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What bells and whistles do you want on kitchen appliances?

Ice dispensing fridge freezers, eco washing dishwashers and fully programmable cookers… kitchen appliances come with lots of extra features, but which do you find essential and which can you live without?

Modern kitchen appliances are packed with features designed to make life easier, from holiday settings to egg trays. But what are the features people actually want and need?

We asked over 10,000 Which? members their views to sort the indispensable features from the gimmicks.

Practical features came out on top, with the most popular being a frost-free fridge freezer to save you from the chore of defrosting it. Other essential fridge freezer options included temperature and door open alarms, deep drawers and ice dispensers.

Fan-assisted cooking is a must for ovens, sensor drying for tumble dryers was rated quite highly, and a time-remaining display was deemed the most useful for washing machines.

Useful versus useless features

One theme that came out from our survey was that appliances come with lots of options and features that we use just because they’re there, even if we don’t actually find them that useful. And some settings are used just a few times and then left alone.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I generally wash most things on the same setting and hardly ever make use of the extra rinse cycle on my dishwasher. And does anyone ever use the sport setting on their washing machine? One member sums all of this up quite well:

‘I hate buying white goods with bells and whistles that cost me money but don’t make it work any better.’

We’ll ensure manufacturers listen

The least useful features included a pause wash on washing machines, holiday settings on fridge freezers, and being able to delay the start or end time on tumble dryers.

We’re sending our findings to manufacturers to ensure your voices are heard, and in the meantime we’ll be using the survey results to update our online reivews for all the kitchen appliances we covered, allowing you to filter by the features that were rated highly.

What kitchen appliance features do you find the most useful? Are you delighted by a delayed start, or is a memory function a must-have? Do you find endless options on control panels frustrating, or are they genuinely useful? Here’s your chance to rant and rave about your appliances’ features.

Adam says:
6 January 2012

As far as I can see, Which? have not included ISE Appliances in their testing. ISE claim that their washing machines, dryers and (soon to be available) dishwasher are designed to be simple and very long lasting. They are NOT cheap – on a par with Miele I think – but if their claims are justified could well provide an excellent long-term solution.

Apparently their ‘eco’ washing machine, which allows both hot and cold fill as opposed to cold fill only on their other washing machine, is unique in that it ‘intelligently’ allows both hot and cold to fill the machine as and when needed. ISE claim that other hot and cold machines only do one or the other depending upon the chosen programme.

Finally, their dishwasher uses a fan to dry so I imagine would avoid the steamy atmosphere referred to in posts above.

Please Which?, test them for us!

I’ve heard good stuff about ISE appliances. ISE claim to be very reliable and cheaply repairable when repairs are needed in future – *much* cheaper to repair compared to Miele.

I do hope Which? are reading these comments. Please Which? – test ISE appliances from now on, only award “Best Buys” to washing machines that rinse properly and persuade manufacturers to include hot fill on their washing machines AND dishwashers.

Most of the early ISE washing machines were relatively normal washing machines with the emphasis on ease of repair and aftersales.

However, the ISE10 is potentially the best washing machine available when the promise of much cheaper no-profit-markup parts, freely available technical information and ease of repair plus the definite higher build quality are taken into account.

I think it potentially is the best washing machine available at the moment for potential longevity and ease of maintaining over its life, something that needs to be very much more taken into account by reviewers. What use is a washer that washes fantastic, uses low water and energy but doesn’t last very long because of poor build quality or outrageously expensive parts, lack of technical information or deliberate not-repairable design?

Hello Adam

Which? did test an ISE washing machine but it was back in 2007 so the review has been archived as the model is no longer available and our testing has changed since then.

I can give you some information about the CI555WH washer we did test.
Although it wasn’t good enough to be a Best Buy, it wasn’t a long way off. The cleaning was good on the standard 40 degrees and easy care cycles and the short wash was pretty good, however we found the main 40 degree cycle rinsing wasn’t great.

Pros: Good cleaning, excellent short wash, free five-year warranty, delay start
Cons: Noisy, poor rinsing on standard 40 degree program

We’re currently planning ahead and looking at what models are planned to launch in 2012, so will keep the ISE brand in mind, though I’m unable to categorically say we will include one of their models.

I hope this information is of some use

Here’s the ISE washing machine with hot and cold fill.

