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How long should your washing machine last?

Wrecked washing machine

How long your washing machine lasts is one of the main considerations when shopping for a new model – so how about putting expected lifetimes on washing machines?

According to research by WRAP, the average consumer expects a washing machine to last six years before it needs replacing.

It has also found that a product’s lifetime is one of the highest buying considerations, just behind reliability and quality, but more important than price. It’s something that the Which? Convo community has been discussing at length on this faulty washing machines debate.

Manufacturer warranties too short?

While washing machines do not currently come with lifetimes, they do have manufacturer warranties. However, these often cover just a one or two year period. Would you feel hard done by if your machine broke just outside this warranty period?

I would. Two years seems a much shorter time than a washing machine should last, even if I’d paid a relatively small amount of money for it, say less than £250.

Lifetimes for washing machines

One solution could be to decree that all washing machines should have a minimum lifetime, perhaps three or four years, ideally with a manufacturer warranty to match?

Or perhaps it would be better for manufacturers to apply expected minimum lifetimes to their own machines – and have the freedom to give different life expectancies to different machines?

That means if I’m in the shop, I might see a cheap washing machine for £250 that the manufacturer expects to last a minimum of two years. But next to it could be a near identical machine that costs £450 and has an expected minimum lifetime of five years. That would give me a clear basis to consider paying more for the pricier model, or to save some money but lower my expectation as to how long it will last.

Manufacturers on lifetimes

So why are lifetimes not already in place? We asked LG, Bosch, AEG, Miele and Indesit how long they would expect their own washing machines to last.

The responses vary but almost all mention the same problem – there are a lot of factors that affect the potential lifetime of a washing machine, making it very difficult to predict. Such factors include:

• Correct installation.
• Where in the house washing machine is installed (a machine may not last as long as it could do if placed in a garage without central heating).
• Over/under loading.
• Frequency of use.
• Detergent usage.

Of those that provided a figure, Miele came back with the strongest answer, saying that all their machines are tested to last 20 years. But Miele does not offer a free 20 year warranty. Instead, a small handful of models have a free 10 year warranty. Five year warranties are more common, but the remaining machines have the standard two year Miele warranty.

Indesit, which also owns Hotpoint, came back to say they’d expect their washing machines to last seven to eight years, with consumers looking to replace within five to six years to pre-empt the need to replace. The standard warranty for an Indesit/Hotpoint model is one year.

When I asked why the warranty length was so much shorter than the expected lifetime, a spokesperson from the company said that warranty length is an ongoing discussion, ‘but there are some retail outlets who like to sell their own extended warranty’. Of course, a documented expected lifetime will be very helpful when exercising your rights under the Sale of Goods Act once the warranty has expired.

Do you think that all washing machines should have a minimum lifespan, or that manufacturers should be able to set their own life expectancy? Or both?

Do you think manufacturers should give minimum lifespans to their washing machines?

Yes - manufacturers should provide minimum lifespans for their own machines (85%, 1,741 Votes)

All washing machines should have the same minimum lifespan (11%, 228 Votes)

No - manufacturers should not have to prescribe a product lifespan at all (3%, 70 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,039

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Martin McDevitt says:
3 March 2015

i bought a washmachine 11 months ago,i have had repaires out 8 times,including,suds running down my drawer,water on the floor,newdrum,i have got really fed up now and iserved the suplyer with a for sles of goods act 15 days ago.i gave the place 5 days to refund my money.what should i do now as it certainly not fit for purpose

I am glad you have taken the tough action. Can you let us know what washing machine model and the retailer. Neither deserves to be hidden.

Simon Hambleton says:
7 July 2015

I purchased a Samsung WD1704 washer dryer in October 2012. when purchased these unit had a RRP at £600.00 so has a high value. it was sold with a manufactures 5 yr parts and labour warranty. Its now broke down, Samsung the washer only had a 2yr warranty. They wont even send an engineer out to tell me what is the problem. Trading standards are now involved as i feel the product has a poor build quality and also the warranty was not made totally clear to me when i purchased.

Think again before you purchase a Samsung product.

Yep, Unfortunately, Samsung are shocking for their appliances and they do not stand behind their machines or warranties.

