What is the Grundig GWN59450C?
The welcome return of German über-brand Grundig has already delivered us a top-spec fridge freezer that bagged a Trusted Reviews 9/10 rating in October. Here we have the brand’s range-topping washing machine, coming to the test bench with an impressive A+++ energy efficiency rating, 9kg load capacity, Steam Refresh function and a premium price tag to go with those top-fight specifications.
Its MultiSense technology measures the weight of the washing and the dirt in the water on the first soaking, judging the ideal amount of detergent, energy and water for a maximum clean with the minimum use of resources. The program list is comprehensive, with a dedicated stain program and a 40/40 Quick Wash that does a 40-degree cycle in just 40 minutes.
The large door, LCD screen and brushed aluminium buttons and trim all add to a top-quality look and feel.
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Grundig GWN59450C – What’s it like to use?
The GWN59450C comes across as delightfully simple to use in an old-school button-and-knob sort of way. Choosing a program via the rotary selector knob is intuitive, and the buttons give easy manual adjustment of end time, soiling level, spin speed and temperature. The stainless steel buttons do rather highlight finger marks if you’re inclined to do your washing with mucky mitts.
Top-level information is shown on the crisp white-on-black display, which also delivers a range of scrolling text messages that let you know when to add laundry and what the machine is up to in the cycle.
The three-drawer dispenser has a lift-out receptacle for liquid detergents, and there are icons on the display to show whether there’s detergent loaded or not. That should save you getting to the end of a cycle only to realise you hadn’t put any soap in. Overall, this Grundig’s quite traditional in its functionality, so most users will have it up and running in minutes without having to refer to the instruction manual.
Grundig GWN59450C – How noisy is it?
Claiming 57dB wash noise and 77dB spin noise, this Grundig doesn’t pretend to be as quiet as some of the ultra-silent models available, but it should be quiet enough not to be intrusive. With a full load we measured around 59dB during the wash, which is about the same as a normal conversation.
While this was slightly higher than Grundig’s figures, we found the spin slightly quieter than stated, measuring a fairly respectable 75dB at full 1400rpm. That would be about the same as an average vacuum cleaner.
Grundig GWN59450C – Programs
Along with the usual Cotton, Cotton Eco, Synthetics, Hand Wash and Wool Protect programs, this Grundig offers a mixed-fibre mode, a 40-degree quick wash and a ‘mini’ 30-minute wash for doing small loads in a hurry. You get a stain-care wash specifically for hard-to-shift muck, a bedding wash for duvets and sheets, and Grundig’s Steam Refresh programme.
Steam Refresh uses just a litre of water to refresh lightly soiled clothing, perhaps shirts that have only been worn for a couple of hours. We gave this a try and it worked very well at sprucing up a cotton shirt, coming out of the wash hot and steamy. This ensured the shirt dried quickly when hung up and had very few creases.
There’s a specialist wash for dark clothes to reduce fading, and a machine-cleaning wash, too. The Grundig’s basic programmable washes are rather old-school, however, with the cotton wash set to default to 60 degrees rather than the current standard of 40 degrees or even lower. This can be easily changed in the options, but are you going to remember to do this if you want to save energy by using a 40-degree wash?
Grundig GWN59450C – Performance
For our tests we ran three different wash cycles: a 40-degree C cotton wash with a 7.2kg (80%) full load at 1400rpm spin speed, a 40-degree C cotton wash with a 3.6kg (40%) load at 1400rpm, then the same wash using the Cotton Eco mode at Grundig’s 60-degree C preset. Most other machines we’ve tested use 40 degrees, 30 degrees or even 20 degrees for their Eco washes, so the Grundig is unlikely to look very economical in our like-for-like tests.
The choice of an 80% load is more in tune with a genuine load, as very few people actually stuff their washing machine to maximum capacity. We included a test stain strip in the first wash, stained with dried-on ketchup, coffee, blood, red wine, juice and engine oil. To keep the test balanced with other machines tested, we used a major brand of non-biological detergent washing powder for all tests, so the cleaning had no biological help.
The Grundig’s timings proved to be fairly accurate, with the first wash completing within 13 minutes of the suggested time of 1hr 59mins indicated at the start. The second half-load wash came in just 1min faster than the 1hr 59mins advised, and the final Eco wash finished 8mins longer than the indicated 2hrs 57mins.
The Grundig’s wash performance was equally up to the job, with the test stain strip only showing the merest remnants of the coffee, juice and wine stains. The blood and oil proved to be tougher to shift, but the Grundig’s overall wash performance was well above budget machines while not quite having the grime-shifting ability of the super-premium models at well over £1000.
Our test strip before (top) and after
The GWN59450C went on to deliver slightly above-average spin results in all three washes, with the first wash leaving 2.5kg (35%) of water from a dry 7.2kg weight of clothing. The second and third washes left 1.2kg (34%) and 1kg (28%) of water respectively from a 3.6kg dry weight of clothing. This is especially good performance in the Eco wash mode, as we’ve found these Eco programmes tend to shirk a bit on the spin time to save electricity and therefore leave more water in the clothing. Not the case with this machine.
Grundig GWN59450C – Running Costs
The Grundig machine’s default to 60 degrees as standard for its Cotton Eco wash unfortunately did it no favours in our standard energy tests. While users can manually bring the temperature down before the wash, we feel most people will just use the default setting and assume it’s running as economically as possible.
As such, our energy figures read rather high, with calculated electricity running costs at nearly £60 a year using our standard calculations. Obviously that’s nowhere near the running costs you’d expect from an A+++ machine. If you remember to manually turn down the temperature in the standard and Eco washes, you could halve these costs and come out with a very efficient machine indeed.
Should I buy the Grundig GWN59450C?
The Grundig is a solidly built, nicely designed and energy-efficient machine, yet getting the best out of it isn’t as straightforward as the simple-to-use rotary knob and control buttons would have you believe. To make the most of that eye-catching A+++ energy figure you’ll need to manually reduce the wash temperature, particularly in Cotton Eco mode, which defaults to a very warm 60-degree wash.
If we’re being picky, it’s not very quiet for this price point and the stainless steel buttons are going to take regular buffing if you want to keep it looking pristine. However, there’s no challenging the Grundig’s excellent washing and spin performance figures, which make it a worthy step up from the raft of budget machines out there. Just remember to turn that temperature down.
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