If your in the market for a high quality washing machine you might have heard about IFB. IFB has gained a reputation for making sturdy and high quality washing machines although they are priced slightly higher than the others.

When we reviewed washing machines some time back we got a chance to test the IFB washing machine. We put the IFB washing machine through a whole range of wash tests with even included washing heavily soiled blankets. With the extensive testing and research of the IFB machine we managed to understand not only the features and working of this machine but also the service and maintenance part of it.

Here is a brief list of things that you will find in this article. You can use it to jump around the article as you please:

This is a really long post! Use these links to jump around.



A look at the IFB machines in the market

IFB makes top-loading and front-loading fully automatic machines ranging from Rs.16,000 all the way upto Rs.60,000.

Let us look at some of the popular models they have.

Top Loading

Complete list of top loading IFB models in India today

Top loading IFB Washing machine

Front Loading

Complete list of Front loading IFB models in India today

Features offered on IFB Machines

Deep Clean

Is the name given by IFB to a combination of technologies that together help to give a much through cleaning to soiled clothes. Included in the Deep CLean umbrella are the following technologies, Is the name given by IFB to a combination of technologies that together help to give a much through cleaning to soiled clothes. Included in the Deep CLean umbrella are the following technologies,

  • Aqua Energie​: Aqua Energie helps to mix the detergent with water more efficiently, even when you have hard water supply. This is useful if your have hard water supply. But it is always better to simple use a water softener.

  • Triadic Pulsator: It is a set of scrub pads that help to remove dirt easily. Using a different combination of scrub pads helps the machine to scrub out various types of stains.
  • Biaxial Rotation: The Drum rotates in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions. Thus enabling gentler washes

When all these three technologies combine you get great cleaning especially on heavily soiled clothes. We got to see the effects of this when we tried our blanket cleaning test where the IFB machine was as good in removing stains as the Whirlpool machine. Read more about our washing machine testing and review here

Smart Sense

The default automatic program on IFB. If you set on Smart Sense you only have to press start and your washing machine will take care of everything for you. This is similar in working to the LG’s & Whirlpool’s default program there is however a slight quirk. On the LG & WHirlpool, once the machine is plugged in you turn it on and then press start. As these machines have the default program selected by default. However on the IFB you have to turn the machine on, rotate the dial to smart sense and then turn the machine on. This is because the machine default sto aqua conserve mode when you switch on the machine.

Hygiene+

It is a wash program which enables better detergent removal with the help of an extra rinse cycle. This is helpful for people who are allergic to detergent residue on their clothes, although we did not find any detergent residue even during normal cleaning.

Blankets

This is the program designed for large, heavy soiled clothes like blankets, towels etc. This feature is helpful to you if you have to clean a lot of dirty clothes daily.

Air Dry

This program sucks in air from the top vents to help dry the clothes faster during the fst spin cycle.Useful during rainy season.

Apart from the above mentioned features most IFB machines come with the usual set of features like Child Lock, Multiple Automatic & Manual wash program, delay wash etc. But a few things that impressed us about the IFB machine were the attention to details like the drum which lights up when you lift the lid, the scroll knob which makes program selection much easier and the wheels on the machines which make it easy to move around.  To know more about the IFB machine and its competitors read our full review here, which talks about the washing machine and the tests we conducted in detail.

Installation, Warranty and AMC

Once the order is placed online, an installation of the product has to be done by the company. This installation is done free of cost (Except for extra accessories like a longer pipe, tap adapter)  by the company and a service person is sent to your house within 24 hours of delivery.

Whirlpool and IFB sent their own service person, who were punctual, were dressed in the company uniform and were extremely knowledgeable about the product. While this is helpful from knowledge point of view, the service may be slow as they service center coverage will be less in certain areas.

We did a little digging around for customer response to service from some of the top rated products of each brand. We found a lot of complains about IFB service where people complain they had to follow up with the service center multiple times for servicing, they had to suffer late installations and sometimes they person was not knowledgeable enough. 

