The Ultimate Washing Machine Glossary

When you set out to buy a washing machine, you are simply boggled down by the numerous jargon that companies use to explain the features. So, we try to simplify things for you and explain these terms, technology so that you can make an informed choice.

If you think we have missed any terms that you would like to get an explanation for, do let us know in comments and we shall add them to the glossary.

Table of Contents


2D Wash System

Inside the washing machine’s drum, you have nozzles through which fresh water enters inside. When the drum rotates, this water dissolves the detergent and penetrates your clothes to thoroughly remove the dirt.

In 2D wash system, water enters through 2 nozzles.

3D Wash System

In 3D wash system, there are 3 nozzles through which water enters the drum. As water enters from different directions, it facilitates better dissolving of detergents, thereby ensuring better wash quality and minimal detergent residues.

4D Wash System

4 D wash system

As you can guess, in 4D wash system, there are 4 nozzles through which water showers in to the drum. While one stream of water constantly enters the drum, water from other 3 streams pour in at regular intervals after the drum rotates a few times. This paddling effect ensures best soaking of clothes and thorough dissolving of detergents.

6 Motion Direct Drive

LG washing machine rotates the drum in various speeds and directions to recreate various washing actions like tumbling, stepping, scrubbing, rolling, swinging and filtration. Different motions are used in different wash programs for optimal results.

6 D direct motion drive

Scrubbing motion in the initial water supply stage makes a water stream which dissolves detergent better and faster.

During filtration motion detergent immediately penetrates in to the fabric to improve wash performance and reduce residues.

Swing motion moves fabrics gently in swaying motion and is used for cleaning delicate items like wool and silk without them getting damaged.

Rolling motion rolls the clothes towards the bottom of the drum to ensure quiet laundry. The dissolved detergent easily penetrates in to the clothes in this process.

The Stepping motion pulls the clothes to the highest point of the drum and drops it down. This motion helps removes dirt from heavy duty items like jeans, bed sheets and towels. Wrinkles made in the previous motions are released in this process.

Tumbling is the basic washing motion that is found in all washing machines.

Different wash programs use a combination of different motions. For example, cotton care uses a combination of scrubbing, filtration, rolling, tumbling and stepping, while baby care uses a combination of filtration, rolling, tumbling, stepping and swinging.


Air Dry Function

In typical drying function in a washing machine, the drum rotates at set speed to draw out maximum moisture from the clothes. Washing machines with air dry function have small vents which opens during spin cycle through which air is drawn in. The air current made through the rotation of drum dries the clothes up to 30% faster than regular tumble dry function.

Aqua Energie

aqua energie

Aqua Energie is a feature found in IFB washing machines to soften hard water.

It is essentially a physical treatment device attached to the water inlet pipe. The device breaks down dissolved salts( bi-carbonates) in the water to microscopic crystals which doesn’t stick to clothes surface.

If water in your area is hard with high TDS , it is better to opt for IFB washing machine with Aqua Energie feature. Not only will it result in enhanced wash quality, but also reduce scaling on heater and drum. It also reduces detergent consumption and residues in washed clothes.


An agitator is a stick like thing that projects from the bottom of the top load washing machine’s drum. It has fins or vanes that rotates clockwise and anti-clockwise to move the clothes from bottom of the drum to the top in repeated cycles. In this process, dirt from the clothes are removed. Agitators are generally harsh on clothes. But are more effective than impellers in cleaning clothes. Agitators are being replaced by impellers ( also known as pulsators) in newer washing machines.

Auto Imbalance System

You might have noticed that once you load clothes in to a front load washing machine, it simply rotates a few times before it starts the wash process. This is essentially what is auto balance system.

When you load clothes in to the drum, the weight may not be balanced equally on all sides of the drum. So, the drum rotates at a fairly good speed a few times, bringing all clothes to the centre and allowing gravity do its job of distributing the weight of clothes evenly on all sides.

Anti Allergen

Dust mites and pet hair are the most common allergens you see in your home. Dust mites live on the dead skin that falls off from your body. They are most commonly found in bed and bath linen and is the number one cause of asthma and allergies in both children and adults.

Anti allergen wash programs typically eliminate 95% of dust mites and pet hair. To achieve this, clothes are washed in a minimum of 60 degree Celsius for at least 3 minutes. There is also an additional rinse cycle to remove any pet hair and detergent residue. Because of this, allergen cycles are longer than normal cycle.

Also, the drums of washing machine with anti-allergen certification should be corrosion resistant and easy to clean so that dust and debris are not accumulated in it.

Sanitize cycle on the other hand remove up to 99.9% of microorganisms by incorporating heat and additional rinse.

