LG and Samsung are Korean companies, while Bosch is German. Do you know where IFB is based from? Our very own India. IFB truly is the flag bearers of “Make in India.”
That IFB is an Indian company came as a surprise to me given that the quality of their home appliances is at par or even above the multinational brands like LG, Samsung and Bosch.
IFB front load washing machines are market leaders garnering close to 40% market share in the segment, as of 2015. LG, the close second has about 32% market share. When we analyze the reason for IFB’s dominance, it can be attributed to the fact that the front loaders from IFB are quite durable and are designed especially keeping in mind Indian consumer’s needs. Moreover, IFB has shown their brilliance by partnering with pioneers Bosch-Siemens for using their advanced technology and motors—thus ensuring highest quality for IFB front loaders.
Now, let us take a look at the features of IFB front loaders that distinguishes itself from the rest of the brands.
Unlike LG and Bosch, IFB washing machines (both front and top loaders) are equipped with Aqua Energie filter. This helps to break down the bicarbonates present in the hard water into microscopic crystals, thereby reducing the tendency of bicarbonates to stick to surfaces. Thus, these crystals flow along with the water and doesn’t affect the lathering capacity of detergents. The reduced surface tension of the treated water improves wetting of clothes and detergent action.
Not only does Aqua Energie improve the detergent action, but also reduces scaling on important components like heater and tub as well as reduces detergent consumption and eliminates any detergent traces in the washed clothes.
Note that the aqua energie filter is not completely effective if the TDS ( total dissolved salt) level of water in your home is above 250.
3 D Wash System
Most IFB front load washing machines use 3D wash system, whereby there are 3 nozzles to spray water inside the drum while it rotates 360 degree. This facilitates complete dissolving of detergents and deep penetration of detergents in to the clothes while washing.
During the rinsing stage, the 3D wash system helps better penetration of fresh water in to the clothes, thereby minimizing any detergent traces in the clothes.
Too much foam is caused by either using excessive detergents or because of not using front load detergent. We might think more the foam, better the cleaning. But the fact is quite the opposite. Too much foam can prevent the washing machine from pumping out the water because the impeller cannot pump out bubbles. It also cushions the clothes and reduces rubbing of clothes against each other, thus hindering a good wash.
IFB washing machines are equipped with foam control system. In this system, when the sensor detects excessive foam, it pumps in more water to dilute the foam and pumps out the diluted foam. The normal wash program resumes after this.
Air Bubble Wash
In this process, millions of air bubbles are created to help penetrate the detergents deep in to the clothes and release even stubborn dirt from it. This is yet another feature that improves the wash quality of IFB front loaders.
Cradle Wash is a trademarked wash program in IFB front loaders. As the name suggests, the feature helps to wash fabrics like satin, silk and laces gently using a rocking like motion. This prevents harsh detergents or vigorous motion from damaging the fabric.
Ball Valve Technology
This technology prevents washing powder from draining away in a wash cycle. Thus 100% of detergent is used in the wash, thus improving the wash quality.
In addition to the above features, the smart loaders from IFB come with steam wash and a gamut of features that senses the level of dirt and stain in the clothes and uses the appropriate program for optimal cleaning. These washing machines also have programs like uniform wash, pet hair removal and repeat wash that enhances the wash quality as well as user-friendliness.
Now, let us take a look at some of the top IFB front loading washing machines.
IFB Senorita Aqua 6.5 Kg Front Load Washing Machine
Available in white and silver, IFB Senorita Aqua is a basic front loader with 15 wash programs, features like 3D wash, aqua energie filter, foam control, laundry add etc. that ensures superior wash quality. Even though the temperature of each wash program cannot be adjusted, the plethora of wash programs make up for it. With a maximum RPM of 1000 cycles, the unit is pretty efficient in terms of energy and water consumption, using less than 1 unit electricity and 43 L water electricity for all programs. As with all IFB appliances, Senorita Aqua is also quite durable and superior in performance, making it a worthy buy for families with less than 4-6 members.
IFB Diva Aqua SX 6 Kg Front Loading Washing Machine
Priced less than Rs. 23000 and available in both silver and white, IFB Diva Aqua is an entry level front loading washing machine from IFB. The features are rather basic, the maximum RPM is 800 cycles, but the wash quality is not compromised in anyway. The 15 wash programs, features like Aqua energie, ball valve technology and 2D wash helps maintain superior wash quality consuming maximum of 45 L water in a wash program. However, on the flip side, the temperature adjustment is limited with just options for cold, warm and hot water. There is no option to adjust spin speed for individual wash programs.
Overall, IFB Diva Aqua is simple to use and a good fit for those who are upgrading from a top-loader, yet do not fancy the extensive features and options offered by the higher end options.
Though IFB Diva Aqua doesn’t have fancy features that higher end versions of front loaders have, the basics are not compromised. Instead of 3D wash, Diva Aqua has 2D wash—which basically means water flows in through 2 nozzles instead of 3. Basic features like aqua energie filter—to reduce water hardness, ball valve technology—to avoid detergent wastage, auto-balance system, laundry add in the middle of wash cycle, memory back-up, foam control system are all intact in this washing machine.
One aspect it lacks however is there is no display of time remaining for completing the wash cycle.
