Great washing performance, and the i-Dos feature is a boon for busy households – worth paying a little extra for
- Great wash performance
- i-Dos and WiFi are a boon for busy households
- Pricey if you don't want the fancy features
You could spend a fortune filling your kitchen with top-end appliances but the burning question is whether you really need to splash out to get top-drawer performance. Going by the Bosch Serie 6 washing machine, we’d suggest not; with nifty features and all the essentials you could ask for, it looks to be a mid-range marvel.
Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB review: What you need to know
The basic specifications are nothing to get excited about: the Serie 6 has a 9kg load capacity, a maximum spin speed of 1,400rpm and an A+++ energy efficiency rating. You can buy machines with higher load capacity and spin speeds for less money but the Serie 6 has two compelling features that may appeal to some buyers: Bosch’s i-Dos automatic detergent dosing and Wi-Fi remote control.
i-Dos might sound like a gimmick but it’s actually rather ingenious. Open the detergent drawer and you can pour in half a litre of conditioner and 1.3 litres of liquid detergent in one go. That’s enough for roughly 15 wash programmes, so depending on the size of your household you only need to fill the machine with detergent and conditioner once every week or so. All you need to do is chuck the clothes in and hit the start button.
This is where the Wi-Fi comes in handy, too. If you haven’t got time to set the machine going before you leave the house, you can just sling in the clothes, shut the door, and set the wash going remotely from your smartphone.
Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB review: Price and competition
Given the calibre of the Serie 6 WAT286H0GB, there’s little else to rival it at the price. You can spend a little more on the Bosch Serie 8 WAWH8660GB (£850), which we found was around 15% quicker across our standardised wash tests but the array of features is almost identical. And most importantly of all, the stain-tackling performance is neck and neck.
If you’re not bothered about i-Dos or the Wi-Fi connectivity, however, then there’s only one Bosch-branded machine you need to know about: the Serie 4 WAT28201GB. For around £399, this 8kg, 1,400rpm washing machine turns out cracking washes time after time and its stain-removing talents are the match of even pricier machines.
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Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB review: Features and design
If you’ve seen any of Bosch’s current generation of machines then you know what to expect. The build quality and styling is a cut above cheaper machines, and it’s easy to use too. The large door hatch swings open nice and wide and this makes it easy to pack the machine with full loads.
The large silver dial spins around to select the various wash programmes and the sizeable display alongside is dotted with touch-sensitive buttons, which select wash temperature, spin speeds and toggle the various features on and off. The i-Dos buttons give you the option to manually select from three levels of softener and detergent use, too.
One complaint is that the icons on some of the touch-sensitive buttons aren’t as self-explanatory as they could be. The icons look great but text labels might have been clearer. That said, you won’t need them for most everyday washing loads, and a 30-second scan of the manual will quickly get you up to speed.
Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB review: Washing performance
Every machine we review is tested with industry-standard cotton test swatches that are impregnated with nine key stains: grass/mud, mustard, carrot baby food, tea, cooked beef fat, red wine, tomato puree, sheep’s blood and coffee. We run 40˚C and 60˚C cotton washes with the same big-brand washing powder and, since many manufacturers present bold claims for their 15- and 30-minute wash cycles, we also test any machine’s quick-wash programme.
The Serie 6 WAT286H0GB puts in a typically fine performance across the board. We’re not fans of quick wash programmes: they don’t remove the dirt and stains from everyday wear, and the Bosch is no exception. It is amongst the better quick-wash performances we’ve encountered but it still only managed to slightly fade the stains on our test swatches. By all means, use it for refreshing clothes which have been sitting in a cupboard or wardrobe, but we wouldn’t recommend using it day-to-day.
Take the time for a full 40˚C or 60˚C Cottons wash, however, and the Bosch produces sterling results. The 40˚C Cottons wash isn’t the quickest – it took two hours with our test load – but it destroyed all but the toughest blood stains on our test swatch. The 60˚C Cottons wash was even better, however, and combined higher temperatures with an 18-minute longer runtime to produce even better results.
One thing worth mentioning, however, is that the Serie 6 won’t achieve the same level of wash performance when using the i-Dos feature – and nor will any of the Bosch machines with the feature. This is because liquid detergent does not – and can not – contain bleaching agents. If you want the whitest whites and the most powerful stain-removing performance possible, you’ll need to use washing powder and that means adding it manually before every wash.
The lack of bleaching agents in liquid detergent also means that liquid detergent can cause nasty build-ups of bacteria and mould in the machine. The Serie 6 will remind you to use the designated drum cleaning cycle on a regular basis and, in any case, regular hot washes with powder will help to keep the insides of the machine bug– and mould-free.
Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB review: Repairability & service
Bosch has equipped the Serie 6 with a variety of features designed to prevent everything from water-related disasters to unwanted engineer call-outs.
There’s flood protection to prevent unwanted leaks, an easy-to-access filter for those moments when coins and tissues get forgotten in trouser pockets, and both an emergency drain-down and door opening facilities. If the machine blocks up, you can drain it down, open it and get the washing out then clean the filter all without having to turn it on. Bosch is to be applauded for including these features.
It is a pity that the machine falls down a little on repairability with a sealed drum unit and door – this means you’ll need to buy whole new units if just one component part of either breaks. If this model had a splittable tank, door and so forth, it’d be set to last for many, many years with the occasional repair and part replacement. Nowadays, however, there are few if any machines on the market which are fully repairable, so we can’t be too hard on Bosch in this regard.
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Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB review: Verdict
Not everyone needs the Serie 6’s fancy features but the time-saving i-Dos features and Wi-Fi remote control features may appeal to busy households and those with jam-packed work schedules.
If it fits the bill, then there’s no question about it: the Serie 6 WAT286H0GB is a top-quality washing machine with great performance and smart technology at a keen price.