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What Is The Best Washing Machine?

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

And by that I mean the best value, hugely expensive doesn’t always mean the best and the cheapest can often mean a false economy if you have to replace purchases all the time because the quality is poor.

Yes I’m talking about washing machines. Not lipstick, or shoes or serum that will simultaneously shrink pores, make fine lines disappear and make you glow like JLo (is there such a thing? – if there is by all means let me know) but my all time favourite household appliance.

I enjoy doing the laundry. Honestly – always have. There is something distinctly methodical and relaxing about the process, from separating the colours and whites and darks, to hanging everything out to dry to putting everything away in its rightful place. It gives my day structure and routine, and with a 10 weeks old baby and a four year old who is seemingly always covered in paint or glitter or both, I have washing to do EVERY day. Mostly several times a day.

In our previous home we had a Hotpoint, it was towards the lower end of the scale price wise and although it wasn’t the fanciest in terms of functionality (there wasn’t a hand wash cycle which was an arse) it gave us 10 solid years of clean. At a decade old it decided enough was enough and simply stopped working thus we decided it was time for a shiny new replacement.

Having had such a positive experience with Hotpoint we invested in the same brand again – this time a washer dryer. I’m not going to mince my words, it’s been shite since day one. I never feel anything is rinsed properly. I don’t feel stains are removed as well as they were using our old machine. I simply don’t use the drying function at all because it gives off an unpleasant burn-y scent that lingers for days. I find myself washing pieces twice, putting on an extra rinse and spin and still not being happy with the results.

Recently I noticed some garments were covered in strange black flinty-looking bits that would disintegrate upon touch, most peculiar. My Mother-in-law came to the rescue and suggested it was to do with a build up of residue inside the rubber lip that sits in front of the main drum and dutifully removed it all with a damp cloth. The fact this could even happen made me feel queasy, the smell of the residue was very much reminiscent of dirty river water – and who wants an appliance that’s supposed to clean stuff perfumed with L’eau de pond?

Alas, the removal of the sludge didn’t solve the issue so a Hotpoint engineer was called to investigate. Apparently we need to descale our washing machine every month. And if you don’t, old washing powder, grime and bacteria will build up behind the drum and be thrown into your lovely clean soapy load willy nilly as soon as it begins to spin. James and I do descale, but perhaps only twice a year if I was to hazard a guess, it’s just not something on our regular chore “to do list”.

Black bits fix aside, I’ve gone from feeling vaguely resentful towards our current machine to really no longer wanting it in the house at all, it just doesn’t live up to my expectations of what I feel is more than achievable, ie thoroughy clean laundry. Yet I admittedly desperately need it until I can find a suitable alternative.

It’s a toxic relationship. And I do admit to giving it a jolly good kick in the door when I have been particularly pissed off with its obvious disregard for my delicates.

So, what is the best washing machine? My sister has recently bought a Samsung Ecobubble which she rates very highly and my Mum has always raved about the very spendy Miele washing machines which literally last a lifetime apparently. I have of course read all sorts of reviews but I would be really interested to see what washing machine you own and whether you and he/she are friends.

I’m looking for preferably a large load capacity (9kg) an A+++ efficiency rating, reliability (!) and a proper hand wash cycle 🙂

Yes this is a post about my requirement for a decent washing machine. This is my life now.

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Author
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
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70 thoughts on “What Is The Best Washing Machine?

  1. Never heard a good thing about a combined washer dryer…
    We’ve got a John Lewis one (fast spin, hand wash cycle, efficient, quiet) which has been soldiering on for ten years. Only standard capacity though.

  2. Haha I love this Charlotte – I only wish it was about dishwashers as ours has just blown up overnight (well, quietly died to the stench of melted plastic) so I’m now in the market for a new one.
    Re. washing machines, we’ve had a Samsung one forever and it does a good job. I’d like to replace it one day for a bigger capacity one but can’t justify it whilst it still works. I don’t think we’ve ever descaled it though – is that totally grim?!

    1. Katie this made me laugh! That’s what I felt like when the Hotpoint man was basically like “Yeah, so you have loads of grime at the back of your drum”, it was…..embarassing, I mean, who knew?!

      We have always inherited dishwashers with houses, but it would definitely make a good future post, our current one is on its way out too.

  3. I have the 9kg Ecobubble and love it. There are so many functions to choose from and I’ve not had to re-wash anything I do use vanish gold on my toddler’s trousers a lot though. It has a self clean/calibration warning too. For removal, delivery and the machine it only cost £450 from Curry’s.

