Gadget alternative to ironing your laundry

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Konstantin Sheiko
January 18, 2018

Until now, dry cleaning has been the only solution keeping our closet smelling fresh and wrinkle-free. However, depending on your wardrobe and lifestyle constant dry cleaning might get a little prohibitive in terms of financial expenditures. Regular trips to drycleaners might also be a time-consuming hassle. Ironing at home is even a bleaker option. For example, more than 50 percent UK residents acknowledge they dislike it, and 30 percent saying they totally hate it. Finally, a range of products has now hit the market to help alleviate some of that laundry stress. 

LG recently released a sleek and sexy steamer that will have you feeling like a millionaire. The Styler looks like a fridge but is actually a closet that steams your clothes to keep them crisp and fresh. It eliminates travel time to the dry cleaners, allowing you more time to enjoy your time. However, no market is complete without competition and the Whirlpool Swash is a fierce competitor to the Styler. It is also a little easier on the wallet. It is the mini-me cousin as far as size goes, but it might just pack more punch than you’d expect. Finally, meet the UK produced Effie, the machine that does ironing for you. Would these products finally mark the end of ironing and dry cleaning?                      
Meet the LG Styler.

Meet the Whirlpool Swash.

Meet UK's Effie.

When it comes to laundry, LG has staked its claim on innovation. From quicker washer cycles to one of the largest top loaders ever conceived, the Korean giant has been at the forefront of clothes cleaning since it entered the US market more than a decade ago.

LG claims that the Styler can steam away odors, remove allergens, and shake out wrinkles. The device’s closet is 72 3/4" tall, 17.5" wide, and 23" deep. It weighs about 100 lbs. and comes with an anti-tip kit. It draws water from a tank at the bottom (the user fills it up), generates steam using a heat pump, and then releases it onto clothing. The Styler allows five garments on hangers, a pant press, and removable racks for things such as baseball caps and scarves.

The user can also choose to add a dryer sheet for a fresh scent. If you have ever refreshed a suit by hanging it in a hotel bathroom during a hot shower, you've got the basic picture. But that's not all: specially designed hangers shake gently to help remove wrinkles, and there is also a pants creaser to give dress pants that freshly ironed look. Most importantly, cotton or not, the Styler will definitely deodorize all your clothes in a pinch.

Swash, on the other hand, requires Tide Pods (it costs about 60 cents per load) specially designed for the machine. Swash sprays liquid across the clothes, front and back, and then the thermal drying function heats and circulates air through the clothes. When this air hits the liquid in the fibers, it steams out the creases.

The Styler, though it cleans more items, can take up to two hours to fully clean and unwrinkle your garments. If you are simply using the device to crease a pair of dress pants, it will only take you thirty minutes. Swash is a super quick and efficient system for cleaning your clothes in ten to fifteen minutes. Though it only allows one garment at a time, this is ideal if you are just trying to steam your shirt before work. Finally, Effie pulls the pre-stacked on coat hangers items in one-by-one, and the steamed, clean clothes pop at the other side of the device. It takes about three minutes to iron each item. Effie handles all sorts of materials from cotton to any kind of the synthetics range. However, with no special features, it certainly appears to be more basic than its LG and Whirpool counterparts, but it does its job.

The Styler is programmed to work with a free app that allows you to create custom cleaning settings. As an example, you can program a setting specifically for your ties (or any other item of clothing that requires special care). When you are ready to start your custom cycle, you hold your phone up to the machine and the Styler will detect and download the cycle. Swash is a more basic in this area, and this is reflected in its price range.

If you are interested in any of these gadgets, prepare to pay $300-500$ for Whirpool Swash depending upon where you live, Effy will cost you 700 pounds, and, finally, with a $2,000 tag per unit, the Styler is clearly a luxury item. None of these devices will replace the elbow grease of an iron, or the efficacy of a dry cleaner. The fact is, most modern consumers simply do not wear enough dress clothes to make these machines worth it. Tourist operators, on the other hand, with their extensive hotel chains might become interested in these appliances. In fact, there is already a deal in place that will see the Styler appear in luxury rental homes soon.

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