A sensibly-priced washing machine from Bosch which does a good job of tackling difficult stains
Splashing a favourite garment with one of those classic difficult-to-shift stains – red wine or cooking oil spring to mind – is something we’ve all done at some point. But where many basic washing machines can struggle to shift everyday dirt, let alone the toughest stains, Bosch’s Serie 6 WAU28R90GB is one that relishes the challenge. Thanks to Bosch’s AntiStain feature, this is a washing machine that’s ready to tackle the worst wardrobe disasters possible.
Bosch Serie 6 WAU28R90GB review: What you need to know
The Serie 6 WAU28R90GB sits in the middle of Bosch’s mid-range Serie 6 family. It offers a maximum spin speed of 1,400rpm, and the 9kg wash capacity is a welcome step up from Bosch’s Serie 4 ranges and below, which offer a maximum capacity of 8kg. Energy efficiency is a C rating on the new scale.
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You get 15 wash programmes which cover pretty much every possible garment type: Dark wash, Shirts, Sportswear, Eco 40-60, Cottons, Cotton Colour, Easy Care (aka Synthetics), Mixed Load, Delicates/Silk and Wool. These are supplemented by a 15-minute and 30-minute quick wash, plus Spin/Drain, Rinse and Drum Clean programmes.
In addition to the standard set of Serie 6 features, such as Bosch’s handy, time-reducing SpeedPerfect mode and the upgraded drum design, dubbed VarioDrum, the big addition here is the AntiStain technology. This allows you to target four different stain types – oil, red wine, blood or grass. You select one stain type per programme and, according to Bosch, these modes supplement the standard modes by adjusting water temperature, drum movement and soaking times to maximise stain removal.
Bosch Serie 6 WAU28R90GB review: Price and competition
The WAU28R90GB sits in a highly popular price range: it’s a notch above budget models but adds a few fancier features and design elements without costing a fortune. At the time of writing, the £749 RRP had come down to £549 at most major retailers, and a couple of smaller retailers had it around the £500 mark.
If you like the idea of Bosch’s i-Dos feature, which allows you to fill a machine’s tanks with liquid detergent and softener so you don’t have to add detergent with every wash, then you’ll need to spend around £100 more on the step-up Serie 6 WAU28PH9GB model. At the time of writing, this £779 RRP model was retailing for £639 at major retailers. That’s a fairly sizable premium but, for bigger households, the convenience of i-Dos may be worth the extra outlay.
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If, however, you don’t mind losing the 9kg capacity, you can potentially save money by opting for one of Bosch’s 7kg or 8kg capacity models from the Serie 2 and Serie 4 families. We tested a previous generation of the Serie 4 and, although it lacked fancy features, the washing performance was just as good as dramatically pricier machines.
If energy efficiency is a priority, then you’ll need to look towards Bosch’s Serie 8 range for A– and B-rated machines – or turn your attention to the ranges from other manufacturers.
Bosch Serie 6 WAU28R90GB review: Features and design
The Bosch Serie 6 WAU28R90GB is exceptionally easy to use – most people will feel confident setting a wash going without needing to first flick through the manual. There’s a nice big dial with clearly and sensibly labelled programmes and the LCD display both looks great and is easy to understand at a glance. Touch sensitive buttons integrated into the display illuminate when you select spin speed, wash temperature or toggle features on and off. It’s a simple design, but rather ingenious.
Should you forget to add an item to a wash, the Reload feature allows you to add it without restarting the programme – simply press the big play/pause icon on the LCD display, and you can sling in that missing sock. The only limitation is that this won’t work if the temperature has risen above 50c, or if the water level in the drum is too high.
One other welcome feature is the drum cleaning reminder. If you run 20 consecutive wash programmes at 40c or under, then the machine will automatically remind you to run the dedicated Drum Clean programme to prevent unwanted build-ups of detergent or bacteria – or, indeed, both. As this is something that’s easy to forget, it’s good to see it integrated as standard.
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For smaller homes or flats, the Quiet Wash option may be something of a boon, too. This isn’t a noisy machine, but the Quiet Wash mode lowers the noise levels even further. This makes it ideal for setting a wash going last thing at night or first thing in the morning.
Bosch Serie 6 WAU28R90GB review: Washing performance
To assess a machine’s cleaning performance, we use lab-quality cotton stain swatches impregnated with nine tough stains (grass/mud, mustard, carrot baby food, tea, cooked beef fat, red wine, tomato puree, sheep’s blood and coffee) and these allow us to perform repeatable and fair tests of a machine’s cleaning performance.
We use the same amount and type of detergent for every wash, and use an identical test load of washing ballast to make sure the tests are fair. We test each machine’s ability to remove stains in its 40°C and 60°C cottons programmes, and also test its quick wash mode if one is available.
The Serie 6 WAU28R90GB acquitted itself well in these tests. Curiously, stain removal wasn’t on a par with best of last year’s Bosch machines but the differences weren’t night and day. All the stains on our test swatch were significantly faded at 40°C, and upping the temperature to 60°C saw the worst stains fade further still, albeit not (as noted) as much as on previous generations.
In any case, the Bosch is far and away better than rival machines we’ve tested in recent months. We ran an extra test with the Bosch’s 90°C Cottons programme for good measure, and here the stain removal performance was exemplary.
As per usual, we also tested the 30-minute quick wash programme and weren’t surprised by the poor stain removal – these quick wash modes are fine for freshening cupboard-stale items or very lightly worn garments, but they really don’t do much to shift proper stains and dirt.
Bosch Serie 6 WAU28R90GB review: Verdict
In the Serie 6, Bosch has put together yet another solid mid-range performer. It’s a tad disappointing that washing performance isn’t quite on a par with last year’s models, but the differences are marginal – the stain-tackling performance here is vastly better than the handful of other big-brand, mid-range models we’ve tested in recent months.
If you’re looking for a good all-round washing machine at around the £550 mark, the Serie 6 WAU28R90GB is a great choice and, if you can find it discounted, it’s an even better buy.