Hotpoint ActiveCare 9kg Washing Machine Review

Wash efficiently in cooler temperatures and save money,

from Hotpoint
RRP  £399.99
Hotpoint-ActiveCare-9kg-Washing-Machine-Review-AMK

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

The Hotpoint ActiveCare NM11946BCAUKN 9kg Washing Machine is one of Hotpoint's new range of appliances and offers superlative stain removal and steam hygiene. We love Hotpoint as a trusted, affordable and reliable brand for over 110 years. Its latest washing machines and dryers with ActiveCare have PRO-Inverter motor technology, resulting in quiet, efficient and durable appliances. These machines look good too; take this sleek and stylish black washing machine as a case in point. So, if you're looking to level up your washing machine, let's take a deep dive into the features and benefits of the Hotpoint ActiveCare NM11946BCAUKN.

Best washing machine for stain removal

Pros

  • Stain removal
  • Energy efficient
  • Quiet
  • Hygiene feature

Cons

  • Pay close attention to the Wash Cycle table in the instructions, as some cycles at intended for half or quarter loads

Hotpoint ActiveCare 9kg Washing Machine Overview

The elegant, modern lines of the Hotpoint ActiveCare 9kg Washing Machine make this an attractive appliance. It's functional too, with clear controls and a range of laundry cycles. Ideal for a family, the 9kg capacity comfortably takes a 55-litre basket of laundry with room for more. It's great for busy lives as you can get the bed linen, towels and clothes done in one mixed wash. The most energy-efficient programmes use less electricity and perform at lower temperatures over a longer period of time. So, expect some full cycles to be over three hours long.

This is an A-rated energy-efficient appliance that can tackle greasy, bleachable, pigment and protein-based stains thanks to its innovative washing functionality. Hotpoint says, "ActiveCare is designed to keep your clothes clean and feeling their best". Its gentle yet effective washing performance can "efficiently remove over 100 stubborn stains at protective temperatures as low as 20°C". Energy use is low because the machine doesn't require water to be hot. Instead, water and detergent lather into a powerful cleaning mousse that deeply penetrates into fabrics. Kimberley Garner, Brand Manager for Hotpoint, says: "Here at Hotpoint, we pride ourselves on creating appliances that help our customers care for the things they love. Our ActiveCare Washers do just that by bringing together efficient cleaning for any size or type of load.”

Compared to the LG F6V1110BTSA 10.5kg Freestanding Washing Machine (retailing at £999) and the Candy Ultra HCU1492DBBE/1 9kg Washing Machine (currently £279 was £319), this Hotpoint appliance is in the middle of the range for features and pricing. While not app-compatible, the Hotpoint ActiveCare is one of the best black washing machines in terms of its style, features and energy efficiency.

A Modern Kitchen writer Natalie Knowles spills the beans on her jeans and tests the cleaning power of the Hotpoint ActiveCare NM11946BCAUKN 9kg Washing Machine. And is happy to report that no kittens went astray during the testing of this appliance.

Key Features

Active Care creates a unique emulsion by premixing detergent with water that's able to penetrate fibres and clean stains even at low temperatures. This helps to preserve colour and fabrics. The detergent emulsion works in conjunction with multiple drum movements that are gentle on laundry but also result in thorough cleaning. Use powder and liquid detergents for this function.

Steam Refresh – using just two glasses of water, this feature will eliminate strong odour and relax the garment's fibres without the need for a full wash. This feature loosens creases in clothes, saving on ironing.

Steam Hygiene enhances washing performance by generating steam during the wash to remove bacteria. It works in conjunction with a compatible wash cycle, such as Anti Stain 40.

Anti stain 40°C is for heavily-soiled garments and resistant colours. The washing class is higher than the standard class (A class). Do not mix garments of different colours and use powder detergent. Use pre-treatment products with special additives for stubborn stains.

Anti Allergy removes major allergens such as pollen, mites and pet hair.

Rapid/Green Rapid is for washing lightly soiled garments quickly. Push this button once and it reduces the length of the cycle. This cycle saves time and energy. Push the button a second time for Green, which allows for more energy saving.

