* Prices may differ from that shown
Ours is in white and sits in the garage. It is front loading, has a 7kg capacity (although to be honest I never weigh my clothes before putting them in!) and is an A+ rating for energy efficiency.
It has a front display which tells you everything you need to know and comes with a fair length of power cable. Ours arrived with a comprehensive instruction book which informs you of all the different programmes, Etc.
It has a bag full of programme options from rinse option, mini load, Etc. to various crease reduction programmes. At any time, the front display will tell you what is what, including timings, programmes, to faults with the unit.
All the controls are on the top front, these are easily accessed and cleaned if that''s your thing!
Ours is sat on a concrete floor and is pretty quiet, even on 1600 revs spin.
The controls seem to take over, there seems to be buttons for buttons. I have certainly not tried them all, or all of the programmes so I cannot advise on them all. I have used the basic functions with no problems, but to be honest, I fill it, select the correct programme that I want, put in the conditioner and washing capsule and leave it to fend for its self.
We have had this one for 2 years without any problems. The draw has 3 compartments, conditioner, powder (if using) and pre-wash, the draw seems to be hard wearing.
Since buying it I have read some negative reviews on this machine, maybe we have been lucky, but we have had no problems with it.
In hindsight I would have bought another model, possible cheaper, as we do not use all the programmes.
Occasionally my Dad and my Step-mum like to go and visit family in Ayr. Being that they live out in the middle of nowhere (Kirriemuir) that can be a bit of a trek, requiring at least one over night stay. They also have a little doggie (a Schnauzer) called Jessie. She is the most hyper little thing you'll have ever met to the point where we only know one way to make her quiet and that is to get everyone in the room to put both their hands on her at the same time. Clearly she's a little attention hussy. Being that she's so hyper (at least this is my assumption) my Dad doesn't like taking her in the car on long journeys. I know I wouldn't. It might be something to do with the family they are staying with having young kids or not being allowed dogs, but I doubt it. As such, very occasionally me and Allan are asked / expected to babysit, for free, while they go off on their jaunts. This was an extension of the services myself and Allan offered while they lived in Dundee.
Now that they live in Kirrimuir it costs me an arm and a leg in petrol to get there and back. To add to that I can almost guarantee I'll have to bring my own food or order a carry out if I'm weird enough to want to eat for the next one or two days. Occasionally there is beer in the fridge (he knows I don't drink beer) and whiskey in the cupboards (he knows I don't drink whiskey). He seems to think that I view a visit to his as a holiday. A very boring holiday in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do, maybe. He doesn't even own a DVD player that works. Taking all of this into consideration, I feel I have to do something to make it worth the effort and petrol money.
===Does he wash up?===
Washing. I hate doing washing. Allan isn't too fond of it either. We keep on top of it the best we can in our flat but we always get to the point where there's no where left to hang the washing to dry because it takes forever to dry in our house. Summer is great as we can hang it outside. Scotland is a pain in that even the summer has a million horrible days. So, sometimes we have to wait to wash another load which allows the washing to creep up and bite us on the bum. What does this have to do with my dad? Well, firstly he owns a washing machine as well as a tumble dryer meaning that we can get through four or five loads in one day, clearing any horrible backlog and setting us up for a month or two of being able to keep on top of the washing again. Fantastic. Especially considering we don't get the electricity bill at the end of it! As I'm there regularly, he's forever telling me whats his is mine (and technically, it is since I paid money towards buying it when I lived with him a while back) I decided to finally get some use out of the machine!
===What's he got?===
The washing machine in question is a Hotpoint machine called a WMF760G Aquarius+. At least they gave it an actual name as well as the usual bunch of letters and numbers. Colour wise, Hotpoint say it's "graphite"; the body is silvery grey, the door and the top section with all the buttons is a darker gunmetal grey. It has approximately 100 buttons on it and a digital display that displays cycle times. It's got an ok capacity and spins up to 1600RPM (which is faster than my machine at home). I'm not sure how much he paid for it 4 years ago (I gave him £150 for my share at the time) but it's currently on the market for around £386 for a similar colour. If you go for white you will knock over £100 off the price.
===What's the capacity?===
Dad's machine is a 7kg capacity, a whole KG less than my own. In saying that, it's difficult to get a machine with a capacity higher than 9kg so 7kg is still a fair amount. My Dad and Step-mum tend not to have any drying issues to it's adequate for them, that and being that they live in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, they have no social life so they have a lot more time in the house to actually get the washing done. 7kg will be fine if you have a medium load to get through or if you don't need to wait for anything to dry like I do. The door is also wide enough to load the machine comfortably without creating any pull on the seals. Perfect.