It would be nice if they offered warm rinsing as well; is anyone from ISE reading this? 😉

Wow! A washing machine with intelligent dual fill – just like I – and others – have been suggesting on the washerhep forum for years. It’s a pity it’s not a washer/dryer as space consideration preclude my having separate units.

But I will be writing to them to ask whether they intend to make one and furthermore, whether they have any plans for a dishwasher as well.

What’s the betting that, once these machines are introduced and pprove to meet a need, the other manufacturers will suddenly discover that, what do you know, dual fill is better after all!

With regard to the many extras on modern equipment, it seems to me that the only benefit of these is to the energy companies for the unnecessary power used. I will go so far as to say that I suspect collusion between the manufacturers and the energy companies. Most appliances on standby have to be switched off at the plug and some need re-programming each time, which is a pretty effective way of ensuring most are left on standby. I recall when most household appliances had a memory and could be switched off.

You are absolutely right, Patsy. I assumed that the need to reprogram anything would be gone by the end of the 1980s, but it did not happen. We can name and shame manufacturers but it would be useful for Which? to look at this when testing appliances.

Appliances should consume no mains power when not in use. In the case of equipment that is activated by a timer (e.g. PVRs and DVD recorders) it is possible to store the power needed in an internal battery or capacitor.

Good idea Wavechange: that WHICH should look into why appliances need to be on standby. Bog standard computers are set-up to retain all their information when turned fully off and it would be simpler to do so with kitchen appliances, TV’s etc. The idea of dozens of appliances on stand by, when I am out or asleep, worries me. Times the unnecessary electriciy used on standby by households in the UK and the resultant profit from pure greed and collusion must be into the mega-millions by now. Times that figure by the rest of the world and Wow! Wonder what the guy who dreamed up standby got for Christmas? Don’t expect a rush to look at this matter though

Yes, we’ve written a Conversation about this topic before: Would you buy a TV without an on/off switch? https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/tvs-on-standby-without-an-on-off-switch/

Here’s a summary of my feelings regarding washing machines after discussing it on and off with Richard and Dave among others over the last 4 or 5 years –

Cold fill only washing machines are not the most efficient

Hot and cold fill washing machines are not the most efficient

Either of the above can be the most efficient for some people

Washing machines should not be made only to be be efficient for most, or just a majority of people

Washing machines should use HOT & COLD water – not in the old inefficient way – but using proper fuzzy logic and thermostatically controlled valves

Washing machines should be able to function at optimum efficiency no matter what detergent is used, and not be designed to favour only biological detergent users as a significant percentage of people do not use biological detergent

Washing machines should be able to function at optimum efficiency no matter how it is supplied with hot water, whether from gravity fed immersion heaters, combination boilers or solar heated water and users should be able to customise their machine according to which hot supply (if any) they have

Washingman says:
10 January 2012

We agree with WashierHelp

In Austria we had a Miele which was called AllWasser. It would use rainwater from the tanks on the roof, hot water from the sun heating and tap water too. It was simple in use and we had all 3 pipes connected to the proper taps, but we found that here in the UK we only had a tap for the tap water, so we did not ship the machine over as it was expensive and bought a british model with one pipe.

It isn’t as good and is very slow

This is ideal for those who know what they are doing or are prepared to find out. I know people who have sophisticated central heating timers but make more use of the on/off switch. I do not know many people who customise their word processors and email clients to meet their needs.

Some heat their water in different ways according to season, and not just those with solar heating. Many use a single programme on their washing machine, irrespective of what they are washing and what sort of detergent they are using. There is only so much that fuzzy logic can do, and because of poor design, electronic controls can fail and mistakes in programming could introduce further problems.

I suggest that manufacturers choose useful default settings carefully, on the basis that most users may not change them. Having a display of those settings could encourage the user to customise their settings, but to avoid unnecessary service visits there should be a button to restore factory settings.

My hot & cold fill washing machine will be 30 next month and you might find me on your forum asking for advice.

I agree with Wavechange (and WhiteGoodsBlog and WashingMan). In particular, as one who is guilty of, but very satisfied with, using just 3 cycles on my washer for over 20 years, I recommend that machines should default to a 60 degree (or slightly hotter – my machine does 75 degrees), cottons cycle (otherwise known as “Fast Coloureds”), a 90 or 95 degree cotton wash (otherwise known as “Whites”) and a Woollens cycle that is woolmark approved, sometimes known as “Delicates” or “Hand wash”.

