Innovations in Washers and Dryers

By Lyle Weischwill | Nov. 01, 2016 5:13 pm PST

Innovations in Washers and Dryers

Isn’t it time your laundry room goes high-tech?

Doing your laundry can be easier, faster and more efficient than ever before. Features like preset and programmable cycles, enhanced customization, nearly waterless washing (really?) and smart communication have made doing loads of laundry a snap.

Here are just a few of the latest bells and whistles you’ll find on new washers and dryers.

Range in Motion

Kenmore’s new models offer what the designers are calling custom wash motions. The idea is to hit optimal performance for the different types of loads you run. Simply set the washer to the right setting — normal, bulky, whites, express, workout wear, etc. — and the washer will apply its best motion to clean it.

Laundry Day Is Now Laundry Hour

By using advanced spray and rinsing technologies, like Kenmore’s Accela-Wash, many washing machines can reduce the time it takes to run a load to just over half an hour. Combine that with a high-efficiency dryer with larger blowers and increased airflow, and you’re in and out of there in about an hour.

Help for the Forgetful

We’ve all gone to bed and forgotten a load sitting in the washer or dryer. The days of redoing that load are over, thanks to a feature that will periodically tumble the load for up to 19 hours to help keep clothes fresh and prevent wrinkles from setting in.

Reduce Your Energy Bill

Some new washers clean as effectively with cold water as with warm, using about half the energy in the process. Some new dryers feature hybrid technology, which can recycle the heat used to dry the load, offering even more energy savings. And many models now display the energy efficiency of their cycles, making it easy to monitor your energy use.

Smart Technology

Kenmore’s latest dryers feature Sensor Dry technology that actually stops the cycle when the clothes are dry, preventing over-drying (which can cause clothes to shrink) and cutting down on energy use in the process. For serious techies, some models feature technology that communicates with smartphones, allowing users to turn on their washer and dryer, check the progress of a load, choose cycles and a whole lot more — no matter where they are.

And new for 2015: downloadable custom cycles for your washer based on your changing needs. Made a new commitment to the gym? Download the “high-performance fitness wear” cycle. Is a new member of the family on the way? The “baby clothes” cycle will handle those onesies.

Allergy Alleviation

Dryers with sanitize, steam or high-heat cycles can help eliminate bacteria, dust mites and allergens from clothes, towels and linens. This is good news, especially for people with pets or those who suffer from allergies.

Waterless Washing?

Not quite, but almost. There’s a washing machine out there, now used in hotels and other commercial venues, that washes a load of clothes with a single cup of water and small amount of detergent. How? By using millions of beads made of nylon polymers that absorb stains and dirt. At the end of the cycle, the beads travel back into the drum and await the next load, instead of getting stuck on your clothes and linens. Time will tell if consumer manufacturers borrow the technology to develop a similar model for home use.

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