How We Test and Review Washing Machines

how we test washing machines

Doing laundry is no small job for busy farm families with muddied jeans, soiled linens, and sweat-drenched shirts piling up daily.

That’s why we utilize scientific testing combined with on-farm trials to provide transparent reviews families can trust when selecting durable, efficient washing machines.

Testing Criteria

Key performance categories we evaluate in our Appliance Lab include:

  • Cleaning Effectiveness – Assess stain, soil, and odor removal across fabric types like denim, linens, and knits based on the cycle selected
  • Gentleness – Sensor monitoring for abnormalities indicating undue wear and tear during wash motions
  • Load Capacity – Test full loads of sized towels and farm-specific items like horse blankets
  • Water Efficiency – Calculate the amount used per cycle relative to tub volume and settings
  • Noise Output – Use a decibel reader to quantify noise production during wash, rinse, and spin
  • Ease of Use – Evaluate control panels, loading, detergent dispensing, and accessibility for troubleshooting

After lab testing, machines undergo 60-day in-home testing with farm families documenting performance, convenience, and any issues faced with real-world use and rural water conditions.

Ranking Methodology

By weighting performance metrics and reader feedback most critical to farm laundry needs, we score and rank washers on their ability to efficiently clean messes and withstand rural demands within reasonable budgets. Points are awarded across:

  • Cleaning Performance (30%)
  • Gentleness (25%)
  • Efficiency (15%)
  • Durability/Reliability (15%)
  • Usability (10%)
  • Value (5%)

Aggregating both lab and field testing provides the transparency farm shoppers need to select the right washer taking on all their messy loads for years to come!

What we didn’t consider

Here are some additional factors we did not evaluate as part of our current washing machine testing protocols:

Installation Requirements

Our reviews focus solely on washer performance and ease-of-use rather than installation challenges DIYers may face like venting, electrical, plumbing, etc. We try referencing dimensions and weight for planning.

Accessory Compatibility

We test machines as standalone units in the lab and do not explore third-party accessory integration like pedestals, stacking kits, custom hoses or detergent dispensers.

WiFi Connectivity

While noting smart laundry features, our testing methodology does not formally evaluate companion apps, notification set-up, or remote monitoring functionality that connected washers may offer.

Commercial Grade Rating

Reviews cater to sturdy home machines for rural families rather than industrial-strength units built for farm businesses with extremely intensive use cases and soil loads well beyond normal household needs.

Lifetime Ownership

Our usage trials aim to simulate 5+ years of realistic operation but do not document long-term repairability, maintenance needs, or ultimate lifespan.

How We Rank Washing Machines

Here is an overview of how we rank and select the best washing machines to recommend from our testing:

Establish Category

Weightings Based on surveys with rural owners on priorities, cleaning effectiveness, gentleness, and durability account for majority weighting. Efficiency, cost, style receive secondary emphasis.

Score Individual Models

Every washer is graded on a 100-point scale per weighted category, based on measured metrics from lab trials and field testing notes.

Calculate Total Scores

Applying pre-set weightings, overall scores are tabulated to compare models’ suitability for farm laundry rigors.

Consider Qualitative

Feedback We compile tester quotes and owner anecdotes on convenience factors, intuitive controls, noise levels, and other subjective insights.

Finalize Rankings

Accounting for total scores and real-world usage commentary, we rank models delivering the optimal blend of power, care, and longevity for rural families within reasonable budgets.

Acknowledging unique farm laundry challenges, our methodology aims to identify the strongest performers across heavy-duty cleaning, durability, efficiency, and ease-of-use.