In a quarter of a century of doing my own washing, all but 18 months of that in just the one machine, I have never ever needed or wanted any of the other cycles on my 15 cycle, 1983 machine, and in the 18 months I did have to tolerate a modern machine a couple of years ago not only did I have to choose endless options every time I used it (though credit to it where it is due, it did default o a 60 degree cotton wash on start up …………just one that didn’t wash, didn’t rinse and took 3 hours!) but not one of the cycles on it actually did the essential job of a washing machine: wash an rinse the laundry.

The factory restore idea is also a great idea if we are to stick with modern, but more often than not unsatisfactory, electronic controls.

Wavechange and I have commented extensively about CFL’s and the fact that their inherent unreliability is almost certain;y down to the atrociously built and impossibly cheap electronics within them: most appliances suffer the same fate because manufacturer want profit. QUALITY electronics, WELL BUILT, and with some SENSIBLE default options should be absolutely indestructible. It can be done!

If the money was spent on the QUALITY rather than the QUANTITY of daft gizmo’s, we’d have outstanding products from every manufacturer.

Filling a washing machine with hot water also helps dissolve the detergent added into the soap drawer and keeps it cleaner. The “cold fill only” washing machines cannot do this and if you want to avoid a nasty mess and having to clean the soap drawer more often, you will need to pour hot water into the soap drawer regularly to dissolve and flush-out the detergent and softener gunk. Even if the water is at boiling point, the temperature can be regulated with the cold supply as well, but the initial hot water should go in at full temperature for the first 10 – 25 seconds to keep the drawer clean, then cold water added. This won’t harm the clothes as the water will cool down as it enters the drum, but it’s far better to start off the wash with warm water than use a *lot* more power to heat it up from stone cold! Why heat up the water twice when you have an existing hot water supply at home?

Second point is that warm rinsing can remove a *lot* more detergent by dissolving it and I often wonder if this could save water and rinse better at the same time? So instead of performing 3 cold rinses with half a drum of water each time, which does rinse well, could 3 rinses with 2 warm rinses do a better job with 1/3 of the water consumption, with the cold rinse last to avoid creasing the clothes?

Hot water pressure can be very low and manufacturers need to allow for this, even if the hot water is just trickling into the washing machine when it’s needed, it will still save time and energy compared to using just cold water.

Prudence says:
10 January 2012

It seems as though almost all other comments on here are about washing machines, dishwashers and fridges.

I’ve read them and I agree with most.

My own bugbears are:

Flashing lights, especially blue ones. Why are manufacturers obsessed with blue LEDS and why do they have to flash? Most of all, why do we have to have them even when they tell us nothing? My Iron has blue lights in the water tank and flashing blue ones on the thermostat. I much preferred my previous irons that had simple red lights to show when the element was on.

Stupid noises. Why on earth does everything have to play a tune to tell you you’ve pressed a button or that it’s come to the end of the cycle or that it’s filling up or whatever? Most annoying of all, why are many appliances made without the facility to stop these noises. If I wanted to run my washer, dryer or dishwasher overnight I couldn’t because all of them play a silly tune when they reach the end and they keep on playing it and won’t shut up until you press the off switch.

LCD displays. I do appreciate that in a few cases these can be really quite useful, but as far as I can see in most cases they serve no useful purpose at all and appear to be fitted for the sake of it. I saw a good oven in John Lewis that I was tempted to buy but I did not because it had a pointless LCD display that showed pictures of things like a chicken with ‘animated steam’ over it to show the oven was on, or what looked like a shower head spraying water that was apparently supposed to show that the grill was on (the water droplets were supposed to be heat from the grill!!!)

We had red, orange and green LEDs for many years before it was possible to produce blue or white versions. I suspect that the blue LEDs are used to make appliances look more modern.

If silly noises prevent you leaving appliances on overnight this could save your life or avoid a serious flood. See the posting by ‘whitegoods help’ above.

A friend has a microwave with an amazing – and pointless – colourful animated display, plus the silly sounds. Maybe that’s why this ‘designer’ microwave was so cheap.

Those brightly coloured Dyson vacuum cleaners look like something out of the Fisher Price catalogue and I will not be surprised if the next versions play tunes and flash lights.

Totally agree with Prudence and also with Wavechange.

I detest the flashing lights and I’m certain that Blue ones are just because the geeks at the design offices are still childishly-fixated by the “new” blue LEDS ( even though they are now really quite old-hat).