Testing The Hotpoint ActiveCare 9kg Washing Machine

My previous washing machine literally used to bounce its way out from under the counter and make a thunderous noise on the final spin. It must have been costing me a fortune because it was only a 7kg capacity, and it used to run for two hours per typical cycle. Towards the end of its time, I'd find it had manoeuvred itself 10cm across the kitchen floor. Laundry came out wet and heavy. Bad luck if I'd stained something because it never fully lifted stains off. It was an old appliance, good for its time, but newer washing machines are so much better.

I tested the Hotpoint ActiveCare 9kg washing machine over the course of a month, throwing various challenges its way:

As an artist, my clothes get messy. And when I get paint on my hands it's instinctive to wipe them on my trousers. After a day in the studio, I walk home looking like a Jackson Pollack painting. So, if there's anyone who needs a washing machine that has amazing stain removal capabilities it's me.

An allergic reaction puts me through the wringer. Find out how this washing machine performs when I do an Anti Allergy wash on a full load.

I use Steam Refresh on a problematic red shirt dress that creases so much I don't really wear it.

Finally, Steam Hygiene gives a new lease of life to a thick curtain.

Capacity of the Hotpoint ActiveCare washing machine
©Natalie Knowles

Performance

There are two energy efficiency labels that come with the machine (identical, except one is EU and one is UK). They catch my eye because the energy efficiency rating is A. Post-2021, the energy ratings changed, so what was previously and A became a D. Therefore, it's exceptional for this appliance to be A-rated.

Taking the current unit cost of electricity set by the government in the Energy Price Guarantee, which is 34p/kWh, we can work out on average how much a wash costs. The energy consumption of this appliance per 100 cycles is an average of 49kWh. Multiply this by the current unit cost of electricity (1kWh = 34p). 49 multiplied by 0.34 makes the energy cost per 100 cycles £16.66. Divide this by 100, and it's about 16.6p per cycle.

Eco 40–60 is a 40°C wash that spins at 1351rpm. The load size determines the length of the cycle and energy consumption. For example, a 9kg full load takes three hours and 45 minutes, uses 59 litres of water and consumes 0.80kWh. A 2.5kg load takes two hours and 10 minutes, uses 41 litres and consumes 0.24 kWh. Regardless of the load size, this cycle has a residual dampness of 53%. Eco 40-60 is for washing normally soiled garments that state they are washable at 40°C or 60°C on the garment label. It's the most energy-efficient programme.

When you compare the stats from a couple of the other wash cycles, there is a difference in residual dampness, energy consumption and total water used. The 20°C spins at 1400rpm and can wash a 9kg load in one hour 50 minutes. This cycle has a residual dampness of 55%, consumes 0.14kWh and uses 78 litres of water. After the Eco-60 cycles, this is the next most efficient option, but the difference in the electricity and the water consumption is striking.

The Cotton cycle consumes the most energy. A 9kg load has a residual dampness of 49%, consumes 1.10kWh, uses 97 litres of water. As this is an A rated energy efficient appliance, I wonder what the consumption is on less efficient washing machines? It does say in the small print that this is an estimated guide. Also, wash duration can vary due to the temperature and pressure of incoming water, ambient temperature, even the amount of detergent, load quality and load balancing.

Just to add, the spin is rated B (on an A–G scale), and noise level is rated B (on an A–D scale) at 76dB.

Let's take a spin through some of the key programmes this Hotpoint washing machine offers to understand why it loads better.

Eco 40–60

I used Eco 40–60 to wash a full load of laundry, including bed linen and clothes. The digital display defaulted to 3:45 and then adjusted to 1:57 shortly into the cycle. I assume the sensors weighed the load and adjusted the wash duration. It's a very quiet cycle. I was pottering around my small bungalow and could barely hear the machine from the other rooms. And even when I was in close proximity, it was not an intrusive sound.

Eco 40–60 cycle in the Hotpoint ActiveCare washing machine
©Natalie Knowles

Afterwards, the washing was not at all tangled and looked thoroughly clean.

Rapid 30

The Rapid 30 cycle spins at 1200rpm, and the maximum load is 4.5kg. Residual dampness is 71%. Energy consumption is 0.89kWh. It uses 37 litres of water. The laundry temperature is 27°C.

