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Saturday, 21 January 2017

New Gadget Review (Part One - Bosch Washing machine/Dishwasher)



I almost gave up this blog.  Not because I couldn't be bothered with it any more, or that I could not remember the password to extend the yearly subscription with Google.  But mainly because I just did not have the time to bake anything.

Anyway, here we are at the start of a new year, a new president, Brexit and all that stuff cracking off.  Life can be complicated and this little blog is my escape from all that.

Since I have not baked anything for a while (well, I have but I just didn't take photos) I thought I would write a post about one of my favourite things - gadgets!   Since I last posted I have been updating some of my appliances and I thought I would share them with you.

So, I have now replaced my trusted Gaggia fully automactic coffee maker with a Sage Oracle.  My old dishwasher wasn't cleaning as well as it did when I first got it so I have replaced it with a Bosch Serie 8 top of the range model.  The tumble dryer door broke...it was 7 years old, still working ok after having a major part fixed once, so I thought I would update that - I have a thing for Bosch appliances now - quality German engineering  so I opted for the Seri 8 self cleaning condenser tumble dryer.  Then I really needed to (not really) replace the washing machine with the matching Bosch washer.  Oh and I brought the matching Fridge/Freezer to, but that isn't as exciting as the other three.

So, here is my honest reviews of the devices:




Bosch Seri 8 IDOS 1400 Spin Washer

The main selling feature of this washing machine is the IDOS feature.  Basically, you pull open the detergent drawer and pour a whole bottle of liquid detergent in to the section called 'wash' and next door you can add about half a large bottle of fabric softener.  You then have the normal space to put specialist washing powder (more about this later) or add-ins like stain remover.

The machine then automatically weighs your clothes, figures out the type of fabric it is (clever I know) and checks to see how dirty the wash is.  Then it adds the correct amount of detergent and softener to the load.  The automatic program does everything for you and you have no control over the water temp, spin speed and any other extra features.
All the programs use the IDOS system but you can turn it off, as well as adjust the amount of product it uses in each wash if you like.  Bosch state that it perfectly doses the right amount of detergent down to the millimetre and this saves you quite a bit of money each year since you are not wasting it.  


There are plenty of wash cycles on this machine but I tend to stick with Automatic 40 and Cottons.  I find that the Automatic 40 has never let me down yet with a perfect wash and the cottons wash is perfect for bedding.  It seems like all the programs include some form of intelligence as they all use the IDOS system and adjust the wash time.  

Some programs, like wool and sportswear, turn off parts of IDOS.  For example, if you select wool the machine expects you to be using special wool detergent and therefor turns off both wash and softener sections.  Sportswear only uses washing detergent, not fabric softener, because it assumes you are washing specialist fabrics that can be damaged by using softener.  You can not override (or at least I don't think you can) these built in presets.

The machine also has a choice of two extra modes which can be added to most programs.  EcoPerfect reduces the wash temperature and increase the wash time - saving money but taking longer.  SpeedPerfect reduces wash time by almost half at the expense of more energy and water use.  Both of these extras state that they still deliver the same perfect wash results just in less time or less energy, whichever is best for you.  

As of yet I have not used these modes and tend to stick with automatic or cottons.  I have noticed that a normal cottons wash states over 2 hours but so far I don't think I have ever waited that long because the machine adjusts the wash time due to the soiling on the clothes.

As with a premium device this machine has all the basics you would expect - internal light, drum cleaning cycle, touch screen panel and WIFI connectivity.  
It is possible to control the machine from you phone and the app includes a clever mode where you tell the machine what you are washing, e.g. jeans, t-shirts, underwear and sweatshirt and it automatically suggests the wash cycle, temp and spin speeds.  if you agree you just press GO and the machine starts.  I tend to just the app to check whats happening in the wash and for it to let me know when it finishes.

Pros/Cons?

+IDOS is great
+Wash quality is so far perfect
+Build quality is spot on, looks great
+The phone app is useful
+Very quiet

-Only 1400 spin speed
-Lots of programs but my old washer had more useful programs e.g. shirts
-Modes are not that useful e.g. sports wash does not mean gym stuff


Bosch Seri 8 Fully Integrated Dishwasher


I think of all the kitchen gadgets, dishwashers are my favourite.  I have always wanted one and over the years have worked my way through cheap and cheerful, better than the first, great machine to finally this top of the range super cleaner!

