Whirlpool FSCR10432

Score

Pros

  • Quietest washer on the market
  • Extremely energy efficient
  • Sophisticated looks
  • Huge programme and options list
  • FreshCare post-wash tumble
  • Slick, intuitive controls
  • Low water use
  • Effective 1,400rpm spin

Cons

  • Average stain removal in standard wash
  • Programme/load specific performance
  • No delay start

Key Features

  • Review Price: £550.00
  • A+++ minus 60% rated
  • 10kg load
  • 15 programmes
  • super-quiet
  • 1,400rpm spin

What is the Whirlpool FSCR10432?

Whirlpool is penning its own chapter in the Zen and the Art of… series, with the new, Zen-quiet FSCR10432 washing machine. This premium appliance boasts efficiency that’s some 60% better than A+++ rating, a huge 10kg capacity, and what Whirlpool claims to be the quietest spin on the market at a whisper-quiet 68dB.

Part of the brand’s top-spec Supreme Care series, this machine packs in sensor load detection, water-jet washing, a gentle wave-motion drum, and a tumbling cycle once the wash is complete to keep it from stagnating. It’s fully featured, packed with programme options and is quite a looker too.

Whirlpool FSCR10432 – What is it like to use?

Quiet, very quiet. We don’t usually open our reviews on actual performance reports, but you can’t talk about what the FSCR10432 is like to use without mentioning noise – or rather, the lack of it.

A new traction motor system that eliminates the belt is directly coupled to the drum to reduce vibration and hence keep noise down. Add to this plenty of panel insulation and a double-glazed door, and this washing machine is seriously quiet. Through most of the test we could see it working, but couldn’t hear it. (See “How noisy is it” for the test details).

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Whirlpool FSCR10432

The capacious 10kg load capacity is treated to Whirlpool’s 6th Sense suite of technologies, which adapt water and energy use to the size and type of load. If you stick in a half load, it will automatically set to half load accordingly. Your wash is also jetted with water to loosen dirt, and Whirlpool’s intelligent drum-motion technology changes the spin, rock and tumble patterns to suit the clothing material type selected.

At the end of the cycle, the machine will gently tumble your clothes for up to six hours after the finish, known as FreshCare. While this won’t do much for your energy figures, it does mean that washed clothes won’t be sitting around crumpled and damp in the drum for hours if you’re unable to remove them straight away.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, this model doesn’t feature a delay-start, however. For a lot of circumstances where you might use the FreshCare, a delayed start would mean that the wash could be ended when you were at home and ready to unload anyway.

In physical use, the soap dispenser drawer and door-loading are where you’d expect them to be, and access to the filter (so you can remove all that pocket debris) is concealed behind a full-width kick panel.

The huge porthole door opens to reveal a rather smaller opening, so stuffing in big duvets to fill that 10kg load may require the help of a well-placed foot. Mind you, with the door closed, the black gloss door and panel with chrome trim make this a thoroughly slick and modern-looking machine.  

Whirlpool FSCR10432

In programming and use, the FSCR10432 is certainly a little different – and we love it. The large control panel comprises a broad array of symbols, a row of touch-control buttons, a vivid, crystal-clean dot-matrix text display, and a central turn/push control knob.

For those who like a clunky selector knob and obvious programme names… don’t panic. As you turn the knob, the LED indicator scrolls through the programme symbols while simultaneously spelling out the programmes and their estimated duration in the text display. You add programme options by gently pressing the touch buttons along the bottom and then pushing start, indicated by a rather audio-centric play/pause symbol button.

As the wash progresses, the right-hand side of the display offers a raft of information as to how far in you are in the cycle, the spin speed and the options selected, plus the text display counts down the time to finish. The whole thing is slick and modern, but at the same time entirely intuitive. Top marks.

Whirlpool FSCR10432 – How noisy is it?

If you want a washing machine that allows you to take a power-nap right beside it, look no further than the FSCR10432. Just being in the room while it’s running is an impressive experience. It’s so quiet – and there was much comedy tapping of microphones and re-calibrating test equipment when the figures first came through.