I half-filled the drum with some essentials that I needed to wash before work. A small load makes it evident just how capacious the drum is. The machine tinkles into life with a little tune. I pressed the power button, set the dial to Rapid 30, and 30:00 appeared on the digital display. The door locked with a series of clicks. At 26 minutes remaining, it still sounded like the drum was filling, but the icon was set to main wash. Then, it started washing. Water sloshed around the drum. The load drained with eight minutes left on the timer and span for the final minute.

The timer is handy as I can see how long is left on any cycle. In comparison to previous machines I've had, this is notably faster and quieter.

I was in a hurry and needed some tea towels and pillowcases washed quickly. I used the Rapid/Green button to shave 10 minutes off the 30-minute rapid cycle. So, I did a 2.5kg load in 20 minutes.

Anti Allergy

I'm a magpie for spangles and gorgeous packaging design, but I paid for it when I had an allergic reaction to a detergent in a wonderful crystalline bottle that had caught my eye. I'm allergic to fabric conditioner – so I know to avoid that – but I was surprised to react to a liquid detergent. Google tells me that sometimes the chemicals in the fragrance cause a reaction. I felt like I was attached to a van der graaf generator. Also, I had to re-wash all the laundry that I'd washed at the weekend with the offending 'Cool Blue' fragranced detergent.

A 55-litre laundry basket full of bed linen, including a fluffy dressing gown, fit in the drum, no problem. The cycle is just over three hours long. So, just put a good ol' Western on and relax as a harmonica plays a slow tune....

My parents recently got a new washing machine and were perplexed why newer machines take longer to wash. It's because the appliance is using less energy. Be mega efficient and can use the delay start timer to wash at night when electricity is off-peak. This Hotpoint appliance is quiet, so it's unlikely to disturb you if you're in a house with a separate bedroom.

I had to rewash all my clothes, towels and bed linen on the Anti Allergy wash, using ECover. The little blue plastic drawer divided helped me to dispense a measured amount in the detergent drawer. A little goes a long way.

The Anti Allergy wash is overall a quiet cycle, and you can see the speed of the drum rotation varying, which is how invertor motor in newer appliances provide more effective washing. I noticed that the bed linen and clothes looked clean and free of lint that I used to find with my old washing machine.

Anti Allergy wash feature on the Hotpoint ActiveCare washing machine
©Natalie Knowles

On a friend's recommendation I've switched to Ecover, which actually was on my shopping list to buy as I'd prefer to use an all-natural product... I was just waiting until it was on offer😄

Anti Stain Removal 40°C 1hr wash

The USP of this washing machine is its stain removal capabilities, and luckily it has come to the right home because, as an artist, I can happily throw ink, felt-tip pens, watercolours, and well as a lot of coffee at it. An afternoon in the studio tested the stain removal capabilities of the Hotpoint. However, just to say that, I did want to keep this a fair test and thought it would be unrealistic to cover my jeans in Mars Black paint. Instead, I used tea, coffee and some cola. I also had a little play with chalk, pastels and some rusty nails.

The wash cycle table tells me that the Anti Stain Removal cycle spins at 1000rpm, The maximum load for this cycle is 4.5kg. This cycle also features Active Care.

making stains to test the Stain removal feature on the Hotpoint ActiveCare washing machine
©Natalie Knowles

I found this Hotpoint to be effective on everyday stains. I had liberally drenched the jeans and found that the one-hour stain removal programme worked a treat.

Also, I have noticed that my laundry comes out a lot less wet after a wash. It's a slightly different texture but in no way worn or bobbled. Also, there's less dust, I used to find I'd shake my bed linen, and there would be wafts of lint. This is so much better.

Testing the Stain removal feature on the Hotpoint ActiveCare washing machine
©Natalie Knowles

Steam Refresh

Steam Refresh is for up to three garments, maximum 2kg. The programme refreshes garments, removes bad odours and relaxes the fibres. Use on clean and dry garments only, without softeners and detergent. Do not use on wool or silk garments. Steam Refresh makes clothes easier to iron and uses just two glasses of water. The Steam Refresh programme is on the dial, not to be confused with the Steam Hygiene option, which is a separate button.

