How Does a Washing Machine Work?

Washing machines make the household tasks so much easier, especially if you have a big family and lots of laundry to do. While using a washing machine may seem so much more straightforward than washing those loads by hand, there is a complex mechanism inside your washer, so find out more about how a washing machine works and more!

Meet the parts of the washer

The washing machine concept is pretty simple – it agitates your clothes in a soapy suds and water to remove any dirt and stains before spinning to drain the water after the cycle. The main components of a washing machine is the drum, which fills up with water, but did you know that washing machines actually have two drums, not one? Your average washing machine is made up of:

  • An inner drum. This is where you put the clothes when you’re ready to wash. You’ll notice this drum rotates a bit when you touch it and there are a lot of holes punched into the drum. These allow the water to come in and wash the clothes.
  • Paddles. These are ridges that lie on the edge of the drum and help move your clothes around while being washed.
  • Agitator. These are more common in top load machines and is a paddle in the middle that helps turn the clothes around in the soapy water.
  • The outer drum. This is not obvious when you look inside the washer, but there is another drum that holds the water while the inner drum or agitator rotates. This part is completely water tight to prevent your machine from leaking all over the bathroom or kitchen!
  • Thermostat and heating element. These control the temperature of the water and heats up the water to the specified temperature.
  • Pump. This removes the water from the drum after the wash.
  • Programmer. This controls the washing machine through all the steps from washing to rinsing and spin drying.
  • Pipes and valves. These allow the water in and out of the washer.

How Does a Washing Machine Work - Ariel

Programs and why do you need them

Programs, such as delicate wash, colour wash or pre-soak, are one of the features of washing machines, particularly fully-automatic washing machines, which gives you the choice when it comes to how you want to wash your clothes. If you need a certain temperature or you’re washing with a certain fabric, then programs help you find the optimal washing conditions for your laundry needs from selecting the right wash temperature to setting up your washing timing.

Semi- vs fully-automatic washing machines

There are many washing machines out there, and the one you choose really depends on your uses for a washing machine, as well as factors such as cost and convenience. A fully-automatic washing machine, like the name says, does everything automatically at the push of a button. A semi-automatic washing machine may be a step up from hand washing, but you may need to do some of the process yourself, like move the wet clothes into the spin dryer.

Front load vs top load

One of the things to know about washing machines is that when it comes to fully-automatic washing machines you get two types of washing machine – one that opens from the top, called a top load washing machine, and one that opens from the side, a front load washing machine. Both machines carry their own washing machine features, along with their pros and cons.

How to install a machine

It’s best to get a plumber to install your machine, but first of all you need to know where to put your washing machine. Taking the washing machine dimensions into account, along with its plumbing needs, especially since a fully-automatic washing machines will need a continuous water supply. Connect and set up your washing machine and make sure all the electronics and pipes are secure before you hit the on button.

How to use a machine

Each washing machine is different. A fully-automatic washing machines, even between top load and front load, or semi-automatic washing machines will work differently when compared to each other. One thing that’s important is the detergent you use, and the question of can you use hand washing powder in a washing machine? will come up. The short answer is no. Hand washing powder creates far too many suds and can leave you with poor laundry results and even affect the performance of the washing machine.

Ariel is specially designed to meet your needs and is uniquely formulated to ensure the best performance inside your washing machine. Ariel offers a range of detergents from regular Ariel (for your semi-automatic washing machines) to Ariel Matic Front Load (for your fully-automatic front load washing machine) and Ariel Matic Top Load (for your fully-automatic top load washing machine), to ensure you get the best stain removal in 1-wash.