===Plugging it in===
Installation is fairly simple on this one, though no doubt my Dad paid extra to have someone else do it. You simply plug it in and attach the waste pipe to the waste pipe and the water pipe to your cold water pipe (it's a cold fill only machine). Shove the plug in and away it goes. It's not quite as heavy as the one I have at home judging from the twice I've helped him move it. Energy wise it is an A rating for both the spin (1600rpm) and the wash though it does use a lot more water compared to mine, coming in at 60 Litres compared to my machines 43 litres. I'm not quite sure why it would need to use 17 litres more to wash 1 kg less but I'm sure there's an explanation somewhere. If you are conscious about saving water you might not want to invest in this beast even if it is A rated there are other machines out there that use a lot less.
===Button? Button? Who's got the button?===
At first glance it would appear you have the button. All of them. The layout of the machine is, to be honest, a little messy for my liking. Upon second inspection it has only one more button than my machine at home, it's just not very well presented.
Firstly you have your On/Off button which is simple enough. Push it and it will beep and light up to let you know that it is on. Next to that is the dial to choose which wash you want. It's got a clear plastic rim around it under which pictures that accompany all the programmes appear. There is a further clear offshoot of this window at the top of it so that only the selected wash number shows. The dial is one of those horrible ones that crunches the whole way round and can only be turned clockwise. When compared with my machine which has a button that glides round in any direction and the computer knows what option you want.
To the right of this dial there are two buttons each with a semi circle of 6 individual orange LED's around them. This is where things start to look messier than they should. The top button is the temperature button pushing it will make the LED move left to right through the 6 temperature options: 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 90, all in degrees c, all of which is written next to the lights. My machine has a button that does the same, but it isn't surrounded by lights; the results of pushing it are displayed on the screen. The lights really just serve to make it look more complicated and messy than it really needs to be.
Underneath that button you have the spin button which is laid out in the same way; 6 individual orange LED's with spin speeds written next to each light. You can choose from the spin that comes with the programme you've selected with your dial, and then five other speeds (400RPM, 600RPM, 800RPM, 1200RPM and 1600RPM). Again, I feel this should / could have all been done a lot neater.
===Buttons! Buttons everywhere!===
Moving to your right again, you will come to the small time display (which I'll come back to) and the next button: Child Lock. The button has a little LED set into it so when you push it, it lights up. The child lock may come in handy if you have young children kicking about the house as it will make it a little more difficult for them to climb into the machine or pull all your wet clothes out of the machine to chew on them. A handy little button and the only extra button that my machine doesn't have. I don't ever have children running around my house unsupervised so it's not really an issue for me. I will note, however, that this button is the lowest button on the machine so if your child is drawn to it by the bright light, they might still be able to reach it and turn it off. Maybe not the best place to have put it, Hotpoint!
Yet more buttons are lined up top to bottom next door to this. Each button has a Green LED inset into it again so you can tell what you have pushed. The "delay start" button allows you to set a delay on your washing which could come in handy if you live in a place where you can't wash overnight. My Dad's large detached house has no issues with that though and usually I'm trying my best to get as much done as possible and then hidden back in the boot of my car so he doesn't suspect a thing. Needless to say, I never use the delay timer, but I do know it works.
The "Mini load" button could have easily been put into a wash cycle option but apparently Hotpoint really love their buttons. Below that is the "Reduced Creases" button which is the same as my machines "Easy Iron" button. This button keeps the drum of the machine moving after the wash has finished, the idea being that if your clothes get time to settle in the machine it lets creases and wrinkles run free among your clothes. Keep them moving and they come out fairly crease free and a bit easier to iron (if you do that horrible chore, personally I don't).
The last button is "super wash" which is the same as my machines "intensive wash" button. It basically gives your clothes a more thorough blasting in the machine. Great for smelly people like me! Lastly, next to this vertical column of buttons is the Start/Pause button. Select your wash, twiddle your buttons and hit this one to start your selected cycle. It also comes with a green inset LED. Push it mid wash and it will pause the machine. So that's all the buttons dealt with (huzzah) but the mess does not stop here.
Lined up vertically above the start button is another 6 LED indicators. These indicators have little pictures next to them and during the course of your wash they will light up to tell you what your machine is doing. The top light I assume is Fill or wash, moving down the way there is Rinse, Spin, Drain and End all of which are orange. Lastly there is the Lock light, a red LED to advise that the machine door is locked. So pretty much on all the time you are doing your wash.
These lights annoy me a little bit. I don't know why Hotpoint didn't just put a bigger display screen into the machine and have it all on there. As it stands there are orange, green and red indicator lights all over the machine that stay on for the whole wash. It really does look like you are sitting in the cockpit of an aeroplane with all these things lighting up. Ugly!