I have a love-hate relationship with a red dress that creases so much I feel embarrassed to wear it. The Steam Refresh cycle claims to relax fabric fibres and make garments easier to iron. It's a 20-minute cycle that tumbles the garments. I could hear the steam periodically injected into the drum. I noticed a little condensation on the glass door. All-in-all, it improved my red dress, okay not a miracle, but that's the nature of that particular fabric.

Active Care and efficiency of the Hotpoint ActiveCare washing machine
©Natalie Knowles

Steam Hygiene

Regular washing keeps dust and mites at bay and allergies under control. Hotpoint claims that the Steam Hygiene feature, endorsed by Allergy UK, can remove up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria from laundry. Steam is injected into the drum at the end of the cycle. It eliminates the need for chemicals, so it's better for your clothes too.

I had some curtains that I wanted to hang, they've been in storage for some time and were a bit foisty. It was the perfect opportunity to try out the Steam Hygiene function. It claims to kill bacteria and get stubborn wrinkles out of fabric too. The curtains are lined and thick fabric. The 9kg capacity is a super size for larger items and big loads. The porthole gets hazy during the wash when this option is selected.

I'm consistently impressed with the amount of moisture the final spin and drain removes. The curtain is certainly brighter and relatively crease-free.

I also used the Steam Hygiene boost button on a mixed wash. The clothes were super clean and not a bit tangled.

Steam Hygiene function on the Hotpoint ActiveCare washing machine
©Natalie Knowles

Usability

I must admit I wouldn't have known half of the capabilities of this washing machine had I not taken time to sit down and read the instruction booklet. Whether you peruse the manual online, watch videos on YouTube, or sit down with the instruction booklet, I thoroughly recommend that you do. Find out how to register your appliance for a 10-year warranty, learn what each wash cycle does, and how to clean the filter.

Refer to the wash cycle table in the instruction manual, and do not exceed the recommended load weight specified for a particular cycle.

I found the controls a doddle to use. The LED display tells you what stage the cycle is at and if extra options are engaged. It's possible to change a cycle while it's in progress. Use the Start/Pause button and select the cycle, then resume by pressing the Start/Pause button again. To cancel a cycle that's already in progress, press and hold the ON/OFF switch. This stops the cycle and switches off the machine.

The word "END" will appear on the screen at the end of the wash cycle. Open the door when the padlock icon is off. Then, unload the laundry and switch off the machine. In the event that you do not switch off the appliance it will automatically switch off after 10 minutes.

Build

Installation

Let me set the scene. It's chaos moving into a new home. Neighbours come and say hi. The rooms smell of new paint. I'm trying to put a bed frame together, and someone's shouting "hello" – and what do you know – a washing machine has arrived. It's all a bit of a blur, but five minutes later, I have a brand-new washing machine beeping at me. Yes, it really did happen that quickly.

It states in the safety instructions that packaging is 100% recyclable, similarly the appliance is made with recyclable and reusable materials. Local waste disposal authorities can advise on collection and disposal at a recycling centre.

Remove the transport bolts before using the washing machine. The four bolts keep the drum steady during transit and need to kept for future moves. Plastic caps are provided for them to keep the bolts pristine while not in use.

©Natalie Knowles

There must be room around the appliance to allow for ventilation. If your floor is made of laminate or parquet, install the appliance on a sheet of plywood.

This washing machine connects to a cold water supply. The porthole door has a seal that contains a special mixture that ensures antimicrobial protection, meaning bacteria won't form. It's a striking-looking appliance with a digital display and what looks like a play button, as well as an old-school power button. Press the power button, and it beeps away merrily, like a droid. The sound effects are useful for visually impaired users, plus the buttons are large and clearly labelled. If you would prefer the sound effects to be off there is a button to mute them. Aesthetically, it's a gorgeous appliance, shame about my shabby cupboards.

First things first, run a White 60°C cycle with detergent and no laundry.