Jessica Jones says:
13 September 2015

I bought my beko second hand for £180 in 2009. Zero problems and love it to bits for what does at this price. After six years service its decided to start leaving me.
The door no longer stays closed when the drum is empty, i have a large crack above the draw.
Whilst occasional wholes have been appearing in clothes recently I shall miss this product when it gets skipped.
Having never been let down, I can recommend only using liquid not powder, whilst putting your machine on a hot wash at least twice a month.
At work I clean our mileles are put on every week for hot washes as they are in constant use. It can safe your machine.

I also would not waste any money on purchasing those horrible anti smellie crystals their advertising at five pounds a tub in asda. Just put a scoup of bicarbonate of soda in your washing machine and stick it on an empty hot wash. the smell is just as nice.

Which?’s current top 40 best buy washing machine list is headed by 11 from Samsung, Zanussi and LG. Out of 13 brands these come, respectively, 6th and 7th= in Which?s Reliability table. 10% points behind the leader. So just how does a Best Buy come with iffy reliability? A best buy should surely offer value for money, which includes lasting well for it’s price (none of these were cheap).
I’d like to know just what Which? mean by reliability. Does it mean lasting a certain time without breakdown and, if so how long? Just how is it assessed?

I was sitting at my computer this evening and I heard my washing machine going,which I thought was strange as I hadn’t turned it on. I went to check and it was on fire the machine door was open and it had switched it self on. It was on fire around the door locking mechanism luckily I had small fire extinguisher that I used after I had turned off the main switch. I am going away for month next week so dread to think what could have happened if it happened while I was away.
The Machine is an Indesit PWDC 8125W

:O That’s why I always, always turn appliances off at the plug when not in use.

Bought a Hotpoint Aqualtis that had ongoing repairs and was eventually written off by Domestic & General last March. They insisted on replacing with Hotpoint and now 20 months later the machine is sounding awful and i daren’t use it. Hotpoint insist I must pay as its over a year old. Forums are covered with similar complaints with weights and pumps but still they continue.

I have had my Bosch machine for 2years and 4months and already i am having trouble with the machine not spinning very unhappy and disappointed

My Bosch washing machine is two and half years old, recently it has got noisy, now told bearings have gone, £248 to repair. I always buy bosch as normally very reliable, last 2 machines lasted 12 or 13 years each, but came with 5 year warranty, can’t help wondering if change to 2 year is down to poor reliability.

Interesting as we have always bought Bosch but ours too has given up the ghost at about 2 years 4 months! Clearly cheap beatings fitted. Bosch have obviously forgotten their quality!

Which? today are recommending a Samsung WW80J4610CX washing machine:
“Which? verdict:
This high-scoring washing machine is practically perfect in every way 82%”
It may well be, but I could not find some information on the Which? site tat many regard now as important factors:
What is the length of manufacturer’s guarantee?
Is the machine repairable (economically)?
How reliable is it?

Which? mag Jan 2016 does not give a reliability rating for Samsung, so may not know. However, for similar money you can buy a Miele with 90% reliability rating (top of the brands) and better value for money (5*).

I would like Which? to be more objective in the information published, particularly taking on board BEUC’s wish to see more durable and repairable products. If it has this information then it should be published. If not then perhaps it should restrain its enthusiasm (“practically perfect”?!!!! I wish)

I have suggested repeatedly that information about the length of manufacturers’ guarantees is included in product tests and for Which? to report on retailers that offer better than average warranties. Any special promotions offering longer warranties are a bonus. If I’m going to spend my money on new appliances I want to be sure that I am not faced with large repair bills or pursuing my rights under the Consumer Rights Act. Please can we have information about guarantees and warranties.

One of the problems with assessing repairability is knowing whether spares are available and how long they will remain available. It might be useful to look at manufacturers’ policy on spares and past performance but I cannot see how we will know about spares for a particular model in five years time.

For some products that remain virtually unchanged for years it can be easy to give an assessment of reliability, but with home electrical goods there is a rapid turnover and only time will tell how reliable a particular model is. Someone with inside knowledge might know that model Y is little changed from model X which is proving reliable, but that information is not readily available.

