One of the washer-dryers in our most recent tests takes more than eight hours to dry clothes. How long would you wait for dry laundry? And what’s it got to do with dung beetles!?
Eight hours and twenty minutes. That’s how long it took a washer-dryer from our latest round of tests to dry 8kg of clothes. Admittedly, that’s a massive capacity for a washer-dryer , but that’s still no excuse.
There’s quite a lot you could do with that time. You could, for instance, fly from London to Chicago, or travel by train to Berne in Switzerland.
To pass the travelling time, you could get most the way through the first five Rocky movies (though you may have to fast forward through a few of the montages).
Slower than a dung beetle
Thanks to a study published in the Journal of Zoology which recorded the speed of a ‘roller’ dung beetle, there’s another comparison I can draw.*
I was able to calculate that an (impossibly indefatigable) dung beetle could push a ball of you-know-what from the London Eye, over Westminster bridge, along Birdcage Walk and proudly deliver the poo ball to Buckingham Palace – all in the same time it takes the aforementioned appliance to dry clothes.
Wet clothes in a washer-dryer
And the long drying time is only half the story. What actually happened in our tests is that the automatic drying program, which should keep churning clothes until they are dry, stopped at around four hours – the clothes were still sopping wet.
So we had to add another four hours using the manual timer setting, in order for the clothes to come out dry. Washer-dryers leaving clothes wet is a gripe we hear about – and we penalised this model for leaving clothes wet.
Measuring drying speed
We assess drying speed by working out the ‘minute per kilo’ rate. This means if a washer-dryer that has a drying capacity of 4kg takes two hours to dry a full load of clothes, it has a speed of 30 minutes per kilo. If a 6kg capacity machine takes two and a half hour hours to dry a full load, that means it is drying at a rate of 25 minutes per kilo – that’s faster than our 4kg machine.
That means we’d praise the 6kg machine as speedier than the 4kg, even though the total program time is 30 minutes longer than the 4kg capacity model. By using this rate of drying, it means we can compare machines of different capacities against each other.
To put this 8kg washer-dryer into perspective, the drying rate is over 60 minutes per kilo. That’s terribly sluggish and made more noticeable by its massive capacity, resulting in a total drying time that is longer than your average working day.
Do you dry in a washer-dryer?
We know that not everybody uses their washer-dryer to dry clothes. Reasons include the frustration of clothes being left wet, the cost of the drying cycles and of course – long drying times.
So what are your washer-dryer woes? Do you use the drying function?
*Published in Journal of Zoology, vol. 248 issue 4. Ball rolling speed recorded as 0.063 m/s – over eight hours and twenty minutes, that’s 1.9km (1.89km actual). Walking distance from London Eye to Buckingham Palace (Birdcage Walk route) is 1.9km according to Google Maps (walking setting used).
Do you use your washer-dryer to dry clothes?
No - I don't have a washer-dryer (61%, 470 Votes)
Yes - frequently (20%, 152 Votes)
Yes - rarely (10%, 78 Votes)
No - I avoid the drying function completely (10%, 75 Votes)
Total Voters: 775