How we test Washing Machines

Find out how we test a machine's performance

11 Sep 2012
Samsung Eco Bubble

When it comes to testing washing machines there are two key factors to look at: how clean it gets your clothes and how much it will cost you a year. The first is obvious, but the second point is one that bears a lot of thought. Simply put, the more efficient your machine is in terms of electricity and water consumption, the less it will cost you to run and the more money you'll save every year.

With that in mind, our tests are designed to give both points a thorough workout and help you distinguish the good machines from the bad.


We'll run at least three test cycles on each machine: 30-degrees full-load wash for economy, easy-care 40-degrees and 40-degrees full-load.

We believe that these are the most common settings for today's washing machines and let us get a decent baseline comparison we can use across all machines. We'll test individual and special wash cycles for each machine, as well, such as the 15-degree wash on Samsung Ecobubble washing machines.

For each wash cycle we'll use a specially-prepared stain strip with the most common types of stain on it, including:

* Grease

* Olive oil

* Milk

* Ketchup

* Gravy

* Curry

* Ink

The strip will be put into the machine along with a standard wash load that includes t-shirts, sheets and towels. This strip will be scanned using a high-resolution scanner before and after the wash in order to accurately compare wash power.


We'll weigh the clothes before and after the wash cycle to find out how efficient the spin cycle is and how much water the wash load has retained. The less water that's retained, the quicker the clothes will dry.


We'll test the clothes at the end of a wash cycle to find out how much detergent was rinsed from them. By measuring the PH level of the water on the clothes we can test for residual detergent. The less detergent the better, particularly for people with allergies.


For each wash cycle we'll record the total power usage and the amount of water consumed. This will tell us how efficient each machine is and, more importantly, how much it will cost to run a year in an average household.


Our tester will rank each machine for noise: both how loud and how invasive it is. This is particularly important if you plan to site your washing machine in a commonly-used area, such as a kitchen-diner.


We'll test each machine to find out how easy it is to load, how accessible the detergent drawer is, plus how simple the control panel is to use.

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