BEUC among others are asking for spares to be available for a certain time after the product is replaced.

Brand reliability, plus knowledge of where the product originates, is a useful guide. Which? publish this information regularly for many products, including washing machines, but I don’t know how good their information is. Perhaps they could tell us.

Lab testing by knowledgeable people should be able to contribute towards an assessment of likely reliability by the components used and the build quality, as well as testing. this particular washing machine was launched in May 2015, tested in June, so plenty of time to do reliability tests just as I believe the German consumers’ association does. And why so long between testing and releasing the accolade?

Until manufacturers commit to holding spares for a minimum period or we have legislation requiring this (seems unlikely). A decent guarantee and an assurance that spares will remain available would do a lot to convince me that a company is treating consumers with respect.

I have been keeping an eye on Samsung washing machines, some of which have generally done very well in recent Which? tests. Unfortunately, the Samsung website is very unhelpful but I have seen quite a number of Samsung machines with a 5 year guarantee or warranty on the two retailers’ websites I have looked at. The more expensive Samsung machines have a motor with a ten year guarantee.

Five or six years ago I broke the door catch mechanism on my old washing machine and my first thought was to go for a Miele. Nowadays I know that Miele spares are exceedingly expensive and available only to their own agents. Companies make a profit one way or another and I know people who have been taken in by advertising, bought expensive brands and regretted it.

Samsung has done well with their phones and TVs, but I would like to see how wells their washing machines are lasting five years from now.

I have bought Miele spares direct from them (I am not an agent) at a reasonable price, and found them very helpful. I have also found the products of their I have bought to be very durable and reliable.

The EC are concerned about the “circular economy” that includes durable and repairable products. That would mean availability of spares. Maybe they will enact some useful legislation.

I am guided by what others have said, Malcolm.

I’m wary of the ‘circular economy’ for reasons I have explained but if European consumers’ organisations are properly involved in development of legislation we could make useful progress.

I caught the end of a tv news item about The Netherlands and their circular economy.

No household rubbish went to landfill but was all recycled. All the reusable stuff was removed, what was left was burned and the ash used to make paving stones.

What struck me was the organisation, the way it seemed to be managed in a clean and efficient manner not like our individual councils showing they are doing their bit and the back-street cowboys trying to make a quick buck.

It was bad news a plastic recycling company in the UK closed down because the price of oil has dropped so it can’t make enough money.

Burning the otherwise unusable rubbish is a good idea I think……..However not so far from me there has been planning app’s made and the local public has kicked up such a ding dong that it is on then its off several times………..It should be a lot cleaner than most previous forms of generation but yet again not on my doorstep………
We had another north coast wind farm turned down because it would spoil the view yet the wind farm was miles out at sea and the rotors barely visible from the land
Annoying that people think that everything should be “away” from them………Everything cannot be away from everyone so what really happens everything gets to be on top of a few who dont need all this energy…………So in a way it is unfair on the few……………that is if they dont like it………………
The people of the Netherlands seem to be much less into objecting to clean energy
If one travels around much of the area there is a high percentage of of local solar power yet here again people say take it out of our town/village……..its awful looking
Wind turbines the same……….The Dutch will happily live within a stones throw of turbines ……………

Local generation make a lot of sense as the infrastructures are not put under pressure in the same way as having the generation remote from the load………..
It is also cheaper in several ways.

According to folklore there have always been windmills all over the Netherlands….

Thanks Derek,,,,,,,,,,There was windmills and wind pumps all over……..The “mills” were either for pumping the water out whilst some were mills as in grinding grain………….Pretty simple,,,they couldn’t do without them………….Although much of the internals were wood they were far from quiet and the sails had unique noise also but not push you over noise but people were born into the area and were used to them………….

Have a look at this article from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s website regarding washing machines in the context of the circular economy: ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/interactive-diagram/in-depth-washing-machines

It appears that the idea is to move towards leasing our washing machines and having them replaced with new shiny ones every few years, confident that the old ones will be properly recycled or refurbished. No problem with the cost of a new machine or paying for repairs, just pay monthly and spread the cost. This is how mobile phones are marketed. I wonder how long it will be before we are excitedly discussing our next washing machine upgrade with our friends.

