More so than other household routines and home activities, laundry behaviours can’t be easily explained beyond being taught to perform them a certain way by their mothers and grandmothers.

Laundry also has less room for creativity or innovative ways of approaching it as opposed to something like cooking, where personal tastes and preferences could highly influence the outcome. In laundry, there is societal pressure to adhere to the highest quality standards – the mark of which would be clearly exhibited on the clothes the husband and children wear out of the house. This contributes to a great reluctance to change behaviour, when previous behaviours are proven to work. To change behaviour, there has to be a big enough problem, a solution to which any of their own alternative solutions lack.



Creating further barriers to change is the belief that twin tub machines are more durable than top loaders due to their simplicity in components. It is perceived to be a ‘safer choice’, particularly if the machine has been in the home for years. Again, because it works, and at a lower time and resource investment, there is lower inclination to change behaviour.



This is further exacerbated by the lack of education in the value that top loaders add to the laundry routine. In the previous Activ Dual Wash study, we found that there was low awareness of the features. Evaluation of ‘novelty’ features is not a core part of the purchase consideration decision. General washing performance and ease of use is what matters the most. Performance of the machine is primarily defined by the ability to remove stains, and this is something that they can tangibly see for themselves, rather than trusting that ‘novelty’ technology will do the job right.

  • I didn’t know this was a special feature of the machine, I’d never really thought about why it was so good at keeping clothes untangled.
    — Samsung Activ Dual Wash owner, Indonesia
  • Wobble technology? I have that, it’s written on the machine. I didn’t know that was what it does though.
    — Samsung Activ Dual Wash owner, Indonesia

Importance of attributes in washer purchase (% extremely important)

Perceived determinants of washer performance (% Rank top 3)


From the Samsung Activ Dual Wash study we conducted, first time buyers of washing machines (who were also younger) were more likely to purchase Activ Dual Wash, suggesting that a lack of ingrained behaviour could increase the willingness to take a chance on something new. But more than simply highlighting the benefits of a new washing machine, these benefits need to be perceived as something that their own workarounds can’t match up to.

Top loaders do make the act of washing clothes easier than twin tubs because everything is automated, and there is no need for manual intervention. Yet, ease of use goes both ways when it comes to replacing a twin tub machine with a top loader.

While less time and effort needed to do the washing, users still have to invest time to learn how to use the new technology and be comfortable with it.

The advantages of top-loaders vs twin-tubs

according to those who switched


Among respondents, the major advantage of automatic top-load washers is the fact that they save lots of time and energy, allowing consumers to work on other household chores


Respondents also mentioned that twin-tubs required much more work in terms of separation and scrubbing, causing unnecessary physiological problems such as back pains.

  • I want a machine that is simple as possible – that just allows me to walk off and do something else, and it knows what to do.
    — Top-loader upgrader, Indonesia
  • After I bought the ADW, my sister (who lives with me) bought her own machine as well, as she didn’t want to have to work out how to use mine. She said it looked too complicated.
    — Top-loader upgrader, Indonesia
  • When replacing my Sharp twin tub, I told my husband I’m too tired, Ii don't want to have to squat and scrub and I want something better.
    — Top-loader upgrader, Indonesia