Washing Machines – complete guide to buying for home use

We have come to the realisation that washing machine is no longer the exclusive reserve of the rich as many had erroneously believed.

More so, unlike in the past, when house helps were the norm of the day, procuring them is not easy and the attendant stories to some of them is far from encouraging.

For those our readers, who have kept waiting for answers, accept our unreserved apology. Though issues requiring immediate attention kept creeping up, we, however, want to make sure we do not lead you astray with the wrong article, so we took more time researching and interviewing professionals in the industry for the right answers.

The most commonly asked question is, ‘What brand of washing machine should I buy?’ In this write up, we are not going to advertise any brand but sincerely tell you what we have found out from the concerned professionals and market research.

At the time of going to press, we found out that there are over ten brands of washing machines in the market; for example, Scanfrost, Hot Point, Beko, Samsung, Whirlpool, Ignis, Qlink, LG, Tashio, Thermocool, A-Z, etcetera. While Hot Point, Whirlpool, Ignis are known and tried names they have no service centres here and they are not assembled here. They are quite popular in the UK, US. Buy a product that you can easily source the parts if need be; a product that if you have a challenge using it, you will be able to easily walk into their office and demand for your rights.

There are brands in Nigeria that have service centres, go for such brands. Instead of using road side repairers, you have the opportunity of being attended to by the company’s engineers.

In seeking for brands, again, consider the brands that offer special features. Each washing machine manufacturer has its own special features designed to improve wash quality and save money. For example, Samsung’s Ecobubble technology dissolves detergent using water and air to create bubbles that penetrate and clean clothes more efficiently.

Go for brands that have the ‘Indicators and Ease of use’ clearly displayed on the machine. As washing machines get more complicated, it’s important to have a model that is easy to understand. It can also be handy to have a washing machine with a clear display that shows its current setting and how long is left on the current wash cycle.

Mr. Foluso Adebayo from Ibadan, Mr. Femi Olusola, Osun State and Mrs. Irene Okafor from Enugu State, you called asking for the type of washing machine to buy.

The type to buy depends on many factors which include money available to you, size of the family, availability of water, size of the space for the installation, among others.

Washing machine comes in different prices. Some cost as high as one million naira and some as low as N15,000. The amount of money you want to spend on it depends on you. Now there are different sizes of the machines also and different types. An average family will need a machine with about 5-7kg drum size.

washing machines

However, a larger drum can make a lot of sense as not only can you wash more clothes in one go, but you can wash larger items such as duvets. A larger drum will be more efficient per kg of washing, requiring less water and power to wash the same amount of clothes as a machine with a smaller drum.

The washing machine uses much water, so if you are not connected to a water borehole, well, or steady source of water, do not buy the machine that the plumber will have to fix the drainage and water inlet hose directly to the water pipe. You are better off buying the manual machine where you have to be pouring in water manually.

Any time, any day, it is better to buy a washing machine that washes, rinses and spins. After the spinning, if the weather is warm enough it takes less than an hour for the washing to dry on the line dryer. Those in Africa and other countries with warm climate do not necessarily need a washing machine with dryer as nature has provided us with enough sun and wind for drying.

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Space in the house also determines the type of washing machine to purchase. As it is not really an industrial machine you are going for, you can always create space to accommodate the machine. But still, consider where you intend to install the machine before you make a choice.

Barrister Chuks Nwangwu, Ikeja, Mr. Humphry Owpele, Bayelsa State and Mrs. Emi Ekelemu, Port Harcourt; you want to know whether to go for a top loader or front loading washing machine.

The front loading washing machine has greater advantages than the top loading ones. Generally, the front loaders are more expensive but the higher initial cost can be recovered in just a few years through water, drying time and soap usage savings.

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When you are using a front loading machine, you save a lot of wear and tear on your laundry because the machine agitates less. The top loader agitates more, which is bad for your clothes.

washing machine

But the good news is that you can use virtually any type of laundry detergent in the top loader. Besides, top loader is the ideal machine for people with knee problem. You will need to kneel or bend to put your laundry in the front loader and kneel again to bring the wet clothes out.

front loading washing machine

Other questions generally asked are- What quantity of laundry should I put in my washing machine? How can I get rid of residual soap suds at the end of a cycle and why do some clothing dealers suggest washing clothes inside out?.

For the top loader, a general rule is to lay clothes loosely inside the washer until they reach the top of the agitator. For a front loader, fill it until it is full, with minimal compression of the clothes.

When you notice soap sud residual at the end of your wash, it indicates you are using too much detergent for the clothes you are washing. Try reducing the amount of detergent.

For the third question, you should understand that in the washer, the clothes often turn inside out during the agitation cycle. Turning clothes inside out limits abrasion on the good side of the fabric, reducing pilling and extending the life of some fabrics such as corduroy. Also, embroidery, decals, etcetera are preserved.

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The benefits of a washing machine cannot be overemphasized. Any money invested in buying one is money invested wisely. When you buy a new one, you can use it for years without ever repairing it. It does not call for regular servicing except maybe once in a year or even once in two years.

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