===Got your number===
The display section that Hotpoint have thrown onto this machine has space for four digital numbers and nothing more. It displays the time it should take for your washing to complete the cycle on the options you have chosen. At least that's the theory behind it. It would seem that Hotpoint forgot to give the machine any concept of time what-so-ever. Unlike my machine that you could set your watch to, this machine just throws random numbers at you. For example, last week when I was using it, the countdown told me there was 1 minute to go... for over ten minutes. It stayed on 7 minutes for about 15 minutes and then dropped to 1 minute. As much as the machine has the hang of countdowns generally getting lower as time progresses, the numbers it gives don't match up with anything. This is incredibly frustrating if you've attempted to plan your washing on the information given by the machine. There are times I've been there, popped a washing on and said to myself "right, that should be finished at 3, I'm due somewhere else at 3:30 so I'll hang the washing out before I leave!" only to be waiting on the machine tapping my foot and occasionally pacing nervously at quarter past three. What a pain.
===On your bike===
The machine has 13 cycles not including the extra rinse, spin and drain functions (which have been allocated letters A, B and C respectively on your dial). The cycles are listed on the detergent drawer as is usual in washing machines and have been separated into three categories: Essentials, Specials and Eco Cycle. Mostly I use the fast wash option which tends not to actually be all that fast. For your reading pleasure here's the cycles you can run through.
1 Cottons+ 90/60/40 degrees
2 Cottons 60 degrees
3 Coloureds 40 degrees
4 Synthetics 50 degrees
5 Fastwash 60 degrees
Now I'm not really sure why you'd want to subject your clothes to three different temperatures in one wash so I never use the first one. I mostly only ever use number 5 but as mentioned, it's a little bit of a lie. It takes over two hours to run through the fast wash. The fast wash on my machine takes 30 minutes and that's only if you add an extra 15 minute spin to it. Still, it gets the clothes clean and I guess that's what's important!
6 Baby Cycle
8 Lingerie Cycle
9 Wool 40 degrees
10 Silk 30 degrees
I've never used any of these cycles myself. Number 6 does make me reconsider what the function of the "child lock" is though. I'm sure it means clothes and not babies... hmm. As for the others I'm a total washing cowboy and just do everything on the same wash at all times. If you want to spend your time separating everything then at least you know this washing machine is there for you!
13 Fast Wash
My dad sometimes uses 13 and on the rare occasion I've actually let him know I'll be borrowing his machine (when my old machine broke down) that's the option he's told me to use. It is a lot faster than the other fast wash option but still takes more than half an hour and needs an extra spin afterwards so nearer an hour. Not too fast at all. The other options basically give you a wash at reduced temperatures and speeds using a little less water.
===The Secret Drawer===
The drawer on this one is similar to many other machines in that it has three separate sections; one for softener, one for your powder and one for...whatever that third bit is for. Does anyone actually know? I don't! Hmm. Let's see if Google helps...
Success! Apparently that third compartment is a pre-wash drawer. If you want your clothes to get some extra cleaning, shove some pre-wash solution in there! Who would have known? Either way, back on topic! The drawer has a little indent underneath it to make pulling it out easy. Rather than being a normal square drawer though, it is a quarter circle shape and comes out a bit like a fan. The hinge is on the left so it swings out from the right hand side where you'll get a better grip anyway. Other than the shape it's pretty normal and straight forward.
I noticed that on the front of the machine there's a little bit of print that says "Shh Super Silent". Noise is always an issue in my flat. We are quite conscious about the neighbours above us and to our side because they are friendly with our landlord. As such a quiet machine is a good idea. Dad's machine is fairly quiet. I wouldn't say that it's "super quiet" but it's certainly not going crazy and bouncing around all over the place. It obviously gets a little bit noisier at the spin cycle but nothing that isn't manageable. It is as quiet, if not quieter than the machine I have so a thumbs up on that! I'd have no issues about the noise if I had it in my flat, but I'd probably still not want to put it on overnight just in case.
Price wise this machine is out of my range especially when you consider that you can get the same machine in white for £100 cheaper. I'd be happy to sacrifice the colour for £100. With regards to looks, I do like the colour but the control panel / top of the machine just looks over crowded with buttons and lights. It makes it look ugly and very user-unfriendly. Thankfully it's not actually that difficult to get your head around once you've looked at it closely. My main gripe is about the timer that just tells blatant lies about how long things are going to take. It's not big, it's not clever and it really doesn't help when you are trying to be organised. Faults aside, the machine works well and has lasted 4 years without any gripes from my Dad. Though it does use a bit more water than it probably needs to, it gets clothes clean. I'm giving it 3 out of 5 stars, losing two stars for the messy interface and the timer issues. I'd be tempted to knock another one off for the price but I guess that's up to the buyer!
Short name: Hotpoint WMF760G