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Ever since I moved out of my family home, I’ve come to appreciate the wonder of fresh-smelling clean clothes much more.
While we don’t need to haul our dirty laundry to the riverbed and scrub each article by hand, it’s still not fun loading them into a washing machine. Then comes the waiting for the load to be done, hanging out the clothes to dry and then folding them neatly after.
Even worse when it’s time to wash the bedsheets and blankets — hanging those queen-sized sheets is akin to arms day at the gym. Woe betide me if there are endless days of rain and my laundry starts smelling like damp socks. Argh.
Forgot to throw in that sweaty pair of socks at the bottom of your laundry basket? Too bad, let it ferment till the next time — that is, if you don’t forget it again.
It’s also no secret that most of us live in small homes in land-scarce Singapore, which restricts the size of our laundry area. Plus, now that most of us are going back to the office, there’s also the bothersome situation of needing to do laundry once you get home when all you want to do is chill.
Yes, I’m whining about #firstworldproblems. But thankfully, I’m not alone.
A Samsung commissioned survey of 500 Singaporeans aged 18 and above who do laundry at home found that 78% are spending more than an hour on laundry every time. The majority, or 84% of respondents, wished to spend less than 1 hour washing their clothes (yes, me too!).
In addition, 44% wished that their current washer could remove bacteria from their garments; and 2 in 5 Singaporeans polled said they left out smaller garment pieces like socks and towels while doing laundry. This means they had to start additional wash cycles — which consumes extra energy and water (bad news for your household bills).
Sigh. The perfect washing machine doesn’t exi—
Thankfully these days, washers are much more technologically advanced. So if it’s time to go washing machine shopping, here are 5 key factors to look out for that can save you money, time and more:
1. Washing time
Not everyone works a 9 to 5 job; and even if they do, they could have other commitments such as fetching their kid from childcare then going out for dinner. Or heading to the gym, running errands, or even having business dinners with clients.
Imagine reaching home at 10pm and waiting up to 2 hours for laundry to be done. Washing time could also impact water and electricity consumption, leading to higher utility bills.
Samsung, known for its QuickDrive technology, has released its 2021 line-up of washers that can clean clothes at super-speed. It takes all of 39 minutes1 to do laundry while reducing energy use by up to 20%2 — without compromising cleanliness and performance.
Supporting the QuickDrive technology is Q-Drum, in which the washer’s main drum and backplate rotate independently to generate dual forces for dynamic cleaning action. It’s this Q-Drum technology that helps to reduce energy use. The Q-Bubble technology, on the other hand, also sends additional water shots for more powerful bubbles that can penetrate dirty laundry quicker yet gentler.
1Based on using SuperSpeed at the default settings with a 5kg load.
2Tested on WW8000T and Samsung WW6500K. Saves 50% time and saves 20% energy on Cotton (40℃, half load) cycle with washing performance within ±5%. Based on Intertek data.
2. Artificial intelligence
How lovely it would be if your washing machine were so intelligent that it could do all the laundry steps for you. While that’s still wishful thinking, the washers of today are packed with artificial intelligence features that not only make the chore an easier one, but also remove any guesswork and improve energy/water/time efficiency.
Samsung’s QuickDrive washers have a new AI Wash3 feature — sensors that can detect the laundry load’s weight and soil level to determine the optimum amount of water and detergent to dispense automatically. Remember those days you spent time trying to guess and Google the suitable wash cycle for a certain piece of clothing? You can now say farewell to those times.
QuickDrive also has AI Control, which remembers your cycle preferences and suggests personalised cycles based on the settings that you’ve most frequently used. When you can’t recall what your last used wash cycle was, AI Control is smart enough to display your most frequently used cycles.
This means I don’t need to remember and input the individual laundry settings each time. No more spending 5 minutes picking all my preferred settings, which easily saves me 600 minutes a year (5 minutes x 10 washes a month x 12 months).
3Actual results may vary depending on individual use.
3. Auto-dispensing of detergent
QuickDrive also features the Auto Detergent Dispenser. Think about it: Just like nearly two-thirds of the Samsung survey respondents, you probably forgot to add detergent at one point or didn’t know how much to add.
Following the instructions on your detergent container may not be entirely accurate either. If you’re mostly washing clothes that are barely soiled (for example, if you have worn them to the office, or clothes that you have hardly perspired in), you’re likely to need less detergent; and if clothes are very soiled, you’ll need more.
