Bosch Serie 8 WAX32LH9GB Review
Decent running costs and stain removal make the Bosch Serie 8 WAX32LH9GB a good washing machine – and a quiet one, too. A smart app allows for remote control, although it proved fiddly to set up. In addition, the washing machine lacks some of the features – such as auto-dosing detergent and a more featured app – included with rival appliances.
- Good stain removal
- Decent running costs
- Well built
- Fiddly app
- Lacks some high-end features, such as auto-dosing
- Review Price: £899
- 9kg drum
- 848 x 598 x 632mm
- 1600rpm spin speed
- C-rated efficiency (new rating)
- Refresh, Wool, Delicates/Silk, Anti Stain
The smart app-controlled Bosch Serie 8 WAX32LH9GB is one of the company’s top-of-the line washing machines. Low running costs and decent stain removal make it a strong performer, but it loses out on some of the automatic features of its rivals and the app proved fiddly to set up.
Bosch Serie 8 WAX32LH9GB design and features – Easy to use, but the app is a pain to set up
- Well built with a handy light inside so you can see your washing
- Smart app control fiddly to set up
- Plan and simple control panel
If there’s one thing that I’ve come to expect from Bosch, it’s good build quality and the WAX32LH9GB lives up to those expectations. Reassuringly tough, everything moves and feels just right. Sure, this is a relatively expensive washing machine, but you’re paying in part for the quality build here.
It offers a 9kg drum, but one minor complaint is that the porthole door isn’t as big as that included on this machine’s rivals, so you’ll need to do a bit more stuffing to get larger items inside.
I do like the light on the door frame, however, which illuminates the interior of the drum. As such, you’ll manage to extract every last piece of clothing – rogue socks, in particular – at the end of a cycle. You can also pause and open the door midway through a cycle, so you can add any items that you dropped or forgot about. Water levels and temperature restrictions apply, but you can generally catch this washing machine during the early parts of the cycle, when you’re more likely to notice that you’ve forgotten an item.
There’s a regular pull-out detergent drawer on this model, but no option for auto-dosing. You can use the detergent compartment as-is for powder, plus there’s a pull-down measurement guide if you want to use liquid.
In terms of control panel design, Bosch opts for the same tried-and-tested setup that features of many washing machines, with a dial to select the wash programme. On this model, everything is labelled in English, so it makes finding the right programme easy – you won’t have to defer to the manual. You’ll find everything you need, with special programmes for Sportswear, Delicates/Silk and Wool, plus a Refresh ActiveOxygen programme that removes odours from clothes.
The main LCD screen displays the current settings, the run-time for the wash and indicators to show the energy- and water-efficiency of the selected washing programme.
You can override the programme defaults here, setting the temperature and spin speed. You can also enlist the Anti Stain option to tackle more difficult splotches, with options for grease, blood, wine and grass.
Since this is a smart washing machine, you can also add it to your home network and control it through the Home Connect app, which works for all Bosch and Siemens smart products. It proved a pain to set up, however, with a rather involved process to get the washing machine connected to Wi-Fi. Then, the WAX32LH9GB refused to connect to my smartphone.
The Trusted Reviews home appliance lab uses a mobile internet connection running through a Netgear Orbi router, and this seemed to be causing some issues. In the end, I had to connect the washing machine through a mobile hotspot to get it into my Home Connect account, then change the Wi-Fi settings to connect to the Orbi network. It worked fine thereafter, but it had taken me a few hours of troubleshooting to get to that. All the other home appliances I’ve tested through this setup have worked flawlessly.
Once connected, you need to press the Remote Start button to allow remote control. From the app, you can select the desired wash programme and the options. There’s also an Easy Start wizard that asks a bunch of questions about what you’re washing to help you select the right washing programme. It’s handy for some items, although with six steps to go through it isn’t the fastest to use. I prefer the Hoover hOn app, available with the H-Wash 500, which scans care labels and suggest which programme is best.
Bosch Serie 8 WAX32LH9GB performance – Gets the basics right
- Decent running costs
- Good stain removal, even at lower temperatures
- Surprisingly quiet
I put the WAX32LH9GB through my normal series of tests to see how well it performs in real life. First, I started with a 30ºC wash to see how well the washing machine can cope with low temperatures.
Here, the WAX32LH9GB used 0.65kWh and consumed 44.1 litres of water. Water usage is competitive, although power usage is a little higher than the Bosch’s main rivals. Thanks to its 1600rpm spin speed, there was just 34.4% of the original dry weight in water left behind – that’s super-efficient and shows that washed clothes will dry relatively quickly.
Using my stain strip, I tested the WAX32LH9GB’s ability to clean. No machine has so far managed to completely rid this cloth of the stains, as I don’t pre-treat and I run only a single wash. What I look for is how far a washing machine can go following one clean.
Here, the WAX32LH9GB did pretty well. From left to right, we have red wine, orange juice, ketchup, cooking oil and gravy. After having run a single wash, most stains had faded well – but both the orange juice and red wine stain remained visible.
Next, I moved up to Eco 40-60 wash, turning on the Red Wine stain option. Here, the machine used 0.71kWh and just 51 litres of water. Again, these are low but not lowest figures.
This time around, performance was better, with just a very faint outline of the orange juice stain, and the red wine stain was better, although still visible. I’ve seen slightly better results before, but the WAX32LH9GB is still a good performer.
To work out annual running costs, I take the figures from the EU energy label and then work out how much the machine costs per cycle. To create a level playing field, I then work out how much washing in total the UK does, based on an average of 274 loads per year, and loads of 6kg (high), 4.5kg (medium) and 3kg (low). I then assume that the WAX32LH9GB would be used to its full 9kg capacity overall.
For example, with the high-usage 6kg loads, the WAX32LH9GB could do all of this washing in just 182.67 cycles. This demonstrates that larger washing machines are more efficient when used to their maximum capacity.
Here, we have running costs per year of £39.49 for high use, £29.62 for medium use and £19.75 for low use. These figures are okay and justify the C rating (under the new EU labelling) for the WAX32LH9GB, although invest in an A-rated washing machine and you’ll see lower costs still.
I found the WAX32LH9GB super-quiet in operation. During the normal washing cycle, I measured it at 61.5dB, only increasing to a maximum of 69.5dB on the spin cycle. Certainly, you’ll be able to sit in the same room as this washing machine without it bothering you.
Bosch Serie 8 WAX32LH9GB Conclusion
A rather simple and basic washing machine from the outside, the Bosch Serie 8 WAX32LH9GB gets a lot of things right: it’s well built, relatively easy to use, offers decent running costs and good stain removal. Yet, it’s quite expensive for what it offers, and connecting to the app proved troublesome. The rival Samsung WW9800T (WW90T986DSH) costs only a little more, but benefits from a better app, lower running costs and improved stain removal. If you want something cheaper, check out my guide to the best washing machines.