A Fresh Take on Laundry: Innovative Appliances for Cleaner, Crisper Clothes
Cutting-edge products make this chore a breeze.
By Rebecca L. Rhoades
According to a survey by online review forum Yelp, laundry is one of the most hated household chores. The experts at KBIS are hoping to change that.
One of the most highly anticipated and most well-received product releases came from GE Appliances. The UltraFresh Front Load Washer, which won Gold in the Best of KBIS awards, addresses the bane of front-load machines: gasket-related bacteria and odor.
“Consumers are searching for solutions and coming up with ways to put a bandage on the issue, such as cleaning the washer after each use, wiping down the gasket and propping the door open,” says Peter Pepe, vice president of product management at GE Appliances. The UltraFresh Vent System with Odorblock addresses these issues by circulating fresh air through the machine. The gasket, dispenser and pump are also treated with an antimicrobial additive to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
Not to be outdone, LG, Bosch and Samsung are also raising the standards for laundry appliances.
Bosch’s new heat pump technology in its 500 series of dryers recycles moisture collected from wet clothes to clean the condenser, eliminating manual maintenance. LG offers two units in one with the TwinWash bundle that includes a front-load washer and SideKick pedestal. Wash small loads, such as delicates, in the compact SideKick while tackling larger loads up top. Using the SmartThinQ app,
homeowners can start and stop cycles remotely, check when their wash is done and even receive maintenance reminders. Samsung utilizes Bixby, a voice-powered digital assistant, in its new front-load washer. The machine also includes an audio interface and a braille-enhanced control for visually impaired users.
Steam closets are also gaining a foothold in the market as consumers desire fresh, wrinkle-free clothes without spending hours ironing. LG Electronics expanded its line of clothing care systems with the large-capacity LG Styler Plus. Featuring a tinted black mirror finish, the appliance can hold up to five hanging garments and a pair of pants in the interior door. Moving hangers shake out light wrinkles and odors, while the Pants Crease function creates a crisp crease line.