It is indisputable: the washing machine has become an essential appliance in the lives of most families who value practicality and/or do not have much time to wash piece by piece of clothing by hand.
With that in mind, there are currently numerous options for washing machines on the market – from the simplest to the most complete (such as, for example, those that in addition to washing also dry the pieces). The aim is to meet the different needs of each family.
However, choosing the ideal washing machine for a home, contrary to what many people think, is not an easy task!
This is because the consumer must think far beyond the question of value: he must research every detail of the product taking into account the particularities of the family, the space available in the laundry, among other points.
The different types of washing machines
Below you can find good guidelines on how to choose the ideal washing machine for your home. But before that, it is essential to know the different types of products available on the market today, as well as their advantages and disadvantages:
Automatic washing machines allow the programming of a complete cycle: from filling the machine with water to spinning. “Some models even dose the amount of soap and fabric softener according to the amount of clothes”, comments Fábio Marques, manager of Services Engineering at Whirlpool Latin America.
Advantage and indication: they are practical and easy to use. For all this, they are well suited for people who have a busy day to day.
Disadvantage: Automatic washing machines are more expensive compared to semi-automatic machines.
Fábio Marques explains that semi-automatic machines have a manual level selection, which must be adjusted according to the volume of clothing.
Advantage and indication: semi-automatic washing machines are, on average, cheaper. Thus, they are a great option for people who have some time to follow the wash. In addition, they are more economical in water and energy consumption.
Disadvantage: Semi-automatic washing machines require more attention, as they do not do all the work themselves (as in the case of automatic washing machines).
The tanquinhos are similar to semi-automatic machines, but they often come with a scrubber similar to the traditional tanks in the service area, as explained by Fábio Marques.
Advantage and indication: the tanquinhos are products of lower value. In this way, they are suitable for people/families who do not want to spend a lot at the time of purchase and who have some time to follow the washing of their clothes.
Disadvantage: tanquinhos are products of lesser value because, in general, they need the intervention of the consumer to open and/or close the faucet during the entry of water and to drain at the end of the wash, in addition to not having a centrifuge system.
4. Wash and dry
Fábio Marques points out that the Lava and Dry machines can be used both to wash clothes and to dry them. “They usually offer different functions to meet different needs in terms of the quantity and type of part”, he adds.
Advantage and indication: the Lava and Dry machine is ideal for smaller laundries, as it is a “two in one” product and takes up little space. This is a good option for people who live in small apartments, for example. Washing machines and dryers are also practical, as there is no need to take the clothes out of the washing machine basket and transfer them to the dryer basket. In addition, they generally have advanced technology that allows them to save energy and avoid wasting water.
Disadvantage: Lava and Dry washers are among the most expensive on the market. In addition, as they are state-of-the-art machines, they have digital controls that require at least a little familiarity with technology.
Fábio Marques explains that dryers perform the function of accelerating the drying process of the pieces, using hot or cold air.
“Cold air is little known, but in addition to being used to dry items sensitive to heat, it can be used at the end of hot air drying, for 10 minutes, leaving the fabrics soft and pleasant to the touch”, adds the Whirlpool’s Service Engineering Manager.
Fábio also points out that there are dryers that use gas to heat the air that will dry the clothes; other models use electrical resistance. “Gas dryers are larger products and suitable for large families and with a good amount of space in the laundry room,” he says.
Advantage and indication: depending on the fabric, some clothes do not need to be ironed after drying. Gas dryers, more particularly, are large and suitable for large families.
Disadvantage: to install the dryer, you need a service area with space, since the consumer who has it needs to rely on another product – the washing machine, in this case.
Fábio explains that a centrifuge is a product with a high turnover of its basket, being able to have a centrifugation up to three times greater than that of a washing machine.
Advantage and indication: the clothes come out with very little moisture and the drying time is greatly reduced. The centrifuge is a very useful product, especially for those who live in an apartment and have little space in the laundry room to dry their clothes.