Detergent dispenser drawer

Detergent dispenser drawer
©Hotpoint

Compartment 1 (top middle) is for pre-wash detergent (powder). Next, compartment 2 (right) is for the detergent that's used in the wash cycle (powder or liquid). And compartment 3 is for fabric softeners.

Digital display

The digital display shows the remaining time of a running cycle. Initially, it displays the maximum duration of the chosen cycle. This decreases after a few minutes as it adjusts to the most effective duration based on the wash load and chosen settings.

Hotpoint washing machine controls
©Hotpoint

If selected, Start Delay will appear as a countdown on the timer display. A corresponding icon will illuminate alongside the timer. The Start Delay button is grouped with the other options buttons. Press the button repeatedly until the desired delay time is reached. To remove Start Delay, press the button until "OFF" appears on the display.

In addition, if you press the spin speed or temperature value buttons, these will appear on the display alongside the timer. Wash cycle phases appear above the timer. These icons indicate the main wash, rinse and spin/pump out.
If you have selected a particular wash option, its corresponding icon will appear in the top right-hand corner of the digital display. The options are; Steam Hygiene, Final Care, Rapid/Green, Active Care, Start Delay, Temperature, and Spin. Sometimes, an option is not compatible with a set wash cycle. If this is the case, the indicator light will flash, and a buzzer sound will alert you that the option has not been activated.

A padlock symbol shows the door is locked and should not be forced open. With some programmes, it's possible to add garments during the wash. If the padlock icon is not lit, it means it's a cycle where you can add a garment mid-wash. In order to open the door while a cycle is in progress, press the Start/Pause button. This will not affect the washing performance of the cycle.

In the event of a malfunction, there are display indicators to show the error. A spanner icon indicates machine failure, in which instance you should call an engineer. In addition, there is a water filter clogged icon to show that water cannot be drained and there may be a blockage. Also, there is a no water icon that looks like a pipe and suggests that there is insufficient water entering the appliance.

Child lock is a key symbol on the control panel. Press and hold down the button for three seconds; this locks the controls with the exception of the ON/OFF button. To unlock, press and hold down the key button again.

Descale and Clean

Roughly every 50 cycles a descale icon will appear on the display. This is a reminder that it's time to run a maintenance cycle to remove limescale build-up and remove bad odours. Hotpoint recommends using WPRO Limescale and Degreaser.

Final Verdict: Hotpoint ActiveCare 9kg Washing Machine

The Hotpoint ActiveCare 9kg Washing Machine is best-in-class for stain removal. ActiveCare technology makes short work of over 100 stains, even when using an Eco option. Additionally, the Eco wash reduces energy consumption by 20%. Energy consumption per cycle is just 0.49kWh which works out at 16.6p per use. All this and so much more; a fantastic appliance if you're in a lively household where ketchup, coffee and pen ink stains are the norm – and the kittens' have fleas…

Personally, I wouldn't be looking for a washing machine that's Wi-Fi enabled and app-compatible, but I appreciate some consumers will be. Therefore, I rate the features of this appliance 4.5 out of 5. There is an OCD streak to me that would love to know exactly how much energy each cycle uses, which some apps like Samsung's SmartThings Energy can show.

If you suffer with allergies the Hotpoint ActiveCare 9kg Freestanding Washing Machine gives superb anti allergy cleaning performance. Also. the Steam Hygiene feature removes bacteria that can cause skin irritation. If your pet has had an infestation, it's an effective and natural way of eliminating the little blighters.

Compared to the LG F6V1110BTSA 10.5kg Freestanding Washing Machine this appliance competes in terms of energy efficiency while being almost half the price. While being closer in price to the Candy Ultra HCU1492DBBE/1 9kg Washing Machine this Hotpoint blows it out the water in terms of features and efficiency.

Final thought: Read the user guide and keep the door shut if you have kittens.

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Products to consider:

Best high-end black washing machine

The LG F6V1110BTSA Freestanding Washing Machine 10.5kg is an A-rated appliance for its energy consumption and spin performance, with features and statistics that knock the spots off most other washing machines. It automatically dispenses a precise amount of detergent for less waste and better care. TurboWash gets the load done in a 39-minute cycle. Steam cleaning reduces creases and allergens; you can even wash a duvet in this machine. AI technology calculates the optimum wash settings for your load. In addition, it can be controlled with a voice assistant and is compatible with the ThinkQ app via Wi-Fi. With a weighted energy consumption of just 53kWh, this is an amazing appliance to invest in for the future.

