What are the different types of washing machines?

Washing machines are important part of every household these days. There is hardly a house where the traditional hand- cleaning methods are applied. Like all machines, washing machines, too, need proper cleaning and maintenance in order to work for a long time. But, in order to apply the right cleaning methods, it is first important to know the different types of washing machines.

There are mainly two kinds of washing machines: the semi- automatic washing machines and the fully automatic washing machines. The semi- automatic machines are the top- loading ones with twin tubs, one for washing and the other for drying the clothes. Automatic machines are front loading machines that do the cleaning and drying in one tub.

Which are the major market brands of washing machines?

There are several brands of washing machines available in the market. Among the front- loading machines, the top manufacturers are Kenmore, Maytag and Electrolux, followed closely by Samsung. The models manufactured by these brands are noted for the excellent performance of most of their models. Whirlpool and LG have some high- performing models as well, but the number is fewer. GE, though well known for a few models, has many front loaders that are not reliable. Frigidaire’s products are inconsistent and totally unreliable, with need for regular repairs.

Among top- leading machines, Samsung and LG definitely rank at the top of the list, with all their models scoring well. In fact, they are quite far above Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag and GE, all of which can be listed at the same rung in the list of the best top- loaders, with much fewer models that are reliable.

It is important to take into consideration a few things while deciding whether to go for a fully automatic machine or a semi- automatic one. While the front loading fully automatic washing machines do not need manual transfer of clothes and clean better in less time, they are also quite expensive and need greater maintenance. On the other hand the top loading ones are less costly and need less maintenance, but take more space, need manual intervention and do not allow water heating.

How can washing machines be cleaned?

Generally, top leading washing machines need less maintenance than front loading machines. Many new top loaders come with their own sanitise cycle. They may or may not require bleach or other sanitising chemicals to help enhance the process of sanitising. However, many washing machines do not have self- sanitise cycle. It is easy to simulate one by tuning the machine to the hottest setting and largest load setting. A mixture of about 1 quart of vinegar and 4 ounces of baking soda should be put in the machine. It should then be allowed to sit for about 30 min. and then given one final spin, to get rid of dirt, grime and hard water deposits. Chlorine bleach can be used in the mixture for stubborn stains. This mixture also works well for front loaders which has to be set to quick wash and high spin mode.

Apart from these, it is important to clean the soap dispensers as they can attract a lot of dirt. Cleaning the tub every 3 months is a good idea. The outside should also be cleaned. Apart from cleaning washing machines, other maintenance instructions should be followed, attending and inspecting the hoses, preventing flood damage, using appropriate detergent, keeping the machine level, maintaining appropriate loading amount etc. These steps are likely to help the washing machine last for a long time.