Ask the Appliances Expert – Jaclyn Collinge
Prestige Appliances: Prestigious Service, Phenomenal Value.
Steam Laundry….. What’s up with that?!
State-of-the-art washer and dryers incorporate steam in most cycles to get clothes cleaner and wrinkle-free. Steam laundry can look cool, too, with sleek lines and colour options. Here are all the steamy details.
- Partner in grime. Most steam washers utilize a combination of water and steam in a variety of cycles to do good things for your laundry. Essentially, steam boosts the temperature inside the washer drum, causing fibers to relax and more efficiently absorb water, releasing deep-down dirt and stains. Detergent dissolves quickly and works better in the higher temperatures, too, which also kill bacteria.
- Wrinkle reducer. Like Botox® for cloth fibers, the high-heat steam softens fabrics, which allows wrinkles, deeply embedded during spin cycles, to flatten out. Steam dryers relax the wrinkles out of fabrics. The steam at the end of a drying cycle will help prevent wrinkles from setting in a newly washed load of laundry, and a quick steam cycle will remove already set wrinkles from clothing that has been sitting for a while.
- Ahh-choo alleviator. High temperatures sanitize clothing and reduce allergens, such as dust mites and pet dander.
Because a steam washer boosts cleaning power with steam, it requires less water to do the job. For example, one model uses 9 gallons less water per load than a traditional washing machine. A family of four averages 400 loads of laundry per year, so that calculates to a whopping 3,600 fewer gallons of water used. Using fewer gallons also means that less energy is required to heat the water. Some cycles are typically longer for a steam washer, so you may spend slightly more on electric costs than with a traditional washer, depending on the cycles used.
A garment that smells like it has been worn but is not visibly dirty can be refreshed by a quick run through a steam dryer. The hot water vapor helps sterilize and remove odors, making your gently worn clothing ready for wear again in about twenty minutes. This is a huge time and energy saver, when you consider that a full load of laundry can take over an hour to complete, using valuable water and electricity in the process.