- Extremely good Eco wash
- Genuinely high-load capacity
- Great wash results
- Bright drum light
- Auto-dosing detergent
- Good app features
- Lowest running costs we have tested!
- Epic long Eco wash time
- Premium price
- Review Price: £899.00
- 12kg capacity
- A+++ -60% energy efficiency
- 1400rpm spin speed
- 6th Sense load sensing
- Super-quiet wash
- Optional app control
What is the Whirlpool Supreme Care FSCR12441?
This top-of-the-range washing machine is packed with feature and looks thorough moderns. The huge 12kg capacity, A+++ energy rating and automatic load sensing come at a big price, but it’s worth it given it’s also ridiculously quiet.
On test, it delivered excellent wash results. The Eco Cottons programme wowed us with the lowest energy and water use per kilogram of washing we’ve ever seen. It’s another star performance from Whirlpool.
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Whirlpool Supreme Care FSCR12441 – What’s it like to use?
The Whirlpool looks complicated, but it really isn’t. Whirlpool’s usual central dial is replaced with direct symbol buttons for each wash programme, with options beneath and a crisp LCD panel spelling out exactly what you’ve selected.
The level of detail displayed is superb, including maximum load capacity for each programme, temperature, spin speed and little graphs denoting how frugal (or not) your selected programmes and options are.
Push the relevant programme, add some options, tweak the spin speed and temperature if required and press go. It’s as simple as that.
The soap drawer neatly does away with all the usual printed programme details thanks to the display, and has some surprises of its own. Pull out the drawer and there are reservoirs for detergent and fabric conditioner, but the clever bit is how Whirlpool’s 6th Sense load and turbidity (dirtyness) sensing technology automatically doses the load with precisely the right amount of both liquids.
This not only aims to improve wash performance, but you won’t be using unnecessary amounts of detergent or conditioner – saving you on consumable running costs too. If you want to go old-school, the drawer will accept a single-wash load of washing powder too.
Move down to that enormous black door and a recessed handle on the right side allows it to swing open to the left. Whirlpool’s matching HSCX10441 tumble dryer opens to the right, making for easy washing transfer between the two appliances if they’re placed side-by-side.
The washer door opens to reveal a suitably large porthole and stainless steel drum, illuminated with bright white LED lighting that should ensure rogue socks have nowhere to hide. The drum’s paddles are a unique stepped shape, designed to work with the drum’s Wave Motion washing action, and double as water jets for water/detergent injection.
The maximum spin speed is 1400rpm. That isn’t bad, but arguably it should have been 1600rpm at this price, though Whirlpool says that its innovative traction motor built into the rear of the drum and the drum design itself make this model just as efficient as 1600rpm-spin machines, while using less electricity in the process.
Typical cotton and synthetic garment wash loads are always bulkier than they are heavy. We suggest the real maximum capacity is around 80% of the maximum weight figure quoted by the machine. For this big-capacity machine our 9.6kg pile of laundry was huge. It looked like a small roundabout in the middle of the lab.
Sure enough, the FSCR12441 swallowed the lot without threatening to pop open the door on the first cycle. We did feel 9.6kg might have been a little snug, so we took a couple of items out to test with a still frankly huge 9.25kg load… and the results didn’t disappoint.
If you want to get your smartphone involved in your washing – although we do still struggle to think why – then Whirlpool’s 6th Sense app is pretty good too. This replicates a number of the fascia controls for programme and option selection, and offers a settings menu for the likes of favourites, auto-dosing, wash scheduling and alerts.
Perhaps most innovative is the app’s ability to synchronise the FSCR12441 washer with the HSCX10441 dryer. In this mode, the app automatically programmes the dryer based on the last cycle run on the washer. Okay, that is quite cool.
Whirlpool Supreme Care FSCR12441 – How noisy is it?
Few washing machines like to claim wash noise below 50dB, and fewer still achieve it in reality. The FSCR12441’s energy label would have us believe wash noise is just 48dB, which is quieter than a library. I bet you could look up the term ‘sceptical’ in that library too.
Yet Whirlpool’s Zen technology does away with the traditional belt drive in favour of a directly coupled traction motor that significantly reduces vibration and, as a result, noise. The FSCR12441 purred into life with barely a whirring noise. Even with a maximum load there was no sign of the strain, and it remained remarkably peaceful.
We measured an average noise of precisely 48dB. In reality, the noise of the water sloshing around is a little higher than the machinery noise, but it still only peaks into the very low 50s of the decibel scale.
However, spin noise didn’t measure up to the 70dB stated on the energy label. It was lower. Quite a lot lower! With a full load and 1400rpm spin, the noise barely crested 65dB. That’s extremely quiet, and up there with some of the quietest washers we’ve tested at any price.
Whirlpool Supreme Care FSCR12441 – What programmes does it have?
The programme list is divided neatly into eight everyday programmes and a further eight special cycles. The main programmes are available directly by selecting the relevant icon-button on the fascia, while the special washes require a scroll through the display menu.
The hero Eco-Cotton programme is the cycle on which the energy label results are based, offering the lowest overall water and electricity consumption. The price you pay is often in time and the FSCR12441’s Eco-Cotton cycle suggested it would take not a minute shy of… 6 hours!
Thankfully, that’s the maximum time for a very dirty full load. Smaller, less-soiled loads will take less time thanks to the 6th Sense sensing technology… albeit down to a still-lengthy 4 to 5 hours in our tests. The main Cotton programme traded back some energy efficiency for time, with most of our full-load tests coming in between 2½ to 3½ hours.
