Well, we've all got smalls to wash!
Doing the washing is just one of those things we've got to do.
It's not the most fun you can have in a kitchen but, thankfully, in modern times it's all a bit easier that it used to be in our Gran's day.
The only problem is that with so many different types of washing machine on offer, it can be mind-boggling - and even quite daunting - to know which one to choose.
So if you're thinking of buying a new washing machine, then read on. We've hints and tips on which machine is probably best for you and the best places to buy one.
First off.... integrated or free-standing?
That's right, let's get down to the basics - where's it going to go?
Integrated Washing Machines
An integrated washing machine is designed to be hidden from view by a matching furniture door, which in smaller kitchens will give a better impression of space. Widths and depths vary slightly although most machines will fit a standard 600mm gap. Be sure to research the specifics.
TOP TIP: measure carefully!
Free Standing Washing Machines
If you have a utility room within your home, you may wish to consider purchasing a free standing washing machine. Freestanding washing machines can be either front loading or top loading and each have their own characteristics.
Top loader or front loader?
Generally speaking, front loading washing machines are regarded as better appliances than top loading. The bulk of washing machines that the product testing charities view are front loading and very few top loading washing machines have been praised or awarded.
Top loading washing machines - although they have bigger drum sizes - tend to be much noisier, a little awkward to use and less energy efficient, so are probably best placed in a utility room.
It is important to note that all integrated washing machines are front loading.
Washing Machine Features
Like all appliances, washing machines have varying features.
The main three to consider when buying a washing machine are:
- load capacity
- spin speed
- energy efficiency
The standard load capacity for most washing machines is 6kg and is usually large enough for most households.
And if you're not sure what a 6kg load is!.... it pretty much consists of:
3 large towels
2 pairs of jeans
If you think you need more than that because you're washing for a larger family or household, then perhaps you should think of a machines with a 7, 8, 9 or 10kg capacity.
Washing your duvet?
Large capacity washing machines will also assist when washing larger items such as duvets, sleeping bags and the like and will cause less creasing than a standard load.
TOP TIP: Look out for the Spin Rating - A-rated appliances achieve the driest results, and G the wettest.
If you tend to use a tumble drier, choosing a washing machine with an A-rated spin with reduce your tumble drying costs.
This will give you an idea of how much it will cost you to run, but, of course, the more washing you do in smaller loads rather than bigger loads will always mean bigger bills.
For those of you with space constraints, washer dryers can be the perfect choice.
They can save you a substantial amount of space and money as you don't need to buy two seperate appliances - but, like most things that seem to good to be true, washer dryers do not perform as well as separate appliances.
You also won't be able to do your washing and drying at the same time.
TOP TIP: remember the drying capacity of a washer dryer is less than it's washing capacity, so don't tink you can just turn the knob to dryer when the wasjing is finished.
If you like your clothes and always tend to pay for quality when buying them then it makes sense to also invest in the very best washing machine you can afford to look after them - especially delicates and fine wools.
A good one is worth the money because you'll use it every week and it'll do the job properly and save you time.
This feature was written in association with Appliance World, one of the UK's biggest retailers of domestic appliances and based here in Swindon.
Located in Hobley Drive, Stratton St Margaret their showroom has over 200 items on show with 8 fully working kitchens allowing customers the rare opportunity to try before they buy
Where also to buy in Swindon:
Leading independents in Swindon also include Burden Electronics and Basics, who also deal in second-hand appliances.
> Burden Electronics - more info
> Basics - more info