    I may be sad but I love the little tune that it plays you when it’s finished too 😂

    1. Pah hahahaha my sister likes the “singing” – I had no idea what she was on about 😂

      I have one ever used standard vanish?! What is this gold you speak of?!

      1. It’s a gel and removes everything! It’s never failed me yet. You can get a hand sized tube that looks like shoe polish or a massive bottle that looks like fabric softener.

        I never fret when my son gets grass stains or pasta stains on his light coloured trousers. Cold water and a rub with the vanish is a miracle worker ☺️

        1. Gem I am ordering this TODAY! I treated Mabel to a Joules outfit (she has worn it loads so it’s been good value) but last weekend she fell in the garden and I haven’t been able to get rid of the grass stains from the leggings, hopefully this will rescue them. Thanks so much for the tip!

          1. It was my mum that put me on to it so I can’t take the credit 😬

            I’m not sure about stains that have already been washed though. Apparently, the hot water in the machine can set a stubborn stain 😣

            The Vanish works best when you soak the stain in cold water and then leave the gel on until it goes in the wash.

            I don’t work for Vanish, honest 😂

  4. I have the eco bubble and I’m not a fan. I have the big 9 or 11kg one I think. I like the fact you can add items late if you find something but the cycles aren’t that great. The 15 minute one is handy and the ‘daily wash’ is fine for most things and is only an hour. My problem is that I like things WHITE and it’s not brilliant at getting out all the stains despite using Daz (which everyone knows is best for whites) and then line drying in the sun.

    I think the issue, as I think you’ve found, is that a dryer should be separate rather than combined. They just aren’t as good. I do line dry where possible for added whiteness and we have a long 8ft Victorian pulley in the laundry room which is great for winter. I rarely finish off in the tumble dryer as I don’t like the feel or the idea of so much energy waste (see Naomi – making up for my use of straws and cling film in other ways).

    The other point is appliances direct were much cheaper (still new) than the High Street. John Lewis will price match them as they have a store but then emailed to say they couldn’t supply at the price and took it off their website (poor price matching form John Lewis).

      1. Yup. But it’s still not white crisp white and I find that kind of thing just builds the residue. I tend to do spot cleaning with a stick if it’s necessary or soak before but it’s just a faff and a waste of time when I think a machine should be capable without 75 different ingredients.

    1. The John lewis not being able to price match is really interesting, I know my parents have been successful with a few items (My Dad LOVES John Lewis, he would buy shares if he could I swear). Agree on the combined washer/dryer, we were warned but in our old house we just didn’t have the space for both, and the weather had been generally crap for outdoor drying. Where did you buy your Victorian pulley from? I have a “Sheliamaid” which I love, but it could do with being bigger.

      1. I think JL don’t price-match online-only deals. It has to be prices available on the high street.

        1. Appliances direct have a shop in Huddersfield so they emailed to say they would price match. They then just emailed again to say that their supplier couldn’t supply.

          We had great success with most of our kids stuff in fairness – saved about £500 in total and got to use our wedding vouchers. I’m also a big fan of JL (or used to be before their kids clothes went all weird).

          The Victorian Pulley is from here. We have the 4 width as I read the 6 width takes longer to dry and we have the 8ft one. You can get the metal ends in charcoal too if you were so inclined. We obviously have classic black.
          https://www.castinstyle.co.uk/

  5. Whilst we’re having laundry chat I need two laundry baskets (one for whites, one for colours obviously). I tried Homesense but they just feel CHEAP. I think I want wicker. Any ideas? Cannot have ‘laundry’ or anything else written on it or be in any way twee i.e. Flowery print inside

    1. Try John Lewis. We got a grey wicker double one from them about 6 years ago and it’s still like new. Wasn’t cheap but well worth it.

  6. This year we replaced our 6+ year old machine that had started to go, with a Bosch washing machine:
    https://www.johnlewis.com/bosch-wat28371gb-freestanding-washing-machine-9kg-load-a-energy-rating-1400rpm-spin-white/p3227663

    The difference is amazing. Things are cleaner, it much quieter and it has a better range of washes. (And yes, it’s efficient, has a good drum size – all the things that you’d look for :)) Bosch also have a great reputation for lasting. My sister has had her Bosch washing machine for 8 years and never had any issues.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Caroline, this sounds great. I didn’t really consider the quiet aspect but our current one is really bloody loud (!) x

      1. Certainly worth considering noise. My other half is noise sensitive and couldn’t be in the kitchen with our old machine (an inherited Indist (sp?)))but the new one is fine. Amazing difference it being quiet. Wouldn’t go back.