I hate the daft sounds that appliances make and have a personal view that these are also due to the child-like fascination of the geeks at the design offices (who probably all wear Casio Digital watches that play strangulated waltzing matilda on the hour every hour!). I agree that leaving appliances on overnight is a suicide bid and as such if the noises have any purpose at all, it’s to mean that you can’t leave the appliances on whilst you sleep, but personally I’d rather not have the noises and also remove all delay start options plus get insurers to refuse to pay out (or insure you at all) if you leave appliances running unattended. Hopefully that would stop people laving things on unattended.

And I’m totally and utterly with Wavechange over the completely berserk Dyson cleaners. I would never dream of touching one of these with a barge-pole, partly because I would not give one of them house-room looking like they do, but also because out of the only 5 people I know who had or have a Dyson, 3 have had them catch fire in use (one person twice with two different models) and 1 person has found it to be completely useless as a vacuum. 4 our of 5 dis-satisfied customers seems like a fair damnation to me but that’s besides the point.

So, come on Which? – if you are going to “make sure manufacturers listen”, lets see machines devaoid of all sparkling blue LEDS, nice and quiet with no tunes, bleeps or noises and preferable made in “grown up” colours and shapes! Baby-walkers for babies!!!!

Dave – I imagine your mobile phone is set to go ‘ring-ring’ rather than play muzak and flash lights. Maybe the ringtone enthusiasts actually like the blue flashing lights on their kitchen appliances. Maybe the next step will be bright lights that cycle through a spectrum of colours in sequence with the muzak.

If we do get hot & cold fill washing machines, some manufacturers will undoubtedly require us to play some sort of button pushing game to activate this option, and we will have to play the game again if we dare to pull the plug to save power rather than leaving the machine on standby.


Mobile Phone? What is this “mobile phone”?!!!

Seriously, of course I have a mobile ‘phone – in fact I have an iPhone and I love it, but it is set to ring a proper British GPO ‘phone ring tone and it took me ages to force it to do so, and I switched off ALL the other tones for things like typing each letter or getting a new text and so on.

I’m sure you’re right about what you suspect re new machines of any kind.

If the button pushers and knob twiddlers and flashers like all their toys and games, let them have them: I have no issue with sat all. What I do have an issue with is manufacturers who make it impossible to switch these things off and who make having every possible flashing light and silly tune enabled the default option which comes back every time an appliance is powered up.

I also object to the fact that those of us who don’t use the bells and whistles end up having to pay for them even though we don’t want them, but that’s a lesser objection on my part than being unable to switch them off.

Time was when people like you and I could get inside an appliance and disconnect things like sounders and speakers to stop these things. Some appliances now are so designed that if you do this, the appliance won’t work any more – if the manufacturers put as much effort into making the appliances do their designated job properly as they have into making sure we can’t stop the toys we would have world-class, ultra efficient, appliances all round!

Speaking of bells and whistles and mobile phones. I would love my washing machine and tumble dryer to text me (or preferable the wife) when they have finished. We have them in the garage and my wife is constantly going in to see if they have finished and being frustrated when they haven’t – especially when she timed her visit according to the time left display – which we all know are almost a joke they are so inaccurate at times.

I would say it’s far more of an annoyance to give people an estimated finish time which is inaccurate than to not give them any expectations at all other than letting them rely on their own experience of doing the specific wash programme and/or the average times given in the instruction books.

Oh how I agree with you Andy! (Whitegoods help).

I really don’t understand why anyone would want these remaining time displays when they are so misleading.

I know that we’re never going to see a resurgence of electromechanical timers in appliances, but I can tell you almost to the minute when my washer will finish the cycle just by putting my hand under the hot tap before I start it (to see how hot the incoming water is) and knowing which cycle it is on. I’m never more than 5 minutes out even on a really bad day!

Even with electronic controls, a user who takes notice of what their appliance does can soon get a very good idea of timings, as you have said.

I’m glad to see the staff at Which? are reading these comments. Hopefully Which? can test ISE appliances now. I have looked at the ISE website and I see they have just a few models of appliances, which I think is great because it’s better than having too many different types and models of the same appliance – it does exactly the same job at the end of the day; a dishwasher washes dishes, a washing machine cleans your clothes etc. I don’t know why other manufacturers’ have so many different models of the same products? I don’t see any reason why Which? cannot test ISE appliances in every round of testing, since ISE don’t have zillions of different models of the same appliances.