Aqua Spa

Aqua spa is a tech whereby clothes are gently cleansed with care to prevent any damages to it.

Aqua Conserve

IFB washing machines have this feature where the water used for final rinsing of clothes are reused for soaking the next load of clothes.

Auto Softener Dispenser

In all front loaders, there is a middle section in the detergent dispenser where you pour fabric softener or any post wash treatment liquid. This is automatically taken in to the drum before the final rinse to maximize the efficiency of the softener.

In Samsung washing machines with auto softener dispenser, there is a separate section below the drum opening where you can load detergent and softener in bulk. The washing machine assesses the load, fabric type and stain and takes in only necessary quantity of washing machine and softener needed for the wash.

Active Oxygen

bosch active oxygen

Active oxygen is a trademark feature of Bosch Washing machines. You might wonder what is active oxygen. It  is essentially just ozone, which can kill bacteria and other germs.

Through the washing machine drum, a mist of active oxygen is released at the beginning and end of the wash cycle to kill up to 99.99% of bacteria and germs. This typically takes 30 minutes in addition to your normal wash program duration.
Active Oxygen can be incorporated in to all wash programs  in your washing machine.

Active Water Plus

Active Water Plus technology incorporates 256 sensors which adjusts water consumption sensing the weight of the load and  fabric type. This tech is found in Bosch washing machines.


Ball Valve Technology

Ball valve technology prevents wastage of detergent to enhance wash quality.

In the outlet pipe, there is a floating ball which allows water to seep out, but prevents detergent from getting flushed out. Thus, detergent is thoroughly utilized to remove dirt and stubborn stains from the clothes.

Bleach Dispenser

First of all, bleach dispenser and softener dispenser are different. Do not pour bleach in to the softener dispenser as it will be taken in to the drum only in the last cycle before rinse. So, bleach residues might still remain in the clothes after washing.

Bleach dispensers are found in both front and top load washing machines. Bleach that you pour in to it is automatically dispensed in to the drum at appropriate time to thoroughly soak the clothes in it and afterwards clothes are rinsed thoroughly to remove any bleach residues. Certain advanced models inject in to the drum only sufficient quantity of bleach needed depending on the weight of the load.

Brushless Direct Current Motor

In a conventional motor, the rotating coil is in touch with a carbon brush which provides it with the power to make the coil rotate.

In brushless direct current motor (BLDC), permanent magnets are placed in the coil. So, as it is magnetic, you don’t need a current supply to make it magnetic. Thus, it avoids the need for having a carbon brush to supply electricity ( hence brushless). The magnetic field created by permanent magnet is Direct Current Magnetic Field. But the power supplied at our home is alternate current (AC). Hence, an inverter is built-in into the motor to convert AC to DC and work properly.

The advantage of this technology is that it reduces energy loss due to friction, minimizes noise and vibration.

Bubble Leveller

Most often, the floor of your home might be uneven. When washing machine is placed on such uneven surface, it will rock. During the spin cycle, the washing machine might vibrate excessively too. This can be corrected by adjusting the height of the washing machine’s feet.

A bubble leveller is a bubble inside a small enclosure that helps you understand which feet has to be adjusted in order to stop the washing machine from rocking. The side towards which the bubble sways is higher off the ground.

This helps level the washing machine correctly so that vibrations are reduced.

Bubble Wash

In bubble wash, bubbles penetrate as well as rub on the clothes surface to gently remove the dirt. The advantage of this wash technology is that it is gentle on your clothes, while at the same time effective in removing dirt and stains.

Bubble Soak Technology

Bubble Soak technology is found in Samsung washing machines. It soaks the clothes in bubbles to dissolve and dislodge stubborn stains and dirt from the fabric.

Bi-axial rotation

The technology employed in top loading washing machine where clothes rotate along the tub (horizontally) and also moves up and down ( vertically).

This helps in enhanced wash quality as clothes are thoroughly agitated to remove dirt.


Crescent Moon Drum

A feature found in IFB washing machines. On the drum interiors, you can find numerous small smooth embossing in the shape of crescent moon. This helps water move in a swoosh pattern, thereby reducing clothes from rubbing directly against the steel drum. This protects the clothes from abrasions and getting damaged.

Delay Start

A feature seen in almost all newer models of washing machine. You can set the washing machine on desired wash program and then put the delay start function to delay the commencement of the wash program by 1-24 hours depending on your need.

Drum Lamp

A lamp inside a drum that helps you see inside clearly so that you don’t miss out any clothes inside the drum after washing.


Eco Bubble Technology

Eco bubble technology facilitates complete dissolving of detergent and faster penetration in to the clothes in order to improve wash quality without need of hot water. The bubbles also cushion the clothes from rubbing against each other, thereby preventing damages to the clothes. This technology is quite useful for washing delicates and sports wear.

