Need help with European washing machines

posted 3 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
883 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

@texasbee:  I don’t know about Eurpoean washers but I’ve always washed everything in cold water… My mum always did and I have too, with no problems. Just this year I tried a hot wash for the first time (out of curiosity) with a load of towels and I noticed no difference. I don’t use fabric softener but will sometimes use a detol rinse if the clothes are especially dirty. I use washing liquid forumlated especially for cold water washing too. Hope that helps in the meantime 🙂

Post # 4
Member
114 posts
Blushing bee

What kind of trick do you mean? I personally haven’t noticed a difference in size of machines, and I do the laundry in 3 loads for 2 people about once every week and a half. I always wash on the coldest water setting, because I think it keeps my clothes better for longer – no idea if this is true or not, it’s just something I think!:) I can see how you wouldn’t want icy water, but I’d also say buy the local washer. You’ll be fine! 

Post # 5
Member
1965 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

do you mean one that you load from the front as opposed to the top? ours has different heat settings with different categories. we mainly wash everything on a 40oc wash excedpt towels which we wash at 60. just change the dial fill with powder and press start

 

Post # 6
Member
1988 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Hi, European here. I’ve never seen an American washing machine so I had no idea ours were smaller. I think getting a smaller one is pretty difficult these days, actually! If you’re worried about it being too small, get an 8kg one – even though I can attest to the fact that you’ll have a problem filling up that enormous thing unless you have at least 3 very dirty children! 🙂  6-7kg washing machine is plenty enough, in my experience. 

As for use – you fill up the washing machine with your laundry, add washing powder/gel to the “pull out dish” (sorry, I have no idea what that’s called in English) that’s usually located in the right side top corner of a front loader, pick your programme and press the start button. I wash linens and towels on 60 degrees Celsius, things like PJs and sweats on 40 and delicates on 30. I use the wool or handwash programme for my silks and woolens and usually wash them in cold water (20 degrees Celsius). I would get a washer with some kind of a short programme too if I were you, there are some with 15 or 20 minutes programs that are fantastic for things like blouses that are not really dirty but need a little freshening up. 

Oh, and make sure you get a washer with an at least 1200 spin, 1400 or 1600 is even better. That way you’ll use less power for drying your clothes because they won’t be quite as wet coming out of the washer.

I hope that helps!  

Post # 7
Member
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

What tricks would you like to know?

@MsMeow:  has given a very good response, but I would be happy to add to it if you could be more specific about what you want!

Post # 9
Member
247 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I don’t know anyting about American washers but i do know the European ones. They do make ones that load on top but you have more choise in the front loading style. Depending on the program you choose it takes 20 minutes tot 2,5 hours. I have a machine that does small washes  up to 3 pounds in 20 minutes. I don’t use bleach, i use that in the toilet. Just tabs of liqued and you can wash linnens and towels at 95 degrees if you like. Miele is really good and i have an AEG 1600 spins that i love!

Post # 11
Member
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

@texasbee:  OK, so… I’ve never seen a machine that is top loading, but they might make them.

You choose your cycle length in several ways. For example, my washing machine is a combined washer drier and has three dials.

– One is for temperature, so you can set it anywhere between cold wash and 90 degrees (which is presumably for nappies and things).

– The second dial is for cycle… do you want a longer rinse? A quick wash? A half load? A double spin? All of those correspond to numbers or letters on the second dial, and they are all longer or shorter cycles.

– The third dial is for drying. You can pick your drying time (anywhere between zero and 2 hours).

Note that some machines only have two dials. In that case, the cycle dial also controls the length of the drying cycle. If the machine has only one dial (an old machine) that will be the cycle dial, and all of the cycles will have longer or shorter drying times, and will wash at different temperatures. If there is only one dial, there will also be a drying only cycle.

My machine has a timer, which tells you how long it will take. For example, if I set my machine to 40 degrees, cycle 4 (normal cycle), the dial reads something like 1 hour 40 minutes. If I then turn the dryer dial to 40 minutes, the timer will now read 2 hours 20 minutes. Most washes take under 2 and a half hours.

