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Sanitizing, Allergen and Other Wellness Washer Features

by Olly Mason

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the humble washing machine. What was once just a tub of water and a manual agitator is now a smart household appliance that can plow through piles of dirty clothes in a fraction of the time it used to take. Yet, it’s rare to find someone who actually enjoys doing laundry.

That might not change any time soon, but the fact is washing machines are evolving — and for the better! The modern washer is constantly being reinvented to keep up with the demands of the conventional household, and what’s currently most important to everyone the is health and wellness.

Follow along to see which washer features not only take care of your clothes, but your wellbeing, too.

Washer Cycles that Keep You Healthy

On the surface, doing laundry may be about looking presentable, but on a deeper level, a good washer (and dryer) also allows us to live healthier lives. That’s because on top of eliminating dirt, most modern washing machines are also capable of eliminating other health risks, such as harmful bacteria and allergens. Here’s how.

Sanitization Cycle

graphic depiction of bacteria on the drum of front load washing machine

You can put a load to wash, but can you be sure clothes will come out as clean as possible? Luckily, a washer’s Sanitizing Cycle can provide some peace of mind. That’s because this washer feature uses the hottest water settings (up to 140 degrees) to effectively disinfect clothes, following with a smart cold rinse to flush away dirt, stains, bacteria, allergens, and even mold.

While gas dryers heat air hotter than electric models, users can assure thorough clothes sterilization regardless of the fuel type when loads are finished in a dryer with a Sanitize cycle. That means, on top of eliminating up to 99% of germs and bacteria during a wash, users can assure clothes stay germ-free all the way through to drying.

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The Power of Steam

person retrieving a white towel from front load dryer

When it comes to cleaning, steam is a versatile tool gentle enough to delicately lift light soiling and wrinkles, and tough enough to penetrate hard-to-clean stains and messes on fabrics. Additionally, steam doesn’t require a lot of water to use, meaning it’s also cost-effective, energy-efficient, and leaves clothes less soaked, saving extra time during drying.

Best of all, steam can be used to refresh specialty fabrics recommended for dry cleaning, such as wool, (including wool blends and man-made wool fibers), silk, and cashmere. While mostly found on front-loading washers, high-end top-load washers are beginning to include steam in newer models, too.

Get a look at the PowerSteam Technology from GE in action with this clip, and then check out what real users are saying about the feature in this top-rated GE front load washer spotlight.

Tip from the experts at Grand: Use the steam feature on your washer along with fast spin cycles and ultra-hot wash temperatures for enhanced elimination of bacteria for heavy-duty washes.

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Keep Allergies at Bay

Woman in gray sweatshirt sneezes into elbow

What do your favorite sweatshirt and the family pet both have in common? You love them both, but sometimes, they can be full of dander, dead skin cells, and hair that trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. Thankfully, more and more washers are including smart technology that helps reduce allergens found in regularly worn fabrics.

Recently, LG has begun including the Allergiene™ Cycle on select front- and top-load washers, since then becoming one of the most impressive washer features to help keep clothes free from these major offenders.

So, how does the Allergiene™ feature work? By utilizing the powerful performance of steam to effectively remove up to 95% of household allergens from fibers. The cycle does its job so well that it’s even certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), and is the first washer to earn this honor.

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GE’s UltraFresh System: Beyond Basic Sanitization

With exclusive antimicrobial Microban® technology, GE Washers with UltraFresh Vent System take sterilization to new levels. Designed with advanced bacteria resistance built right in, these GE front-load washers eliminate germs where they happen the most, including gaskets, the detergent dispenser, and the draining system.

Best of all, the Microban feature lasts the entire lifetime of the washer, so no matter how many loads have been washed, each one will be protected by enhanced germ-fighting technology.

GE UltraFresh washers also include:

  • The industry’s first OdorBlock ventilation built-into the door that drives moisture out, preventing buildup of odors and mold
  • A Sanitize Cycle that effectively eliminates 99% of bacteria and allergens
  • Automatic SmartDispense technology capable of holding enough detergent for up to 32 loads of laundry

Improved Wash Mechanics Equal Better Health

While new wash features are fantastic, a washer’s performance is only as good as its parts. That’s why it’s important to also consider a washer’s cleaning action, which can help improve the effectiveness of features like the ones mentioned above. Take these innovative washer solutions, for example.

Stellar Stain Removal

Back when top-load washers were the only option available on the market, users had to let let the tub fill with water before adding the detergent and allowing it to fully dissolve prior to loading clothes. The problem is, that’s hard to do on a front-load washer, since the door locks shut once a cycle starts.

That is, until Electrolux washers with Smartboost® Technology came along to solve the problem. By using an innovative chamber to mix water and detergent before entering a wash, detergent receives a “boost” which better penetrates the surface of clothes. In fact, Smartboost is so good, it’s one of the most effective stain removal systems on the market.

side by side comparison of laundry detergent with and without electrolux smartboost technology

Together with the following features, Electrolux delivers an impressive wash system that takes the unbeatable results of a front-loader even further:

  • A Sanitize Cycle that eliminates up to 99.9% of bacteria and up to 95% of allergens.
  • A speedy 15-Minute Fast Wash Cycle quickly washes small loads.

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The Traditional Wash, Enhanced

While this blog has highlighted front-loading laundry appliances, that’s not to say traditional-style washers are left behind. The latest generation of top-load washers use impeller agitators, which improve wash results compared to the conventional top-loading washing machine.

blue clothes washing inside maytag impeller washer

Here are a few of the benefits of impeller washers:

  • Impellers are gentler on clothes.
  • The low-profile of an impeller allows for more room for bulky items.
  • Impeller washers typically require less water than washers with agitators.

One of the best demonstrations of this enhanced top-load performance can be found on Maytag washers with the Power™ Impeller. With triple-spray action and reverse-wash agitation, washers such as the Maytag MVW6200KW, leave clothes completely clean with less wear than an agitator. Combined with the ability to wash clothes in a Deep Fill option, users can enjoy a deluxe wash action to efficiently treat stubborn stains and messes on clothes.

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We Can Help!

Grand Appliance and TV knows you work hard to take care of your family, which is why we’re devoted to taking care of you. Whether you’re shopping, for a single washer or dryer, a laundry pair, or are looking to save space with a stacked laundry unit or washer dryer combo, you can count on us. Shop online or visit one of our 25 locations throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, or Iowa today!