Eco Silence Drive


Eco Silence drive, a technology from Bosch,  makes washing quieter, faster and more energy efficient. Let us discuss how.

In conventional motor, electricity is supplied through carbon brushes to the rotating coil to make it magnetic and rotate. The carbon brushes causes friction on the coil, thereby causing sound, vibration and heat loss.

In Eco Silence drive, the rotating coil in the motor is fitted with strong permanent magnets. As it is magnetic, you don’t need electricity, thereby the carbon brushes that feed electricity can be avoided. So, no brushes means no resistance, no heat loss, no noise and no vibration. Moreover, it enhances life of the motor as wear and tear is quite minimal.

This is the same as brushless direct drive technology.


Fuzzy Logic

Fuzzy logic is a combination of sensors that detect weight of the load, dirt, type of fabric and adjusts the quantity of detergent, water, spin speed and wash duration to give best wash quality using optimal resources.

Foam Control System

Excessive foam while washing could reduce wash quality as foam would cushion between the fabrics and there wouldn’t be enough abrasion to remove dirt and stains.

Foam control system detects when there is excess foam and adds an additional rinse cycle to the wash program in order to remove the foam. Note that this would result in an increase in wash duration.


Hygiene Plus

Hygiene Plus is similar to Bosch’s Allergy wash program. It adds additional rinse cycle and heats up the water and clothes to a minimum of 60 degree celsius for longer than 3 minutes in order to rinse off detergent residues, pet hair and dust mites completely from the clothes.



Impellers are seen in most top loading washing machines these days. It rotates in such a way that the clothes move from the outer rim of the washing machine to the center using a small quantity of water, thereby creating friction between the clothes to remove dirt and stains.
Impellers use less water and less motion compared to agitators. They are also gentler on clothes.

Inverter Direct Drive Technology

In conventional system, motor is connected to the drum using a pulley and a belt for rotation. In inverter direct drive technology, motor is attached directly to the drum without using a belt and pulley.

LG claims that this helps save energy,reduces noise and vibration compared to conventional system. However, experts are divided on their opinion as washing machines employing belt and pulley are found to be quite energy efficient, silent and vibration-free.


Laundry Add

Forgetting to add a piece of clothing to the laundry is quite common. In order to overcome this, new models of washing machines come with laundry add feature ( a.k.a. reload function) that allows you to add clothes mid cycle. You simply need to press the pause button, wait for water level to go down, add the clothes and set it ON again.

Lint Filter

Lint filters is basically a mesh filter located near the outlet pipe. It is found in most front and top loading washing machines to catch fabric lint, wet paper or any other hard debris.

Ideally, it should be cleaned every month. While top loaders usually have lint filter inside the drum, front loaders have them at bottom right corner beneath a removable flap.


Memory Wash

Memory wash saves your last wash program setting or your favorite wash program settings so that you repeatedly do not have to adjust the settings every time you wash your clothes.

In certain models, you can set a few favorite wash programs in different temperature, spin speed, adding other functionalities like hygiene/allergy etc. and save them so that you needn’t waste time adjusting the settings every time you do laundry.


Nano Silver Wash

Nano silver wash is a technology used by Samsung to eliminate up to 99.99% of bacteria, germs and any odor. The process begins with electrolysis to produce silver ions, which penetrates in to the clothes during washing and rinsing. This eliminates bacteria and reduces bacteria growth in fabrics for up to 1 month.

NZP (Near Zero Pressure)

Front loading washing machines require 0.3 bar to 1 bar pressure water supply for functioning. To achieve 0.3 bar water pressure, the water supply tank should be at least 11 ft above the inlet pipe and for 1 bar water pressure, it should be 33 ft above the inlet pipe.

Haier washing machines have come up with Near Zero Pressure whereby it starts working even when water flows in low pressure of .01 bar.

Night Wash

Night wash is a wash program where spin and wash is super silent and vibration free so that your sleep is not disturbed in anyway.



Pulsator is same as an impeller. It rotates to create a water current that moves the clothes from edge of the drum to the centre. In the process, it creates gentle friction among the clothes to dislodge stains and dirt. It is gentler on clothes compared to agitators. But clothes might not be super clean and it may also get tangled during wash.

Protective Rat Mesh

Underneath the washing machine, you can fix a rat mesh made of plastic, which prevents rat from entering inside and damaging the motor, drum and wiring. Most of the newer models come with a rat mesh.


O2 Wash Program

Found in IFB washing machines, O2 wash creates millions of bubbles in the drum which activates detergent enzymes to remove stubborn stains and dirt from the clothes.