Note that there the Ellen MacArthur Foundation seems to be focused on business and consumer organisations don’t seem to be mentioned.

I reject this business model. I would like to buy a machine that is reliable and repairable and keep it for as long as possible.

Wave,,,,,,,,,,,,,I’ behind your theory 100%…………………Even wifey is now going to stop the endless line of fancy phone upgrades

Sky have their own circular economy with their digiboxes. If yours breaks down they replace it with one of their “refurbished” boxes.

What you actually get is someone else’s broken down box that invariably still has a problem. You also don’t know how it has been treated previously and what faults it may have had and I think this could be a major problem with the Ellen MacArthur appliance circular economy model.

I am all for recycling and there is a big market for second-hand goods but I would also prefer to buy a brand new good quality machine that is reliable and repairable that gives many years of service.

And until recently we had a very good local shop who could repair TVs and digiboxes at very reasonable rates.

I tried to keep it simple by not mentioning refurbished products but they are certainly part of the plans for the circular economy model. You are absolutely right that refurbished products can have problems, for example if there is an intermittent fault that was not picked up during testing.

One reason why the circular economy is promoted is that manufacturers have a legal responsibility for proper recycling of waste products but there is evidence that this often does not happen and illegal activities are occurring even if the manufacturers are not to blame.

My view is that the cost of proper recycling should be included in the cost of new products and councils should provide free collection services from homes.

Maybe Which? might like to come up with a consumer-focused alternative to the circular economy. 🙂

Bundles, who offer clothes washing by leasing a machine state “Miele is the only remaining manufacturer that uses 100% reusable or recyclable materials” – so presumably that is what the rent you?

If someone leases you something they will make a profit (out of you). So I think you’d be better off buying (cash or loan) the machine yourself. The key is to buy the right machine with the right safeguards. Surely this is why a consumers’ association should exist – to advise on the correct choice? A product that is reliable, repairable and durable and that comes with an affordable warranty.

I confess I scanned through the Ellen MacArthur website and got bored with the continual business speak – as an engineer I am sceptical about this sort of talk; more impressed by practical speak. A lot of “independent advisers” seemed academic – where are the real nuts and bolts men?

Coca Cola were featured in the case studies – looking at materials for bottles. Hardly a good role model, surely, when the products in those bottles contributes to obesity, requiring more food production and healthcare.

And Philips/Turntoo rent a light. This is similar to the pfi (and pf2) models where you rent the equipment – as councils do with their street lights to keep the real cost off the books. instead of owning it. If you want a lighting installation that minimises energy use then why not get one designed and buy it for your commercial premises. why pay a profit to someone else?

The fact that a rental company (rightly) makes a profit is generally a good reason to buy outright. Even with products that have an affordable warranty are generally contributing profits to another company. I want to see white goods sold with a minimum of five years cover in the price, which makes it easier to compare different models. I have confidence in products sold with a decent guarantee/warranty as standard because I know that a company is unlikely to want to have to foot the bill for repairs.

There can be a good case for hiring equipment that is not in routine use. For example pumps may be needed when there is flooding, as we had over Christmas. On the other hand leasing street lights seems like a way of dealing with a cash flow problem and it is difficult to see that this makes long term economic sense.

Funny you ask this Wave……..Wifey liked Samsung,,,,,,,,,,,We’ve had a couple of TVs that have doen okay………..Actually they done very well but that patients ran out with the digibox and we opted for a new bigger, cheaper digi TV
Anyhow…….Back to machines
My daughter recently got her first house and I got a new question “Dad will you look up machines and tell us what we need………………….
Because of changes about to happen here at home I had already been looking at machines……….
The washer I got interested in was an Ecobubble………….not sure what model exactly…………not the biggest drum thats for sure
The first draw was the published power consumption which like mpg one has to take with a pinch of salt but not as big a pinch as some cars
The second was a genuine 5 year manufacturer warranty
The Ecobubble fitted both
One more thing………many washers moved from ac motors to dc motors with pulsed width power to control the speed……………these motors have brushes
Some newer machines of late are AC with inverter drives and are brushless
Inverter drives I am familiar with and I know that it is a mature tech as is PWM but inverter drives are very cute operators.
I have built machines with inverter drives and they are brilliant little goodies

