Doing laundry is almost always a chore, but the latest developments in washers/dryers, irons and detergents promise to make it easier. Nancy Soriano, editor-in-chief of "Country Living" magazine, takes a look at the latest washing machines and dryers that are available now.
The latest machines, Soriano says, are both space-saving and energy efficient. Today's laundry trends mirror what's going on in the rest of the house.
For example, people are installing what once were considered commercial- style things such as theaters, gyms and spas. Now the laundry room is getting into the act with new appliances that offer the same conveniences as your local dry cleaner. Soriano reviews three such washer/dryers:
It's great for hanging shirts that you'd usually have to iron (the dowel where you hang the clothes shakes back and forth, easing out the wrinkles) or you can put sweaters and other "lay flat to dry" items on the racks, (rather than spread out all around the house).
Maytag claims it also prevents shrinkage. New drying technology eliminates the unavoidable shrinkage that occurs from tumble-drying. Maytag also claims that the machine refreshes clothes -- steam and optimum temperatures work together to grab odors, while gentle airflow removes them. www.maytag.com
The LG Combo washer and dryer is the top combo unit available, in a soft, brushed stainless steel color. It saves space since clothes are washed and dried in the same chamber. It has a direct drive (no belts or pulleys), which results in a quiet, efficient operation with fewer breakdowns. Available are both a new larger capacity unit (perfect for those with large families or big comforters or blankets) and a smaller unit, suitable for apartments, condos, and folks with no room to spare.
Note: Combo units take a bit longer to wash and dry and can only dry 12 pounds at a time, but if you're strapped for space, it's worth it.
In addition to the latest innovations in washing and drying, Soriano covers the newest gadgets geared toward keeping your clothes looking like new:
Find it on www.beauty.com
The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo is a combination of cedar extracts and sulfate-free shampoo to clean and preserve the natural components of the yarns. This product can be used for both hand and machine washing. Available at specialty boutiques. Prices range from $4.00 to $18.00