Washing machines are strange, and it honestly has become so difficult to use modern washing machines with their variety of features. Depending on the design and the styling, sometimes it can even seem that the machines were designed to specifically be user-hostile, with the features all hidden behind menus and obscured with icons.
This is of course, for a few reasons. Sometimes the graphic design department might not be paid so well, especially if you’re buying an appliance from a smaller brand, and thus, the user experience might not have been so thoroughly tested before shipping the product to the market.
There might also be cost limitations. If there was no difference, everyone would hook a wifi chip and link their brand’s washing machine to a seamlessly wireless experience where you could just control everything from your phone even if you were halfway across the world. In truth, manufacturers have to count every button and knob they put on and that leads to some limitations.
In truth, a lot of washing machine manufacturers are trying to jam in as much functionality for as little margin as they can so they can continue staying competitive, and thus, this article was born. We decided that we wanted to help you get to know what’s on your washing machine and how you can take better advantage of the features for a smoother, more thorough wash.
The front panel
The front panel of your washing machine should fall into one of two categories. You should either have a central LCD or LED display, usually in the center of the panel or if you don’t, there should at least be many LCD lights that light up to show you the currently imputed settings.
It’s quite normal to find a washing machine designed with a hybrid also, with some buttons pressable on the same panel that holds the number display. The LCD display mainly holds the current wash cycle time left and the buttons underneath usually control temperature, spin speed and presets like delicates and drying.
The most important things to note from your LCD panel are how to input the total wash cycle time and whether or not your device has a time delay. I have found the time delay option to be very useful since you usually want to load your washing machine in the morning before work and have it start washing just before you get home. You can even time it so that it runs during dinner so while doing your dishes you can hang up your fresh laundry and have it ready to be collected by the next morning.
This, and the time remaining will be your greatest tools. You can usually set the total wash time under a manual function, but if that is not available, you’ll probably want to wash in intervals of five minutes anyway, and for that, you can usually use the “mode” function, and it will also suggest spin speeds and temperature. You can usually then adjust from there.
Some washing machines also come with useful features that you might not know what they mean. One common complaint is that the manuals that come with these are usually thick since they need to be multilingual, so they can be difficult to navigate. We will explain some of these features:
Load detection: This is a relatively useful modern feature. The load detection feature can detect when there is a washing load loaded onto the washing machine. Your washing machine can sometimes even determine if the weight of the load exceeds or goes too far under the recommended washing load. This is very useful since then the machine can help you select the optimum cycle, which helps you save both water and energy. This is usually bundled as a premium feature so you will have to ask yourself if it is worth it for you to shell out for this. You can easily replicate the benefit this program gives with some experience and a laundry scale, but working adults with little time at home might find that to be too troublesome.
Child lock: This is a safety feature you might most commonly associate with car doors. You might think that this might be a little unnecessary if you don’t have a little one, but those with or expecting children will understand. With front loaders, it doesn’t help that the washing machine’s front door is the exact height of a child’s reach, and as with anything in the kitchen or the bathroom, the washing machine is dangerous for children and they can easily get hurt.
Lastly, we will be talking about the main programs of the washing machine. Maybe with this sentence, you’re thinking of computer programs and applications like doom, but closer to what I’m thinking about are different modes of washing. One of the biggest ways in which washing machines have changed the way we wash is by inventing new settings and modes for different types of clothes. With the modernization of laundry machine technology, more and more of our wardrobes can be machine washed, and the little that needs to be hand-washed can still be done so through ultra-delicate settings.
Synthetics: Sometimes this will also say ‘Cotton and Synthetics’, and this simply means hotter temperatures and differing spin cycles that may treat your fabric in the best way possible both to maintain its softness and also to wash it most thoroughly.
Delicates, Wool, Handwashing: This mode is usually designed to maximize the care of your fabrics. These fabrics usually have to be carefully washed since they damage easily, so minimal rustling, lower temperatures, and sometimes a longer spin cycle. You want to put your expensive designer clothes here also. Anything you treat like gold, wash like such.
Sportswear: If you want to remove odor and sweat, you usually want to set your washing machine specifically to this mode, so that the microfibers present in these sports garments are thoroughly cleaned.
Well, that’s about it for the washing machine. If you have anything else you’re not sure about the machine, feel free to look back to this article or consult your washing machine manufacturer for more.