Like the washing machine it has LED lights built in, which actually are more useful than you may think. Not that I load the dishwasher in the dark but because it just gives you that little extra light to see what your doing.  

This machine features a third rack at the very top designed for cutlery and small items.  This means there is no basket taking up space in the bottom and therefore you have space for 14 place settings.  I really love the third rack, you can load all your cutlery quickly - at first it may seem slower than placing it all in the basket but actually I find it just as fast and it cleans so much better.  Its like each piece is stacked like the plates so they get perfectly washed.  You can adjust the sides to give more room for larger items e.g. cups, bowels, if necessary.

The problem with the third rack is that height is reduced in the top (now middle) basket and I did find that some tall glasses struggled to fit in.  I must be lucky because I adjusted the height of the middle rack and found that all my glasses fitted at the top and the largest plates still fitted in the bottom.  You can adjust the middle rack to three different heights.


There is LOADS of room inside, now the cutlery basket is removed and you can adjust most of the prongs inside the machine to make space for lots of different combination of washes.  The lower basket also has a special tall glassware section at the back.

Program wise this machine has lots to pick from.  There are three automatic settings depending on whole dirty the load is.  I noticed that these always state a long wash time but actually they never end up being as long as stated once the sensors detect how dirty everything is.

There is also a super 60 wash, night wash (extra quiet) and eco 50 (low power).  There is a speed 45 minute wash that actually dries too, most fast washes only clean, they do not dry (I often think whats the point then!!).  I did try the speed wash and was disappointed with the results.

You have a range of add ons to - intensive wash (I used this lots - extra power is added to the bottom jets to scrub really dirty pans), VarioSpeed (this is the same as SpeedPerfect on the washing machine - more energy/water use but half the clean time)  Half load, actually useful because this is not just the top basket wash like my old dishwasher, but actually designed to wash the whole space but with less in it.  Hygiene+, extra hot to sterilise everything and finally one of my favourite add ons - shine and dry, makes sure glasses and plastics are perfectly dry...how?...read on.

 

One of the main selling features of this dishwasher is the drying cycle.  In the past my previous dishwashers have always done an 'ok' job of drying.  Plates and glasses have been ok, plastics and stranger items have often come out wet.   Now, this is because plastics do not hold the heat like pottery so they do not dry as well.  This dishwasher has a feature called Zeoleth, basically a special mineral stored inside the machine that reacts to water and turns it in to heat.  At the end of the wash cycle a fan sucks out the hot steamy air and pumps it through the Zeoleth which removes all the moisture and adds extra heat, this is then blown back inside the machine basically turning it in to an oven and it literally bakes the contents dry.  The result, perfectly dry everything, including plastic, it amazes me how perfectly dry it all is.  Also, this special feature actually saves money because the mineral does the heating not the machine so it does not use as much energy as normal drying cycles.  The only slight drawback with this feature...well, since it bakes dry the plastic I have noticed water marks on some items, not an problem really but this is something to note.

As this is a premium model it has similar extras like the washing machine - for example it is designed to go in kitchens with no handles.  If you gently push the door when closed it will automatically open for you.  I have a handle on mine so do not tend to use this feature often.  The automatic door feature can also be used for 'eco' drying if you like, at the end of the cycle the machine opens the door to let out the steam instead of using the drying feature - so saving more money.

As with most premium models, you pay more to buy but in the long run you save money, hopefully it lasts longer and you get specialist features.

Pros/Cons

+Drying feature is amazing
+So far prefect wash results
+Top basket gives more room and better wash results
+Quiet in use
+Good range of programs
+Insides can be adjust easy

-Sometimes water spots on plastics after drying
-Top basket is great but does reduce height of middle
-Large plates fit inside but only just!!
-Wash times can be long when you add on extra features


Thats end of part one... coming soon...part two, my Bosch Tumble Dryer and Sage Oracle Espresso maker reviews.