The hallways are packed with appliances at IFA 2016, and many have some really cool features. Although not all will make it onto the U.S. market, here are some awesome innovations we hope to see in Home Depot or Lowe’s in the next year.
If you have hard water, you may know that the calcium and other minerals it contains combine with soap and detergent, forming clumps instead of dissolving. This can make clothes washed in hard water stiff and rough-feeling. The AEG 9000 Series washing machine has what Electrolux is calling SoftWater technology. It helps remove minerals before you wash your clothes in the water, and as a result it gets your laundry cleaner at cooler temperatures: as low as 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). Since hot water is harsh on fabrics, that could save your threads.
Speaking of washing at cooler temperatures, the Bosch Series 8 has ActiveOxygen technology. Bosch isn’t giving a lot of details on how it works, but it promises the ability to kill 99.99 percent of bacteria when the water is as cool as 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). Considering most washers make you crank up the heat to achieve such results, that’s pretty impressive. We just wish we knew how it works.
If you want two washers in one, the Haier Duo Dry offers a bonus: a washer-dryer combo on the bottom. The top drum holds about 9 pounds of clothes and has 12 wash cycles. You can wash 17 pounds of clothes in the combo bottom, and when it’s time to dry them, the same drum works with about 9 pounds of laundry. It’s a ventless dryer, so it does take a little longer than machines that vent air to the outside.
Oops! Forgot to add a sock to the wash? The Midea Beverly has a tilting door, so you can add clothes mid-cycle. You hit the “add garment” button on the appliance’s screen, and it automatically angles the drum, so water doesn’t come sloshing out. You’re then free to toss in your forgotten items.
Still in prototype form, the Hoover washing machine with TED is actually three things: a washer, a handheld device, and an app. You use the device to detect what type of fabric you’re throwing in the washer, and some suggestions and tips will show up on the app. If you’re washing a mixed load, it will tell you the cycle to pick and perhaps recommend that you take that silk shirt out of the mix. It seems handy, but how many people will use it every time they do a load of laundry?