  7. I’m with your Mum, Charlotte, go for a Miele! They are spend but tou never have to replace it so evens out. My parents have a Miele that’s now, like, 20 years old – they’ve lugged it with them when they moved to Kenya, Ethiopia and now here and it’s still like it’s brand new.
    We’ve got a Bosch which is pretty good and I’ve had a Samsung in the past but probably wouldn’t get one again (it was fine but I felt like you had to use they longest program to get this to wash properly).

    1. Wow, they really liked their Miele 🙂

      It is definitely an investment but worth it if they last so long – there was a recommendation for Bosch above also so I’m definitely going to investigate x

      1. My mum insisted on dragging it to Kenya as she thought she wouldn’t be able to get a good washing machine in Kenya…and then she got there and realised you can pretty much buy anything there that you can get in Europe. 😂

        I bit the bullet and bought a Miele dryer and omg it’s amazing – it’s head and shoulders above any other dryer I’ve owned.

        Bosch do good dishwashers too – I think someone mentioned that up thread. It’s a white goods party up in here! 🎊

    2. Miele are amazing but the cost. If price was not an object we would have gone for one but it was significantly more than our top of the range Bosch. Heart stopping price point.

  8. I’ve got the 9kg eco bubble and did love it but 2 years on I’ve discovered 2 major faults. Apparently the motherboards have a tendency to go in them just after 2 years & sure enough mine did just a week after the warranty expired. Thankfully Samsung agreed to repair it free but I’ve been told it could go again in another two years. Also, the gap in the seal is really wide and it tends to gobble up little people’s socks on a daily basis.
    The size is great & it does a fab job all the same.

    1. Oh no! I’m glad they agreed to repair it for free – and so they should. Goodness I am losing Iris’s socks all the time, I just don’t understand what happens to them (!)

      1. I used to have this with my ballerina socks. I’ve found the best way around it is to pop them into one of dedicates laundry bags you can get for washing. The socks still get clean but as they stay in the bag they avoid the drain!

  9. Big fan of LG washing machines here. We have had it for 7 years now and haven’t had any problems with it.

    Speaking of stains, I totally recommend Violets which is a mineral bleach which has saved so many of lil man’s grubby clothes!

  10. The Mr and I have literally just bought all the appliances for our first house. We were looking at getting a washer dryer but decided it probably wasn’t worth it (the likely hood that it would be both a really good washer and a really good dryer we thought was slim!) and after reading this I’m soooo glad we didn’t! We’ve gone for a BOSCH – Serie 6 WIW28300GB which is being installed Monday. I must have spent about 5 days researching washing machines….This is what my life is now haha.

    I’d recommend looking at Which, my partner’s mum swears by it and she’s used it to buy all her appliances. We nabbed her account to take a look and it’s really helped with the decision making 🙂

    1. Ha ha ha Amy your life is exactly like mine 🙂

      5 days is impressive – I’ll take a look thanks x

  11. We have a Samsung eco bubble (about 3 years old) it’s ok but we have had to call the engineer out three times already to fix little bits. Also as someone above said to get a proper clean the cycle is 2 and a half hours!
    My mum has always had Bosch washing machines and I should have taken her recommendation as she does about three loads a day. We have a Bosch fridge, oven and dishwasher so really rate the brand.

    1. LOTS of love for Bosch Bernadette, I don’t think we’ve ever had a Bosch appliance apart from our cordless vacuum which my husband LOVES (I don’t do the vacuuming in our house – it’s James’s chore of choice!) x

  12. We have a Samsung and I like it, but I agree about the door seal. The girls socks are forever getting stuck in it and it’s annoying. #firstworldproblems

    I’ve also heard good things about Bosch and will probably try those next time, though the dream is a Miele. (Did I actually just type that? It’s a washing machine, not a Channel handbag, ffs)

    Re: stains, I’m also a fan of vanish gold. But for whites, NOTHING beats a squirt of Milton. It takes stains out like nothing I’ve ever seen and even whitens grout! You can’t have it near colour though as it bleaches it.

    1. *Chanel*. Bloody autocorrect. Though a Channel would almost certainly be more acceptable to my maternity pay bank balance…

    2. We have a Bosch which has been reliable (only 1.5 yrs old though), although I find I have to use the ‘heavy dirt’ option to add to a cycle to get stains out. And little socks ALWAYS get stuck in the door seal. We are about to move house and leaving the machine as it’s integrated. I already have a Miele lined up in my ao.com shopping basket! My Mum swears by hers, having had it for 15+ years and we all know Mum’s know best, right? 😉

    3. Tracy this comment made me laugh out loud!!! Also I’ll be honest, right now I would rather have an excellent washing machine than a Chanel (or channel 😉 ) handbag. True Story.

