Indesit Moon washing machine

Review The Indesit Moon washing machine advert had a catchy tag line, “Future Friendly” and a catchy music track by New Order (Hey Now What You Doing, from the album Waiting For The Sirens’ Call). I’m sceptical about the use of the phrase “future friendly” though.

The phrase implies it will either last a very long time, or that a product is so technically advanced it is unlikely to be superseded by anything better in the near future. If they have genuinely pulled this off it would be an amazing achievement for one of the cheapest brands in the UK.

The TV advert was very slick showing lots of robots mingling with people in everyday life apparently integrated into society. The accompanying overlaid text says, “One day – Man and machine – Will live together – In perfect harmony”. Then as a woman loads her new Indesit washing machine with laundry it continues, “That day – Has dawned”. As she closes the door the voice over says, “Indesit Moon: Future friendly”.

The advert is brilliant (I’m not being sarcastic). It has great music, great visuals, and a great overall concept. I was just disappointed to see it was only advertising a washing machine – and one of the cheapest washing machines in the business. £299 for a 6 kg washing machine with a 1400 rpm spin is cheap, and these days many cheap washing machines are notoriously not worth repairing (and get scrapped way too soon) if they break down out of guarantee unless it is a minor fault.

It would be great if the spare parts for this washing machine are going to be priced lower than previous Indesit spare parts, and at levels that make it economic to repair in the future. So far this is not the case with many cheap washing machines and to me, something can’t be truly future friendly if it isn’t worth repairing after 3 or 4 years just because the PCB has failed.

Looks

I do like the look of this washing machine. I also like the simple solitary control button offering just 4 wash programmes. Many customers have often told me they want simple controls and fewer programmes – not more. It will appeal to customers buying at the budget end who see extremely simple controls as a priority but they won’t have to mind if this involves compromises elsewhere.

The innovative soap dispenser behind the door looks interesting too although it’s too early to judge if this is a genuinely good idea or not yet. The advantage is that “because water is constantly splashing inside this dispenser as the drum rotates it should be kept very clean”. However, one disadvantage is that it replaces the customary door glass so you cannot see the laundry inside. Although I would have thought the novelty of watching clothes go round and round in a washing machine has long since worn off it is still useful to be able to see the washing as the drum revolves. You can occasionally notice something that shouldn’t be there (such as a coin or credit card) and stop the wash to attempt to retrieve it before any damage occurs.

At the end of the day this is a great advert bigging up a normally quite basic brand who’s priority is to make washing machines as cheaply as possible and hopefully give some value for money. It represents Indesit trying to become more sophisticated and more innovative, but it could only be truly “future friendly” if it proves to be much more reliable than other previous models, and if spares are much more reasonably priced to encourage future repairs. Otherwise the future friendly tag is disingenuous.

Update:

Which? have since reviewed the Indesit Moon and their opening paragraph says, “we weren’t overly impressed by the Moon”. They say it’s not very good on the 40 degree wash, the one most people use, and say it’s only good for light stains. However, surprisingly they say it is good at rinsing, which is remarkably rare these days and even most of their “best buys” aren’t highly rated for rinsing ( Why can’t modern washing machines rinse properly? ) So if you require a cheap washing machine and rinsing is especially important to you because of irritation or allergies you might be interested in one but at the compromise of not being very good on 40 degree washes. It has to be said too that Indesit don’t have a good reliability record either according to my experience and Which? reports.

(1 month trial offer plus a copy of the Which? magazine) to get the full benefit of the latest washing machine reviews)

Update: April 2011

The Indesit Moon has now been the subject of a BBC Watchdog item due to them receiving so many complaints about it. The focus of the programme’s criticism is that the Indesit Moon is particularly vulnerable to the nasty build up of grease, grime, sludge, bacteria and black mould as described in my Washerhelp article Washing machine smells – causes of grease, slime and black mould inside washing machines which although affecting any washing machine if the conditions I describe are present, the Indesit Moon appears to be uniquely incapable of doing the 90 degree maintenance boil wash manufacturers (including Indesit themselves) recommend.