Pros

  • Several quick wash programmes
  • Additional programmes that you can download with app
  • Incredible efficiency
  • Optimised washing
  • Steam cleaning
  • Fast cycles less than 39 minutes

Cons

  • None

Best easy-to-use washing machine

Candy Ultra HCU1492DBBE/1 Washing Machine 9kg
Price: £279 (was £319)

ao.com

The Candy Ultra HCU1492DBBE/1 Washing Machine 9kg is another appliance that detects the weight of the load so that it can apply the optimum amount of water and power. Sensors washing that automatically adjusts the settings to wash to remove tough stains, yet gently wash your clothes. It's compatible with the Simply-Fi app, which allows you to control and monitor your appliance via NFC. While it's not the most efficient or all-singing and dancing washing machine, it is a great price, effective and more efficient than an older appliance. If you're on a budget and looking to upgrade, this is a good option.

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Effective
  • App compatible

Cons

  • Not the most energy-efficient

FAQs: Hotpoint ActiveCare 9kg Washing Machine

Hotpoint help and customer service:

Hotpoint offer a one-year labour warranty, and a free 10-year guarantee on all parts when you register the appliance. There is a customer service number to call that's provided in a booklet that comes with the washing machine. In the event of the appliance needing repair, you can book an engineer online. If you need to modify or cancel your repair booking you can use the live chat service. Hotpoint has local engineers nationwide that are available 364 days a year. Also, customer support lines are open seven days a week, and they're open before and after the 9-5 working days.

Also, Hotpoint's Youtube channel has some helpful how-tos, such as how to clean a smelly washing machine. Plus, there's a Youtube video on how to remove the detergent dispenser drawer. It looks a little different to older washing machines, the drawer opens on a 90° curve.

In addition, there are instructions and a video on how to clean the water filter. Clean the water filter four times a year. The filter needs cleaning if the washing machine stops before a cycle is finished. Or, if water is visible through the porthole door. Alternatively, some models have error codes and a flashing light on the digital display.

It's interesting to note that Hotpoint have a UK warehouse with over 52,000 geniune spare parts. Also, there's a dedicated phone number to call if you need a spare part for your appliance. Alternatively, you can request and buy parts online.

Hotpoint and Indesit have cross-over in their marketing, they are owned by Whirlpool.

Hotpoint ActiveCare Washing Machine Glossary:

This glossary covers some of the other wash cycles and functions that the Hotpoint ActiveCare washing machine features:

Cotton is for heavily soiled and robust cottons.

Synthetics is for polyester, polyarcylic, viscose or mixed synthetic-cotton fibres that are normally soiled.

Mixed washing is for cotton, linen, synthetic and mixed fibres that are normally soiled.

Delicates is for very delicate garments. Turn the garment inside out and use a liquid detergent.

White is for resisilent cotton and linen, towels, underwearm table and bed linen. If you select a 90°C there will be a prewash. Add detergent for both the prewash and main wash phase.

Spin and Drain spins the load then empties the water. Only use on resilient garments. By excluding the spin cycle the machine will drain only.

Rinse and Spin rinses then spins and is for resilient garments only.

20°C is a low temperature cycle for lightly soiled garments.

Wool – Wool Care is approved by the Woolmark Company and is for any garment that has the Woolmark symbol on the garment care label.

Bed and Bath is for washing linen on a single cycle. This programme optimises the use of fabric softener and saves time and electricity. Use powder detergent with this cycle.

Final Care performs gentle tumbles at the end of a compatible wash cycle for up to 6 hours. End the process at any time by pressing any button. The benefit is that your clothes come out of the drum soft and relatively crease-free.

Temperature allows you to modify the temperature of each wash cycle that has a designated temperature range. The value is on the display.

Spin is similar to Temperature in that each wash cycle has a pre-defined spin speed that can be changed.

Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in kitchen appliances. When she's not testing coffee machines, she flexes her creative flair as an artist.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us