Hotpoint ActiveCare NM11 1045 WC A UK

The Hotpoint 10kg ActiveCare NM11 1045 WC A UK has an A+++ energy rating, a wide selection of programmes, an LCD control panel and Steam Refresh option to rejuvenate your clothes without a full wash, meaning there’s plenty to like.

The ActiveCare option is easy to use and delivers great wash results. Drum capacity, spin performance and noise are okay for the price, and running costs are low – as long as you stick to the Cotton Eco 60 cycle. If you can live with the high running costs of the specialist programmes, this Hotpoint is a great choice.

Hotpoint ActiveCare NM11 1045 WC A UK – What is it like to use?
While the Hotpoint ActiveCare NM11 1045 WC A UK isn’t short of programmes and settings, it’s easy to use and feels like a sturdy, well-made washing machine. The look of the programme dial and overall cosmetics are a departure from the norm, with deeply textured chrome trim, rubberised edge to the polo-shaped knob and a swing-out – rather than pull-out – drawer.The display is crisp and clear, and likewise breaks from the norm by being orange rather than more usual blue or blue-white. The knob feels positive and programme selection is slick, but we can’t help but feel that the overall design isn’t quite as chic as Hotpoint was aiming for. The acres of chrome around the door can look a little tacky, making finger marks rather obvious.

Popping open the door, it was a nice surprise to find an antimicrobial door seal. This should stop annoying black mould growth where water pools in the rubber. The porthole is a decent size for squeezing in bulky items, and the drum is long-lasting Titanium – although it looked rather compact for a full 10kg load.

As suspected, we couldn’t get the full 80% of maximum claimed load of real cotton washing in the drum, settling for just over 7.2kg. That would give the Hotpoint a more realistic claimed maximum capacity of 9kg. This isn’t unusual in similarly sized washing machines, and still a decent capacity.

This machine has Hotpoint’s ActiveCare technology as an option to some of the non-Eco wash programmes. The system pre-mixes water and detergent for better penetration into the washing and uses a unique drum-motion that, claims Hotpoint, takes best care of your garments. The machine also features a Steam Hygiene option that injects steam into the wash load to enhance wash performance and aims to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria from fibres.

The options buttons are conveniently placed around the display, including temperature, spin speed and a start/delay button for the Add Garments feature. This lets you stop the machine within the first few minutes of any wash cycle to add any items that have fallen out of your basket along the way.

The side-pivoting soap-drawer is a nice design and opens smoothly. The decent-sized opening has compartments for pre-wash and main-wash detergent and fabric softeners. The main compartment will handle both liquid or powder detergent.Hotpoint ActiveCare NM11 1045 WC A UK – How noisy is it?
The Hotpoint has a high-tech inverter motor and runs smooth and quiet for both wash and spin. Ironically, it isn’t the best sound-insulated of machines. During the wash, a fair portion of the noise is the sound of your washing sploshing around in the water.

We measured a low 50dB during much of the wash cycle, with only an occasional rise to near the energy label’s stated 56dB. That will likely sound super-silent compared to your old washer, but is not in the hushed clique of the best low-noise machines that come in well below 50dB.

As with most machines the spin steps up in speed over several periods, with a pause to redistribute the washing in-between. Only on the final 1400 spin did the Hotpoint get close to the energy label’s stated 76dB spin noise, tipping our sound meter at 73-74dB. Like the wash noise, that isn’t too noisy at the price. Nevertheless, it isn’t going to win any awards for lowering the sound barrier bar.

Hotpoint ActiveCare NM11 1045 WC A UK – What programmes does it have?
Headlining Hotpoint’s 15-strong programme choice is the Eco Cotton and Cotton wash cycles that you can use with the maximum capacity load. Interestingly, at 40ºC both cycles run to almost four hours’ duration, use 1.4kWh of energy and 107 litres of water. It’s safe to say they’re the same programme then.

Leave the Cotton Eco programme on its default 60ºC setting, however, and the Hotpoint’s true A+++ eco-capabilities reveal themselves: using under 1kWh of energy and 60 litres of water for a full load. All very admirable, but we wonder how many people would switch to 40ºC assuming the cooler wash would use less electricity?

Alongside the typical Synthetics, Mixed, Whites and Delicates cycles, there’s a Woolmark Apparel Care-approved Wool programme, plus specific cycles for up to 2.5kg of shirts and up to 10kg of bed linens and towels on the Bed & Bath programme. The Hotpoint’s Anti-Allergy cycle is designed to remove allergens such as pollen, mites and pet hairs, while the Anti Stain 40º programme is an intensive wash for heavily soiled and stained garments.

Leveraging the Hotpoint’s steam generator, the Steam Refresh programme injects a dry load with steam and tumbles them gently to freshen them without going for a full wash. Although clothing will be slightly damp and warm when it first comes out of the machine, this dries quickly and is really handy for refreshing the likes of school jumpers or towels.

In conjunction with a sturdy selection of programmes, there are seven helpful options. Adding ActiveCare further improves wash performance and claims to budge the toughest of stains including pizza, bronzer and coffee. This can be used on Mixed, Delicates, Anti Stain 40º, White, Rapid 30 Min and Bed & Bath programmes.