Secondly,,,,,a dryer
She doesnt have mains gas and never will have i’d think
I could get her a Propane dryer same as we have but they’d be buying bottled gas and it is not cheap heat/power so Again referring to my last couple of years watching the markets I decided that an electric dryer is way too hard to run and I’m sure they’ll order babies at some point so a dryer will be used often………….with that in mind it could not be a basic cheapy dryer
Condensing dryers dont like the garage temp and that is where everything is
So she got a heat pump dryer……….now Samsung only offered a 2 year warranty on theirs which kinda made me think why…………if they can make a washer that has 5 years whats wrong with the dryer so I didnt go for the Samsung dryer
Now a 5 year warranty on a heat pump dryer is important to me because this is the newer form of drying and not everyone has got it right or maybe hadn’t/passed tense at least
I opted for the cheapest A*** with warranty which was the Grundig
The nearest other 5 year warranty seemed to be Miele and their prices are off the plot to me anyhow………….We got the Grundig 8kg for 450,,,,,,,,,Miele was 700 odd for 7kg or or a silly over 1k for the 8kg………………..Daddy or/and Daddy in law is not that well off I’m afraid

Both seem to be working fairly well………….noise is not an issue and was never going to be but both are very quiet………….minimal vibration/shaking if any from the washer which I’m told washes well……………
The dryer does the job and is in reality not far ahead of the kwh Grundig advise which is something I was really really interested in as I’ve found fault with many machines against their published figures in the past…………….The dryer is no sprinter but no heat pump dryers are it seems………still as long as the kwh is low what odd’s

Personally I am still debating about fixing our own rare contraption that has outlasted all others we’ve had a few times over and the option has always been the Ecobubble……………
I cannot fault the daughters as yet and if wifey said to me “we need a new machine” Ecobubble it would be
Yes there are grumblers but there are grumblers about everything

Hope That helps
Sorry I cannot help further but she’s only had it several months but to date its been perfect

Thanks DK – I had not appreciated that a condensing dryer would be less efficient when used in a garage, though I can understand the reason. Heat pumps are a more intelligent solution, particularly because water is a precious resource.

I am surprised that the white goods industry has taken so long to move to brushless motors with electronic commutation, since I encountered them in the late 70s. One of the features of my 1982 washing machine was that it used a permanent magnet motor, but it still has brushes. Many washing machine motors wear their brushes because they reverse frequently but mine is very good in this respect.

The heat pump dryers also list a low limit of temp……………I dont remember what it is but my daughters has ran perfect through freezing nights just fine whereas the condensing dryer kinda uses the heat of the house run its process………….
Be careful though……….heat pump dryers are not maybe perfect as yet although my daughters and several local relations all have had them for I think about 2 year………They have dropped a load in price to the point where costing and running costs are on a par with bulk LPG/Propane……………I dont think they’ll outlast an old White Knight gasser though…………….We have two both around 25 years old………..no brushes…….not controls,,,,,,,,,,,,,,nothing

No, don’t do it. I had the top of the range Samsung Eco Bubble 12kg model a few years back. From brand new to completely dead in 7 months. Six (yes 6) failed engineer repairs (this was a £1000 machine) . In the end had to fight Samsung for my money back. They do NOT stand behind their machines or their warranties. Just last month, bought another Eco Bubble (forgive and forget and all that), and not completely happy with it, makes a little too much noise for a machine advertised as quiet, already had an engineer out, and no help. I know there is always going to be grumblers (I worked in a contact centre for 11 years). But the internet is littered with unhappy Samsung owners.

Durability: this is what the Germans (Stiftung Warentest) do with their washing machines: (Google free translation, 🙂 )

“Endurance test: 20%

Three washing machines of any make wash each 1840 times in different programs, with small breaks around the clock. They are loaded with rugged work clothes and wash with a commercial heavy-duty detergent. The endurance test takes about half a year and simulated in fast motion a ten-year use at 3.5 washes per week. The rating depends on whether and when errors occur and how severe they are.