If we are actually dispensing more laundry detergent than necessary, this feature can reduce our spending on detergent, especially if we’re using the more expensive ones.
Combined with Samsung’s EcoBubble technology that maximises the effect of detergent by turning it into fine, soft bubbles for quicker penetration into fabrics (yes, even with cold water4), you could potentially save even more.
Oh, and the entire detergent dispenser can hold up to one month’s worth of detergent5 and softener. The cartridge is also fully removable and washable for easy maintenance.
4Tested in accordance with IEC 60456-2010 / 4kg Wash Load / Super Eco Wash cold (WF80F5E5U4W) vs. Cotton 40°C without Eco Bubble (WF0702WKU). Individual results may vary.
5Based on Normal concentration. No. of cycles will increase to 16~20 times when softener of 2X / 3X is used. Auto Dispense holds detergent for up to 1 month’s washing based on the average of 4 loads per week. May vary depending on the washing load and settings.
4. Controlled remotely
Here’s a feature tech junkies will love — the Samsung QuickDrive washer has Wi-Fi Smart Control6 and can be controlled remotely via the SmartThings app7. Mind you, it’s more than a remote control because it provides advice on the best wash cycle to use (Laundry Recipe), offers daily planning based on your desired completion time (Laundry Planner) and troubleshooting help (HomeCare Wizard).
Tip: If you’ve got a Samsung smart dryer as well, use the Auto Cycle Link8 to sync your washer and dryer, and have the dryer automatically select the most suitable drying course based on the wash cycle.
With this, you can load the clothes before you leave for work, start running it when you’re on the way back, and return home to fresh-smelling clothes that are ready to be hung up to dry or loaded into the dryer. Your evening is then freed up (you can go to bed earlier, too).
6Requires installation of SmartThings App on compatible Android or iOS device, with Android 6.0 and higher or iOS 10.0 and higher, and Wi-Fi connectivity to the mobile device.
7Available on Android and iOS devices. A Wi-Fi connection and a Samsung account are required.
8Auto Cycle Link is only available when both the washer and dryer have AI Control and are Wi-Fi connected.
Other good-to-haves when scouting for your next washer centre around cleaning efficacy, washing machine size, noise level (so you won’t wake your baby) and even aesthetics to suit the interior design of your home.
Cleaning efficacy, convenience and energy efficient
Especially for traditional households or for families with young children, how do you know if something is truly clean?
Earlier we mentioned the Q-Bubble (water jets) and EcoBubble features. Now adding to those is the Hygiene Steam feature, in which steam is released from the bottom of the washer drum to ensure that every article of clothing is thoroughly saturated to remove ingrained grime and up to 99.9% of bacteria9 and allergens10.
Samsung QuickDrive’s AddWash Door also allows users to stop washes midcycle to add11 forgotten items (sweaty gym socks, or that tee you left lying on your bed), rinse-only materials, and even extra detergent or fabric softener if desired.
Even Samsung’s Digital Inverter Compressor plays a part in energy savings (and perhaps even durability12), as the motor uses strong magnets to reduce friction, noise and energy consumption. In fact, the Samsung QuickDrive washers carry a 4-tick rating under PUB’s Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme.
9Based on the Intertek test report for the Hygiene steam course. Removes 99.9% of certain bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Individual results may vary.
10Based on the British Allergy Foundation (BAF) test report for the Hygiene Steam course. Removes allergens derived from house dust mites.
11For drum temperature below 40℃.
12Awarded a 23/20 year durability certification by the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies in Germany (Verband Deutscher Elektrotechniker – VDE). Actual lifespan may vary depending on the usage circumstances.
Aesthetics, noise level, size
I’ve seen the QuickDrive in action and suffice to say, it was so quiet, I didn’t even notice it was washing clothes. Compare that to my washer (another brand), which sounds like an airplane taking off.
The QuickDrive is also compact and can fit snugly in a HDB service yard. I was actually mindblown to find out that the overall size of the 10kg capacity model is the same as the 8kg one (only the internal drum size differs) — the former would be a key consideration if you’re planning to buy a king-sized bed or a heavy comforter/quilt, or have a big family.
While I’m not fussed with aesthetics, I know of friends who want appliances that are sleek and seamlessly stylish in design to suit their home decor. It is a good thing that the Samsung QuickDrive washers will not only meet your design requirements, but colour theme as well — they come in white and inox (for that industrial look).
The Samsung QuickDrive washers retail from $1,049. Find out more here.
Reference(s): Samsung commissioned survey