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Firstly let me apologise in advance if this review turns into a rant, but as far as this nasty washing machine goes it deserves nothing more. My rants are justified and I can back them up with facts.
I bought the machine just over two years ago when we moved into a property with such a strangely shaped kitchen that there was barely any room for our slightly larger than average fridge, let alone a washer AND dryer. I thought I was doing the right thing by choosing a combo machine. Big mistake.
It cost around £429 and is available in white or graphite. I chose graphite as I had the idea at the time of having a silver/graphite/chrome theme going in the kitchen. It's not a bad looking machine to be fair, the new sheen wears off quite quickly but overall it looks a nice piece of kit
The first disappointment was the length of the various cycles, a standard wash and dry cycle would take up to four hours and even then the clothes wouldn't necessarily come out dry. There's a numbered dial where you choose how long you want to set the dryer to run, this is a waste of space as unless you pick the very highest 180 minute setting the machine will dry nothing heavier than a single sheet or very light load of clothes. And I mean very light, as in maybe one outfit providing it's not too thick. In three hours. It's bizarre, I can to-and-fro with a full load on and off the radiators and dry it all in a shorter time than that. Who's got three hours to wait for a (still clammy) load of clothes to dry? With four kids (including a sicky newborn and very messy toddler) I definitely haven't got the time as I usually need to fit at least two loads in a day, something which was hard work in the time I had this machine.
There's one programme which I found quite useful and that is one which will wash and dry a couple of items in an hour. This was handy during the snow and bad weather as I could wash the kids' uniforms every night and know it wouldn't take as long as throwing them in as a single load on the standard cycle. When it died a death I wasn't completely surprised as I'd noticed this hour long cycle becoming less and less efficient, that combined with the fact that the dryer suddenly started refusing to dry even the miniest load.
The wash isn't great either. No matter what washing powder I used there were lots of stains that this Hotpoint machine couldn't cope with. I'm a good washer, I've always had a knack for getting stains out but since buying this washing machine I've been defeated by even the simplest of stains. I'm actually looking at a top of Hollies as I type, a gorgeous Next top which has been ruined by the machine not being able to remove a smudge of macaroni cheese - a semi transparent mark which any decent washing machine could have got out.
A horrible thing about this washing machine was the smell, every three months or so I've have to bleach it through as the clothes would come out with a fusty smell. Vile. I worked out that if I removed the clothes *immediately* after the cycle ended then they'd be fine, but leave them sitting in the machine for an hour would make them smell stale and unclean. The bleaching probably didn't do it much good, and when it finally died I think I overwhelmed it with half a bottle of Domestos and a ninety degree wash cycle!
The machine was bad news from the off. When it arrived it was too big for the gap due to the website getting the measurements wrong, I was happy with my purchase then (before using it) so Mark cut a cupboard down to get it in. Then one of the pipes (hoses, whatever) split after the second wash, meaning we either had an upwards of four week wait for a replacement from Hotpoint or pay for them ourselves - and with a large family we simply couldn't be without a washing machine any longer so we were forced to bear the (not small) cost.
Then a month after the guarantee ended the thermostat on the machine failed, the machine just went off one day and tripped the electric at the same time. We couldn't get it on again and as the emergency button for opening the door was also faulty a whole load of clothing ended up ruined as it sat in water for four days until the repair man could get to us. He fixed the thermostat (£50) and I muddled on with the machine for another few months, but when it died again recently I simply bought a new machine and got rid of this rubbish as I couldn't deal with it for another minute.
I actually contacted Hotpoint about it on at least three occasions, each time being told that as it was out of guarantee they weren't prepared to do anything about it. Honestly though, from the day I took delivery of this machine it has been worse than useless but Hotpoint were simply not prepared to listen to my arguements about it not being fit for purpose so I have vowed never again to knowingly own a product made by this dreadful company. It actually quite sad to see a market leader such as Hotpoint being reduced to creating vastly inferior appliances, but that's the 21st century I suppose.
Pictures of Hotpoint Aquarius WDL520G
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