What is the Samsung WD906U4SAGD?
A feature packed all-in-one washer dryer with an impressive 9kg load capacity for washing or you can wash and dry a 6kg load all in one go. It also features Samsung’s the same ecobubble wash technology as the excellent Samsung WF90F7E6U6W washing machine, where a soapy froth is created by mixing the detergent with both air and water before the cycle begins, enabling the bubbles to penetrate deep into the fibres faster than a conventional wash. This enables wash performance at cooler temperatures to be as effective as warmer temperatures, which in turn saves energy and running costs.
The embossed raised shape of the Diamond Drum, unique to Samsung, allows the clothes more contact with the water and drum, while smaller water holes prevent damage and snagging. It is claimed that this provides deep clean results even for the most delicate washing. The air wash cycle gently removes unpleasant smells and sanitizes laundry without water, so is ideal for some dry-clean-only clothes with no need for chemicals.
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Samsung WD906U4SAGD: What is it like to use?
The main controls are fairly self-explanatory with all the programmes set around a large dial that illuminates your chosen setting. There is also a more detailed panel, lit with green LEDs, that shows the chosen programme in more detail and allows you to manually alter the automatic settings, for example the spin speed or temperature.
The ecobubble wash is standard for all programmes but can be manually turned off if required. The Samsung WD906U4SAGD does not precisely sense the load weight but roughly calculates the wash time and displays this as a countdown timer. This was found to be rather variable, but corrects itself as the wash cycle proceeds. On completion you get Samsung’s cheerful tune, which is fun for about the first half a dozen washes. After that it can easily be turned off.
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Samsung WD906U4SAGD: What programmes does it have?
There are nine automatic wash programmes to choose from as well as Samsung’s My Cycle button that allows you to design and save your own bespoke programme for use in the future. Manual options for tweaking the temperature, spin speed and number of rinses is also available. Alongside the usual cotton, synthetic and woollen washes, there is a baby care programme that has additional rinses to ensure no detergent residue is left behind. A quick 15-minute wash, one of the quickest on the market, a super eco wash and an outdoor care wash for sportswear fibres complete the standard programme line-up. As if that isn’t enough, there are also 2 air wash cycles for either deodorisation or sanitization. These refresh without using water and differ by their cycle times of 29 minutes or 59 minutes.
Things get a little more complex when you begin to integrate this machine’s drying functions. If selecting a stand-alone drying programme you have four choices on the dial; cupboard dry, iron dry, low temperature drying for delicate fabrics or a manual drying time choice. There is also an option to fully wash and dry a complete load automatically by choosing the desired wash cycle then pressing the drying button repeatedly until the desired drying cycle is highlighted. Obviously your wash load is limited to the maximum drying load of 6kg or lower, depending of wash cycle, in this case. For caring for the actual machine there is an eco drum clean that flushes out built-up residues and is recommended after every 40 washes.
Samsung WD906U4SAGD: How noisy is it?
This machine measured fairly quiet on a wash cycle (57dB) and relatively quiet on the spin cycle (70dB), but it did go through a phase of having a rather loud rattle (72dB) on getting up to top spin speed – a noise fairly reminiscent of an older style washing machine that everyone remembers. Ordinarily we’d have put this down to an unbalanced load , but the same noise happened on all our wash loads.
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Samsung WD906U4SAGD: How well does it wash and dry?
We ran four different wash cycles for our tests; a 40°C cotton wash with a 7.2kg (80%) full load at 1400 spin speed; a 40°C cotton wash with 3kg (50% of 6kg) load all the way through to dry; a 40°C cotton wash with a 3.6kg (40%) load at 1200 spin speed and then the same wash but this time in super eco mode. We did not use the full 9kg load as using 80% is regarded as more realistic for day-to-day usage. We also included a test stain strip in the first wash which was stained with dried on ketchup, coffee, blood, red wine and engine oil and washed using a non-biological detergent.
The timings for all the washes were a variable feast, with the first wash running over by only 16 minutes from the 3 hours 5 minutes indicated. This full wash also proved effective in spinning away the majority of water, leaving 2.7kg (38%) of water weight from a dry 7.2kg starting weight load. All of the stains on our strip were removed, apart from the tough engine oil. This got noticeably lighter in colour but is unlikely to be removed without the help of biological powder. Using an average energy price of 15p per KWh at the time of this review, this cycle worked out costing rather high 26p per wash.
The other two ‘wash only’ cycle results were identical visually but the cotton wash took an extra 53 minutes longer than the 2 hours 3 minutes quoted – a very large difference compared to the washing machines we’ve reviewed. The super eco wash timing was more accurate, with an extra 9 minutes added to the 2 hours 13 quoted. Both washes left 1.5kg (42%) of water weight from a dry 3.6kg weight. Washer-dryers are rarely as efficient as dedicated separate washing and drying machines but in super eco mode the Samsung did work out at a very frugal 10p per wash. However the cotton wash came in at a hefty 24p per wash. Considering this was only for a 3.6kg load, and the 7.2kg load cost only 2p per cycle more, users would be well advised to ensure they max-out their wash day loads to save money over the year.
The drying cycle was very effective in removing all the moisture in the wash, but tumble drying is never going to be a cheap way of drying your clothes. While the Samsung is actually one of the more frugal dryers on the market, adding a drying function to a cotton half load used an additional 0.978KWh, adding 15p to the price of the wash. Interestingly, the Samsung indicated the full dirty to dry cycle would take over 6hrs but it actually came in at around four and half with our test load. This is likely to be variable on the type of washing and how well it responds to tumble drying.
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Samsung WD906U4SAGD: How much will it cost to run?
Based on an average UK household use (200 x 40°C 80% max load and 40 x 40°C 40% half load with a 50/50 split on normal and eco programmes), the Samsung WD906U4SAGD’s annual running cost is a fairly stiff £58.74. Over the life of the machine that is likely to be a higher cost than the machine itself, and it’s around £20 to £25 per year more than straight washing machines like the Panasonic NA-140VZ4 and LG F14A8FDA.
However, the Samsung is one of the more economical washer dryers for its drying cycle. In our tests drying a half load added just 15p (1kw) to the cycle, so if you did 100 x half load drying cycles per year it would add around £15 to your annual running costs. Do note that the type of clothes and the degree of dryness selected will vary the actual costs. Specific figures for power and water use are listed at the bottom of this review.
Should I buy the Samsung WD906U4SAGD?
This is a great all-in-one washer dryer ideal for the busy household and gives you the option to only wash, only dry or do both. Its washing cycle costs in power and water are not the best, but it makes up for it in its very efficient drying performance and a reasonable price, so it’s definitely a machine to consider if you are a heavy tumble dryer user. As an added bonus the air wash cycle could reduce your annual dry-cleaning bills.
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*Annual figure based on the average UK household running 200 x 40°C 80% max loads and 40 x 40°C 40% half loads (50/50 split normal eco).
** Annual drying figures based on a 40% half load and 100 drying cycles per year.