Whirlpool Swash designed to reduce wrinkles, dry-cleaning costs

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Proctor & Gamble and Whirlpool created a partnership to build an appliance that the companies say can reduce a consumer’s ironing and steaming needs and has the potential to cut your dry-cleaning expenses in half.

The Swash ($499) is a radiator-shape appliance that plugs into a standard 120-volt electrical outlet and requires no plumbing, vents or water. The appliance is 53-1/2 inches tall and 16-1/2 inches wide. Its depth is 30 inches when the drawer is closed and 54-1/2 inches when the drawer is opened.

P&G says the Swash can be used to remove light wrinkles in clothes as well as to refresh and restore cashmere, cotton, delicate beading, denim, lace, polyester, sequins, stretch fabric and wool. The company says consumers can use the Swash to treat blouses, camisoles, dresses, jackets, jeans, pajamas, polo shirts, sequined dresses, skirts, sports jerseys, suits, sweaters, T-shirts, underwear and yoga pants.

The Swash isn’t recommended for fur, leather, silk, suede or velvet.

According to the companies, the Swash uses a hanger and clips to hold an article of clothing in place while a detergent pod generates a solution that’s sprayed onto the garment. Next, air circulation and heat dry the clothing. Each clothing item is refreshed in about 10 minutes, although heavier clothes might take 15 minutes. Swash pods cost $6.99 for a pack of 12, and each pod is good for one use.

P&G spokesperson Lauren Thaman tells Consumers Digest that the solution that’s in the pod is comprised of deionized water, a buffing agent that neutralizes the acidity of body odor, a wetting agent that penetrates the fabric, and light fragrance. The solution is absorbed into the clothing’s stretched fibers and helps to return them to their original shape, Thaman says.

The companies are clear that the Swash doesn’t dry clean your clothes and that clothes that have heavy wrinkles require ironing. However, P&G says Swash is designed to reduce the frequency that an item requires dry cleaning.

According to a P&G survey, consumers who go to a dry cleaner at least once a month spend an average of $758.26 per year on dry cleaning. The companies say that such costs can be reduced by as much as 50 percent if a person uses the Swash to replace half of their dry cleaning.

The Swash is available for preorder at Bloomingdale’s and will be available nationwide at Bed Bath & Beyond and Best Buy in September 2014.

– K. Carlson