The Mixed and Colours programmes will cope with a maximum 7kg load, with the Synthetic and the Delicates cycles down to 4kg and 3kg respectively. A Woolmark-approved Wool wash will handle 2kg of your finest jumpers, and for a speedy wash of up to 3kg there’s a 30-minute Rapid 30 wash.
Special programmes include dedicated cycles for Shirts, Duvets, Cashmere, Bed Linen, Sports garments and towels, Jeans and Baby Items. There’s a final 1kg Mini Load for when you need that emergency outfit washed.
Temperature and spin speed can be tweaked for each cycle with defined limits (you can’t do a 90oC wool wash, for example), and there are a raft of programme options to choose from too.
Regular options include a Pre wash, Heavy Soil, Intensive Rinse and a cycle shortening Rapid mode. This Whirlpool adds a unique Hot Finish option that relaxes fibres in the wash by doing the last rinse in warm water. Clothes emerge warm, which results in them dryer faster on the line.
Bio Stains 15 adds in a cold water pre-wash phase to help shift stubborn stains such as oil and grease. The Colours 15 is geared up for very lightly soiled coloured clothes and does the entire wash in cold water to best maintain colour vibrancy of the material.
The options list is complete with Rinse Hold, a Finish timer and a key lock function.
Whirlpool Supreme Care FSCR12441 – How well does it wash?
Our first test load incorporated our 9.25kg mountain of washing and a test stain strip with dried-on blood, ketchup, juice, turmeric, coffee and engine oil. We used our regular leading brand non-bio detergent. To test Whirlpool’s spectacular A+++ minus 60% energy claim, we opted for the Eco Cottons programme on 40oC.
The best part of a week later (okay, just under 6 hours), the results were eye-opening. The wash had used just 0.45kWh of electricity and just over 60 litres of water. That would be truly impressive for an 6kg load machine and is properly spectacular considering we’d cleaned an entire weeks’ washing for a small family in one go.
Moreover, while one might expect this amazing efficiency to result in a trade-off in cleaning performance, it simply didn’t. The test stain strip emerged very clean, with all but the tough turmeric and impossible engine oil stains removed completely. That’s a truly outstanding result with non-bio detergent… so we ran the whole test again to check. We got exactly the same, really rather brilliant, results.
And did that maximum 1400 spin adversely affect the spin results compared to a 1600 machine? Not at all. In fact, it compared favourably with premium 1600-spin machines, adding just 32% in water weight to our whopping 9.25kg load. That’s a great result and class-leading for a machine that tops out at 1400rpm. Clearly this Whirlpool’s motor and drum design is very clever indeed.
As is typical with A+++ machines on the Eco programme, reducing the wash load by half had a relatively small effect on consumption. Energy dipped a little to 0.43kW, while water improved again to just 45 litres. Spin efficiency was better, coming in at just 30% extra water weight in the load.
Switching to the Cottons programme saw more typical energy and water usage figures for this size machine. A full load wash at 40oC used 1.6kWh of electricity and 93 litres of water, while wash time was reduced to a marginally more sane and sensible 3hrs 30mins.
Interestingly, a re-test with a new stain strip using the normal Cottons 40 programme didn’t see any further improvement in cleaning performance compared to the excellent Eco wash results. That’s a great testament to the cleaning power of the Eco programme – as long as you have the time.
Whirlpool Supreme Care FSCR12441 – How much will it cost to run?
Our standard annual wash regime incorporates 240 washes – 200 of which would be full loads on Cotton 40, and the other 40 washes would be half loads split evenly between normal Cotton washes and Eco Cotton cycles. That theoretical regime was created since Eco programmes generally never cleaned as well as normal cycles and were only used for lightly soiled loads (and energy label tests).
This Whirlpool is one of a new breed of machine that turns that concept on its head, with its Eco Cottons programme delivering excellent wash results equal to the standard Cotton wash. We’d find the extra time to use the FSCR12441 on Eco Cottons pretty much exclusively, save for special clothing loads.
As such, we’ve calculated this machine’s annual consumption for 240 washes based on 200 full loads on Eco Cotton, plus the usual mix of half-load washes. That would bring the total annual energy use down to around 115kWh per year – the lowest we’ve ever recorded!
Given an average of 15p/kWh, that regime would cost you less than £18 per year in electricity. Water use is nearly as ultra-efficient, if not quite class-leading. It used some 14,600 litres per year on this basis, or around £52 for those billed an average of £3.50 per cubic meter of water and waste.
Those figures would seriously impress us if this was a 9 or 10kg machine. Considering this is a 12kg model, and even using our 80% load bias, our annual regime would wash a staggering two metric tonnes of clothing.
The Whirlpool’s only caveat to its otherwise amazing Eco credentials is what happens outside of the actual Eco programme. The moment you start dabbling in hot washes, specialist programmes, intensive rinsing, heavy-soil loads, the figures all head north rapidly. This isn’t unusual, and while it’s still no power-monster on these programmes, the figures are much more in line with other similarly priced machines on the market.
That said, use the FSCR12441 with full loads and on its amazing Eco Cottons 40 programme and no other washing machine can touch its energy and water efficiency per kilogram of clothes washed. Brilliant.
Should I buy the Whirlpool Supreme Care FSCR12441?
Whirlpool’s flagship washing machine more than delivers it’s A+++ minus 60% energy promise on the Eco Cottons programme, offering some of the lowest running costs we’ve ever seen.
Wash and spin results are excellent, programme selection comprehensive, options useful and the noise is super-quiet. While the non-Eco programmes can be a little heavy on resources, the auto-dosing system, control panel and even the app are all supremely easy to use. For a fabulously efficient, well-featured washing machine with great cleaning results, the FSCR12441 is a star performer.
A thoroughly modern, very quiet and easy-to-use washer that offers great wash results and spectacularly low running costs.