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Washers Buying Guide – Key Features

A washer is an investment in your home and lifestyle, so you want to make sure you get the most for your money.


Key Features

These are the more popular washer features you’ll find on the marketplace. Make a list about what features are most important to you before buy your washer.

Advanced Controls

Many machines have advanced touchpad controls that let you customize your wash cycle. You can choose the speed, washing cycle, water temperature and more. As well you can also set a time to schedule a wash for times of day, even when you are not home.

Automatic Dispensers

Automatic dispensers let you place your detergent, bleach and fabric softener in at the beginning of the wash cycle so you don’t have to run to put them in at the appropriate rinse cycle.

Automatic Temperature Control

Electronically senses and maintains the proper water temperature by regulating incoming hot and cold water. Even in the cold wash setting, some warm water is introduced into the washer to maintain a temperature in which detergent will dissolve. This also controls rinse temperature.


Make sure you choose a washer with the capacity to handle your washing requirements, or even more. If you have children you will want a larger capacity machine since they produce more laundry than a home without children would. Some washers have large or extra large capacity, these are ideal if you have a larger home and are planning on putting a lot of bedding or towels in the wash on a consistent basis.


There’s a cycle for every load of laundry you want to do. This is just a few examples of the choices available.

Delicates/Hand Wash/Wool - For items that should have a gentle wash and rinse cycle so they do not get damaged.

Extra Rinse Cycle - This cycle runs an additional rinse for people who may be sensitive to detergent residue.

Heavy - For bulkier items like duvets and coats.

Permanent Press - For items that need to be ironed such as blouses, dress pants, skirts and your sheets and bedding.

Prewash or soak - A brief cycle before the main cycle, to help remove extra dirt or stains.

Speed Wash - A shorter wash cycle for when you need clean clothes quickly.

Steam Cycle - This feature is only on steam washers. It is typically a 20- to 30-minute cycle where steam is injected into the wash drum to freshen, remove odours, sanitize and lift wrinkles from laundry. The steam cycle can be used to freshen items that would be damaged if washed in water, such as decorative pillows, dry clean only items, sweaters, wool scarves and hats, bedspreads, afghans and drapes.

Sanitization Cycle - Perfect if you have a baby, small children or pets, this cycle can sanitize items and help to minimize allergens and bacteria.


Washers today are quieter than their predecessors. They are made with improved sound-dampening materials that keep noise to a minimum. Front-loading machines can be noisy if they are not properly installed. You want to make sure the surface is completely level or you may have noise in your spin cycle. If your washer is close to your kitchen or living area you should invest in a quiet machine to minimize the disturbance it could cause.

Touchpad Controls

Touchpad controls offer many more options than standard dial controls on older washers. They offer customized programs and have lights and indicators to let you know what stage your wash is at. Many models also have an automatic lock to keep curious children out of the machine. You can usually program your favourite settings so you don’t have to reset the machine on a regular basis.