I totally agree with the comments above about beeps and fancy colours. My washing machine beeps loudly at the end for several minutes and there’s no way of turning it off. I find it so annoying! I don’t want modern fancy looks or beeps – I just want a kitchen appliance that does the job properly. I don’t care if my next washing machine doesn’t look fashionable, and I know anyone who visits won’t care either, so why are manufacturers so obsessed by appliances looking nice? The only exception to that is making matching appliances in fitted kitchens, such as the stainless steel colour, but I just stick to white as it’s neutral and never goes out of fashion.

Does anyone know why Which? does not test the cleaning performance of the “economy” (or similarly named) programmes on dishwashers anymore? I’ve been a Which? member long enough to know that when they did test the cleaning performance of “normal” and “eco” programmes, the “eco” programme could rarely match the better cleaning performance of the “normal” programme.

Certainly agree about looks and colours.

Miele are very upfront about boasting that their appliances are designed to last at least 20 years and as such come in plain white, without any fancy curves and bumps, so that they are timeless in appearance.

I rather suspect that simple, box-shaped, cabinets are probably stronger too, which is quite important if reliability, strength and longevity really are intended.

We have to cover several difference factors when choosing what brands to test, as we’re only able to test a certain number of products each time.
We generally try to reflect the market as much as possible, and ISE is a relatively small brand, but thanks for the feedback, and we’ll definitely look into this brand going forward.

Gretal says:
12 January 2012

A few of the “extra” features on Washing Machaines can be useful – e.g. the delayed start (useful for people on cheap rate electricity and best of all, you can set it to come on before you get up so you can hang clothes out as soon as you’re ready without having to wait a couple of hours) & time remaining is extremely useful, but what I’d REALLY like to see is the wash cycle times drastically reduced. Each time I’ve bought a new machine it seems to take twice as long as the previous one – I assume this because they’re designed to use less water? If they’re on for longer surely they use more electricity so difficult to see what is actually being “saved” here and I don’t believe this gives consumers an accurate picture. As people tend to be increasingly “time-poor” I think a faster wash would definitely get most people’s vote. Consequently, I wash virtually everything on a 40 degree wash because the 60 just takes far too long.
I also find that because they use so little water, that most of the powder remains in the dispenser which means you have to wash things a second time to do the job properly – how can this be a “saving”? As for a 30 degree wash – forget it – the casings of the liquid capsules don’t dissolve properly, they gum up the machine & 30 degrees isn’t hot enough to clean either the clothes properly or the machine out as you wash, leaving both smelly & the machine full of gunky residue from the liquid capsule casing. This result is having to run a cleaning wash more frequently which takes about 2.5 hours. Again – how can this possibly be considered a “saving”?

It’s got to the stage now that if any of my friends are considering replacing an older machine, I always point out the greatly increased wash time disadvantages of new ones and urge them to get their old one repaired if they possibly can.

I have seen some major appliances have the print protected by a glass or plastic front. My own cooker has glass over the print that’s behind the controls. This allows you to wipe the appliance with a cloth and not rub-off the print. I don’t understand why ALL major appliances don’t cover the print to avoid it coming off.

If the cover is sealed on properly, dirt should not be able to seep behind it.

Is this a good “feature”? I say “yes” every time. 🙂

This is the sort of small detail that an intelligent person can check when comparing appliances on display in shops. Well designed kitchen appliances will be easier to clean and not have dirt traps that make them old and tatty quickly. Some manufacturers worked out how to avoid print rubbing off over 50 years ago but modern designers sometimes do not think about simple practical matters.

Sadly, it is much more difficult to spot design flaws when buying from online retailers.

Having read the comments here from Dave about his unreliable LG washing machine taking 3 hours to wash compared to about 1 hour on his 1983 washing machine, I think I have found a modern equivalent to his 1983 washing machine: hot and cold fill, completes a wash cycle in around 1 hour, high water level option, offers up to 7 (yes SEVEN) rinses and is claimed to be very reliable and repairable.

Yes it’s an ISE! When the time comes to replace my modern washing machine – which takes forever to complete a cycle, is cold fill only and rinses poorly – I will be getting an ISE – even if Which? decide not to test ISE. If Which? does decide to test ISE, there are only two models of their washing machines to test i.e. the hot and cold fill model – soon to be released, and the other cold fill only model.