However if something does go wrong most of the washing machine parts are covered by a 2 year warranty along with 10 years of warranty for the motor. However parts like the control panel, knobs, lint filters, wheels, top window are not covered under warranty. For the parts that are covered under warranty you have to still bear the labour charges.

Taking about part replacements., the clutch is said to be an extremely rare issue, while the common issues are caused due to overloading, electrical issues and water related issues. Post warranty you can source the same parts from 3rd party suppliers who claim they use original parts in most cases.

In order to simplify the maintenance process you can buy an AMC program. With AMC, the company periodically sends over a technician to check your machines health and the labour charges are also waived off on any part replacements. The IFB  washing machine had the most expensive AMC costs at Rs.4,500 per year. By comparison teh LG AMC costs Rs.3000 for 3 years thats a massive difference and this shows how expensive the IFB maintenance can be.

With the research we did we came to know that IFB although has great products is let down by its service costs and service network.Another reason for this can be that IFB relies on their own technicians and doesn't involve any 3rd party service personnel.

To understand more about the after sales service you can even read up our research on microwaves here.

What will be the Water and Electricity Costs incurred?

Water Usage

Most washing machines fill the drum based on the weight of the clothes. Now if we assume you are going to fill the drum with clothes and the washing machine will take max amount of water, then based on the working where the machine takes in water three times during each wash.

The water usage for a 6.5kg machine will be 162 liters/ day. Using the machine 5 days a week for a month will give you a bill of approximately Rs.100 per month.

Note
  • The drum capacity of the IFB is 54 litres and at max loading condition the machines uses upto 54 litres of water.

  • These machines need a continuous water supply and cannot be filled manually.

  • All water charges are considered for the city of Bangalore

Electricity Usage

For electricity usage we have two different considerations.

1) If your house doesn't have a lot of electronic gadgets and you fall in the 100 unit slab then if we consider a usage time of 1 hour 30 minutes per day for a month. 

The assuming the machine uses 360W per hour and the price per unit for the 100-unit slab is Rs.4.7 than you can expect a monthly bill of Rs.61 for using the washing machine.

2) But if you already have a lot of electronic items in your house and your heavy electricity usage means you fall in the 200-unit slab. Than the same washing machine under the same usage conditions as 100-units will give you a bill of Rs.81/ month if we consider the 200-unit slab to be priced at Rs.6.25/ unit

Note
  • The above value are approximate for the IFB SDW 6.5kg  machine we tested and reviewed

  • All slab rates are considered for the city of Bangalore.

Our Thoughts and Suggestions on the IFB washing machines

Recently we reviewed three of the most popular washing machines available in India. But given the large size of the market and newer products available we wanted to revisit this space and see about IFB washing machines only. This was done as a lot of people have specific brand preferences.

In our in depth review of the washing we saw that the IFB machine was second when it comes to cleaning, with the Whirlpool Machine having a noticeably better cleaning quality. We are not trying to imply that IFB machines are bad. In fact they were very well built with great attention to details like drum light and scroll knob on the control panel, and wheels on the bottom to make it easier to move. All these show attention paid to its sleek design, ergonomics, and ease of use.

Sadly, the IFB is a classic case of a great product that suffers from poor service. While we had a pleasant experience with our product installation with the IFB service person being well informed, punctual and helpful, the same is not true all the time. IFB machines had a lot of poor reviews online in regards to after-sales service, with complaints about delays in repair and replacement, cost of accessories, and poor experiences with their technician. The annual maintenance contract was the highest of the lot too, at Rs. 4,500 per year.

This poor service performance could be due to IFB’s dependence on company service centres, of which there are simply not enough to serve a country the size of India. Performance of the brand is just as important as performance of the machine, which is why we didn’t choose the IFB as our top pick.

To know more about the IFB machine and how it performs head over to our washing machine comparison article here