Washing machines are one of the most important home appliances in our modern times. They are broadly classified as top loaders and front loaders. For starters, the top loading washing machines are loaded from the top and are relatively less complicated to use. While planning to buy the following parameters need to be considered-
- Ease of usage
- Ease of maintenance
- Power usage
1. Budget– Top loaders are comparatively cheap. They are of 2 types- semi-automatic and automatic. Semi-automatic machines require manual intervention and cost around Rs.7000-14000/- whereas with fully automatic one can be handsfree costing about 15000-25000/- only. For a typical middle-class family consisting of 4 members, a 7kg semi automatic top loading machine is ideal. These are budget-friendly and cost-effective.
2. Ease of usage– the top loaders are comparatively easy to use, having fewer knobs and buttons. In semi-automatics, the quantity of water and detergent can be reasonably adjusted especially in places were there acute water scarcity. In the case of top loaders, laundry can be loaded at waist height, thus minimizing joint stress each time the machine is loaded. Thus they are ergonomically friendly. Some of the key features to be given importance for ease of usage include-
- Washing programs- the programs can be decided based on the type and capacity of laundry being washed.
- The quick wash program will be present in all fully automatic machines. they tend to wash clothes in a shorter amount of time between 15-30mins maximum.
- Daily wash program is meant for washing regular clothes like undergarments etc. it uses less time and water.
- Pre-soak program can be used when there are highly soiled clothes. The laundry will be soaked before being washed.
- Time delay- program delay the wash cycle based on our convenience such that the machine is loaded at night and ready by morning.
- Delicate program can be used to wash woolen clothes. Separate programs for cotton and synthetics are also available.
- Artificial intelligence- A washing machine with higher the drum speed, also called revolution per minute/ RPM squeezes the water out to a greater extent. Nowadays, with better innovation and technology machines with better artificial intelligence have been developed. Some can assess the amount of detergent to be added based on the laundry load. Machine sensors can restart from where it stopped after a power cut, water intake in case of water shortage etc.
- Dryer- select machines have a separate compartment for only drying.
3. Ease of Maintenance– It is recommended to go for top loading machines with good servicing practices. Machines with better maintenance tend to consume less electricity, have less wear and tear, and are gentle with clothes in the long run.
4. Power usage– Top loaders with larger washing space and a gentle agitator consume less electricity yielding savings in the long term. Some of the best brands for top loading include-LG, Bosch, Whirlpool, Samsung, etc.