Testing a “new” brand should not be based on popularity alone, but whether it can offer consumers a reliable and cheaply repairable appliance, something which none of the other manufacturers offer. Which? should be working for the benefit of the consumer and test ISE appliances to see if consumers are better off owning ISE appliances? Name me any other manufacturer which offers a 10 year guarantee AND makes the appliances cheap and easy to repair after that? The build quality looks like it rivals or exceeds that of Miele washing machines.

I don’t know what these ISE brand washing machines are like to use. They sound promising and I’ve been looking throughout their website and I’m impressed with what I’ve seen. If anyone owns one of these appliances, I would like to know what you think. Are they as good as claimed?

Adam says:
16 January 2012

My thoughts exactly David, but I too would love to hear from someone who already has one. Interestingly ISE appear NOT to recommend their hot and cold fill machine unless you have ready access to very nearby ‘cheap’ hot water (eg solar). ISE clearly reckon that the overall energy costs would be higher if hot water is not very close by (to avoid cold pipe-water being primarily used) and/or water is heated by, presumably, either gas or electricity.

The intelligent program I suggested would have taken into account the various delay times imcumbent in re,ote hot water systems.

Simply build in a bypass that takes the initial hot water flow to the drain and only takes it into the machine for the first fill once it is hot enough. The simple way to arrange for the correct delay would be a user-controlled timer, which would need setting in accordance with the characteristics of the user’s plumbing system.

A more sohpisticated system would measure the incoming water temperature and divert it to the drain until it is warm enough. A default maximum delay setting would ensure that, should there be no hot water in the plumbing, the drain diversion would shut off after a reasonable period and the machine would then admit cold water to the drum and heat it as required.

This second system – surely easy enough to contrive with modern computerised controls – would mean that those of us who have solar heating (whose water temperature can vary from near freezing to near boiling) will not need to adjust the water admission delay.

In both systems the actual water temperature admitted to the drum would be controlled by a simple thermostat (similar to the one used is thermostatic showers) adjusted by the controller in accordance with the washing programme’s needs.

Any competent designer with engineering ability would easily be able to build an intelligent machine of the typer I describe – which rather makes me wonder who does design modern appliance? The marketing department, the accounts department, the sales department – or the engineering department?

I suppose ISE are not recommending you connect the hot supply unless the hot water source is nearby, because the washing machine will be filled with water by the time the hot supply actually delivers warm water, but if you have solar heated water, the hot water fill will be a cheaper option for you. Also consider that in the winter months the cold water supply will be just above freezing and the hot water supply indoors that’s cooled down in the pipes will be warmer than the cold water supply. If you have set the ISE to the higher water level (which I assume performs the main wash with more water as well?), the hot supply will reduce running costs?

I hope the ISE hot and cold fill will work with low water pressure and accept the hot water literally “trickling” into the washing machine, as hot water pressure is lower than cold water pressure.

I have read the blogs on the http://www.whitegoodshelp.co.uk/wordpress/ site about these issues and there’s always the option of a TMV valve to anyone who wants to turn their cold fill only machine into a warm fill, as the TMV valve will mix the hot and cold water and deliver warm water, even with very hot water, but the TMV valve itself must be set no higher than 30C if you don’t want your delicate items damaged. This will mean every rinse will be done in warm water and each rinse will effectively become extra washes at the same time, increasing cleaning performance considerably! I don’t know if TMV valves will operate with very low hot water pressure?

This conversation blog is very interesting and I hope the manufacturers are reading these comments. We are your customers who you are depending on to keep you in business!

Does anyone remember the older (late 1980’s) Zanussi Jetsystem washing machines which would spin the clothes in the wash water, basically doing a “spin wash” by spinning the clothes through the detergent solution for about 10 seconds, repeating this every few minutes? The main cotton wash consisted of normal drum rotation in both directions, spraying the clothes from above and the spin washing. It saved time and cleaned the clothes very well. I have not found any new washing machine – including any from Zanussi – which claim to do this same spin-washing on cotton cycles. Maybe someone reading this could suggest it to the manufacturers? Considering that ISE have included the hot water valve, maybe they do listen to people who know about washing machines and they could introduce this “spin wash” to boost cleaning performance – it really does work! I miss the old Zanussi Jetsystems which done the spin-washing, back when Zanussi products were built tough compared to today’s Zanussi appliances.

Hot and cold fill washing machines have never had a problem with hot water temperature, even if the water coming into the soap drawer was almost at boiling point. It was much better this way as it would keep the soap drawer clean by dissolving the residue. With cold-fill only washing machines the soap drawers get dirty instantly as the detergent never dissolves and it sticks. If you are using biological detergent, you simply start off washing with water that never gets hotter than 40C, so you don’t prematurely decay the enzymes in biological detergent. Hot and cold fill definitely saves energy, as mentioned above in earlier comments.

