- Good wash performance
- Low energy on full loads
- Good basic programmes
- Anti-Allergen programme
- Easy to use
- Poor energy on half loads
- So-so spin efficiency
- Noisy maximum 1,600 spin
- Eco programmes take ages
- Review Price: £519.99
- A+++ minus 10% energy
- 9kg capacity
- 1,600rpm maximum spin speed
- Sensor wash on several programmes
- Anti-Allergy programme
What is the Hotpoint RSG964J?
Hotpoint has one of the most comprehensive lineup of washing machines around, with more than 60 model and colour options available. The RSG964J – available in white (seen here), black or silver – is a one of the brand’s mid-premium models, and comes to the TrustedReviews test bench boasting A+++ minus 10% energy efficiency and a serious 1,600rpm spin speed.
The 14-strong programme list is solid, if not inspired, but the simple use and handy anti-microbial door seal are great positives. Wash and energy results are good for full loads, but energy consumption doesn’t get much better with half or lighter loads – so this is a machine that demands to be run to the max.
Related: Best Washing Machines
Hotpoint RSG964J – What’s it like to use?
If you’re put off by that complex-looking display and “Smart+” badge then fear not: the RSG964J isn’t as complicated as it initially appears.
The Smart+ symbol is an indication of Hotpoint’s washing technologies, rather than any internet-connected or smartphone control capabilities.
These technologies include an anti-microbial seal around the door to reduce mould and musty odours, automatic load balancing, load sensing and Direct Injection of pre-mixed water and detergent to best penetrate fibres. The latter can be set on power for deep cleaning, or Eco to save a few watts for lightly soiled loads.
Main controls are via the chunky rotary control knob. It’s a solid item and clicks around to each programme notch positively. The programme numbers are printed around the periphery of the knob itself rather than on the fascia of the machine, which takes a little getting used to.
The bright-orange LED display has six proper push-button keys that cover all the options save the Direct Injection selection. That button is to the side and scrolls between economy and turbo. You can adjust spin speed and temperature, set a delay start, add an extra rinse, or use the time-saver feature that reduces wash time by up to 50% for lightly soiled loads.
Note that this Hotpoint offers some pretty generous maximum capacities for its specialised washes. Darks, Anti-Allergy, Baby, Synthetics and even the Anti-Stain Turbo 45-minute wash can accommodate a respectable 4.5-5kg maximum load capacity. While the cycle is running, the display shows a countdown time to the end of the programme and one of four symbols indicate the stage in the cycle at which the wash is.
The door looks stylish and features a solid-feeling and easy-to-use handle, and the drum is traditional drilled stainless steel. Once you get used to peering down at the main knob to see the programme numbers, the RSG964J is very straightforward to operate.
The soap drawer is rather a novelty in that it pivots out rather than pulls out directly. We couldn’t work out how you’d remove it for cleaning, though, and there were no clues in the manual.
Down at the bottom of the appliance, behind a pull-off panel, you’ll find a pump filter and drain-down hose. There are no fancies such as drum lights or steam cycles, but the RSG964J certainly has all the main bases covered.
Hotpoint RSG964J – How noisy is it?
This Hotpoint’s noise output is nothing to shout about; shout over, perhaps, in some situations. The main wash with a hefty full-load measured around 55dB and isn’t too intrusive. This is certainly below normal conversation levels and good for a mid-priced machine.
Spinning up to full speed wasn’t such a peaceful experience. At a spin speed of 1,600, we measured between 86-88dB – as stated on the energy label – and is up there with the likes of food mixers and lawn mowers. The 1,400 setting is a fair bit quieter, although your clothes won’t come out quite so dry.
Hotpoint RSG964J – What programmes does it have?
This is a 14-programme machine, excluding rinse and spin-only cycles, and it does a good job of covering the bases of daily washing requirements.
Cottons and Eco Cottons are the popular washes, and both offer a full-load 9kg capacity and the maximum 1,600 spin speed. The Eco Cottons wash uses less water and electricity, so perhaps is best for lighter soiled loads – and is the cycle on which the Energy label rating of A +++ is based.
Special fabrics programmes include Synthetics, Darks, Ultradelicates, Shirts and Wool. There’s a Bed and Bath programme for up to 9kg of sheets and towels at 60 degrees, and a 30oC Duvet programme too. You get an Anti-Allergy programme that uses a higher temperature and extra rinse to remove common allergens such as pollens, mites and pet hairs.
There’s a Baby programme, too, which uses a fair bit more water to ensure baby clothes are exceptionally well washed. It also adds extra rinses to ensure no detergent is left in the clothes afterwards. At the other end of the spectrum is a Fast 30 programme that uses a minimum of resources to speed-wash up to 3.5kg of lightly soiled cottons or synthetics.
The programme lineup is complete with two dedicated stain-removal programmes that operate at just 20oC, allowing the most delicate of fabrics to be washed. The main “Power” Anti-Stain programme is for full loads with maximum 1,600 spin, while the faster Turbo version is for loads up to 4.5kg and offers 1,200 spin.