      Do you mean milton as in the antibacterial spray? I have a spray next to Iris’s changing area in the utility room so that would be convenient! x

      1. Charlotte, not the spray, the actual sterilizing fluid. It’s weird but it works.

        And to be fair, even if I had a Chanel I’d get zero use out of it. I’d be too afraid of getting soggy rice cake smushed into the lining! x

  13. I’ve always meant to clean my washing machine but this no 12 months old. How did the engineer recommend you cleaned it? I’ve just been googling white vinegar methods, think I’m going to try it today as with all the lovely weather I’m caught up on the washing! It really gives me great joy to get a wash outside!

    1. Hi Bunny, the engineer recommended their specific descaling powder that you shove in the liquid dispenser and put on with an empty 60 degree wash (of COURSE HE DID) – it was £15 for a years supply so bought some form him direct. Bloody marketers dream me. He also said Dr Beckham was good (I use their colour catchers and rate them) x

  14. This post is just the bees knees – I LOVE it! And probably have far too much I want to comment on.

    Firstly I am sooooo with you, washer/driers suck. And the drier function is damp and makes your clothes smell and I HATE it but have used it quite a lot over the winter out of grudging necessity as I have an 18month old. It’s a fitted one in our kitchen which was here when we moved in so beggars can’t be choosers.

    However we’re moving yay! And my new house will have a little utility so separate washer drier here we come!! (Exchange of contracts was meant to be today, and completion before the bank holiday, but it’s now slipped a week or two…..not the end of the world but am disappointed 😢)

    Does anyone stack there washing machine and tumble drier? We’ve seen this done inside cupboards and love the idea. Is it good in practice? Does it have to be done inside a cupboard?

    Also, I too use and love vanish gold. Poo stains on vests are no more in this house! 😂

    PS any tips from anyone on moving with a little? Do they settle quickly? X

    1. Hi Sarah,

      We stack our tumble dry and washing machine. Couldn’t justify the cost of getting a cupboard build unfortunately (although that was my Pinterest dream!). We just have the worktop running between and it works perfectly 🙂

    2. Sarah lots of luck with your move! such a stressful time but so worth it in the end. Another vanish gold devotee, this stuff sounds magical. I’m pretty sure Lauren stacks – I’ll check. Our utility is one of my favourite rooms in the house, I spend so much time in there I’ve made it into quite a nice “space” (well as much as you can when surrounded by your husbands pants) – it has a large window so in the summer we’ll have it wide open for quick drying 🙂 x

  15. My hubby and I were lucky to receive hand me down washers from family over the years and we only had to buy our own washer/dryer two or three years ago. We went for an Indesit and (touch wood) we haven’t had any problems with it. I can’t claim to be an expert washing machine buyer, but Indesit have a range of different types of cycles (of which we only use two) and I think our 8kg machine seemed to be an average price.

    In terms of maintenance we clean the sump out fairly regularly and a couple of times a year put on an empty hot wash with some disinfectant to keep it fresh.

    1. Claire Indesit are the same company as Hotpoint and Whirlpool – I know, who knew, our old Hotpoint was great and I bet they all use the same technology/parts to a point.

  16. We went to speak to a washing machine repair place. They recommended Bosch as the make that they have to do the fewest repairs on and the only brand they would buy themselves. We’ve not had any issues in 4 years, and have now got a Bosch tumble drier as well which I am truly in love with.

  17. We’ve got a Beko washing machine – we were left with another brand as part of the house sale which seemed to work until we ran a load through and it wouldn’t stop foaming all over the floor. Tried everything and in the end thought screw it and a new machine. The Beko is fine for just the two of us as only has 5kg drum. If/when we have kids we’ll have to upgrade no doubt. It has a time saver option so does a 30 wash in 30mins which is ace for lightly soiled clothes. Also has a 3, 6 and 9 hour time delay which is awesome. Can stick in sheets before I go to work and they’re just finishing when I get home.

    Agree re washer/dryers – waste of time. We again inherited an ancient tumble dryer which saw us through the winter months but I only used it for towels and sheets as no real drying space for them elsewhere. But at the moment I hang everything outside when possible- even a couple of hours in the evening makes all the difference and you can’t beat freshly line-dried clothes! Unless your neighbours have a penchant for bonfires (why?! Especially when you just watched me hang out the washing?!?!)

    1. Jo I used to have a Beko fridge freezer in my first house when I was 21 – it was amazing for the price!. And I know on the neighbours front, we’ve always been very lucky but I’ve friends who’s neighbours BBQ literally every weekend, so no hanging out the washing unless you want it to be scented with smoky sausage.

