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The Machines Might Be Green, The Software Designers Aren't

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What I'd like to know is - What planet do the idiots that design washing machine software come from?

About the last 5 machines I've had have made me do two separate operations to do a quick wash because for some reason they think that if you only want a low temperature 30 minute wash you should only be able to spin half the water out of the clothes at the end of it.

My current machine's 30' wash has a max spin of 800 rpm - Why?!

It can't be to save energy or time because it just means that I have to wait for it to finish, select a separate 1400 rpm spin cycle, and then wait for that to complete...

It'd probably be 'greener' if I could get hold of a good old fashioned manual one that I actually have control over the settings of.

If anyone knows of a current model washing machine that doesn't treat you like an idiot that doesn't know what they want please let me know...

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Yes I have an article specifically warning about that. Environmentally friendly low temperature washes need to do a proper full spin and wash normally, otherwise they are useless for washing at reduced temperatures with a mind to saving energy usage.

30 degree wash cycles have historically been designed for either very delicate, or very lightly soiled laundry, which is why they have a gentle wash action and slow spin.

My two articles here may be of interest

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Hi Andy,

That's an interesting subject, but I was referring to 30' cycles not 30° cycles :)

I use a 30 minute wash for, as the saying goes, 'lightly soiled' clothes - Just clothes that I've been wearing for a few days that aren't exactly dirty, but aren't clean either.

That might be stuff that I only want to spin at 800, or it might be stuff that'd take the full 1400.

I get the point of having recommended settings for a particular wash, it's just that if you KNOW you want something different you should be allowed to choose it.

There might be a 'perfect' cycle for what I'm washing, but as your average 'end user', I'm more interested in A. How much energy will it take?, B. How long will it take?, and lastly C. Will it get the clothes REALLY clean?

B. very often takes priority - I'm a busy bloke. If I can get a wash done & in the dryer before I leave the house, all I've got to do is fold it & put it away when I get back.

Most of the 'recommended' cycles for fabrics & soiling levels take between 1½ and 2½ hours, and as one of my favourite YouTube videos expounds - 'Ain't nobody got time for that...'

My ideal machine would have all of the usual predefined cyles (but it would let me adjust them in ANY way I want), but it would also have what, from my point of view, is the 'Missing' cycle...

I tell the machine how long I want the wash to take. Me, not it. It's not allowed to change the duration up or down. I also tell it the temp I want and the spin speed I want.

It then uses all of its expertise to give me the best wash it can USING the parameters I've set.

OK, I know that won't be the best wash I could have, but if I know that I've got 5 pairs of jeans I want washed at 40°, spun at 1400, and I've got to go out in 45 minutes, I really don't care that it's not the perfect wash.

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I misread your 30' as 30 degrees :)

In a way it's like trying to cook a roast joint in the oven in half an hour instead of the usual much longer time, physics mean it just can't be done with standard ovens. Any wash cycle that completes in half an hour can't even be heating to 30 degrees, there just isn't time so it'd be virtually washing in cold or luke warm water. It can take over 20 minutes just to do the rinses and spins. It would be nice to have complete control over wash cycles, and some more sophisticated washers have always allowed customisations, I've had washers where you can create your own customised wash programs and memorise them.

However, the advice in those articles is actually still relevant because if you have a washer with the proper 30 degree washes as described they will be much shorter, but with proper wash agitation to wash cottons and have the full spin at the end.

What you could do with is a washing machine with manual override on wash temperature and spin speed which would help reduce the time but more than likely at the expense of poor wash results.

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Pauliolio, the reason that modern washing machines take so much longer than old machines is because they use far less water, have a cold-only intake, have larger drums and modern detergents are far more concentrated for lower dosing.

My grandmother used to own a 1980 Hotpoint 18371 with a 4kg capacity, hot and cold fill and it would complete a FULL cottons 40 cycle in 45 minutes. A modern 8kg, cold fill only Hotpoint will take double the time.

As Andy has rightly pointed out, these quick washes barely heat to full temp and how they can possibly rinse effectively in such a short space of time, I do not know.

Personally, I don't ever use quick wash. Quick washes are usually only designed for half of your drum capacity (check the user guide for more info), so by doing smaller quick washes, you might as well just save up a bit more washing, do a full cottons 40 cycle and use the drum capacity and longer cycle times to that advantage. Full cycles also wash and rinse far more effectively and will spin at max speed.

It's also important to note that washing machines are given their energy efficiency rating based on the full cycles. A machine only has to have 1 A rated program to recieve an A rating.

So, by using the quick wash you're actually wasting energy, wasting your own time adjusting the cycle to re-spin everything and your clothes aren't as clean as they could be.

The only 2 cycles you're ever likely to need in life are cottons 40 and cottons 60.

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