If you have a Moon model which is covered in mould and grease you should read the article above for tips on how to discourage the problem. Although the moon cannot do a 90 degree wash you can still try to limit the problem by not using liquid detergents, doing a 60 degree maintenance wash regularly with normal detergent containing bleaching agent etc.

On balance I think it’s fair to say this model should be avoided.

Please Note: Comments on this article should be restricted to general comments about the Indesit Moon model and not repair questions about faults on the appliance thanks.

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Comments

  1. We’ve just ordered one from Sainsburys as it only worked out £13 more than the John Lewis price mentioned to take the old one away too.

  2. You get a minimum of 2 year guarantees with appliances at John Lewis. I’ve known many people who had to scrap their washing machine in the second year because it was going to cost too much to fix after they suffered an early breakdown outside the normal 12 month guarantee. The last one was 14 months old and another recent one I know about was 18 month old.

    Hopefully yours will be OK (I’m not suggesting that the majority of people would have such problems) but with cheap washing machines an extra years guarantee can prove very useful and is worth even paying a bit more for.

  3. Don’t bother with this washing machine. I was part of the ‘Moon Trial’ last November (2006) and wish I hadn’t bothered. The seal of the door is covered in mould which I can’t get off and an engineer told us how to take the parts off to clean it – interesting considering it is meant to be self cleaning..

    Also, our dog can open the door on it and loves to pull all the washing out. So if you have small children don’t bother with this as there is no child lock.

  4. avatar robert jones says:

    Now on our second machine. First one delivered 10.10.07 took 190 minutes on the 60 wash instead of 145 as advertised. Retailer said machine was faulty and replaced it on 14.11.07
    60 wash remains at 187 – 190 minutes. Still in discussion with retailer to see if Indesit plan a modification or admit to a problem.
    Would welcome views of other users.

  5. avatar robert jones says:

    Further to the above, the retailer has been unable to make meaningful contact with the manufacturer so we are returning the second machine. I note the remarks re the rinse which I believe is the root cause of the problem. The rinse cycle goes on and on, even with minimum detergent, for some 25-30 minutes, with subsequent use of water and energy. Perhaps Which should do a re-test.

  6. Thanks for the update Robert. The problem with testing is that people only test the most commonly used pogramme, which is usualy the 40 degree cottons wash. The eco labels system for example base their awards on that. The other programmes could be useless but a washing machine could still get an A wash efficiency rating.

    Just make sure your problem isn’t being caused by siphoning due to the drain hose being pushed too far down after being freshly installed.

    It probably isn’t, but just in case have a look at this section on Washerhelp – Washing machine constantly fills with water and goes down the drain

    If siphoning was the problem it would be losing water down the drain on rinses and the washing machine would constantly have to keep topping up with water. This can cause it to stick on rinses (and sometimes on wash).

  7. avatar robert jones says:

    I’ve always been aware of the siphoning problem with washing machines so that was the first thing that I checked. Also the vertical and horizontal levels to an exact level. It looks as though our replacement machine will be a Bosch so await the washing times with great interest.
    I read in the press that the State of California (always short of water) are cracking down on manufacturers whose wahing machines take longer than the claimed times, some by a considerable time.

  8. Bought and installed a moon just prior to christmas, on the 1st wash noticed an odd noise as the drum turned (sounds like the inner drum rubbing against the outer). Stopped the machine and messed around with the feet and managed to get the 1st wash done with no noise.

    Put the 1st wash on and the noise returned, so further adjustment of feet to stop the noise. Unfortunately the back feet are now 15mm higher than the front, a spirit level in the drum however shows the drum now level, even though the machine is not. Also, when moving the drum from within, pushing the drum backward at the back and top shows only 1cm of play before a “dunk” is heard.