  18. I have an AEG Lavamat that I love! There is a delicates cycle AND a hand wash. Mine is 7kg; I’m not sure if it comes in a larger size? I’ve had it for 3 years and its still going great!

    1. That sounds excellent – Ours has a delicates but not a specific hand wash, I’ve tried it on tights and they’ve been ruined, my own fault for chucking them in and thinking they would be “fine” 🙄

  19. I can’t recommend one as ours is on its last legs but as we inherited it I have no idea how old it is! I’m following with interest though as we are doing our kitchen soon and it will be replaced. I’m torn though as we don’t have the space for both a washer and dryer in the house, so had been looking at washer dryers. We used to have a dryer in the garage but since our garage is not attached, going out to use it was horrible. When our dishwasher broke we brought the dryer inside, and as we have an 11 month old, we use it every day! However we want a dishwasher in the new kitchen…

    Any ideas? What about if we get a Bosch or Miele washer dryer? 😂

    1. 😂 The Miele washer dryers have got to be good right?! They cost the same as a small house so you would hope so!!!

      I’m definitely going to be checking out Bosch x

  20. We bought a Hotpoint when we bought our first house, we had a it several years with no problems. Then one day when it was on it’s final spin (just before the cycle finished) the concrete block in the top of the machine decided to come loose. It dropped through the drum doing 1300rpm and ripped it open like a can opener! It also took out half our kitchen (and the fuses) as it slammed the machine side to side, we had literally left the house two seconds before as we knew it was almost finished. It must have sounded like a bomb going off. The force was so powerful it sent the detergent drawer 15ft across our open plan living room. I will never buy another Hotpoint (or any of their other brands again), I found out subsequently that it was a common occurrence, and because our machine was out of warranty they didn’t care. I now have a Bosch.

    1. Oh. My. Goodness.

      This is awful, what about if someone had been stood in front of it at the time? And they didn’t take any responsibility?! Jeez. Did you take photos of the damage? I’m even more determined to bin mine off now!

      1. That was my first thought, it would easily have broken a leg, if it had been a child then the consequences might have been fatal.
        We took lots of photos and sent them to them, they denied there was a problem. It was only when I went online that I discovered it was quite common. The whole thing really scared me, i’m now so careful with our washer…no more top speed spins, no more leaving it unattended, no more standing in front of it.

  21. Baby sock in the door seal issues? Those laundry bags are totally worth the faff.
    And now I’m off to buy some Vanish Gold…

  22. I have a hotpoint washer-dryer and hate it!!! I gave up my beloved Bosch when we moved house recently and really wish I’d kept it. As soon as I can I will be changing for Bosch again. Also, I used to have a Beko tumble-dryer and it was amazing too. Miss both of those appliances so much….

  23. We recently replaced our hotpoint washer / dryer, which as you’ve said is totally crapola, with an AEG washing machine and it is bloody incredible. https://www.johnlewis.com/aeg-l6fbi841n-freestanding-washing-machine-8kg-load-a-energy-rating-1400rpm-spin-white/p3144915

    I’m talking – sorry for graphic detail in advance – baby sludgey poo leakage all down inside of pyjamas and on white cot sheets, blankets and sleeping bag … It literally came out of the machine like it never happened!!!! No pretreating or rewashing, it has a stain function and you add your vanish powder into a separate section in the detergent drawer and it’s amazing?!? Also you can put the machine on a no spin function for delicates – as well as the appropriate wash setting. I used the no spin function on the machine in the middle of the night (2am) when we had projectile vom over everything and considering there really is no spinning the clothes were clean as a whistle and the machine was pretty much silent!!! Our bedroom is downstairs and the machine sits in a hallway cupboard the other side of our bedroom wall and I didn’t hear a thing, and I’m a light sleeper!

    I literally cannot rave about this machine enough, it’s amazing!!!

  24. I used to work for Dyson and the head of engineering was an ex-Meile employee and he swore by Meile washing machines that the quality was far beyond any other in the market.
    Also, Calgon is the dream for keeping washing machines working better for longer and will get rid of all the grime that it accumulates 🙂

  25. Hi Charlotte, I have to said this, you are wonderful! I just read two of your posts and wow, your readers are all so nice and funny!! Im so blessed for discover your blog (sorry for my bad english, Im just a student now)

  26. Excellent article! We’ve got a mediocre hotpoint. Would probably look at Bosch next time. Out of curiosity, which cordless vacuum do you have? We’re in the market for one, but it’s a big spend so want to get it right!

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