As our lives get busier and families grow bigger, one appliance that would be instrumental in saving you time and money would be a washing machine. Nothing beats loading your dirty laundry into a machine, pushing a few buttons and your clothes are good to go.
Types of Washing Machines in Kenya
1. Top – Load Semi automatic
It’s the most affordable washing machine in the market with some going for as low as Ksh. 12, 000. It usually comes pre-programmed with wash selections e.g normal wash and hard wash (for tough stains), it’s incredibly compact hence does not require a lot of space in the house to use it.
This type can be:
- Twin Tub – This means it has two compartments one for washing/rinsing your clothes and the other for drying them. Although, it doesn’t completely dry them 100% maybe 90% and the rest you can hang outside or if urgent iron. It’s worth noting, only one compartment works at a time.
- Washer only – This is the most affordable washing machine out there. It only washes and rinses your clothes, no dryer, it is compact hence doesn’t require a lot of space. It’s suitable for one person or two.
The semi-automatic compared to fully automatic means you’ll have to do some manual action. Yeah it sucks, I know, but it’s not that much compared to washing manually if that’s what you’re upgrading from.
For example, with the semi-automatic when the washing machine finishes washing the clothes, you have to turn a knob to drain off the dirty water.
After the dirty water is drained; you turn the knob again to put clean water for rinsing.
Once rinsed, you’ll need to turn the knob to drain off the water for rinsing.
Just when you thought you’ve burned enough calories, you’ll have to transfer the clothes from the washing compartment to the drying section (in the case of a twin-tub).
But once you get used to it, it isn’t too bad.
The biggest advantage of top-loading washing machines is the convenience.
Top loading machines do not require you to bend over when loading laundry. This is convenient for users with joint pains or who are older in age.
Also, you can add laundry while it’s mid-cycle or even when it just started unlike the front loading machine that shuts the door once the cycle starts.
2. Top-Load Fully Automatic
If you’re pressed for space but want a fully automatic washing machine this is your best bet.
Fully automatic means you load your clothes push a few buttons and go back to being a couch potato. It automatically decides how much water it requires depending on the washing program set and also rinses and dries automatically, when you come back your clothes are more or less good to go.
Additionally, they come with a variety of automatic washing programs to suit your different needs. For Example, quick wash, wool wash, heavy garment wash e.t.c.
3. Front- Load Washing Machine
Although initially pricey than the top-loader, this type of washing machine proves to be cheaper in the long run due to less consumption of water (40 % less consumption than average top loader) and electricity.
It also comes jam packed with washing programs to meet all your fabric and soil level washing needs compared to top-loading washing machines.
In the end, comparing this type and the top-loading one, the front-loading machine wins hands down in terms of wash quality.
1. Ramtons RW/129 - Top Load Semi Auto Washer Only - 6Kg
Price: 12, 700
This is the perfect washing machine for a small living space e.g a bedsitter/1 bedroom e.t.c.
It’s only 7kg and can easily be moved around the house or area of use.
This model is incredibly easy to use and has two control knobs:
- Timer knob
- Wash knob
- Normal – For normal washing of clothes e.g. tshirts, shorts, shirts.
- Hard wash – For heavy garments such as jackets, jeans, pillows
- Drain – to drain the water after cleaning so you can start rinsing.
This washing machine is moderately noisy but if placed in the bathroom with the door shut you would be able to watch some tv without too much distraction.
It’s enough to fit a normal week’s clothes for a single person.
It’s worth noting detergent is put directly on the clothes and also fabric softener if you prefer using it.
2. Ramtons RW/208 - 8Kg TwinTub Washer - White
Price: 19, 999
Ramtons as a brand hits home to many Kenyans only because it’s has proven quality, consistency and reliability over many years.
The Twin tub is huge and requires a bit of space compared to the single tub.
This washing machine comes with two compartments one for washing/rinsing and the other for drying.
This washing machine comes with four knobs:
i. Timer – set the amount of time to wash the clothes 0-15 min.
ii. Wash program – normal wash or hard wash.
iii. Drain Selector – turn it when done washing and need to drain the water from the tub.
iv. Spin Timer – 0-5 min to dry the clothes.
The outlet pipe maybe too short hence handy to have a basin close by to drain the water.
While spinning, it makes moderate noise but if in another room it’s not too distracting.
4. VON HPTT10/VALW-10MLW, Twin Tub Washing Machine - 10Kg
Price: 20, 495
This unit is a compact twin tub washing machine meaning it has two compartments for washing/rinsing clothes and the other one for drying.
The machine is moderately noisy but does a thorough job. It comes with three knobs; wash timer, wash/ drain select (gentle, normal and drain) and spin timer (used for drying clothes after washing).
This unit is convenient to use although not fully automatic, would require your manual input from time to time.
Energy consumption is efficient and will not do damage on your bill.
5. Bruhm BWT 070SG, Top Load Washing Machine - 7 Kgs
Price: 34, 990
Unlike the other single and twin tub washing machines reviewed here, this is a fully automatic top load machine.
The main advantage here is you don’t have to monitor the appliance and perform an action at every stage as the machine once set, does the entire wash to spin process on its own.
The machine comes with preset wash options for different types of fabric and a digital display for the timer unlike the usual knobs.
For water, it has an inlet for piping the water inside the tub and an outlet to drain the water when done washing automatically.
6. Mika MWAFS3107SL, Washing Machine, Fully-Automatic, 7Kgs Price: 39, 995
This is an energy- efficient with a rating of A++ front load washing machine. It is aesthetically pleasing and jam packed with features.
A normal wash is done in a short period of 15 minutes and has a capacity of 7kgs/load which is sufficient for a family of up to 4.
Besides the normal wash programs, it comes equipped with 23 wash programs with automatic temperature control. You can also customize your own wash program.