Now… if your clothes are coming out damp and wrinkled, several things could be going wrong. If you were in a hard water area, it could be that limescale has clogged your filters, and you need to use a water softener in the machine. A quick solution is to not dry the clothes in the dryer at all, just wash. When the clothes are wet and clean in the machine, open the door and let the condensation out. Then dry on a separate cycle for 40 minutes, and repeat the process until the clothes are dry. The limescale can cause condensation build up inside the drum, which makes your drying cycle less successful.

If your clothes are wrinkled, you could be over-drying them (and drying in the creases in the process). Unless it is a very hot and dry day (in which case I dry clothes outside on the line), I usually machine dry clothes until they are 80-90% dry, then iron them, then either hang them up inside the house, hang them on a washing line, or finish them off quickly inside the machine. Makes ironing much easier.

OK, so. Detergent. This is a matter of personal preference, but if the water in your area is very hard then you may need to use a water softener in addition to your detergent. It is also much better for your machine. You should be able to buy this over the internet… they’re catching on, but only slowly, so you may not find them in shops! If you can’t find an appropriate softener, I don’t see why you couldn’t use a few Calgon tablets along with your detergent instead. Calgons are designed for dishwashers, but they prevent the build up of limescale in any water.

I use tablets like Bold, but I don’t have a particular brand of detergent that I like. I just buy whatever reputable brand is on offer, usually. I like tablets because they go right in the drum and cause less mess.

Oh… and one last thing… the water near you may not be hard. For example, I’m originally from Manchester, and we have soft water there. It depends on the bedrock. I would check to see how hard it is before automatically assuming that your detergent won’t work!

Hope this helps!

Post # 12
Member
11379 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@texasbee:  yes, i find that european washers are so much smaller than north american washers.  when i was there visiting, i had to do twice as many loads than normal.  i didn’t realize that they heat the water internally though as they were already hooked up.

 

@MsMeow:  an 8kg washer is not huge for me.  it is very small.  i couldn’t imagine having one 6-7kg.  it’s about half the size of a standard one that north americans use.  my current washer is only 14kg and it’s one of the smallest washers i’ve had.

Post # 13
Member
1988 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

@texasbee:  For energy efficiency, look at energy labels. I wouldn’t go lower than A+, there are some machines that are A+++ that are a little more pricy but super efficient. Oh, and our Bosch washing machine washes linens and towels at 60 degrees in a little over an hour, then it’s out into the dryer which takes about an additional hour – and it’s a rather old washing machine (about 5 years). An 8- hour cycle sounds CRAZY! It only takes about 2.5 hours if you use the “soaking” programme first – I only use it when I’m washing something that has terrible stains (which is almost never). Colder cycles take even less time, about 40 minutes and the short cycle that I use the most is actually only 17 minutes. 

As for washing powder, I actually only use it for linens and towels (the hot cycle), for everything else I use washing gels like Dreft or Persil. They come in varieties for black laundry, mixed colours, delicates etc. I don’t bother adding Calgon, it’s good but pricy. Just add a little bit if distilled vinegar to your washing powder to help soften the water and prevent the loadup of calcium lime that can seriously mess up your washer after a few years. Distilled vinegar stinks but I promise your clothes won’t, I’ve been doing this for years. 

Another thing I use to get rid of stains is Vanish, it comes in all forms (powder, gel and soap bar) and is a mean little stain remover. Just wet the area that has a stain, put some of the product on it and put it in the washer, job done! The soap bar is great for preparing men’s shirts for washing, their collars and cuffs get surprisingly dirty and in my experience washing alone isn’t enough to get them out completely. 

Are you in Germany now? Germans have pretty great washing machine brands such as Bosch. But I wouldn’t be a Slovenian if I didn’t suggest Gorenje 🙂 I think you can buy it in Germany too, they’re a big household appliance manufacturer in Europe. 

 

Post # 14
Member
7075 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Do they not sell cold water detergent in europe? We wash all our clothes on cold.

Post # 15
Member
1988 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

@mypinkshoes:  Oh my goodness, are you serious? 8kg is small in the States? When my SO and I were looking at washing machines we came across a 9kg one and we joked that if I got very dirty he could put me in there to wash me, it was that big! Laughing

My best friend always says that everything is bigger in America (he lives in Austin, Texas). I think he’s right! lol

Post # 16
Member
11379 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@texasbee:  have you considered just calling a plumber to install a hot water hookup for you?  you can keep your current washer and won’t have to settle for a small one.

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