50 Shades of Gray Laundry Pairs

The appliance world has been rocked by gray recently, especially in the laundry room.

But it’s never “gray.”

These washers and dryers – whether front-load or top-load – are called pretty much every other name but looking just as sweet and trendy.

Here are the 8 iterations I could find.

Electrolux-laundry-pair

Sia, eat your heart out. I am (Electrolux) Titanium.

stainless steel asko washer

Asko gray-colored washer, also monikered Titanium.

Maytag changed the name of this finish to Graphite after initial testing showed low response to "Pencil Lead."

Perhaps Maytag changed the name of this finish to Graphite after initial testing showed low response to “Pencil Lead.”

stainless steel washing machine

LG’s lead pencil + metal, aka Graphite Steel.

samsung dark colored washer and dryer

Samsung’s Onyx, which also features WiFi controls through a smartphone app.

maytag maxima colored laundry

Perhaps to match the countertops in your kitchen comes Maytag’s Granite. Nevermind that true Granite comes in a huge variety of colors.

electrolux-stainless-steel

Let’s just call a spade a spade with Electrolux Stainless Steel.

GE Right Height Washer and Dryer

It’s the reason I was set up with my now-fiance: height. He’s tall, I was told. But I digress…

I’m not the only one who thinks height matters. GE just got taller.

GE’s newest laundry innovation acknowledges that only 60% of consumers buy the washer dryer pedestals recommended to front-load laundry owners to prevent uncomfortable bending and hunching when loading and unloading.

white laundry pedestal

The RightHeight washer and dryer’s built-in risers raise the machines 7 inches off the ground, making it just under 4 feet tall. A traditional laundry pedestal will raise the top of the machine to about 4-½ feet tall, which GE argues limits the function of the top of the machine to storage space instead of a folding surface, as illustrated below:

laundry-pedestal

*Disclaimer* Laundry-doing man & well-behaved child sold separately.

There are a lot of other features that are worth considering, but my favorite is single-item wash, promoted like this:

“Ditch the environmental guilt with this uniquely designed cycle that offers great wash performance for single items.”

In my house it’d be more like:

“Stop feeling like a failure for never getting around to the laundry and just wash outfits on demand!”

Perhaps most importantly, the RightHeight washer and dryer come in fun colors that either match a beautiful, trendy laundry room or grant respite from a hideous basement dungeon area like mine. Introduce some tall and handsome to your dark laundry room 😉

Clean Clothes in Under Half an Hour

It’s an hour till game time and you’re searching for your kid’s jersey only to find it in a ball, covered in dirt.

Sound familiar?

Before you give into being “that mom” with the dirty-shirt kid, you should know that someone created a get out of jail free card for this situation.

The Electrolux Perfect Steam washer and dryer boast the fastest wash & dry time, totaling 29 minutes. Electrolux dryer showing fast dry time - 14 minutes

That’s faster than the first half of your kid’s game. The Electrolux steam washer washes in just 15 minutes, and the Electrolux steam dryer gets your clothes dry in just 14 minutes.

Plus, the Electrolux laundry will actually get it clean. All the grass and dirt stains and sports drinks spills will be gone without a second thought from you.

Those of us without kids who just happen to be as messy as a child can also appreciate the last-minute, life-saving abilities of the Fast Wash/Fast Dry cycle.

And if it’s simply wrinkled, the steam dryer can refresh it in 15 minutes — eliminating odors too! How handy is that?

Front Load Washer Taking Longer Than It Says

catwasher

But the washer said it would be done by meow! What’s taking so long…

Front load washers can estimate the amount of time it will take to finish the cycle, which comes in handy when deciding whether you should wait around to throw the clean clothes in the dryer or run an errand.

But what about when the washer shows the wrong time estimate? Maybe sometimes when your washing machine says it will take 40 minutes, it takes 50 minutes instead.

What Causes Washer Cycle To Take Longer?

Your clothes washer time to complete a cycle is based on the type of laundry detergent you use, the size and type of your load, which cycle you chose and temperature and pressure of your water.

So, for instance, if you use too much detergent, it will oversuds and take longer to rinse out of your clothes. (Some brands will flash “Sd” or “Sud” on the indicator when this happens. To avoid, use the recommended amount of HE detergent).

If the load is unbalanced, say, due to you only washing one item or particularly a bulky item, your washer will keep trying to rebalance itself, and that will add minutes to the process.

No brainer: larger loads will take longer to clean, especially on specialty cycles like delicate.

If you choose a sanitize or white cycle, the water will need to be hot and if the incoming water is cold – well, you get the idea.

Cold-Water Washing? People Aren’t Buying It

New York Times photo

In this thinly veiled puff piece for Procter & Gamble’s Tide Coldwater, The New York Times reports that despite the efficacy and saved money/energy of cold-water washes, consumers are still hesitant to give up hot-water washes:

Procter officials said they were encouraged by company surveys that showed more consumers were washing in cold water. When Tide Coldwater was introduced in 2005, just 30 percent of laundry loads were washed in cold water; now, it’s pushing 40 percent.

“We have people moving from warm to cold,” said Dawn French, the company’s director of North America laundry products research and formula design. “But hot-water loads have remained very steady.”

Currently, about 7 percent of white laundry loads are done in cold water, compared with 22 percent for lights and 57 percent for darks, according to company studies.

Many of us do probably wash our colors in cold water, but I’ll admit I usually still do my whites in hot water. Though after reading this article I’m reminded how frivolous that likely is.

And expensive (according to the article, energy savings isn’t really a big selling point with Americans, yet).

About 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes in an average washer is for heating the water. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half.

It really is a no-brainer, given current technology.

One possible issue associated with only washing in cold water: smelly washers. I’m sure that cold-water detergent is formulated to fully dissolve — making residue less of an issue — but remember to keep your washer open between loads, wipe your gasket clean occasionally and run a washer cleaner through as needed.