So there I was in Best Buy to pick up an extra phone charger, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a huge display for the latest in laundry appliances - Swash Clothing Care System. I had read all about it but this was my first hands-on look. I should add that no one else in Best Buy seems nearly as excited as I was to find it!
Swash Clothing Care System
Swash is a joint clothing care venture between Whirlpool, the largest manufacturer of laundry appliances, and Procter & Gamble's Tide brand.
The name is actually a reincarnation of P&G's Swash products from several years ago that included odor-reducing and wrinkle-removing sprays to help customers get one more wearing out of their garments. This time the stakes are much bigger.
The Swash appliance which is large enough to hold a man's extra large suit jacket was developed for use in consumer's bedroom to help neutralize odors, remove wrinkles and restore a garment's fit. It uses uses gel-filled pods and high heat to freshen clothes.
Swash is available in two colors: charcoal grey and linen. The linen finish is light tan and has a texture that resembles fabric.
The appliances is large and needs a 120 volt outlet. With the door closed, the device measures 51" tall x 16.5" wide x 30" deep. You will need an additional 30-35 inches when the door is opened to load in a garment for refreshing.
Swash sells for around $400. A box of twelve Swash pods costs around $6.99 or about 60 cents per use.
How Swash Works
Swash comes with one hanger for your clothes and works best by refreshing only one garment at a time. However, you can order an extra hanger and put two lightweight pieces in at once.
When placing the piece of clothing on the hanger, all buttons and zippers should be closed to help the garment maintain its optimum shape.
There are also smoothing clips attached to the frame of the inner door to help stretch the fabric and get as smooth as possible on the hanger. These should not be used with stretchy fabrics - like knits - because over stretching can occur.
A gel-filled pod is placed in the top bar on the interior hanging structure. The door is closed and Swash begins to heat up the gel pod solution. (Tip: keep the gel pods at room temperature for better results.) Four nozzles within the macine spray the garment with the gel solution, hydrating the fibers. The heat then dries the garment in 10 minutes. There is a 15-minute setting for heavier pieces.
Remove and discard the empty pod and you're ready for the next garment. After a few cycles, there is a reservoir in the bottom of the machine that will need to be empties of excess moisture.
The pods come in four varieties: Unwind (hint of lavender), Recharge (gentle, clean scent), Awaken (strong floral scent) and Unscented (my favorite).
Swash is recommended for safe use on denim, wool, polyester, lycra and cotton. Because the internal temperature is not excessively high (190 degrees F.), Swash can be used to refresh beaded and sequined garments as well as lace clothes.
It is not safe to use with leather, velvet, suede, silk or fur pieces.
Pros and Cons
- Pro: Simple to use.
- Pro: Requires no special electrical wiring or plumbing.
- Pro: Works well to remove light wrinkling and makes heavy wrinkles less prominent.
- Pro: Helps remove food, smoke and body odors.
- Con: Does not give dress shirts a crisp finish.
- Con: Does not remove stains.
- Con: Expensive investment.
Swash is a great looking product, perfect for a high-end closet of a business man or woman. While the design and the technology used to create the appliance is new, the concept is not. Swash used much the same refreshing process as in-home dry cleaning kits. The biggest exception is a DIY dry cleaning kit that you use in your clothes dryer includes a spot remover for stains. Of course, most of us don't have our clothes dryer in our bedroom closet.