What drum capacity do you need?
Whether you live alone or with a big family, size certainly matters. When it comes to washing machines, drum capacity will vary: 10-13kg machines will usually do the trick for large families, while 7-9kg appliances will be fine for medium-sized households.
Clothes tend to wash better when there’s some room left in the machine – more room means more space to tumble around – so going for a larger drum size than you think you’ll need will help keep your clothes looking their cleanest.
Most front-loading washing machines are built to fit standard dimensions of 85cm high and 60cm wide. But there are always exceptions, or you may have a non-standard area to fill, so make sure you measure both the available space at home and the appliance before you buy.
What spin speed is best?
Measured in rpm, the spin speed is how many times the machine drum spins in a minute. Common speeds are 1200rpm to 1400rpm, but some go up to 1600rpm or even 1800rpm. A higher spin speed means more force to remove the water from your clothes, so you can give thick materials like towels a proper washing without them coming out soaking wet. It’s worth noting, however, that a faster spin speed will add to the cost of the machine and the noise level (no, that’s not a jet plane taking off in your kitchen). And, of course, delicate fabrics will need a slower spin cycle.
What are washing machine energy ratings?
More efficient washing machines use less electricity, which is good for lowering both your bills and your environmental impact. The most efficient washers will be rated A++ or A+++, but you can still find some older models for sale with B to D ratings.
Lastly, washing machines are sometimes subject to a product recall, so when buying second-hand, it’s always worth checking the make and model against manufacturer’s website before you part with your cash.
Now, with all your due diligence done, you’re ready to shop safely for a washing machine at Gumtree.
If you’re thinking of moving for the first time and want more information on the cost of kitting out your kitchen with appliances, take a look at our guide on the cost of furnishing a flat.