Even though IFB Diva Aqua is an entry level front loader, its wash quality is above expectations. The express wash takes about 15 minutes time, while programs like cotton takes more than 2 hours for completion. Water consumption is also optimal—consuming a maximum of 45 L for cotton programs and much lesser for other less elaborate wash programs.
Even heavily soiled clothes come out clean after wash and whether you add a full load or a half load clothes do not get excessively entangled. The noise level is also low and vibrations minimal too.
A drawback is that the washing machine doesn’t have a conditioner dispenser. So, you may have to add the fabric conditioner by waiting out for the final rinse cycle.
To conclude, IFB Diva Aqua is a basic, yet highly functional, simple-to-use front loader that is apt for families with 3-5 members. Elderly people who are not quite adept with technology will be happy with it as they don’t have to play with temperature and spin adjustments.
IFB Senator Aqua 8 Kg Front Loading Washing Machine
With 8k wash capacity, plethora of wash programs and extensive range of features, IFB Senator Aqua is a perfect fit for those who are looking for an option to wash wide variety of clothes with minimal hassle. The washing machine has maximum RPM of 1400 cycles, time delay option and a host of features like aqua energie, laundry add, 3 D wash, crescent moon tub etc. that enhances the wash quality as well as convenience factor.
IFB Senator Aqua has a host of features and functions that helps maintain the superior wash quality throughout all wash programs. The 15 programs can be further customized in terms of its temperature and spin speed settings. The washing machine also has wash programs like Silk—to wash soft silk sarees; Curtain—to wash heavy draperies and duvets; and Cradle Wash—for satin, laces and other delicate materials. Options like pre-wash, rinse, easy iron etc can be adjusted using the huge LCD display.
Other useful features include Program Repeat—a function which helps you save a customized wash program for repeated use without having to adjust the settings for each use; Aqua Energie, Foam control, laundry add and tub clean function for removing scaling and residues on the top, thereby enhancing its life and durability.
On the whole, its features are quite sophisticated and the washing machine has been carefully designed to wash any type of clothes to perfection.
The wide gamut of features ensures fine wash quality and enhanced durability for the clothes as well as the washing machine. With a spin speed of up to 1400 cycles and 15 customizable wash programs, IFB Senator Aqua is capable of cleaning most variety of fabrics. While express wash lasts 15 minutes, cotton lasts about 2 hour 15 minutes and mixed fabrics, which is opted on a regular basis for daily wears last about 1 hour 10 minutes. Of course, if you adjust the settings like, pre-wash, rinse, easy iron etc., the duration would increase accordingly. The water consumption is also optimal with full load cotton wash program consuming 60 L of water and most other programs consuming much lesser quantity.
To protect the washing machine from voltage fluctuations, it is equipped with a protector that shuts the machine off when voltage fluctuates below or above pre-set safety levels.
The time delay function is yet another useful function that can be set between 30 minutes to 24 hours.
IFB Senator Aqua is a great fit for families with 6-8 members of different ages ranging from infants to students to office goers as the washing machine has variety of wash programs that can fit the requirements of each individual. It is pretty efficient in terms of its wash quality, energy and water consumption too. Price wise, it is quite budget friendly compared to washing machines with similar capacity from Bosch and LG.
Variants: IFB Elite Aqua SX is almost similar to Senator Aqua, except that its capacity is 7 Kg and maximum RPM is 1200 cycles.
IFB Eva Aqua 6 Kg Front Load Washing Machine
With features comparable to Diva Aqua, IFB Eva Aqua 6 kg front load washing machine is a basic front loader with limited features compared to the higher end models like IFB Senator Aqua and Senorita Aqua. As with all IFB front loaders, Eva Aqua has Aqua Energie filter, ball valve technology, crescent moon drum and wash quality is par expectations too. However, it doesn’t have features like baby care, delicates, cradle wash and options to adjust the water temperature is also limited.
With 6 Kg capacity, 8 wash programs and maximum RPM of 800 cycles, IFB Eva Aqua is a basic front loader that provides fairly satisfactory wash quality. It has 2 D wash system and all trademarked IFB features like ball valve technology, aqua energie filter, crescent moon drum, laundry add; and also has bare minimum features that enhances the user-friendliness of the appliance. What it lacks however is that there is no option to adjust the spin speed. Temperature can be set to cold, warm, hot and cannot be adjusted degree Celsius wise. Also, there is no express wash setting.
The wash quality of IFB Eva Aqua is above satisfactory level. As it has a maximum RPM of only 800 cycles, the clothes were not as dry as you would find in IFB Senorita or Senator. Even so, they weren’t dripping wet either. The machine has option to add both softener and detergent at a go. While a full load cotton wash program took about 2 hour 30 minutes for completion, Quick wash was done in about 30 minutes. We found “Rapid Wash” option to be lacking however.
When we analyzed the difference between IFB Eva Aqua and IFB Diva Aqua front load washing machine, we could find that the main difference is in the control panel. Diva Aqua has option for rapid wash, while Eva Aqua doesn’t. The wash programs are also different with Eva Aqua not having the options for Gentle and Mixed fabrics. Comparitively, we would recommend you to opt for IFB Diva Aqua as it is less expensive and has better features.
Though basic, IFB Eva Aqua is a simple-to-use, easy front loader for a family with not-so-versatile washing requirements. Even so, price wise and feature wise, IFB Diva Aqua is a much better option which we would recommend over Eva Aqua.