In the test, washing machines dryers 2012 respectively 1 430 washing times in different programs, of which 360 times in the program washing drying nonstop. This corresponds to a total of approximately eight years of use. The reason here: Long washing and drying times”

Seems a necessary test to try to sort out those that might last from those that might not.

Do Which? do this? If not, do Which? acquire this information from those that do test more comprehensively?

I purchased a reconditioned bosch washing machine back in May 2015 which came with a 12 month warranty.
The spin cycle suddenly got really noisey and I have since been told the machine is un-repairable has the bearings have gone.
I’ve been told a refund is out if the question and been offered a new machine for £140 I don’t feel this is fair.
Your thoughts please.

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I brought a Indesit washing machine back in 2011 and its just stopped working today why are any electrical household things not made to last like they were once over , and i notice with this model Iwc6105 the compartment where the softner went was not emptying instead it was just alway s full of water after a year of use . And i payed over £300 for that .. so iam having to replace it …

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Unfortunately, in order to satisfy our want for cheaper and cheaper goods. With most manufacturers it has become a race to the bottom. In order to make machines that are cheap (so people will buy them) something has got to give, and it seems to be quality and reliability.

In real terms, washing machines are cheaper than they have ever been, thinking about what a machine cost 30 years ago, and then add inflation, and average wages etc. Most washing machines are dirt cheap, and we just aren’t going to get the reliability we once had.

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We have had our Bosch since the start of 1999. It has just now developed a problem

You don’t say whether you are happy or disappointed with this, Steve.

I hope that sorting out the problem will be easy and inexpensive.

Rebecca says:
3 November 2016

I have a JLWM1606 which is now 20 months old. It made a horrendous noise intermittently aged 14 months and they couldn’t find the cause immediately so replaced the motor, struts and eventually the outflow pump. It then made less noise but was not as quiet as new.
A few weeks ago I opened the door after a washing cycle and acrid white smoke came out. We turned it off and opened all the windows. No obvious flames. I called customer services and an engineer came 4 days later and said there was nothing wrong with it and theorised it was the seal rubbing on the drum!
I feel the machine is not fit for purpose and should be replaced. Not finding a fault is worse than finding one as the smoke might happen again. I am scared to use it!
Am I being unreasonable?

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According to a service engineer that has provided information on this site, foreign objects cause a lot of problems. Sometimes they find their way between the drum and the surrounding tub and if lodged there might cause no further trouble. Apparently wires in ladies’ undergarments are a common cause of service calls. As Duncan says, it is necessary to have a look a the machine to be sure of the problem.

Rebecca, I’d try your machine empty one more time and see if the problem repeats. If so switch off, at the socket if necessary. This seems a decent machine rated a Best Buy by Which? so you seem to have been unfortunate. John Lewis normally deal with problems very fairly. If there is still a problem I would contact them and explain; if necessary tell them you will get an independent engineer (should be one locally) to inspect and report on your machine and if it proves to be faulty they should refund the fee. As they have had an opportunity to fix your machine with a repair you will have the choice, if it remains faulty, of another repair or a replacement at your choice. Presumably all this is happening under a 2 year warranty?

Please keep us informed. it is good for these Convos if they get feedback.

Philip Riddell says:
23 January 2017

i purchased a Ariston WDG 862 combined washer and dryer, it was purchased from IKEA in Cairo Egypt and strangely delivered by B-Tech also in Egypt, the warranty is therefore under B-Tech, the machine is less than two years old and is showing signs of corrosion just under the soap dispenser drawer, I contacted B-Tech and the rep appeared the next day, took one look at the machine and said it was caused by excessive powder being used and the body work is not covered under the warranty. I contacted IKEA and told them they had some responsibility as i gave them my money and they took my money, B-Tech are currently doing everything in their power to dodge the warranty, moral of the story, check who you are actually purchasing the goods from, then do a review of the company, if you see complaints on the supplier, then for sure you can expect the same in the event something should go wrong I was in Norway recently and they provide a life expectancy for most goods, TV, washing machine, Fridge, lawn mower etc, if it fails prior to that date, exchanged no questions asked.

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That can actually be a problem Duncan.

Too much detergent or the incorrect detergent used can cause issues like that as it over foams in the drawer and causes the machine to leak, thereby rusting the front. It’s fairly common but not massively so.

