I have always used one thing to determine the washing machine I buy… price (namely the cheapest I can find to be honest). After receiving a fantastic new machine from Appliances Online a few months ago I have changed my way of thinking. Here the lovely Jenny from Appliances Online shows us how to choose the best washing machine for you!
It’s not as easy as you think, choosing a washing machine. If you’re not umming and ahhing over the drum size, you’re weighing up what features and cycles you’ll need. And when you’ve got the rest of the family to cater for, it makes it even more difficult to know which one will suit them best. To give you a little helping hand, I’ve picked out a few features, options and things to look out for no matter how big your family is.
In terms of drum size, families should be looking in the region of 8kg to 12kg. 8kg washing machines will easily hold the equivalent of 40 T-shirts and are best suited to 3 to 4 person households. The huge 12kg models can pack in 60 T-shirts or a hefty set of curtains – plenty big enough for larger families. Now, I know you won’t just be washing T-shirts and curtains, but that should give you a pretty good idea of how much you’ll be able to pack in when the big weekend wash comes around.
If you’ve just recently brought a little bundle of joy home, you could do with a washing machine that’s kind to their baby soft skin, but also powerful enough to blast through baby food. Keep an eye out for dedicated Baby cycles – these are specially designed to cut through stubborn baby food and yoghurt stains. I’d recommend looking out for models with allergy cycles too. By adding extra rinses to the programme, these cycles help to get rid of leftover detergent and allergens that can play havoc with sensitive skin. And you can’t get more sensitive than baby skin!
Another one to look out for is child safety locks. Washing machines with this feature not only lock the door but the control panel too, so little hands and fingers can’t tinker with the buttons when a wash is on. If you’ve got toddlers charging around the house and getting up to no good, then this feature is an absolute godsend, trust me.
When the kids come back home covered in mud, you’re going to wish you’d never bought them that football. Well, maybe not, but mud and grass stains can be a pain to get out sometimes. One thing that’ll help is intensive and sports wash programmes. These are tailored to waterproof/breathable fabrics and tough stains, and can really help to shift things like dried-on mud.
Last but by no means least, make sure you check the energy rating on the washing machine you’re after. The higher the rating, the more money you’ll save in the long run. Statistics tell us that an A+++ model can save 30% more energy than an A rated one – that’s a big saving, especially when you’ve got mouths to feed and an ever-growing laundry pile to wash. We all know that when it comes to cutting down on the bills, even the smallest savings can add up.
Louie, my eldest child, was 13 months old when I became pregnant with my second baby. At the time it seemed like a really sensible idea to have my children close together , so that they would be playmates for each other. When I discovered I was having another boy I was thrilled. I pictured myself as a mum of two rosy cheeked little boys.
They would wear matching jumpers (yes, I am that mum). They would run around together in the woods in the autumn (why is it that, in my head, catalogue perfect families always hang around in autumnal woodland?) and they would always get along brilliantly.
The reality is that little boys are a bit of a mystery to me. The problem is that I’m a girl. This means I don’t fully understand boys or men, or what drives them. I don’t get Louie’s absolute devotion to knowing exactly how many cylinders are in each and every one of his toy cars. I don’t get why Milo (my youngest son) wants to be addressed and treated as if he was a robot (ok I get that more but still).
Also what is it that boys have about sticks and stones? My home is full of the aforementioned items. Every time I put on a load of washing I hear the tap tapping of a stone, mocking me, ha ha you searched the pockets but I was in the socks. It takes me half an hour to walk down my fairly short street because every two or three steps there is an exciting new stone to explore, pick up and of course take home for further examination. My husband, after I had said ‘I do’, revealed that he had a sizeable stick collection under his bed as a child. Luckily for me he now keeps his sticks in the garden, but yes he does still come home with a ‘useful’ stick or two after a country walk.
Then there is the way they interact with each other. It is like having a couple of lion cubs in the house. A large part of their playtime is spent rolling around on the floor wrestling. I ought to make them brightly coloured lycra costumes and train them up for the WWF, at least then this obsession would be profitable. Initially I tried to stop the wrestling, but as this has proved a fruitless battle I have admitted defeat. So they wrestle on the floor, the sofa, the beds, the trampoline, you get the idea.
Finally little boys need to be run, like puppies, at least twice a day. I, on the other hand, am a big fan of sitting down practising the chocolate biscuit exercise plan (arm goes up, mouth opens wide). Unfortunately, as no one in my area offers a boy walking service (here is a business idea worthy of Dragon’s Den), guess who has to take endless trips to parks, soft play centres and yes, those once longed for woodlands.
I love being a mum of boys, at times it is challenging but mostly my boys are delightful. I love their boundless energy, inquisitive nature, and the bear hugs I get from them every day. I look forward to each new stage of my boys development and I’m sure I’m going to be very proud of the men that they become.
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