Electrolux have just developed a new tumble dryer called the Iron Aid, which aims to “significantly reduce the amount of ironing required”. As ironing is a chore (for most people) and one that’s been relatively unrelieved by modern technology this could be a genuinely useful time saving device.
It looks like it’s going to be fairly expensive at around the £699 mark, but it is likely to be a well made tumble dryer as Electrolux make good products. It has programmes to dry and de-wrinkle laundry, or to just de-wrinkle laundry that’s already dry. Obviously it uses steam to achieve this and it will need a water supply.
There are no details as to whether it would use a refillable container, or a plumbed in supply, or even an option to use either but it would be impractical for most people to connect it up to a permanent water supply.
According to Electrolux’s research, 98% of the 282 consumers who tested it said they would wear clothes directly from the dryer for leisure or free time purposes. 77% said they would even wear clothes (including shirts) for work straight from the dryer.
This implies that clothes come out – not ironed as such – but relatively free from creasing and should at the absolute least cut down ironing significantly. It remains to be seen if this is the start of a revolution in tumble drying or not, but ironing is something many people hate and it does take up a lot of time so it might be worth paying more for.
Electrolux’s current campaign in the trade press has humour, which I like, and I hope it’s what they are going to use to advertise to the public.
It shows an ironing board with a shirt laid across it. On top of the shirt is the Electrolux dryer. The slogan reads, “We were thinking – why not let the dryer help with the ironing?”
Is it any good?
I have tested this dryer and it can aid ironing, but it involves a lot of extra effort to remove the laundry immediately after it’s finished and hang it up on hangers or lay it all out flat.
It also leaves laundry wet so that it can finish off drying whilst being hung up or laid flat. This is what helps to remove creases. But my wife preferred ironing the laundry (and she does not enjoy ironing) over having to do this. You need plenty of space to hang or lay all of the laundry about and of course the time and inclination to do it.
I would think this is only of use to people who see reducing ironing as paramount. So they might be prepared to divert efforts and inconvenience from ironing to finding space to hang or lay the tumble dried laundry to finalise drying – and are also able to remove the laundry as soon as the dryer has finished. Ultimately the advertising implies that the laundry comes out of the tumble dryer already ironed, but it is nowhere near as simple as that.