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At CES, Vendors Come Clean With New Takes On Laundry

Building on the popularity of Samsung’s “activewash” washer, which features a beneath-the-lid sink for prewashing, and addressing the needs of apartment dwellers and others with limited room, majap makers are coming up with novel laundry configurations to save consumers time, money and space.

Taking its activewash concept to the next level, Samsung introduced at CES its Dual Wash Washer, a smart model that is actually two washers in one. Featuring a small, top-loading washer beneath the lid above, and a larger, more traditional front-loading washer below, the Dual Wash Washer can clean two loads of laundry at once on a single power cord, saving consumers time, energy — and bending.

Indeed, unlike competitive dual washers that make use of the pedestal space below, users can load and unload this newest configuration without performing deep knee bends.

Samsung has also developed a companion two-in-one dryer. Featuring a small, top-loading delicate rack dryer on top and a large, front-loading dryer for regular loads on the bottom, the aptly named Dual Dry Dryer is a first for the U.S. market, the company said, and a major leap forward in dryer design.

Samsung said the top-loading rack section was designed to dry delicates on low heat without tumbling, and operates within a carefully-calibrated temperature range of room temperature to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. It also features a novel air-flow mechanism to ensure even drying of garments.

The front loader below boasts its own unique features, including MultiSteam to freshen clothing and help smooth out wrinkles, and a sanitizing Steam Dry, which further reduces odors and static and relaxes wrinkles.

Meanwhile, LG and Whirlpool took a whole different approach to laundry by combining the washer and dryer into a single unit. LG’s entry, the Combo TWINWash System, was designed by Danish designer Torsten Valeur to combine world-class design and attention to detail with cutting-edge laundry technology under the company’s luxury Signature sub-brand.

The 24-inch unit saves space by combining both laundry functions into a single footprint, and is also compatible with LG’s pedestal-sized SideKick mini-washer, which is specifically designed to wash small, customcare laundry loads including intimates, delicates, and active wear.

The TWINWash’s Quick Circle touch-screen is embedded directly on the glass door at an easy-to-see 17-degree angle, and controls the main drum and mini washer. The door can be opened with a “push open” feature, which makes it easy even with an armload of laundry.

The main washer features LG’s TurboWash2.0 technology — different, LG said, from conventional speed spin cycles, which are only intended for small, lightly soiled loads — which saves users up to 30 minutes per cycle. Another feature, auto dosing, allows users to fill the detergent tank and let the system automatically load the appropriate amount of detergent for each wash without waste.

Energy Star certified, the TWINWash also features LG’s Inverter HeatPump, which reduces energy consumption by 50 percent compared to conventional washer-dryers, and minimizes fabric damage with low temperature drying.

For its part, Whirlpool has developed what it described as the first smart combo unit that, with a 2.3-cubicfoot tub, also boasts the category’s largest capacity. Its Smart All-In-One Care washer and dryer combo sends alert notifications to mobile devices; can download extra laundry cycles; can automatically reorder laundry supplies through Amazon’s Dash replenishment system; and features automatic lint removal.

Besides saving space, the All-In-One will save consumers money. The unit will carry a $1,499 suggested retail — about $500 to $600 less than purchasing a separate washer and dryer, Whirlpool said.

The majap maker said the All-In-One, like all its CES showings this week, was designed with the user in mind, rather than packed with showy but otherwise superfluous features.