12 minute washing machine tested by Which?Russell Hobbs 'wonder washer' tested

14 July 2011

Russell Hobbs RH1248RTG

The RH1248RTG: a 'wonder washer'?

Hailed as the 'wonder washer', Russell Hobbs' says its RH1248RTG washing machine can wash, rinse and spin a lightly soiled load in just 12 minutes - the fastest reported wash time to date. We tested it - alongside the standard programs - in our latest batch.

The 'super rapid' wash program is designed for clothes worn only once but, while it has a maximum capacity of 7kg, this fast program is only designed to handle a smaller load of laundry. The same applies to for the 14 minute wash program on Beko's WMD78144 Xpress - which previously held the crown for the fastest wash program.

Fastest washing machine?

But we found that the '12 minute wash' actually took 15 minutes, which makes it slower than the program advertised by Beko - and no faster than the 15 minute quick cycles often found on new washers from the likes of Bosch.

To see which is the better overall washing machine, and to compare the two washing machines for speed on standard programs, have a look at the individual reviews for the and the . 

The reviews also show you whether either washer can beat the 1 hour 7 minutes we've seen from an with a full - and larger - load of washing.

Smaller laundry loads

Which? washing machines expert Katie Hill says: 'Our laundry habits are changing, and it's now more common to throw smaller loads in the washing machine, made up of clothes that have only been worn once. Some washes aren't tackling anything heavier than deodorant marks or perspiration, so it's good to see manufacturers designing programs that keep up with everyday life.

'But it's also important that consumers know what they're getting and aren't led to believe a full load of filthy clothes can be cleaned in a few minutes. Energy use is another important factor; short programs can use more energy to heat water quickly - and these programs aren't factored in to official EU energy labels.

'Always check the energy and water ratings in our reviews for a realistic view of a washing machine's consumption. Not all your washing will be suitable for this fast wash cycle so it's not a miracle cure.'

Washing machine energy efficiency

Russell Hobbs claims the RH1248RTG's speed is down to a twin jet system, which uses two nozzles to inject water and detergent into your clothes where other machines use one. This speedy wash program allegedly cuts energy use by 30% and water consumption by 15% - and could cut the time you spend cleaning laundry during your lifetime by two years and four months.

Most modern washing washing machines are A-rated for energy, and there's little difference in running costs between models. The EU has launched a new labelling scheme that will help consumers pick out the most energy efficient models by changing the current A-G rating to A+++-D. An average washing machine uses 9.5 litres of water for every kg of washing - see how the RH1248RTG compares in our washing machine review.

For more details on water consumption and what to look out for when the EU's new energy labels become mandatory in December 2011, have a look at the washing machine energy efficiency page in our washing machines review.

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