Whirlpool claims a very ambitious 48db wash noise and an equally impressive 68dB for maximum 1,400 spin. The FSCR10432 didn’t actually achieve those figures in our tests… it bested them for much of the wash.

The main wash did in fact peak at 48dB (and I use the term “peak” loosely – that is about the same noise as an old fridge-freezer), but for much of the wash it hummed gently along at an average of 44-45dB. That’s quieter than a library, and if there’s anything going on in your kitchen much nosier than someone reading a Sunday paper, you simply won’t hear it.

Prior to this test, our best ever wash noise test was the 48dB average of Samsung’s WW9000. Nothing else got close to that – until now, that is.

Whirlpool FSCR10432

But hang on, it gets better. Our spin test never went above 66dB, even in the last few minutes of the spin cycle at full speed. This is ridiculously quite for a 1,400-spin machine, and by several decibels quieter than any other machine we’ve tested – these include models that are more than twice the Whirlpool’s asking price. Select a slower spin speed and it’s quieter still, measuring only 64dB on the 1,200-spin Eco Cotton half-load test.

Even more amazing was that when we came to repacking this machine, we discovered a sound-deadening panel that fits on the base of the machine that we hadn’t actually installed for the test. (Remember kids, always read the installation instructions…). This might have reduced measured noise further still. Overall, the FSCR10432 produces staggering sound results that raise the bar for noise in washing machines. Or lowers it, rather.

Whirlpool FSCR10432 – What programmes does it have?

The FSCR10432 has 18 main programmes, and nearly as many options as a menu at the local Chinese take-away. If you’re short of a programme or option with this machine then you must have some very peculiar clothing or unusual washing requirements.

The big-hitters are the usual Eco Cotton, Cotton with a wider temperature choice than the Eco version, Mixed, Synthetics, Delicates and Wool. There’s a dedicated Colours programme to help preserve colour vibrancy, a Rapid 30-minute wash for lightly soiled loads up to 3kg, and the usual separate Rinse, Spin and Drain functions.

A raft of special programmes include Shirts, Duvets including any big and bulky item, Bed Linen, Cashmere, Sport garments, Jeans and Baby Items. We assume they mean baby clothes, but I guess this could cover washable soft toys too. Either way, this programme adds more intense rinsing to remove any detergent residue.

Whirlpool FSCR10432

Most of these programmes can be tweaked with a chosen spin speed, Pre-wash, Intensive and Heavy Soil additional wash phases or a Rapid feature to speed up the wash for smaller, lightly soiled loads. More interestingly, you get a Bio Stains option that starts the wash with a cold-water phase that helps to shift more obstinate stains.

There’s also a Hot Finish option. This completes the programme with a warm-water rinse that’s said to relax the fibres and then finishes with a gentle, shorter spin phase. The idea being that clothes emerge from the machine softer and warm, making this option ideal for garments you simply hang up to dry and then wear. If you have an avid cyclist in the house, we can confirm this is ideal for Lycra jerseys.

And the options list goes on… Colours 15 helps to preserve colours by changing the selected wash programme temperature to cold water. The FreshCare option adds the aforementioned gentle tumbling post-wash to keep clothes fresh. Plus, there’s also a Rinse Hold option; this keeps the laundry in the last rinse water until you tell it otherwise, allowing you to wash while you’re out and spin to finish when you return.

I’m going to bemoan the lack of Delay Start option again here, especially if you have cheap-rate electricity after 2am as we do here. But otherwise, the FSCR10432 is spectacularly well specified for programmes and options.
 

Whirlpool FSCR10432 – How well does it wash?

We ran the Whirlpool on our standard suite of three main programmes: Cottons at full load (using 80% max, or 8kg of dry washing) and two half loads (4kg of dry clothes), one on standard Cotton and one on Eco Cotton programme.

The first big wash included a test stain strip with dried-on blackberry juice, coffee, turmeric, oil and blood (…and yes, unfortunately, a testing assistant was unavoidably harmed in the making of this review, but she’s okay now). All washes used non-bio powder.

While showing fairly spectacular results for energy, water and noise, we were actually a little disappointed with the FSCR10432’s main wash stain results. All five stains had been reduced, but were all still visible when placed on the light box. This would have a been a respectable performance for a mid-price machine, but for this sort of asking price we expect better, with perhaps the coffee stain gone altogether and the blackberry juice lightened if not totally removed.