Disadvantage: the centrifuge can only fit a few pieces of clothing at a time, so it is not a product so suitable for large families and/or those who use/dirty a lot of clothes.
7. Mini washing machines
“Mini washing machines, like the Brastemp Eggo, for example, are suitable for washing underwear and/or delicate clothes, have a capacity of around 1 kg of clothes and can even be installed in the bathroom. It has low consumption of water and energy”, explains Fábio Marques.
Advantage and indication: they are great for washing underwear and/or delicates and take up little space, making them a good option for those who live in a small apartment. They also allow for water and energy savings.
Disadvantage: Mini washing machines are a type of washing machine with a reduced capacity, usually between 1kg and 3kg, so they are not suitable for large families or for those who usually have a lot of clothes to wash.
Front opening x top opening
The machines in which the laundry is placed on top, also known as “top load” or simply because they have a top opening, work by agitation or swirling system (in the case of models without agitator) .
Advantages of top opening machines: they offer the possibility of stopping the wash at any time so that more garments can be loaded.
The front opening machines work by a tipping system – washing takes place through friction between the clothes when they are tipped over by moving the basket.
Advantages of machines with front opening: they are more durable and less aggressive to clothes. However, they need more space in the laundry room as they open at the front. In addition, the system cannot be interrupted in the middle of washing.
What to look for when choosing a washing machine?
Fábio Marques highlights some points that should be analyzed when buying a washing machine:
- The consumer must consider the number of residents in the house to have an idea of the amount of clothes he needs to wash;
- You should also consider the type of clothing that will be washed the most (towels and comforters, for example, require greater capacity);
- How often the machine will be used (once or twice a week, for example);
- The features that the product offers that can help you accomplish this task.
“For families with up to 3 people, for example, a washing machine weighing up to 9 kg is enough. If the family is large, usually washes large items or a lot of clothes, you should consider those weighing more than 10 kg”, exemplifies Fábio.
In addition, other factors must be considered when choosing, according to Whirlpool’s Service Engineering manager. “Whoever has a child or carries out activities that make clothes very dirty, for example, can choose models with water heating, facilitating the removal of some types of dirt”, he highlights.
In addition to the issue of the capacity and functionality of the washing machine, other points can be considered to help with the choice. Watch:
Value: Stop and think about how much you can/are willing to spend on the washing machine. But, of course, remember that the cheapest option is not always the best for you. First choose a type of machine that will meet the needs of your home and then do a good research to see the price issue.
Water and energy consumption: there is no point in saving a lot on the purchase price of the washing machine and forgetting that it will consume water and energy. Thus, it is very important to also research on models that are more economical in this sense.
Procel Seal: check if the chosen product has the Procel seal, the letter “A” is the one that guarantees the greatest savings. The seal aims to guide the consumer at the time of purchase, indicating the products that present the best levels of energy efficiency within each category, thus providing savings on the electricity bill.
Reuse of water: some washing machines already have the “Economic Wash” function that allows the reuse of water used in the washing machine for use in other household tasks. This is another interesting point to consider when choosing the product.
Sterilization: Currently there are washing machines with sterilization technology, this can be a good option for those who have children at home (and often wash baby clothes), for example.
Washing programs: there are machines that offer different programs that guarantee the most suitable wash for each type of clothing, such as jeans, bed and bath, blanket, underwear, etc. Analyze whether this factor is important to you.
10 washing machine options
Check out some machine options to get an idea of the prices practiced by the market and to know the main models available:
Now you know: there is no shortage of washing machine options on the market. The issue of price is important, but it is not the only one that must be taken into account. Capacity, product quality, space it will occupy inside the laundry room, etc. are also very important.
So, do a lot of research before buying and you will be sure that you have chosen a machine that will really meet your needs.
With Knowledge Comes Wisdom
Walk comfortably in both Darkness and Light with these digital Books of Shadows: