The washing machine is one of the most common types of household appliances. It is difficult to find an apartment or a house in which she is not. Thanks to the washing machine, a long and very tedious hand washing of clothes have long been a thing of the past. Now you do not need any basins, washboards, and boiling tanks – the smart device will easily remove any stains.
It would seem – what else is needed? However, modern washing machines continue to improve. The number of functions is constantly increasing, and the technologies used are becoming more complex. Manufacturers are trying not only to improve the washing process but also to make washing machines more convenient to use and economical. Many functions of the washing machine minimize human involvement in the washing process. Modern technologies can reduce the consumption of water, electricity, and detergents, and prevent breakdowns. Thus, the washer becomes one of the most useful household appliances in the house.
Useful modes and programs of modern washing machines
If earlier a washing machine was needed just for washing dirty things and choosing a good model was not too difficult, today buyers are interested not only in the capacity of the drum. Among the main criteria that they pay attention to when buying, the following are at the forefront:
- protection against possible leaks – most manufacturing companies equip machines with Aqua-stop protection, which keeps them from unpleasant communication with neighbors if the washing machine suddenly leaks;
- automatic dosage of detergent. Based on the selected program and water hardness, the machine automatically doses the volume of powder or other agent, ensuring optimal washing;
- steam treatment. When the dirt is too severe, steam treatment makes it easier to get rid of stubborn stains;
- saving energy and water consumption – modern washing machines allow you to pay less for utilities;
- automatic drying of linen – there are models that make it possible to get clean and dry linen immediately after washing;
- drum balance control – vibration during spinning is reduced to a minimum, the machine works silently and does not cause any discomfort;
- delayed start – models provide the ability to start washing at a strictly specified time.
Washing machine leaks can occur for a variety of reasons. For example, due to wear on the hatch cuff or damage to hoses and pipes. The case is not always limited to a small puddle on the floor. If the inlet hose has been damaged, through which water flows under high pressure, a serious flood cannot be avoided.
Therefore, protection against leaks in the washing machine is considered one of the most useful functions. The most popular protection system is AquaStop. This is what most manufacturers use.
Protection against leaks in the washing machine can be partial or complete. In the first case, a pallet with a sensitive float, combined with a contact with a microswitch, is installed in the lower part of the device. As soon as the water gets into the pan, the float, rising, closes the contacts of the microswitch, putting the washer into emergency mode. The operation of the device stops, and the water from the tank is drained into the sewer. An error code appears on the display at this time.
The fully leak-proof washing machine is additionally equipped with a specially designed inlet hose. It is placed in a strong corrugated shell and equipped with a block of solenoid valves, which immediately shut off the water supply in the event of a leak. In some models of washing machines, a pump is additionally installed to pump out excess water from the sump.
The complete protection system is considered the most reliable, but this technology is used so far only in high-end washers.
Autodosing of detergents
For washing clothes, the detergent powder is most often used, the dosage of which is not such a simple matter. Not all manufacturers provide special measuring cups, so you have to pour them “by eye”. But it happens that even experienced housewives make mistakes. They will put in a little – complex spots will not be removed, a lot – the powder does not rinse out of the fabric completely, stains remain.
Manufacturers have undertaken to solve this problem as well. Some models of washing machines provide an automatic dosage of detergents. They are loaded into a special container of a rather large volume, from where the washing machine takes the required amount. Consumption depends on the selected wash program, the amount of laundry, and the degree of soiling.
Most auto-dosing systems are designed to use liquid detergents. The volume of the container is usually enough for 20-30 washes. However, there are already on sale washing machines with automatic dosing of washing powder. Only the container for it is produced separately and is mounted on the wall next to the washing machine. A rotating mechanism is provided in the lower part of the container, which breaks up the formed lumps, after which the powder enters the dispenser of the washing machine, where it is mixed with water. The prepared soap solution enters the tank.
Too hard? On the contrary, everything becomes much easier for the owner of the washing machine. The volume of the powder container is 4 liters, which is enough for about 100 washes. The same container for the liquid product is located next to it. Before you start washing, you just need to choose what to use, and the machine will determine the dosage automatically.
Steam washing machines
A steam washing machine is far from a novelty on the home appliance market. The first such devices were installed in industrial laundries and dry cleaners, and then the function of steam washing began to appear in household washing machines.
Steam models are still significantly more expensive than conventional washing machines. Is it worth spending money on this technology and what is the steam wash function for? First of all, it provides high-quality disinfection of things. Secondly, you can do without washing by simply steam refreshing your everyday clothes. The temperature in many models is set manually, which makes it possible to process delicate fabrics. Thirdly, after steam treatment, ironing clothes is much easier, since there are no folds and creases on them. In some cases, you can completely do without ironing. The steam function in the washing machine allows you to wash your down jackets without having to dry clean them.
Thus, a washing machine with steam is a useful multifunctional technique. Among other things, the steam, acting gently on the fabric, prevents rapid wear of the clothes.
Many users are worried about the strong vibration of the washing machine when spinning. This symptom is not always harmless. It can indicate a breakdown, such as a broken bearing assembly or a malfunction in the damping system. Vibration can also be caused by improper installation or excessive loading of the machine.
An absolutely quiet washing machine has so far only existed in commercials. The device cannot work silently – sounds are emitted by the engine, flowing water, a rotating drum, and laundry rubbing against its walls. However, manufacturers began to deal with excess vibration a long time ago. Each modern model has an imbalance control function and a special vibration sensor. Even at high rotational speeds, it ensures perfect drum balancing.
Unbalance is most often caused by overloading the washing machine or uneven distribution of the laundry in the drum. For example, if you decide to wash a large duvet cover, and it is curled up into a ball. First, the machine will try to rotate the drum in different directions in order to achieve an even distribution of its contents. If the balance is not reached, the spin speed will decrease. Some washers stop working and give an error code. After manually distributing the laundry, spinning continues at the set speed.
Economical water consumption
Washing machine water consumption is a sore point for many housewives. Some even hand wash some of their clothes to reduce the waste of resources. However, it should be noted that the savings, in this case, are insignificant. A modern washing machine spends about 60 liters per wash cycle. Washing and rinsing by hand don’t use much less.
Economical washing machines are in great demand, in which various technologies are implemented that help reduces water consumption. One of the most famous is Fuzzy Logic or FuzzyControl, in other words, an intelligent washing system. Savings are achieved because the system adjusts the water consumption according to the amount of laundry, the degree of soiling, and the type of fabric.
The Aqua-Sensor technology is also used to reduce water consumption. A special sensor detects the transparency of the water and, based on this data, adjusts the course of the program by adding or canceling an additional rinse.
Many models of washing machines use the ALC system, which automatically adjusts the water and energy consumption based on the amount of laundry loaded and the type of fabric.
Water-efficient washing machines can be more expensive than conventional washing machines due to the complexity of the technology used. However, the unit will pay for itself quickly by reducing monthly utility bills.
As we have already said, modern washing machines can do more than just wash. Having bought a washing machine with a dryer, you will get absolutely dry laundry out of the drum, which can be ironed or put into storage right away. Finally, it will be possible to free the balcony from annoying ropes and not worry about street dust getting onto freshly washed clothes. A washer-dryer will help out if you are unexpectedly caught in the rain and want to dry your clothes as quickly as possible.
Washing machines with a drying function differ from each other not only in the volume of the load but also in the complexity of the functionality. Timed drying is provided in inexpensive models. You set the timer, and when the set time elapses, the device turns off, regardless of whether the laundry is dry or not.
More sophisticated technology is drying based on residual moisture. Several stages of drying are offered (“Easy ironing”, “Completely dry”, “In the cupboard”, etc.), and the owner of the device chooses the one that suits him. A special sensor measures the moisture content of the fabric, and the process will be stopped only when its level reaches the set value.
Do I need a tumble dryer function? It’s up to you to decide. But keep in mind that only half of the washed laundry can be dried – there must be enough free space in the drum for normal circulation of warm air. If you wash frequently and a lot, it would be wise to purchase a tumble dryer separately.
Effective cold wash
Linen does not always need to be washed in hot water. In fact, only cotton fabrics can withstand heat up to 60-90 degrees. And even for them, such regimes should only be used if you need to remove stubborn stains or disinfect clothes, for example, baby clothes or bedding. For most other materials, a temperature of 40 degrees is sufficient. For silk and wool, a delicate wash in cold water is recommended.
Washing clothes in cold water in a washing machine is also good because it saves energy and extends the service life of the machine. The less often you use hot water, the less scale appears on the heating element.
All models of modern washing machines have washing modes in cold water (20-30 degrees). These programs are recommended for everyday items with little dirt. However, some manufacturers have decided to improve machine wash in cold water, so that even at this temperature, stubborn stains can be removed.
The most effective technology today is considered Eco Bubble or air bubble wash. There is a bubble generator under the drum of the washing machine. It mixes washing powder with water. Under air pressure, the bubbles penetrate deep into the fibers of the fabric, “pushing” dirt out of there. There is no need to heat the water. Even if it has a temperature of only 15 degrees, the washing quality will be the same as in conventional washing machines at 40 degrees. Energy savings can be up to 70%.
Delayed start function
Thanks to a variety of modern technologies, the operation of the washing machine no longer needs constant human monitoring. This means you can easily schedule your laundry at night when electricity rates are lower, or vice versa during the day when no one is home. To do this, you can use the delayed start function.
A delayed start in the washing machine is an opportunity to program its operation at a convenient time. You can select the delay arbitrarily in the range from 0 to 24 hours or use the options available in the menu: 3, 6, 9, 12 hours, etc. The function depends on the make and model of the washing machine. The set data is displayed on the device display.