Steam Dryer: Not Just Hot Air

Iron-a-aphobia? Don't worry, there's help.
Iron-a-aphobia? Don’t worry, there’s help.

The steam dryer function does more than you think it might.

Tell me if this has happened to you: You work all day, come home for a quick wardrobe change for a night out only to find your dress or dress shirt more crinkled than an Ore-Ida – and you don’t have time (or refuse) to iron!

What now? Hang it on the door and turn on a hot shower? I think we’ve all tried that.

Instead, toss it in a steam dryer for a refresh and throw it on 15 minutes later.

Steam Refresh Dryer Cycle

In steam refresh cycles, a small amount of water is sprayed into the drum after several minutes of tumbling with heat. The dryer will continue to tumble at regular heat for the duration of the cycle to reduce wrinkles, static and odors in fabrics.

@falenkdwb's LG washer and steam dryer.
@falenkdwb’s LG washer and steam dryer.

But they aren’t just for procrastinators/wrinkled-clothes wearers.

These dryers have a sanitize cycle, which is NSF certified to eliminate 99.3% of three common infectious bacteria. Think of all those decorative pillows, comforters and children’s toys and stuffed animals that can’t be washed, but need to be sanitized for allergy-sufferers and to ward off cold/flu this season.

Do you use a steam dryer? If so, what’s your favorite feature?

For more laundry tips and tricks, explore more on our blog!

Why do front-load washers take so long?

Many customers seem confused when we explain that front-load washing machines need an hour minimum for a normal wash cycle.

Luckily, for times when I can't wait an hour and a half for a clean outfit (sports uniforms, anyone?), I have the 18-minute wash, 18-minute dry feature from Electrolux (though my laundry room looks nothing like this). In a word: lifesaver.

But front-load laundry machines profess great water and energy savings. How does a longer cycle reconcile with such efficiency?

First, front-load washers don’t fill deeply with water, only to dump it all out a short while later. Rather, they pump in a minimal amount of water (some models use sensors to determine the size of the load).

Water continuously filters in and out throughout the cycle, meaning the water stays clean the entire time. Top-load washers fill with water until the clothes float, and then the clothes just sit in that water for the entire cycle.

Also, heating the water often takes longer in a front-loader. A sanitation wash cycle takes about two hours. But you can be assured the hotter temperature eliminates all the cold and flu germs and dust mites congregating in your clothing and linens.

The good news is laundry still takes the same amount of time because dry times have been cut in half. We used to wait for the hour-long drying cycle to finish long after the washer was done. But now, because front-load washers extract so much water during the spin cycle, the average dryer cycle lasts only about 30 minutes.

Or for me, the skinny jeans (which I refuse to put in the dryer because they may get a bit too skinny) I hang on a drying rack easily dry by morning.