7. Ramtons RW/145-Front Load 6Kg 1200RPM Silver Washer
Price: 36, 990
If you’re looking for the best most affordable ramtons front load washing machine this is for you.
This model comes with an LED display that’s intuitive and easy to use.
Besides the display, is a knob for selecting among the different preset washing, rinse and spin options.
On the left is a drawer for your detergent, softener and bleach.
You can easily delay the wash time to up to 9 hours so to fit with your schedule and can implement a child lock to prevent accidents in the case of having children around.
8. Ramtons RW/146 - Washer 8Kg + Dryer 6Kg
Price: 72, 800
The model has a sleek contemporary look with a state of the art LED display.
This is a washer and dryer washing machine that when set to normal wash can wash in 15 min and dry in 40 min.
Besides the 16 different wash, rinse and spin programs you can select a quick wash for your light clothes such as tshirts, socks and shirts if not heavily soiled.
The preset options can guide you wash every known fabric diligently.
The wash quality is superior and will leave your clothes feeling brand new.
9. Samsung WW80J5260GS: Front Load Washing Machine with Eco Bubble technology, 8 kg, Silver
Price: 76, 995
This beautiful Samsung machine has an elegant, contemporary look and feel and will double up as a décor in your home.
The washing machine is loaded with wash programs such as; bedding, wool, baby care, outdoor care, cotton e.t.c
Another great feature in this model is Bubble Soak, this helps you remove stubborn stains. Your clothes are thoroughly soaked in bubbles, so stains are loosened and removed effectively.
Besides the LED display, it’s equipped with touch button to select different features rinse, spin and bubble soak.
It has two doors, the main door and a mini-door. The mini door can be used to add left over clothes mid cycle.
10. LG 9/5kg 1400 RPM Front Load Washer/Dryer, Steam – Silver
Price: 99, 995
Life will no doubt be good with this LG Front Load Washer/ Dryer. The machine looks great, it is highly intelligent and has been built to combat all sorts of stains in all sorts of clothes.
The knob and touch control panel are intuitive.
It can totally dry clothes but can take up to 4 hours.
It’s been awarded for its 6 motion DD technology; scrub, stepping, tumble, filtration, Swing and rolling. As we all know when it comes to washing and cleaning the more the motion the better.
It has minimal noise especially if kept in a laundry room separate from living room or bedroom.
How to make your washing machine last longer.
1. Don’t overload it
Overloading your appliance is detrimental to its functionality. Heavy garments should be loaded a little at a time.
2. Appropriate Detergent
Using the right amount and type of detergent is crucial to the sustainability of your washing machine. Excess detergent can cause excess wear and tear of your appliance and leave soap residue on your clothes.
3. Full Load
Don’t get in the habit of washing a few items at a time, instead have a wash plan and ensure you have a full load. Doing this not only saves energy and water consumption but also makes your appliance last longer.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Washing Machine in Kenya
Top loaders are usually cheaper upfront than front loaders but in the long run due to energy and water efficiency of front loaders, they prove to be cheaper. It’s up to you to consider what matters to you in making a budget decision.
Top loaders are convenient when loading clothes since they do not require you to bend down rather operate it fully standing up compared to front loaders that require constant bending down.
Hence, if the user has joint pains or is elderly a top loader is ideal.
3. Wash Quality
Front loaders have superior wash quality compared to top loaders, if you’re a clean geek or just more conscious of cleanliness than the average person a front loader washing machine is your best bet.
4. Wash Programs/Settings
Semi automatic top loaders usually come with three standard settings as described in the individual review; Wash Timer, Wash Program and Spin Timer. With the Wash program having up to three standard programs.
Front loaders on the other hand, depending on the make and model, come with a variety of settings for wash programs, which can easily be 16 or more.
Be sure to measure the space you have and accompany it with an appropriate washing machine that fits the allocated space with extra space left on the sides and back.
6. Automatic or Semi-automatic
Depending on your budget and needs you can choose between a fully automatic and a semi-automatic washing machine.
A fully automatic does almost all the work for you and usually comes with a variety of wash programs to choose from or even a feature that allows you to customize your own wash program and “save” for later use.
A semi automatic is usually more hands on and with far less wash programs compared to a front load machine.
You have to consider the size of your household and go with a washing machine that corresponds with that. We have prepared a table to guide you make a decision below:
People | Capacity
8. Child lock
If you have little ones running around, considering a washing machine that comes with a child lock would be ideal, preventing unwanted injuries and damage to the appliance from happening.
If you’re environmentally conscious(like me) and pocket conscious(also like me) it’s worth considering how efficient a washing machine is when it comes to utilizing water and electricity.
Front loaders being the most energy and water efficient compared to top loaders.
10. Spin Cycle
Depending on the type of clothes you want to wash, delicate clothes should be washed by a slow cycle of around 500rpm(revolutions/min) and more heavy items need a cycle of around 1000(revolutions/min). It’s important to note, all washing machines come with wash programs to guide you and they vary widely depending on your needs and wants.
Our review will help guide you make a decision that is right for you.
1. How much electricity does a washing machine use?
According to kplc, the average washing machine, if used with cold water that’s 40 degrees or lower, will use 0.26KWh per load/wash that amounts to about Ksh. 3.38/wash.
2. How much water does a washing machine use?
According to ENERGY STAR, a certified washing machine uses about 53 litres of water per load. A non-certified washer uses about 70 litres/load.
3. How long does a washing machine last?
If well taken care of, most washing machines can last up to 10 years or more.
Most Kenyans are not used to the idea of a washing machine but as technology advances and they become cheaper while our lives become busier, the washing machine is slowly gaining traction in many Kenyan households and will soon become indispensible.