Hoover machines used to do the spin on wash too. I would guess it was a marketing fad and now forgotten about. If it truly improved wash efficiency it can’t possibly have been discontinued at a time when wash efficiency has never been so much in the spotlight.

That would put a lot of load on the motor and with some detergents could cause foaming.

LOL. Just come back to this convo after a few months and read about the Zanussi Jet System.

I remember those and in fact I almost bought one once.

The cause of my opening “LOL!” is that the useless LG that I had for a short while used to cause an incredible amount of over-sudsing (as it called it) on every rinse and spin it did, so much so that soap suds poured out of the powder drawer on every wash and all over the floor. This was using proper Automatic detergents including barely half-doses of powder and also liquid capsules (so no chance of over-dosing by the user). When it rinsed very little foam was removed and each spin used to cause it to make a horrible noise as it “suds-locked”.

It occurs to me (hence the LOL!) that LG had re-invented the spin wash …. but made it happen all through the rinses too.

I know it’s off-topic – but I wonder just what the person who gave a “thumbs down” to me comment about “intelligent fill” found to complain about. Maybe a designer of modern washing machines?

It adds grist to my previous milling where I deplored anonymous and unexplained ciritcisms.

It was not me, but here are some possibilities:

– Increasing complexity could decrease reliability of washing machines, which are among the least reliable domestic appliances. That could mean higher costs for repair/replacement.

– Water supply is short in the summer in certain areas. I presume the reason that modern machines are not good at rinsing is because of pressure on manufacturers to cut down water use.

– A washing machine is unlikely to be sufficiently intelligent to know the cost of heating water externally (which could be free for those with solar panels to more expensive if fed from a tank heated by an immersion heater).

– Someone clicked thumbs down rather than thumbs up. 🙂

I would like to think that manufacturers do trawl discussion forums looking for inspiration.

I have not read any complaints about hot and cold fill washing machines. I’ve only read complaints about cold fill only. I don’t know if older washing machines had any intelligent system to regulate the hot and cold water. The hot water would arrive at any temperature, mixed with the cold and clean the clothes very well, in some cases better than new washing machines from what I’ve read!

If washing machines were built properly, there would be no mechanical stress caused by spinning the clothes in the wash water. The spin-wash feature was probably removed because washing machines made in the past 15 years or so are not tough enough – as a result of cost cutting – and faster final spins of up to 1600 rpm just reduce the lifespan of the bearings. I remember the Zanussi Jetsystem washer dryer had a spin wash and this feature never reduced its reliability. It definitely cleaned the clothes better! The spin wash was only used on the cotton cycles. Maybe it’s the centrifugal force of spin washing which forces the detergent solution through the stains? Another advantage is that clothes are more evenly distributed in the drum by this process. If manufacturers like Miele and ISE claim to build reliable washing machines, the spin wash would not cause any strain whatsoever. As for foaming, the Zanussi Jetsystem needed about 1/3 less detergent and cleaned much better, without any foaming problems. You will always get foaming problems if you use even slightly too much detergent in any washing machine. Foam sensors are needed here to detect the problem and take the necessary action to clear excess foam.

Simon says:
24 June 2013

None. Also, I wash dishes by hand – is that so hard?

Yes, it is hard.

Most households wash clothes maybe twice a week – but have a washing machine. And most households wash dishes several times a day – and quite a few don’t bother to get a dishwasher.

In my own experience those who don’t like dishwashers have never tried one. Once you have you’ll never go back to draining boards stacked with dirty dishes and damp unhygienic tea towels. Plus, once you see how much cleaner and shiny dishwashed crocks and glasses are you’ll not want to go back to the dull, smeary products of handwashing.

And that’s not to mention how much cheaper is a dishwasher than hand washing – less water, less electricity and less detergent – and fewer breakages.

jambo says:
13 August 2014

yeh it is hard, hard when you actually want to do something productive with your life

jambo says:
13 August 2014

The ice dispencer in a fridge is way more than a gimmick, it is a great idea, who doesn’t want that? Making Ice is tedious. On the other hand having a cooker thats connected to the internet is a joke, I even asked at the AGA shop what the hell that was for and they didnt know a good reason for it.