Downsizing to a new, smaller property can be a bit of a nightmare especially in the kitchen. Your new kitchen might look great at first glance, but finding space for all your home appliances can be difficult. In this first of a series, we’ll look at narrow washing machines and see what options are available to you.
Tabletop washing machines
Many retailers stock small worktop appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers and are very simple to use. When you need to do some washing, place the tabletop washing machine next to the sink and attach the cold water pipe to the tap, and secure the waste water pipe into the sink.
These machines normally have a few settings making them suitable for small items but only have about a sixth of the capacity. This machine will be ideal for items such as shirts, blouses and underwear, but items like bedding will need to be washed another way as the capacity of this machine will be too small.
Motorhome retailers are a good place to look at smaller home appliances, and you might be surprised what you find. Washing machines are available for small kitchens and hold slightly more than the tabletop models above. They are available in single drum and twin tubs where the washing and spinning is done in two separate compartments.
They again have the cold water pipe attach to the mains tap and the soil outlet goes into the sink. These models are fairly light to pick up, but if you have back problems it might be best to carefully try them before purchase.
Narrow washing machines – the ideal solution
Many washing machine manufacturers now produce smaller home appliances with the smaller apartment in mind. Narrow washing machines are plumbed into the cold water and waste supplies and are generally 40% smaller than there larger counterparts. The capacity of the washing machine is much better than the two examples above and copes better with larger loads.
With all of these options you will think about a few things:-
- Are you going to be able to cope with a smaller washing capacity. If not a launderette may be better.
- Are you happy with the number of washing programs the machine has for most of your washing needs?
- Will your clothes dry enough with the spin speeds the machine has?
It’s often been the case that buying something smaller can actually cost you more than the full size version, but researching on the internet will find you the best price and selection. Downsizing into a smaller kitchen certainly brings unexpected challenges, but with a little thought most problems can be solved.
Washing Machine Styles and Features: Pros and Cons of Top-loading and Front-loading Washers
There are many choices when it comes to washing machines these days. There are many styles, features, and prices to choose from. Those who take the time to decide what they need before entering the store will be able to make a better long-term decision as to what works for their household.
Top-Loading Washing Machines
Many people prefer the top-loader, which has been the standard home machine for a long time. One of it’s main advantages is price, since it is one of the most economical machines you’ll find. Another convenient feature is the non-locking door so that the user can throw in forgotten or dropped pieces even after the washer has started.
Top-loaders work by filling up the wash tub with water and an agitator in the middle moves the clothes around. Because of its design, top-loaders use 40 percent more water than other high-efficiency models. The agitator can also be rough on clothes, shortening their life span. With heavy or bulky items, the washing machine may have trouble balancing the load as well.
A newer option on the market is a top-loading high-efficiency washer. These washers work more like a front loader, without an agitator, so the washer is easier on clothes, and uses less water. Because these HE top-loaders are relatively new, there’s not a lot of long-term research on them.
Energy-Efficient Front-Loading Washers
Fifteen years ago, the laundromat was usually the only place to find a front-loader, but now they’re readily available for home use. These washers work by spinning the clothes up, and dropping them down into the water to clean them. They use less water, less detergent, and in general, clean clothes better. It can handle a bigger load than traditional top-loaders since there is no agitator, and the spin cycle is so fast that drying time is cut down as well. All of these factors make the front-loader a very eco-friendly choice.
The main disadvantage of this washing machine is the expense. Front-loaders can cost more than twice as much as the traditional top-loader. The powerful spin cycle has also caused complaints from users who have their washer near a living area or bedroom.
Optional Washing Machine Features
The feature choices on each washer varies, so a consumer who knows what special items they want in a washer will have an easier time picking one out. Some of the newest features are:
- Automatic dispenser of detergent, fabric softener, or bleach
- A pre-wash or mid-cycle soak for extra dirty items
- Extra rinse, which is recommended for removing excess detergent for those with sensitive skin
- Stainless steel tub, to prevent rusting
- Manual dial controls vs. electronic controls
- Steam setting, which claims to sanitize laundry
- Stackable option for front-loaders
Each household has different needs and budget requirements when shopping for a new washing machine. By looking at the advantages and disadvantages of front-loaders and top-loading washers, each family will be able to find the machine that suits them best.