Can cause other issues as well.

More common is detergent and conditioner spillage onto the metal which as the detergents can get through the coating or under the edges, it causes rust and in some cases pretty quickly.


Laundry detergent is an aggressive mixture of chemicals and if the protective coating is damaged, then rust can take hold. Remember what happened to 1960s and 70s cars when road salting became more common.

I used to live in a very hard water area and noticed a few drops of water running down the front of my washing machine, below the detergent dispenser. The dispenser was clean because I had been using tablets rather than powder but the small holes above the fabric conditioner section were incrusted with limescale, even though I had never used conditioner. In future I regularly removed the dispenser tray and cleaned away limescale, just like most people would do with their shower head.

TasunkaWitko says:
1 February 2017

I have a Zanussi Nexus washing machine. It will be 22 years old in just a couple of months time. It has given 22 years of trouble-free service. The only issue I once had was the hoses had slackened a little at the back & it leaked a little. This only happened once & an engineer just explained to me that they sometimes work loose with the vibration. I’m absolutely amazed & delighted as I really hate things that don’t last (that’s what I hate about the modern world we live in now). Not everyone likes the upheaval of renewing items regularly & we don’t all have to have the latest model, some of us do like things to last.
I’ve just started to wonder about renewing the machine now because I realise it can’t live forever & I wonder just how much longer it will go on. I must admit I’m very tempted just to keep it to see how long it will go on, but worry that I might regret that if a ‘disaster’ happened.
Just out of interest, on other household appliances I had a Lec fridge that gave 17 years good service, a Toshiba clock-radio that lasted 26 years, a Curry’s own brand vacuum cleaner that gave 19 years service & a Toshiba microwave that gave about 19 years service too…and it was second-hand when I bought it, so not sure how old it really was. When these items did eventually get replaced I always gave them a pat & thanked them for the good service they’d given me (I’m not joking either).
I’m extremely impressed with the excellent service these appliances gave. To be fair, I do treat my possessions with respect – when you don’t have an endless supply of money you don’t abuse them.

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Thanks for posting Tasunka. Join the club of people who look after their household goods and hope that they will be rewarded with long life. I share Duncan’s concerns about build quality of current household goods and the fact that has generally become much harder to repair faults.

I had a Hotpoint twin-tub washing machine from1972 to 2004 [31 years], a Lec or Kelvinator [I can’t remember which] fridge from 1968 to 2005 [36 years], and our Miele vacuum cleaner is 14 years old but it is on light duties now because we have two others for the upper floors. None of these appliances ever required any attention.

I pensioned off my Electrolux chest freezer when it was about 36 years old. It maintained the correct temperature but the compressor was running frequently in warmer weather.

Lightly used electrical goods can go on for a long time. When my heating packed in I got out a couple of Belling fan heaters dating from the early 80s. With all-metal cases (wood grain effect), they will probably outlast me.

You don’t say anything about ball bearings. They have reduced in size significantly in the last few years with the result that they too don’t last as long and even more insidiously, cannot be accessed to replace.
I wonder if you have paid attention to the different models being promoted under the same name. Bosch washing machines sold in Germany are made in Germany with German high standards of manufacture. Bosch washing machines sold in England are made in Poland from parts made in China. The model number is the same but the lifespan is entirely different. The only way to tell the difference is by the GB or D at the end of the model number. When you buy new parts you are asked to check whether it is for the GB or D version. Which? need to be careful which model they find themselves reviewing for the British market.
I’ve just had my 18yr old AEG machine repaired (not the bearings) and all my information comes from my extremely knowlegeable repairman. I’m happy to share his contact details.

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Thanks Helen. As Duncan says, it’s good to have your input.

Just a couple more points. Like most manufacturers, Bosch have introduced sealed tank machines, which mean that the entire tub containing the drum, etc. has to be replaced, making it unlikely that a machine with failed bearings can be repaired economically.

The drums of front-loading washing machines are supported at one end, which is not a good engineering design. Good bearings are essential and the bearings on old Philips washing machine were still fine when I pensioned it off after 34 years of use. Modern machines typically have larger drums and higher spin speeds, both of which put more strain on bearings.