    Am going to get the machine replaced in the new year as I don’t think this is normal behaviour, and to continue to use the machine would cause it a premature end. (when the machine spins up if I hear it rub it slows the drum momentarily – can’t be good). Hopefully the replacement will be better.

  9. avatar robert jones says:

    Tom (no relation I hasten to add !) I notice today that John Lewis have reduced the price of the Moon to £239, Comet to £265 and Currys do not feature it on their site. Looks like the word has finally got round, thanks perhaps to this super blog.

  10. Tom Jones
    it sounds like you have removed the transit bolts but maybe left the plastic spacers between drum and rear of machine in place.

    happens a lot.
    respect
    Dave

  11. Word of Warning Regarding MOON

    Great no frills washer looks good .Designed for no messing about just press go with only 4 progs ,GREAT for dear old lady who wants easy to use machine with fast 1400 spin i thought. ERR NOT SO GREAT. Most modern digital machines need to be satisfied of a balanced load prior to spin or they restart the spin cycle to attempt to rebalance clothes , if not they eventually stop without spin. You cannot select a spin on this machine AT ALL.. min prog 30 mins which has slow 800 spin only. Dear old lady generely washes 1 item = out of balance = not always spins = reselect prog on hope it spins and if it does only 800 spin. . any comments on this ?

  12. avatar Tom Jones says:

    Thanks for all comments, unfortunately I can confirm I have 4 transit bolts complete with plastic spacers sitting on my kitchen worktop, so it’s not that, unless of course one was lost when the bolts were installed and they put an extra one in for good measure!

    Interesting to see JL are selling it for 240, I assume that’ll be with their 2 year guarantee too.

  13. DAve (January 3rd, 2008, at 6:05 PM)

    You make a good point about the transit packaging although Tom has now replied saying it isn’t relevant in this case. If Tom has had John Lewis agree to exchange the Moon washing machine without sending anyone out to check it first he’s done well or it shows what good service john Lewis give. A substantial amount of problems causing customers to ask for an exchange are installation or user errors. This is why suppliers would normally insist on getting an engineer out first in case it’s something really simple to put right, or an installation / user fault. ( I explain this problem in detail on my consumer advice section – I don’t want my washing machine repaired – I want it exchanged )

    DAve: (January 3rd, 2008, at 6:34 PM)

    The problem with modern washing machines not spinning unless they detect a good balanced load is there with all washing machines. However, some are much worse than others.

    A good rule of thumb is that the good quality washing machines have more sophisticated and reliable balance distribution and detection software. They also have better quality suspension. The cheap washing machines have crude suspension in comparison with the quality makes and they wouldn’t cope with a badly out of balanced load so well, could even cause a lot of damage. As a consequence the cheaper makes may be extra cautious about what they allow to spin.

    The problem you mention regarding not having a usable spin program is something people should watch out for before buying. A washing machine should have a separate spin program for spinning hand washed items or for re-spinning occasionally.

    If there is definitely no proper spin on the Moon, and it does force a half hour rinse program then that’s not very “friendly” at all and pretty rubbish. This is possibly one of the compromises I mention in my article. At the end of the day, very simple usually means limited too. Although designers can make things simpler by clever design, something designed to specifically have very few options in order to be extremely simple to use has to compromise on options and flexibility.

  14. Bought this model off john lewis for the £239 price, so I’ve got the 2-year guarantee. Also managed to install it myself (whoo!) on friday, not bad considering the previous model was about 15 years old and basically had a fitted kitchen built around it… getting a waste pipe with no kinks round the back of a 3-foot deep cupboard is no mean feat :-)

    one thing I specifically picked the machine for was it’s size. It’s only 58 cm deep. Our old machine (a zanussi fl828) was 60cm and had to hold it’s breath to fit in the space allocated. All the new washing machines I looked at are slowly getting bigger, 61, 63, 65 cm and wouldn’t have fitted. What’s with the size bloat?

