option here.
      The parameters are mentioned.
      Just apply them and you’ll be able to shortlist one.
      However, you might not have an option for front load in Rs.15000. Not sure though.
      All the best. 🙂

    • Deepak,

      I have seen a model from whirlpool claiming to give tumble wash effect in a top load. However, i am not aware of the efficiency and reviews.

      • Hi

        Please let me know if hard water can be used in front load also please let me know if there is any instrument which can convert hard water to soft water.

        • Jeevan,

          Hard water has its effect on washing machine.
          However, with front loads heating the water certainly results in removing some hardness from water.
          I have some friends using front load machines even though they have a hard water supply at their homes.
          Regarding, instrument to convert hard water to soft; not aware about it.

  4. Hi Friends,
    I am looking to buy a front load washing machine. I have selected three models as follows:
    1) IFB 6 KG SERENA AQUA
    2) IFB 6 KG ELENA STEAM
    3) LG 6 KG 6 MOTION DIRECT DRIVE

    Now IFB is offering 4 years full warranty and 10 years support for spare parts.
    and LG is offering 10 years warranty only on Motor and 2 years full warranty.
    I stay in Pune and really not sure about the after sales service of LG/IFB.
    Please help me choose the best model. Budget is not an issue. We would ideally be washing twice a week and 2 family members.

    Thanks!

    • Namit,

      Thanks for your comment.
      Regarding the query, i would like to suggest the following:
      1. Inquire about the after sales service in Pune and especially your residential area. Take feedback from others. It will help you shortlist further.
      2. Try visiting more stores and specific showrooms and cross question them about the competitors products (LG Vs IFB in your case).
      Their inputs will be helpful. 🙂
      3. Cannot suggest any model as we have not used these. Further, we never suggest any brand or product and focus more on the shortlisting steps for the end user.

      All the best. Please share your feedback. 🙂

  5. I think to buy a new washing machine and your guidance is very helpful and the factors that you provide for the washing machine is informative.

    • Shalini,
      The post is intended to share our experience. We do not do any form of consulting or advisory.
      You can refer to the post and try to shortlist the product you are looking for.
      All the best.

  6. Very useful tips. Going with you tips, I tried to enquire about a top loading machine gives same type of effect like a front loader and found there is a model in LG which they say direct drive without any belt, so how fas is this true

    • Hi,
      There are many machines offering the front load type movement in top load.
      From whatever i observed, the natural front load wash movement is hard to achieve in other environments.
      All the best.

    • Never ever go for a whirlpool product in Kerala.There after sales service is terrible.I purchased a 375 litre no frost fridge plus fully auto front loading washing machine in 2009.Fridge got screwed in 2013 and now the washing machine.They say spares are not available and on complaining I received a letter from their Chennai office suggesting to thank the 8 years of service(I forgot to mention….drum got replaced in 2011 on extended warranty…see the quality of machine)

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