Washing Machine Terminology And Jargon Buster

Washing machines these days are a complete marvel. They wash your clothes but there are now different settings, times and spin speeds to choose from.

When you’re choosing a new washing machine, it is even harder to work out which is the best for you. Not only are there the issues above, but you can also pick smart machines, from a huge price range and models with delay timers/brushless inverter motors/Fuzzy Logic technology.

If some of the lingo surrounding washing machines has completely baffled you, then here is our guide to some of the latest tech which you will see in modern models:

Anti Flood Technology

If an issue arises with the drainage or water supply, the washing machine will close down and stop letting additional water in. Many will be able to drain the water away in response, or you can do this manually. This should help to prevent the water leaking all over your floor.

You may see it referred to as Overflow or Leak Protection with some models.

Automatic Dosing

Often working alongside Fuzzy Logic (explained below), this can sense how much detergent is needed for the load and add it automatically from a reservoir you filled earlier. This will prevent over-saturation.

Brushless Inverter Motor

Whereas motors previously caused a lot of noise in washing machines, modern options generate less friction and heat. This doesn’t just make them quieter, but also should mean they last longer.


An alarm that will sound at the end of a cycle to alert you. Not a necessity, but good if you often get distracted on a busy household chore day.

Child Lock

There are a few different types. One means dials and buttons are able to stay as you left them when the machine was turned on, so any kids around can’t play with the machine, and you won’t accidentally knock the dial or buttons either. Another stops the settings being changed even when the machine is off.

A final option will prevent the washing machine door from being locked unless you take another action, before a wash can be turned on. This will prevent precious toys/fragile items/the cat receiving a wash which can’t be stopped.

Delay Start

As the name suggests, it allows you to plan ahead and set the machine to start at a certain time. You can choose when you’ll be at work or overnight to make the most of lower energy costs.

Eco Mode

Not a programme, but an additional function. It will slightly adjust settings to make the wash more economical and energy efficient, but this will increase the time it takes to end.

Extra Rinse

This will reduce the amount of detergent and fabric conditioner kept in the materials, which may help those with sensitive skin or allergens.

Front Loading

This is the general model type you’ll find on sale. You load the clothes into the drum via a front port hole, rather than a lid at the top of the machine like you may find in a launderette.

Fuzzy Logic

This technology basically senses how much clothing is in the drum, automatically adjusting the water used, time, spin speed and temperature to suit. It prevents you having to fine tune it all manually, which could save you time and energy.

Memory Function

You can save your favourite settings, so they are ready at the push of a button. Good for anyone who does a lot of general washes.


Does what the name suggests, and is good if you’re taking an important call or having dinner and don’t want the noise in the background. But some models will allow the water to drain away too, so you can open the door and add or take out extra items. Samsung started this with their AddWash feature.


Basically the door/load hole. Larger portholes are great for anyone who regularly has to wash huge loads of bedding or towels, and doesn’t want to waste time separating it all out. You may also see it called the Aperture.

Smart Washing Machine

Connected to Wi-Fi, and can work through app control on your phone or tablet. You can turn it on remotely, stop or pause it and even receive notifications regarding problems or alerts such as when the wash is ready.

Spin Speed

How many revolutions per minute (rpm) the drum turns. They vary from 1000rpm to 1600rpm, and the higher the spin speed, the more water is removed from the wash at the end of the cycle. Bear in mind some clothes types and loads will need specific speeds however – you can’t overspin delicates, for instance.

Time Remaining

Good again for anyone who likes to plan events around their wash, and then remove the clothes immediately. It will show how long it has so you can prepare.

Quick Wash

Also referred to as an Express Wash, the time this takes depends on the model you have. It can range from 14 to 30 minutes, and is really only designed to freshen clothes rather than wash out stains or give a deep clean. There is often a capacity limit, such as 1.5kg. Speedy washes which can take a whole load are rare.

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