Quick Wash

15 or 30 minute wash program which can be used for quickly washing clothes which aren’t really soiled. Most quick wash programs run at capacity lower than washing machine’s maximum capacity.


Reload Function

Reload function found in Bosch washing machines is similar to IFB’s laundry add function. You can add forgotten clothes in between a wash cycle. Simply pressing the start/reload button. When the water level is low enough, the door unlocks and you can open it to add the clothes and then resume the washing.

Repeat Wash

As you can guess repeat function repeats the last wash program in the same settings. This way, you don’t have to waste time setting the washing machine every time you do the laundry.


Smart Diagnosis

Smart Diagnosis is a feature not limited to washing machine. But can be seen in most appliances from LG. This feature helps easily diagnose and troubleshoot the problem with the appliance.
In order to activate the same, you need to open LG’s SmartThinq app in your mobile phone. Then keep the phone’s mouthpiece between the Smart Diagnosis logo and power button you see on the appliance. Press the Smart Diagnosis button on mobile app and hold the TEMP button on the washing machine till the countdown displays. Hold the phone in place till the countdown is over. The washing machine has directly communicated the error to the LG service centre through the mobile app. This helps the service technician be well-equipped with the right tools and spares to repair the machine.

Smart Rinse

Smart rinse is an option whereby you can specify the quantity of water with which you want to rinse your clothes. For regular clothes, minimal water can be used. Whereas for washing baby clothes or for washing clothes of people with skin sensitivities, you can add more water so that no detergent residues are left on the clothes.

Steam Wash

Steam wash is found in newer models of high end washing machine. In this, steam is generated in a separate column which injects in to the drum to wash the clothes. The steam not only eliminates germs and bacteria, but also freshens clothes and makes them soft.


Tub/ Drum Clean

Over a period of time, washing machine drums develop scaling due to hard water. It may also have detergent residues, dirt and grime on it. In order to maintain hygiene and cleanliness of drum, newer washing machines have incorporated a drum clean wash program.

In Bosch washing machines, an LED light blinks after every 20 washes to alert you that it is time to run DrumClean wash program.

Tiradic Pulsator

Tiradic pulsator is used in IFB top load washing machines. The pulsator is equipped with 3 powerful swirl jets through which water forcefully punches the clothes to dislodge dirt and stubborn stains.

Turbo Drum

TurboDrum is a trademark feature of LG.
In conventional drums, only the bottom plate rotates and not the drum. However, in TurboDrum, bottom plate and drum moves in opposite direction. One main and three small jet streams of water provides powerful water stream that helps dislodge dirt from the clothes. Thus, it improves overall wash quality.

Turbo Wash

TurboWash is a feature seen in LG washing machine that helps you save up to 20 minutes for washing a load. While Quickwash seen in most washing machines can handle only small loads of 2-3Kg, TurboWash can handle a full load.

To fast forward the wash cycle, LG uses a combination of powerful jet spray nozzle, twin spray for better water penetration, faster spin and higher temperature so that wash quality is not compromised in the process.



VarioPerfect is combination of two functions namely EcoPerfect and SpeedPerfect.

SpeedPerfect washes a full load clothes in just 1 hour without compromising on wash quality, thus saving you time.

EcoPerfect can be used when you have time to spare. It takes longer time, but saves up to 66% of energy.


Drums of the Bosch washing machines have wave droplet like embossing on it as well as the flat side of the paddles. When drum moves clockwise, fabric rubs against the soft droplet embossing, producing a mild friction and rubbing that helps remove stains from delicate clothes. When the drum rotates anti-clockwise, the fabric hits against the steep side of the paddle, giving it enough tumbling to remove stubborn stains. Thus Variodrum acts gently on fabrics, yet tough on stains.

Wobble Technology

Wobble technology is used in Samsung top loading washing machines. The pulsator has a projection like a speed bump. When the pulsator rotates, water hits the projection, moves upwards and thus creating a dynamic water flow. As the water flows horizontally and vertically, clothes are agitated thoroughly. This not only cleans the clothes well, but also reduces tangling.


IFB, Bosch, LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, Wikipedia


Parvathy Pothan

Parvathy Pothan is the founder-editor of Smart Home Guide. She has been featured in All Recipes, The Hindustan Times, Mid-Day, The Print and other leading publications. She completed her graduation in Business Management from EHSAL European University College of Brussels. Following a brief stint at her family business dealing in home maintenance, furnishing fabrics and interior designing, she ventured out to start her own publishing business where she and her team strives to educate consumers and help them make an informed decision for buying home and kitchen appliances.

Read more posts by Parvathy Pothan


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