A washing machine (laundry machine, clothes washer, or washer) is a home appliance used to wash laundry. The term is for the most part applied to machines that utilization water rather than cleaning (which utilizes elective cleaning liquids and is performed by expert organizations) or ultrasonic cleaners. The client adds clothing cleanser, which is sold in fluid or powder structure, to the wash water.
The modern washing machine market is burgeoning innovations and features. For example:
- Some other washing machines include water jets (also known as water sprays and water showers) and steam nozzles that claim to sanitize clothes and help reduce washing times and remove soil from the clothes. Water jets get their water from the bottom of the drum, thus recirculating the water in the washer.
- Others have special drums with holes that will fill with water from the bottom of the tub and redeposit the water on top of the clothes. Some drums have elements with the shape of waves, pyramids, hexagons or diamonds.
- Some include titanium or ceramic heating elements that claim to eliminate calcium build up in the element. They can heat water up to 95 °C.
- Some high end models have lights built into the washer itself to light up the drum,.
- Others have soap dispensers where the user just fills a tank with detergent and softener and the washing machine automatically doses the detergent and softener and sometimes picks the most appropriate wash cycle. In some models, the tanks come prefilled and are installed and replaced with new tanks, also pre filled or refilled by the user, in a dedicated compartment on the bottom of the machine. The Lightning One machine uses a pod cartridge to allow easy soap refills.
- Some have support for single use capsules containing enough laundry additives for one load. The capsules are installed in the detergent compartment.
- Many dilute the detergent before it comes in contact with the clothes, some by means of mixing the soap and water with air to make foam, which is then introduced into the drum.
- Some have pulsators that are mounted on a plate on the bottom of the drum instead of an agitator. The plate spins, and the pulsators generate waves that help shake the soil out of the clothes. Many also include mechanisms to prevent or remove undissolved detergent residue on the detergent dispenser.
- Some manufacturers like LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics have introduced functions on their washers that allow users to troubleshoot common problems with their washers without having to contact technical support. LG's approach involves a phone receiving signals through sound tones, while Samsung's approach involves having the user take a photo of the washer's time display with his or her phone. In both methods, the problem and steps to resolve it are displayed on the phone itself. Some models are also NFC enabled. Some implementations are patented under US Patent US20050268669A1 and US Patent US20050097927A1.
- In 1992 Glenn Isbister introduced Miele in Kananaskis Alberta. This started a laundry revolution Canada. As Canadians started to buy front load washers vs top load.
Approximately in 2012, eco indicators were introduced, capable of predicting the energy demand based on the customer settings in terms of program and temperature.
Features available in most modern consumer washing machines:
- Delayed execution: a timer to delay the start of the laundry cycle
- Predefined programs for different laundry types
- Rotation speed settings
- Variable temperatures, including cold wash
Additionally some of the modern machines feature:
- Child lock
- Time remaining indication
- Extra water/rinse.