Steam Hygiene injects steam into the laundry during the wash to clean and kill off bacteria, and the Final Care option keeps the load tumbling gently for up to six hours after the cycle has ended. You can also delay the start in the first place to ensure the load completes once you’re home and ready to unload.

The flexible Rapid and Eco choice helps customise the washing cycle, giving the options of choosing between less time or greater energy saving. Touch once for the time-save that can chop off up to 50% of the cycle to get your laundry done quickly. Press twice for the eco-option that aims to save up to 20% energy consumption. The actual savings will vary according to load and programme.

We were a little surprised that there was no option to increase the number of rinses for those with detergent sensitivity, but Hotpoint’s Anti-Allergy programme does include this as standard.

Hotpoint ActiveCare NM11 1045 WC A UK – How well does it wash?
We conducted a range of different wash tests and started with our key test strain strip on the standard Cotton wash at 40ºC. Included on our strip is a few drops of ketchup, blood, turmeric, cranberry jam, engine oil and coffee. To give them extra staying power, we left these to dry on the fabric for 24 hours before placing the strip at the centre of our full 8kg load (80% of max claimed).

Well, that was the plan. The mountain that is 8kg of crumpled cotton garments would not fit into the Hotpoint without needing to lean on the door to close it. We removed 800g of clothing, leaving 7.2kg. That looked a whole lot more comfortable in the drum and left a little room for the materials to tumble and wash properly.

The standard Cotton cycle at 40ºC is very lengthy at a whopping 3hrs 55mins. That’s the sort of time we’d expect for a dedicated Eco Cotton cycle – and the same run-time as the Eco Cotton programme here. Thankfully, the results – with just non-bio detergent – proved worth the wait.

The stain strip looked very clean of the blood, coffee, ketchup and cranberry, which were removed completely. The tough turmeric and oil stains were significantly reduced. If you used bio detergent or Hotpoint’s ActiveCare wash improver or the Stream Hygiene option, results would be even better.

However, this was far from the most “eco” of Cottons programmes we’ve tested, using a significant 1.8kWh of electricity and very high 106 litres of water. The exact same test on the Eco Cotton programme used almost exactly the same resources, which isn’t great at all. Only when we tried the same load in the standard 60ºC flavour of Eco Cottons did energy and water use reduce significantly, with the energy dropping to a much more respectable 1.0kWh and the water to 59 litres.

Halving the load on the standard Cotton 40 programme dropped the resource use a little to 1.4kWh and 80 litres. In Cotton Eco, half-loads uses a much more respectable 0.66kWh and 53 litres – although, frankly, none of that gets close to the A+++ badge on the front. That’s only going to happen if you stick to Cotton Eco 60, which may leave you in a quandary if all your clothing labels say maximum 30 or 40-degree wash only.

After the wash the 1400 spin was efficient even with larger loads but not outstanding. On all tests, full and half-loads, it consistently retained 36% extra weight in water – which is solidly average for a 1400 spin machine.

Hotpoint ActiveCare NM11 1045 WC A UK – How much will it cost to run?
It’s tricky to calculate this. Let us first assume that all your cotton clothes can be washed at 60ºC and you have read this review so you know you need to use the Cotton Eco 60 programme for lowest running costs.

Based on 240 wash loads per year, split 200 full loads and 40 half loads, the NM11 1045 WC A UK would use 226kWh in electricity and 13,900 litres of water. Billed at 15p/kWh and £3.50 per cubic metre of water supply and waste, that would be just shy of £34 in energy and £48.65 in water. A total of just over £80 for washing up to 2.2 metric tonnes of washing isn’t too bad at all.

But, what if your clothes all say wash at 40ºC maximum, or you hadn’t read this review and assumed the Eco 40ºC wash would be the economical programme of choice. Using the Cotton Eco programme on 40ºC for the same 240 loads would use a hefty 416kWh in electricity and a small lake of water at 24,400 litres. That’s double the EU energy label’s “best case scenario” figures and would set you back around £62 in electricity and over £85 in water. Ouch.

The Hotpoint ActiveCare can certainly be a frugal washer that goes some way to living up to its A+++ energy label billing, but you do need to do your homework on the best programmes for the lowest running costs. That’s the Cotton Eco 60 with a full load… you read it here first.

Why buy the Hotpoint ActiveCare NM11 1045 WC A UK?
Packed with programmes and options to increase performance, the Hotpoint produced great cleaning results across our stain tests. The Rapid/Eco, ActiveCare and steam features all work very well, and we do like the hinged drawer for a change from the pull-out norm.

That said, the bling trim is a little tacky for our tastes; the drum is smaller than advertised; and the spin efficiency is solidly average for a 1400 machine. Our only real note of caution is that outside of the A+++ rated Eco Cotton 60ºC cycle, this Hotpoint is heavy on resources and running costs. Strangely that includes the Cotton Eco cycle at 40 degrees, which uses nearly 50% more electricity and water than its hotter 60-degree counterpart….
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. go figure.

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