    Couple of grumbles…
    a) the 1400 spin only applies to the hottest cycle, the cooler cycles are only 800/1000 so the tumble dryer is going to get as much work as there’s no plain spin programme

    a) not machine related but john lewis had fubar’ed the order, despite paying the £9 for the old machine to be taken away, the couriers hadn’t received that part of the order and refused to take it as they had no room in the van. Errr…so how did you bring the new machine then? they slope off…. status of complaint with johhny lewis is pending…

  15. martin:

    The growth in depth is commonly due to the extra large drum sizes these days. They need to use extra depth. The Indesit Moon has a 6Kg drum which is larger than your old one.

    Another reason is design styles. Flat fronted washing machines are seen as old fashioned, and current designs tend to have a convex front. They may look good, but many people in the UK have small kitchens and lack a separate laundry room. It’s bad design for them as many installations are tight and have either a kitchen drawer, a cupboard door or a back door opening across it. This can cause major problems if the washing machine front, or its control panel bulges out.

    On your point about the spin

    This is the case with all washing machines – at least these days. I have a 1400 spin Miele, one of the best washing machine makers in the world, and it too only uses the 1400 spin on cottons. Here are the recommended spin speeds for various laundry from their instruction book -

    Cottons: 1400 rpm
    Minimum iron: 1200 rpm
    Delicates: 600 rpm
    Woollens: 1200 rpm
    Silks: 400 rpm
    Shirts: 600 rpm
    Denim: 900 rpm

    Having said that, there is a separate spin programme where I can spin anything I like at full spin speed. It would be inconvenient to have to constantly re-spin certain items, but at least most washing machines let you do that if you choose to. It does appear that the Indesit Moon does not have a proper separate spin only programme so this is a negative issue with the Indesit Moon for some people.

    Delivery issue

    The problem you had with the delivery people is a little suspicious because exactly the same thing happened to me. I would have thought it unlikely that they didn’t receive that part of the order because it’s all generated by computer when you order. It doesn’t rely on (as in the old day) someone jotting your order on a notepad and telephoning it though.

    In my case the delivery men apologised and promised to return another day. This wasn’t too inconvenient for me but it could be for others. If they didn’t offer to return to pick up the old washer then you certainly have a complaint there.

    I can’t help suspecting that sometimes it could be the van drivers manipulating the situation because they have a particularly bad run that day. The problem they could face is that they start out with a van full of new products all placed in position on the van. The first deliveries are the most accessible and the ones right at the back are the later deliveries. As they deliver the first few, if everyone wants the old one taken away the old ones block access to the next deliveries. It’s not hard to imagine a situation where several old washing machines, dishwashers and fridges completely log-jam the deliveries.

    At the end of the day though that’s not the consumer’s problem and they should get what they’ve ordered and paid for. This particular case could be as I described or it could be a genuine cock up where they weren’t told to take it.

    I’m sure John Lewis will sort it out for you, their customer service is normally the best in the business – as confirmed by Which?

  16. avatar robert jones says:

    Ref Martin and the non-collection. I was dealing with John Lewis Direct with my problem and promised calls did not always materialise. Two letters to the following gentleman resulted in a direct telephone to a senior manager lady who was excellent : Shash Mistory. Head of Customer Services, J.L.Direct, Draycott Ave, London, SW3 2NA
    PS I would like to know how long the 60 degree wash takes on yr Moon, the best we ever achieved was 187 mins – 3 hrs 7 mins !

  17. avatar mathew King says:

    The Indesit moon washing machine is’nt Future friendly if the machine fills up to much. It said in the review that when it breaks down the door unlocks and water spirts all over ther place.
    My Bosch machine you can’t even see the water in it! It only fills up small.

  18. Hello mathew King. The evidence regarding the door on the Indesit Moon being able to open when full of water if it breaks down mid cycle (assuming it had been switched off a few minutes to allow the interlock to de-energize) is anecdotal. I heard it from a repair engineer who had a customer that this had happened to.

