Indesit Innex XWE 91483X Review

Pros

  • Low energy on full loads
  • Low water on full loads
  • Excellent smaller load spin
  • Quiet at full spin
  • Handy special programmes

Cons

  • Realistic max 7kg load
  • Poor full-load spin
  • A+++ needs large load
  • Load sensing ineffective
  • Small drum opening

Key Features

  • Review Price: £279.00
  • 9kg capacity
  • A+++ energy
  • 1,400 spin
  • 30-minute quick wash
  • Push & Wash

What is the Indesit XWE 91483X?

Topping off Indesit’s broad range of affordable, well-specified washing machines, the XWE 91483X has a features list that wouldn’t look out of place on a much more premium appliance. The A+++ energy rating, 1,400 spin, 9kg load and a 30-minute quick wash – all for well under £300 – could make this a bargain.

It gets very close to delivering on that promise, too, with solid wash performance, good eco credentials and a very quiet spin. However, its cramped drum is seriously short of handling a typical 9kg load, and you need to choose load size and programmes carefully to get that headline A+++ performance.

Indesit XWE 91483X – What is it like to use?

If you want straightforward operation, then it doesn’t get much simpler than the one-button “Push & Wash” feature on Indesit’s Innex machines.

In the case of this range-topping XWE 91483X, the button engages a 30oC mixed cottons and synthetics wash for loads up to 4kg and runs a maximum 1,200 spin. A great idea for a daily wash cycle, although we’re at a loss as to why you’d want it to run at 1,200rpm when the machine can do 1,400rpm.

Push & Wash aside, this Indesit operates traditionally with a nicely weighted central programme selector, and options buttons around a crisp and largely bright green display.

Information on the display is limited to time remaining and spin speed in digits, plus symbols for options and stages of the wash. All of the programmes are listed on the soap drawer front. The drawer on our sample was a little stiff to start, but loosened up following a couple of uses.

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The large door leads you to believe that a cavernous drum awaits on the other side. Sadly not; the opening itself looks like any standard 5-6kg machine. Peering inside you can see that the stainless steel drum has a basic hole pattern and is quite shallow front to back.

Jackie looked in the drum and then the 9kg badge on the front of the machine and raised a sceptical eyebrow. Sure enough, there wasn’t a hope of getting 9kg of typical clothes in this drum without the aid of an industrial press.

In fact, even when we stuffed our 80% (7.2kg) load in it was obvious that it was rammed so tight it simply wasn’t going to wash well. Half a kilo came out to give the machine a chance to properly address the stain strip.

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The only other operation you may need to make on this Indesit is an occasional check of the filter, which stops errant coins and solid objects jamming the pump.

This can be found behind a removable kick-plate at the bottom. It’s easy to remove – as long as you have three hands and the grip-strength of an octopus. If the clips last more than a few removals, I’d be very surprised indeed.

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Indesit XWE 91483X – How noisy is it?

Noise results were a bit of a mixed bag from this well-appointed Indesit, better and worse than the energy label figures would have us believe. Wash noise certainly averaged the reasonably quiet 52dB quoted, which is impressive for a relatively budget priced machine.

Yet noise from the water rushing in, the pump and the clicks and pops from valves opening were particularly noisy – more than 80dB in the case of the inrush noise with our relatively high water pressure.

Wash noise also proved rather stop-start, going from stationary to 52dB or a little more every minute or so. This isn’t a “soothe you to sleep” sort of washing machine.

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Better news was that the spin noise came in way under the claimed 81dB. Just as well, since 81dB is quite loud for a modern machine.

At maximum spin with a large load, our equipment rarely measured much more than 71dB. That’s about half the noise output of 81dB thanks to decibels being a logarithmic scale. Moreover, 71dB is superbly quiet for a machine at this price – it isn’t much louder than a busy open-plan office.

Several retests and recalibrations of equipment ensued, even though our ears were telling us that 71dB was about right. To be honest, these results had us baffled since this is an unusually quiet spin from a machine with a standard motor and budget price ticket.

However, unless we randomly received a particularly perfect sample from the production line, the XWE 91483X is one super-quiet washing machine… even if the energy label doesn’t say so.

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Indesit XWE 91483X – What programmes does it have?

You get 14 programmes on the main programmer dial, plus the Push & Wash features for up to 4kg of mixed cotton and synthetics at 30oC.

The standard suit of programmes cover a 90oC White Cotton wash, 40oC Coloured wash and the two Standard Cotton programmes (40 and 60oC). These promise an ambitious 9kg load capacity and full 1,400 maximum spin. The Synthetic programme is offered at 40 and 60oC for light and heavy soil loads, with a maximum capacity of 4.5kg and 800 spin either way.

As is typical for an A+ or higher rated machine, run times are lengthy. For the above programmes, that’s 1hr 45mins for the half load Synthetic wash to a more epic 3hrs 15mins for Standard Cotton at 60oC. It’s slow – but we have seen far longer.

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The Special programme selection received a nod of approval from the Stevenson household. There’s a definite bias towards sporty wear, with the first programme being Sport for gym kit, tracksuits and towels. This programme also has three options covering mixed gym kit and towels, technical wear including Gore-Tex, and up to two pairs of smelly trainers.

Speaking of smelly, you get two dedicated Anti-Odour cycles for cottons and synthetics. Designed to remove pongs while being gentle on your fabrics, the manual cites smoke, sweat and fried food as prime offenders. If you’re the sort of dedicated gym-goer that stops for a kebab to refuel on the way home, this machine has you covered.

