Buying a washing machine
Do you live alone and want a machine capable of doing smaller loads? Or do you need a washing workhorse that can handle a family load while being economical with water and electricity? Our handy guide can help you choose the right appliance for your needs.
Reasons for buying from us
Award-winning customer service
What kind of washing machine do I need?
Deciding where it will go first will help decide whether to opt for a freestanding or integrated model
- Have a utility room or space under a kitchen counter
- Are planning a kitchen without integrated appliances
Then consider a freestanding washing machine
The average size of these washing machines is usually around H85 x W60 x D55cm, give or take a few centimetres
- Are replacing an existing built-in machine
- Want it covered by a door panel to match kitchen units
- Are revamping your kitchen with built-in appliances
Then consider an integrated washing machine
- Have a smaller kitchen or utility room
- Less depth under your counter
- Are putting the machine in a cupboard and don't need the expense of a dedicate integrated model
Then consider a freestanding slim depth machine
- Are sensitive to appliance noise and are looking for the quietest washing machine possible
- Have an open plan kitchen, lounge, or dining room
Then consider a Quiet Mark machine
- Don’t do enough laundry to warrant a full-sized dryer
- Don’t have space for two appliances
Then consider a washer dryer
Washing machine features
Whatever type of washing machine you choose, think about the features that you'll need
All the washing machines we sell have an A to F rating.
Performance is based on washing performance and spin efficiency.
You'll generally find that the more expensive the machine, the higher its grading as it will include a number of energy-saving features. These include variable temperature control, as well as sensors that determine the length of the rinse cycle (or even the amount of detergent to add).
You might also want to check out our YourEko tool. Designed to help you make informed decisions, it highlights the life-time running costs of your machine.
Your choice of drum size depends on how much laundry you do, but as a rough guide:
- 6-7kg is great for one or two people
- 8kg for an average family
- 9kg+ is for a large family.
Don't overload your machine. Depending on the cycle, even when fully loaded there should always enough room at the top of the drum to push your hand and pat down your laundry.
There are many programmes which are common to most new machines, such as:
- Handwash programmes for fabrics such as fine wools or silk – even gentler than washing by hand
- Quick wash enables you to select a full cycle for lightly soiled items speeded up to 15-20 minutes – bear in mind these programmes use more energy than standard or eco programmes
- Reload function on a machine allows you to add odd items to the wash once the cycle has started
- Steam programmes allow you to refresh creased dry clothes or remove odours without doing a full wash
- Variable temperature control lets you opt to select a lower temperature to save energy – so you can't inadvertently select too high a temperature
- Economy settings allow you to automatically reduce the washing temperature
- Extra rinse facility is really useful in soft water areas or if anyone in the household has particularly sensitive skin
If you're using a tumble dryer too, choose a machine with a good high spin speed as it's more economical to extract water from spinning than from tumble drying.
Top of the range machines will have a long spin cycle for cottons for more efficient water extraction – plus, an interval spin for synthetics to reduce creasing.
Smart washing machines
These enable you to control the washing machine from an app on your phone – handy if you’re out and want to start or delay a load.
Some models will even wait until the time of day when your electricity tariff is cheaper before commencing a cycle, prompted by a signal from your energy supplier.
Some machines allow you to put in enough washing liquid to last for around 20 washes and the programme will auto dose according to what the load needs.
This makes best use of detergent as it means you won’t add too much and force extra rinsing, so it saves energy too.
Washing machine installation services
If your new machine is being delivered by us, we can install it and take away your old one. There are some terms and conditions attached to these services, so please check these below.
When ordering, check the machine dimensions – ensure you have sufficient access for us to deliver the machine to the space where it’s being installed, and that it will fit that space.
Measuring for the washing machine
Measuring before purchasing your washing machine is an essential step that can get overlooked. Just because your previous washer fitted your designated space, doesn’t necessarily mean the latest model will – even if it’s the same brand.
Taking the time to measure will help avoid the inconvenience of having to return the appliance or even going through the stress of changing your space to fit it in.
For freestanding washing machines, please take into account that the total depth we quote should include the controls. Generally, a kitchen worktop is 60cm deep, so this does mean the controls (plus front of the machine if it enjoys a curved design) may stand slightly proud into your kitchen space.
Another thing that may push the appliance forward is any pipe work or plumbing you may have sitting at the rear of the space. If you are sighting a freestanding washer in a hallway or bathroom cupboard, please ensure the chosen machine allows enough room for the cupboard door to close comfortably.
For integrated models, we do include a technical drawing of the aperture required and overall dimensions within the image gallery of the appliance on our site.
Installing the washing machine yourself
- Remove transit straps, usually accessible from the back of the machine
- Level the machine if necessary by adjusting the feet underneath
Note: If you have a tongue and groove or suspended floor, the vibration of the machine during the spin cycle means that it will not only be noisy but could be detrimental to the life of the machine. To resolve this, it's best to mount the machine on a piece of ¾” blockboard cut to fit the width and depth of the machine and screwed to the floor (checking, of course, for pipework beneath).
Your machine will come with full installation instructions, but it's best to place all the plumbing to the side of the site for the machine so that it's accessible in case of emergency, and ensures the machine can be located up to the wall.
Make sure hoses aren’t kinked or twisted when you push the machine back into place.
What are my delivery options?
Standard delivery of your washing machine is free. This can be in as little as three working days, but you’ll be offered delivery slots at checkout.
Next day delivery is available for some machines.
Delivery by our approved supplier means the machine will be delivered directly by the manufacturer, or their chosen courier, and they will arrange delivery with you.
Looking after your washing machine
- Check the water hose isn't squashed first if the machine doesn't fill
- Carry out an empty high temperature boil wash occasionally – and use an appliance descaler from time to time if you live in a hard water area
- Leave the door and detergent drawer open post wash to allow air to circulate
- Use a scouring sponge or old toothbrush to clean the washing machine door seal and wipe clean with water. Do the same for your detergent drawer as product can build up in there.
- Use the machine with the transit bolts in as not only will there be lots of noise and vibration, you'll potentially damage the machine
- Overload the machine as this prevents it from working efficiently
If you have any difficulties with your washing machine following installation, please check the manufacturer’s instructions first, or use our Troubleshooting guide
You can also call our Technical Support helpline on 0330 123 0106, open 8am – 9pm weekdays, 8am – 8pm Saturdays and 10am – 6pm Sundays.
Please have your order number and model details to hand.
Washing machine guarantees
Guarantees on all our laundry appliances are at least two years as standard.
John Lewis washing machines have 3-year guarantees.
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