    There are many washing machines that will let you open the door with water inside if you switch it off (or it breaks down) mid cycle and wait a few mins for the interlock to cool down and release. The reason it is an issue with the Moon is that it is has no glass door so you can’t see that there is still water inside.

  19. I bought an Indesdit Moon a few days ago and I am really pleased with it. The wash times are as advertised and the wash is both well rinsed and well spun. It is really quiet without any particular balancing or levelling during installation. Overall very satisfied with my purchase.

  20. avatar robert jones says:

    Becky, I am most interested to read your comments re the washing times. Can you confirm that the 60 degree wash takes the 145 minutes as claimed in the manual ? Even Comet say it takes 164 mins. If yours is 145 then I think they must have modified the rinse sensor on later machines.

  21. avatar Carl Francis says:

    I read all the comments on you page with interest, I was going to buy a moon but now have been put off. The reasons being the long cycles, no option to spin, door opening when full in the machine breaks down, slow spin on low temp wash. Good site with good comments.

  22. i have a question is the MOON Hot and Cold Fill or Just Cold?? a quick reply would much appreciated as I’m installing my moon now!!

    if it is both hot and cold then the people who are concerned about the length of a cycle are you just using the cold fill if you are then the machine will take time to heat the water and thus make the cycle longer

  23. Phil: Virtually every washing machine is now cold fill only including the Indesit Moon.

    The whole concept of hot and cold fill washing machines is virtually redundant and out dated. Modern washing machines use so little water that most would not take any hot water in and still have to heat it up. This is because by the time the hot water runs into the machine it’s finished filling. There is also an argument that having a hot valve is wasting hot water for most people because in most cases all that happens is the washing machine draws in a few litres of water but it’s cold because the hot water has cooled in the pipes. It stops filling just at the time that proper hot water has been drawn into the pipework but not reached the washer (or only just reached it). This hot water doesn’t get used and is usually wasted as it rapidly cools in the pipework.

    Also, when supplied from a hot water cylinder, all the water drawn into the pipes is replaced by cold from the header tank in the loft, which cools down the rest of the hot water and has to be heated back up.

    In this common scenario all that happens when a modern washing machine draws a couple of litres of water of hot and cold water is that none gets into the machine but hot water is wasted and replaced by cold which needs heating up again. Even with combination boilers there is still waste hot water because of cooling in pipes and it takes a lot of energy to heat water instantly as it passes through the boiler. There may well be scenarios where all this doesn’t happen but it does for the majority of people.

    It’s all explained in this article but it’s lengthy – Cold fill washing machines

    At the end of the day, manufacturers are falling over themselves to produce washing machines that use less energy to get the coveted A energy efficiency rating. If it used less energy using a hot valve, you would think they’d put one in. As most people only wash at 40 degrees and less, and I believe we are heading for cold water washing anyway I can’t see the hot valve coming back

    I do believe it is possible to use one – particularly for the boil or 60 degree washes that all manufacturers say we should do regularly ( Washing machine manufacturers now recommend a maintenance wash once a month ) to keep the washing machine clean inside. However, it would need sophisticated techniques to overcome the problems mentioned that caused the demise of the hot valve in the first place and involve wasting the first draw of water which would need to be pumped out (there’s no room to store it for later use in the rinses).

  24. So then if there is a connection for cold and hot water do i need to connect pipe to hot valve ? ?

  25. There is only a connection for a cold water hose on virtually all washing machines now. You just connect the cold fill hose. You should ideally blank off the old hot tap.

    You should be able to buy a screw-on cap from a plumbers merchant (or maybe a DIY store) to seal off the hot valve.

    In theory, just leaving the hot tap turned off and unused should be fine (and that’s what most people do) but many common taps are prone to getting accidentally knocked and allowing water to leak out. I’ve heard of cases where the lever’s been knocked inside the cupboard or even by the washing machine moving about on spin if fitted behind it causing floods. A slow dripping tap can cause a lot of damage.

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