The Dark wash programme attempts to preserve dark colours over time, while the Delicate programme offers a gentle wash action for small loads (up to 1kg) and eliminates the spin altogether.

The Wool programme certainly isn’t sheepish about its Woolmark Company seal of approval, and the Duvet programme is good for up to 3.5kg of down- or fibre-filled jackets, bedding or cushions. Wash times run from 60 minutes for the Sport cycle to 2 hours for the hotter of the two Anti-Odour programmes.

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The well-appointed lineup of programmes is complete with a suite of Eco and Rapid cycles designed to save you energy, time or both.

Ultra-cool 20oC programmes for Cottons and Synthetics aren’t quick (more than 3 hours in the case of the Cottons version) but promise to reduce electricity costs. Three variations on the Rapid cycle promise clean laundry in 60 minutes, 30 minutes and even a 9-minute quick refresh wash.

Additional programme options include a delay start and modifying the temperature or maximum spin speed. There’s an interesting Fast Forward option, too. After 20 minutes or so into the cycle, pressing this button immediately forces the machine into a last quick rinse and 800 spin to finish. Handy if you suddenly realise you need something out of the wash urgently.

There’s no child-lock or half-load option, although this machine’s weight sensing should account for less than full loads.

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Indesit XWE 91483X – How well does it wash?

The XWE 91483X had a spectacularly poor start in that our 80% max load of mixed cottons, all 7.2kg of it, simply wouldn’t fit in the drum without having to lean on the door. Dry, worn laundry is quite volumous, and we had to remove more than half a kilo of clothes to effectively fit it in the drum without being overly compressed.

This first full load was on the most economical Standard Cotton cycle at 40oC, complete with a non-bio detergent capsule and a test-stain strip. This had our usual dried-on blood, ketchup, turmeric, coffee, red wine and engine oil. Designated duration was 2hrs 55 mins.

Before this machine goes into the spin part of cycle, it does some load balancing to evenly distribute your washing around the drum. If it can’t balance the load fully, it drops to a lower 800 spin. If it can’t balance the load at all, it just keeps trying to distribute the load until the cycle comes to its end time. And that’s exactly what happened here.

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The machine had much trouble balancing our stuffed drum and failed to spin at all, delivering a whopping 15kg of wet washing from the original 6.5kg load. The load was up almost 140% in water weight… or a complete spin fail basically.

We manually unloaded, mixed up and reloaded the wet laundry, and put the machine on a spin-only programme at 1,400rpm. This time it did manage to balance the load, but the weight of the load limited the spin to 800rpm. That resulted in very poor spin efficiency, with the washing retaining 54% of its dry weight in water. Oh dear.

On the bright side, the test-stain strip emerged from this episode a fair bit cleaner than we’d anticipated given the cramped drum with such a full load. Results were about right for a machine at this price; remnants of the blood, ketchup, turmeric and oil still just visible, while the wine and coffee were almost completely removed.

This is a decent, if not outstanding, result. Smaller loads generally give better wash results, and combined with biological powder, this machine delivers acceptable results.

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Interestingly, though, our 40% “half”-load tests didn’t significantly reduce electricity or water consumption, making this machine less efficient per kilogram of washing for smaller loads.

Thankfully, the reduced load (now 3.5kg) allowed the machine to spin at its full 1,400 spin, giving very good spin-efficiency results, adding only 32% to the weight of the original load.

The XWE 91483X didn’t have a great run in our tests but, ironically, it actually performs fairly well in wash, spin, energy and water results with the right-sized load. That means the standard Cotton programme and a drum that’s full without being stuffed, which we reckon is about 5-6kg of dry washing in this case.

INDESIT XWE 91483X – How much will it cost to run?

The Indesit’s load sensing might weigh the washing when you put it in, but it has very little effect on varying resources depending on load size.

On programme 9, the Standard Cotton at 40oC, this machine consistently used just shy of 1.1kWh of electricity and under 80 litres of water. That would be a spectacularly good result if this machine could handle a 9kg load made up of typical clothes washing, which it can’t. However, even based on our 6.5kg load test, the energy results per kg of washing cleaned is still very good indeed.

Our normal annual results calculations are based on 240 washes, split 200 full and 40 partial loads of a Standard Cotton 40oC wash. Using the results from out tests, that would be around 260kwh per year of electricity (£40), and 18,000 litres of water or approximately £63 for those on a metered supply

The trouble is, it wouldn’t matter if they were all half loads – you’d still use almost the same amount of resources but clean half as much washing. The trick to getting this machine at its frugal A+++ best is to ensure it runs at a larger but not overly-stuffed load.

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Should I buy the Indesit XWE 91483X?

The Innex XWE 91483X has plenty of potential with very good energy results, a great selection of programmes and very quiet spin.

Yet its cramped drum limits the maximum wash load, and the sensing isn’t accurate enough to reduce the resources used for smaller loads. So running costs aren’t going to change much, irrespective of load size.

If you can keep this machine well loaded but not over-loaded, it has the potential to deliver good cleaning results and low running costs. Ironically, then, it would have scored higher in our tests had it actually been labelled a 7kg machine.

Verdict

If you can regularly fill this machine with washing rather than use smaller loads, this flagship Indesit delivers great features and solid results.

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