WASHINGTON -- If ironing clothes is too time-consuming, and taking them to the dry cleaners is too expensive and taxing on the garment, a new machine -- made by laundry giants Whirlpool and Procter & Gamble -- promises to deodorize and de- wrinkle clothes in 10 minutes.
The Swash system, features a machine made by Whirlpool that fits in a closet, and uses a special solution stored in "Swash pods," that doesn't require water and freshens with heat and reduces wrinkles, without ironing which can damage shirt or blouse cuffs and collars.
P&G introduced the notion of rejuvenating clothes with a spray in 2007.
What's new about Swash is the $499 Whirlpool machine that resembles a cross between a radiator and a computer's pop-out DVD tray, while offering the convenience of pod coffeemakers like Keurig.
In fact, the pods come in fragrances named Awake, Recharge and Unwind.
Since ironing and dry cleaning already exist, is there a market for a new way to keep clothes fresh?
The manufacturers estimate that people who dry clean at least once a month spend over $750 a year on the service, and say 80-percent of those asked despise dry cleaning.
Using the Swash system regularly would get expensive, too, since a 12-pack of pods costs $7.
Does the Swash machine really work?
The Swash machine plugs into a standard 120-volt wall outlet, and requires no water, plumbing, vents, or professional installation.
Its makers say it can be used on fabrics including denim, wool, polyester, lycra, cotton, cashmere, sequins, delicate beading, and lace.
After spraying the garment with the special cleaning solution, the machine uses heat to neutralize odors, de-wrinkle, and restores the fit to clothes that's lost after wear.
While the machine could spruce up the shirt or blouse worn to a cocktail party last night, it's not able to tackle the wine spill on the garment or other stains.
Reviewed.com did a hands-on test of the Swash system, which is available for preorder online at Bloomingdales, and expected to be on display locally at the Chevy Chase and Tysons Corner stores.
According to Reviewed: "When the process was finished, my coat was, indeed, wearable once more. Some of the tougher wrinkles remained, but they'd been smoothed out. Any smells were gone, and the rumpled sleeves looked fresh."
By September Swash is expected to be on sale nationally, at retailers including Best Buy and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
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