LG Steam Direct Washing Machine review for large families
his is one of the biggest items we’ve ever had to review on LittleStuff, but it’s also one of the most important buys a busy parent will make. As a family of six, to maintain any semblance of control on our own personal laundry mountain I need to do at least one wash a day – more for towels/sheets and the like. When LG asked if we’d like to review the new Steam Direct machine, I had a quick look at the spec and then literally snaffled their hand off. My own machine had started to make scary death-throes whines on the spin, and clothes were coming out with dark marks they hadn’t had when they went in. A new machine was essential – a buying decision I go through every 2 years since having children. And my own personal laundry mountain.
So what’s so supposedly special about this one from LG? Well, first and foremost is the clever-but-dull inside genius in the machine. LG have done away with the drive belt system of old (that has your machine waddling out from its cave when attempting the fast spin, and which whines, wails, and goes pop after a couple of years of intensive use), and instead attached a motor to the drum. And then they top it off by guaranteeing the motor for ten years. So the machine may be expensive (started at £800, now down to around £650), but in ten years I’ll have saved myself the cost of two replacements, and made my money back even without running costs.
Next; it’s HUGE – it takes a 9kg load. Thirdly, they’ve added steam, which should make it better at cleaning and stain removal. Last but not least it’s eco-efficient by clever jiggery-magic-ery which will not only save on my water/fuel bills, but also ease my green conscience.
But, of course, these things don’t always do what they say – so as is the LittleStuff way, one very very large and shiny black monster took up residence in my kitchen, and the trials began. Let’s face it – there can’t be much more daunting to a washing machine than a family of 3 boys, a toddler with pale pink clothes and a love of dirt and strawberries. Fair play to LG, I said. They must be quite confident.
So. Does it work?
The first thing you notice is the size of the door – clever designer LG people not only increased the drumsize, but the door is also a huge porthole to allow a kingsize duvet easy access (and leave room for the sheets too).
Then, the oddly friendly blue LCD panel (a sad little joy for me – it is never annoying and always makes me smile when it sings to tell me the cycle is finished) is huge and easy to navigate, with plenty of very useful but not overwhelming options (a distinct lack of the 6 settings you never touch).
The child lock is brilliant, works faultlessly, and is essential as small marauders will not be able to resist the panel of lit up musical buttons and tactile spin dial.
The first job of every cycle is to weigh your load (I have never yet managed a whole 9kg), and so decide exactly how much water to use.
Which means that it uses 35% less water, and the new drive system uses 21% less energy than traditional machines, bagging it the highest possible A++ energy rating. See? A machine that is kind to All Things Green.
So – small Happy points on the machine now we have the basics covered:
- It runs silently – pure happiness, after my old one, which used to drown out the television in the next room if I foolishly attempted an evening wash.
- The steam works by bringing the wash up to temperature faster – which makes an unbelievably handy 30 minute cycle possible. A total lifesaver on the 7 a.m. no-clean-school-uniform panic.
- It has an allergy care cycle which is not only perfect for parents washing a delicate newborns laundry, but also for any house with allergy sufferers (asthma and eczema would certainly benefit), as it removes practically all trace of dust mites/pollens etc.
- The refresh mode is brilliant too – pop in a wrinkled and/or whiffy boys shirt (or a husbands forgotten-till-he-was-in-the-shower one), and it’ll steam it into fresh, sniffable loveliness that doesn’t even need an iron. That one’s been a bit of a lifesaver too…
- The steam actually makes my whites the whitest I’ve ever had – I do try, but some of us just aren’t blessed with laundry organisation skills and dictatorship control of colours. But my machine forgives me and loves me anyway.
- It isn’t a miracle worker – some stains still refuse to be moved. But there’s very little that hasn’t been shifted and at least made better by the machine (especially in conjunction with a stain remover). And overall it is MUCH better than any washing machine I’ve used at getting rid of day-to-day boy debris, grime and mysterious purple marks.
- It’s a small thing, but I love the timer on the display, telling me exactly how long the machine has left to run.
So. I do less washing because of the enormous drum. What I do wash is done economically and efficiently. It runs quietly, looks beautiful, will rescue me at 7 in the morning and will also iron an emergency shirt for me.
Tell me what’s not to like?
(Well, there is one teeny thing. It will turn you into a bit of a sad soul who gets a gleam in their eye and talks washing machine technology to anyone who pauses for a nanosecond anywhere in its sleek black much-loved vicinity…)
Available all over t’interwebs – the model I reviewed was the F1479FDS, and prices seem to sit around the £600 mark currently.