Most programmes can be tweaked and tailored with options such as Extra Rinse, Direct Injection, Temperature, Spin Speed and Delay Start. The Time Saver option will speed up the wash duration on lightly soiled loads.
Main wash-cycle times themselves won’t be quick with this being an A+++ machine. The actual duration of each will depend on how the RSG964J senses the load type and weight, detergent used and wash options selected.
Hotpoint RSG964J – How well does it wash?
We planned to test the Hotpoint RSG964J on three separate washes. The first was a full load Cottons programme with a substantial 7.2kg (80% max) of dry washing and the maximum 1,600 spin speed.
This cycle also had a test-stain strip to evaluate the machine’s cleaning ability under demanding full-load conditions.
The following two loads used a rather more sensible 3.6kg of dry washing (40% max), one on standard Cottons and one on Eco Cottons at 40oC. All loads were dosed with a leading brand non-biological liquid tab.
The Hotpoint does some load balancing and load measuring before beginning and the cycles are suitably (possibly “notoriously”) long. Being a very energy efficient machine it uses a lot of soak time rather than aggressive action, heat and extra water to get the job done.
In fact, the Hotpoint’s standard Cottons cycle isn’t too bad in this respect, with our main full-load wash taking around 2hrs, 40mins. It used a reasonable 1.27kWh of electricity, and equally reasonable 83 litres of water.
Wash results on the test strip were also good, certainly on a par with some of the best mid-priced machines in this respect. While the turmeric and engine-oil stains were still visible, with the slightest hint of the red wine stain remaining, the blood, coffee and ketchup stains were all well dispatched.
Despite the fast 1,600 maximum spin speed, results here were a little disappointing. The main load retained just over 2.5kg of water after the spin, or 35% of the dry load weight. This isn’t bad, but more affluent models with advanced drum shapes fair better, usually nearer 31-33%.
The half-load wash on standard Cottons was only 10 minutes shorter and consumption was far from halved. It used 0.97kWh of juice and 69.1 litres of water, which is very high; spin efficiency remained at 35% of the dry load weight.
The energy figures are distinctly average for half loads and suggest that this is a machine that you should be looking to load up well in order to get the best from it.
Switching to Cottons Eco saw the Hotpoint produce mixed results. The half-load Cottons Eco wash took well over 3hrs 30mins, but the water consumption went down to a sip over 40 litres – outstanding. Conversely, energy consumption remained virtually unchanged from the normal Cottons half-load at 0.95kWh, which isn’t a great result.
A fourth wash was introduced to see how Eco this machine was: on the Eco Cottons programme, the drum was loaded to the roof. With 7.2kg of dry cottons, this cycle ran just shy of four hours and used 1.1kWh of electricity – only 15% more than the half load! Water consumption remained equally good at just over 60 litres.
The Eco Cottons programmes take far longer than the standard Cottons wash, but do in fact save you a little electricity and water – if you have the time. Where the Hotpoint fails in its Eco credentials is with regards to half loads. These barely use much less water or electricity than a full load in both standard or Eco Cottons programmes. This is a big-load machine and you’re clearly best using all that capacity.
Hotpoint RSG964J – How much will it cost to run?
The Hotpoint just about hits its A+++ rating for energy efficiency and is good in terms of water consumption too – but only on full or nearly full loads.
Don’t be afraid to cram in your washing; we can vouch that 7kg of dry cottons will look like there isn’t room left in the drum for water. Yet do so and the RSG964J is at its most efficient and continues to clean well.
Our calculations of running costs are based on 240 wash loads per year, split 200 full-load cotton and 40 half loads, which are split 50/50 standard Cottons and Eco washes. From our test results this Hotpoint would use around £43.65 per year in electricity.
The half-load results don’t do that figure any favours, and if you squeezed those 40 half loads into 20 full loads you’d certainly save a few quid. If you stuck with the Cottons Eco programmes throughout then you’d also shave £5 off those costs.
Those figures are good but not outstanding compared to some A+++ machines we’ve tested, a few of which can get as low as £25 per year in electricity costs.
Water won’t be such an issue, however, since the RSG964J is very good here. At a nationwide average of £3.50 per cubic meter, supply and waste, this Hotpoint would rack up around £66 in water usage costs. That’s about on the button for a mid-priced A+++ machine.
Should I buy the Hotpoint RSG964J?
The RSG964J from Hotpoint is a solid, mid-priced machine with A+++ credentials and a good selection of programmes. It’s easy to use and delivers good cleaning results – but be wary of half-load washes; these are much less efficient per kilogram of washing than having the drum filled to bursting point.
Finally, the slightly noisy maximum 1,600rpm spin doesn’t deliver the super-dry results of premium machines, but it isn’t the worst out there.
Good cleaning results, fairly low running costs and easy operation mark out the Hotpoint RSG964J as a solid all-rounder at the price.
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