Whirlpool FSCR10432
Before

Whirlpool FSCR10432
After

We ran subsequent tests using the Intensive and Bio Stain options, and achieved much better results. And, not surprisingly, combining these with biological powder produced a proper clean sweep on the test strip.

The results appear to have proven the point that if you have a specific load (stained, in this case) then you should use the relevant programme. Yet for consistency in our washing machine testing, all machines are stain-tested on the standard Cotton wash at full load. In the Whirlpool’s case, that wasn’t as impressive as its technical measurements would suggest.

Having had something of a mixed-bag of results with the stain strip then, the spin results came right back to show off Whirlpool’s excellent engineering. Spin efficiency was excellent, leaving 2.4kg of water in the main 8kg dry wash to score an excellent 30% of dry weight. For such a sizeable load, that’s a great score.

The half-load wash on standard Cotton 1,400 spin came in at a respectable 32%, while the slower 1,200 spin on the Eco Cotton programme load registered 1.6kg, or 40%, water remaining in a 4kg load.

Whirlpool FSCR10432 – How much will it cost to run?

Energy and water consumption for the main wash came in at 1.1kWh and just over 70 litres of water in around 3hrs 30mins wash time. That’s very good, and in the order of A+++ but not the “A+++ minus 60%” that Whirlpool claims. The reason being that, like the majority of super-eco machines, the spectacularly low consumption figures only relate to one specific programme – in this case, Eco Cottons.

For the sake of consistency our main test is the standard Cottons programmes, but as a comparison, we also ran the same load on Eco Cottons 60-degree cycle to see how this would affect energy consumption. After a hugely lengthy wash cycle – well over four hours – this wash used a ridiculously low 0.50kWh of electricity. That’s a stupendously low energy figure for a 60-degree wash with a whopping 8kg of clothing!

Switching to the half-load washes produced a similar set of outstanding consumption results. Again, wash times were long, as is usual for modern machines, at 3hrs 30 in Cotton programme and 4hrs 6mins in Eco. The 6th Sense technology had more to do here in measuring wash-load size, since there’s no half-load option to press per se. The standard half-load wash used 0.50kWh of electrical juice and 44 litres of water, while the Eco version was just 0.31kWh and 40 litres of water.

These are superb results, and while half loads are still a little less efficient than full loads, the Whirlpool’s 6th Sense technology ensures there isn’t a huge difference in electricity and water usage per kg of washing. Given that many machines we’ve tested are way less efficient with half loads, this makes for a very versatile machine for day-to-day use.

If we take our standard calculation of 240 washes per year, 200 at full-load Cotton and 40 at half load, split half normal Cotton and half Eco Cotton, this Whirlpool will use less than £36 in electricity a year based on 15p/kWh. If you’re on metered water in/out and billed an average of £3.50 per cubic meter, add to that around £58 per year in water costs.

Those figures are right up there with the very best premium eco washing machines on the market today. Moreover, if you used the Eco Cotton for full loads, rather than the standard Cotton wash used in our calculations, you’d save a further £20 per year on those figures. Today’s washing machines don’t get any more resource-efficient than Whirlpool’s FSCR10432.

Whirlpool FSCR10432

Should I buy the Whirlpool FSCR10432?

The FSCR10432 is an outstandingly accomplished piece of engineering, boasting spectacular energy efficiency and being the quietest washing machine we’ve ever tested. It has a comprehensive array of programmes and options, and is supremely intuitive to use too. Yet you’ill need to leverage these programmes and options to make the most of the Whirlpool’s performance.

You won’t get the finest cleaning results from this machine if you simply stick everything on your favourite cotton wash programme – the FSCR10432 requires a little more user forethought and wash planning than some premium machines. But by carefully matching up your wash loads and stains/soiling with the correct programmes and relevant options, this Whirlpool is right up there with the very best washing machines on the market today.

Verdict

The Whirlpool FSCR10432 is astonishingly quiet, energy efficient and provides good cleaning results when used with the most relevant wash programme.

Score