High Tech Home Laundering

The deeper we get into the summer, the more likely you are to grow mould or at least take on that mildewy smell while waiting for a bus. We’ve all been there — wanting to wear your favourite linen shirt to work and to dinner but come end of the day, the shirt’s a gooey mess. Into the wash it goes and time for your second choice for the evening.

German appliance manufacturer Siemens may be able to help with that. The latest washing machine to hit the market in Hong Kong is its new airSpire, a combination washer-dryer designed to not only to keep you looking sharp and smelling fresh as a daisy but also to save time and money. The world’s first airCondensation technology uses atmospheric air to cool down its condenser — instead of water — and convert it to hot air to flow back into the drum. Dryers are notorious power suckers, but the airSpire is typically energy efficient and uses 62 percent less water than most standard washer-dryers. Best of all, the airSpire has a refresh function that will make that linen shirt look straight from the closet in a few minutes and eliminate any odours that have latched on during the day. The machine has a 7 kilogram capacity for washing, 4 for drying, spins at up to 1,500 rpm and features 13 programmes, including a 15-minute fast wash. The Siemens airSpire is running roughly $18,000.

But Siemens isn’t the only game in town for high-tech home laundering. Compatriot Miele has its WT2780 and 2789I, in white or stainless steel, which are also condenser dryer-type models that use water. Priced slightly higher at around $23,000, the Miele models hold 5.5 kilos to wash and 3 to dry, spin up to 1,600 rpm, have a quick 20-minute cycle and 22 special programmes including a refresh cycle and one for soft toys. The beauty of both Miele and Siemens’ machines is their near silence when in use.

If the Germans are too rich for your blood, somewhere in the middle is Swedish manufacturer Electrolux’s EWX147410W at almost $14,000. The Electrolux holds the same amount of laundry as the Siemens washer, spins at up to 1,400 rpm and features 12 programmes but sadly has no refresh function. However it was made in Europe (Italy to be exact) if where your big-ticket electronics come from matters to you, and it does feature a time manager for customised cycle lengths, which allows for adjustments depending on how much time you have to spare.

And lastly, the most reasonably priced washer-dryer combo unit is Korean electronics giant LG’s WF-C1206PW at just shy of $5,700. LG’s combo also guarantees low noise and energy efficiency without sacrificing power and durability. This model prides itself on a programme that removes allergens and ensures even the tiniest lingering bit of detergent is gone after the rinse cycle. Among its total 13 programmes are six that duplicate the motion of hand washing for more fussy items and a duvet setting. Its capacity is 6 kilos for washing and 3 for drying, it spins at up to 1,200 rpm and boasts a 30-minute express cycle. So maybe with a little help you can wear that beloved linen shirt to dinner.