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Personal disasters for me don't come much worse than a broken down washing machine. I know that sounds incredibly sad but I do at least one load of laundry a day and as a creature of habit I get antsy if my routine is broken.
A few months ago the old Hoover washing machine at my rental home broke down mid cycle, leaving me with a pile of soggy washing I had to take to my sister's house just to be spun and hung up to dry. My landlords were very understanding and rather than inflict a possibly temporary repair on me they decided to buy me a new washing machine. I did have to wait 4 days for the machine to arrive but in light of how quickly they dealt with things it would be churlish to have a problem with the wait.
So it came to pass that a Beko WMB61431W was delivered to my home and I have been using it ever since.
This is a cheap and cheerful washing machine. It is available in white, black and silver - I have the white version. The machine has one main knob on front for selecting programs and has a digital display which tells you how long a program will last and also can be used to select other options such as pre wash, spin length and water temperature.
The machine has a 6kg maximum load and has an A+ energy rating. The maximum spin it performs is 1400 rpm.
I'm not sure I would have chosen this machine had I been buying a washing machine myself but I have to hand it to Beko - this is an efficient and effective washing machine which is also incredibly simple to use.
Installation does require a little careful thought however. My landlord's father installed the machine for me but he failed to check the machine was flush on the floor using a spirit level which meant that within the space of a couple of days it was working its way across my kitchen floor. He returned and fitted it properly this time and I am happy to say the machine has stayed put ever since.
What I like about this machine is the flexibility I have when choosing a program. The selections available are as follows and are easy to choose by using the main dial at the front of the machine:-
Baby & Toddler Clothing
In addition there is also an option for an additional Spin and Drain along with the power on and off function.
The detergent drawer is located on the left hand side of the machine and pulls out easily. There are three compartments - with compartment I positioned on the right hand side. This is for any pre wash you may do. The compartment on the left is marked II and this is where you put your detergent for the wash cycle in a program. In the middle is the softener compartment which has a blue plastic marker to let you know the absolute maximum dose you can add.
Underneath the digital display is a series of buttons to push, five of which are rectangular, with a round button the far right hand side. You can use these rectangular controls to change the default features of a program, enabling you to increase or decrease the type of spin, the water temperature, add a prewash, decrease cycle time using Time Save or add an additional rinse. The round button the far right is the start/pause button.
I generally use the Time Saver function for most of my laundry due to the fact most of my clothes are only lightly soiled. On my previous Hoover machine there was a time saver program but it was rather limited due to the fact you could only wash a maximum of 2 kilos of laundry and cut back considerably on the amount of detergent you could use. You also couldn't use fabric softener at all.
On the Beko this is a thing of the past. Even using the shortest program, which lasts 28 minutes and washes at 30 degrees with an 800 rpm spin, you can wash 6 kilos of laundry and much to my surprise the machine washes incredibly effectively too. My daughter is a bit of a stain magnet and while I do my level best to treat stains before I put them in the machine occasionally some of them slip through the net and I have been delighted at how well the Beko, in conjunction with my Surf liquid, sees off stains. I do generally add an additional rinse to this program but that only adds another 4 minutes to the cycle.
There are some programs which do limit the weight of laundry so it's advisable to check the manual before you stuff 6 kilos of laundry in the hand wash program and wonder why it's still full of soap at the end of the cycle.
I have used the hand wash cycle several times, preferring it to the wool wash for the likes of cashmere clothing as it uses slightly less water and defaults to 30 degrees over the wool wash default of 40 degrees. You can only wash 1 kilo loads on this program but once again I have been impressed although I must admit I was a little nervous entrusting my cashmere to a new machine the first time I used the cycle. There was nothing to worry about however and the 600 rpm spin did no damage to my delicates either.
The only other program I use regularly is the Cottons cycle. I prefer this over the Cottons Eco program because it actually completes the cycle quicker than the Cottons Eco program and also enables a full 6 kilo load to be washed over just 3 kilos with Cottons Eco. I use this for all towels and bedding as I can wash up to 90 degrees if required (I generally am happy to stick to 60 however) and the program includes a prewash which enables me to add in wash stain removal powder as required. The only thing I find "eco" about the Cottons Eco program is the fact it uses considerably less water than the main Cottons cycle which may be an issue if you are on a water meter.
The machine is incredibly easy to maintain. Because I live in a soft water area I don't have to concern myself with limescale but I do clean my machine every month putting bleach in the detergent drawer and running a Time Saver cycle at 90 degrees.
The detergent drawer is incredibly easy to clean - to remove you just press a blue dotted area on the siphon in the softener compartment and then pull the drawer out. I clean under a hot tap with a stiff brush, and it slots back in with barely any effort at all. In comparison to my old Hoover machine the Beko seems to be far more effective at delivering detergent and fabric softeners to the laundry in the drum with barely any residue left underneath the drawer when it's removed.
The only issue I have had with the machine in the 3 months I have had it is occasionally the spin doesn't work. This has only happened twice and I can only surmise the computer chip misses a beat occasionally, meaning I have to wait another 12 minutes while the machine does a separate spin and drain.
This is a great machine which is both affordable and effective. I've yet to be let down by it when it comes to cleaning or rinsing and it only took a matter of minutes to work out how to operate it, which is something I appreciate as I get older and technical items start to challenge me a little more. The knob you use to choose a program is easy to read and a real breath of fresh air following the poor design of the knob on my old Hoover machine.
The machine is also fairly quiet although like almost all washing machines you cannot get away from the noise of a full spin in full spin so to speak. I certainly find it quieter than my old Hoover machine during the washing and rinsing cycles however.
What I like best about it is the flexibility it offers me when choosing a laundry program, allowing me to change default settings such as water temperature and spin length. The Time Saver function is also particularly welcome and I love how I can even do a load at 90 degrees on this program, and add an extra rinse at my convenience.
For the money I think this is an excellent machine which if it weren't for the occasional glitch with the spin cycle would get a resounding five stars from me, but even with that is a machine I can recommend.
My landlords purchased the machine from the website www.appliancesonline.co.uk for £217 with delivery charge on top.
The Beko WMB61431W Freestanding Washing Machine in white has your needs at the heart of its design / With its smooth design a spin speed of 1400rpm and a load capacity of 6kg it is ideal for any household.This machine has been given an A+ rating for its energy efficiency an A rating for its wash performance and a B rating for its spin performance great for helping you keep those energy bills down.The WMB61431W comes with 11 main programmes / These include the Quick Wash option a feature that works to eradicate light stains in your garments without the need for a full wash cycle / There is also the Pre Wash option which gives you the chance to remove clothes that are extra dirty.Additional features include a 3 compartment detergent dispenser for main wash pre-wash and fabric conditioner. / Beko WMB61431W Washing Machine / Short name: Beko WMB61431W