Hate it when laundry pods don’t dissolve? New Electrolux washer solves that issue

Electrolux Washer
Are you a pod person? (As in, someone who uses detergent in single-dose packages, not the body-snatching aliens of film fame.) While convenient, the little packages often cause frustration with users because they don’t always dissolve or can get stuck on the door of front-load washing machines. Electrolux says it’s solved this problem with the newest version of its SmartBoost washer. We saw it take on a couple of pods ahead of this week’s 2018 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.

Bursting the pod

The EFLS627S Front Load Perfect Steam Washer ($1,099) is the second generation of Electrolux washer with SmartBoost. The first version was our top washing machine of 2017, because of the ingenious way it premixes water and detergent before either comes in contact with the clothes. Not only does it keep the detergent from potentially staining your shirts, it delivers a noticeably better cleaning that we could see with the naked eye, no spectrocolorimeter needed.

The EFLS627S, which is due in stores in May, has the same technology, but it adds an “adaptive dispenser” that has a special spot for laundry pods. In addition to the usual compartments — like those for bleach, fabric softener, and pretreaters — the Electrolux has a fifth slot that holds up to two pods. For those of you that use three pods for large or extra-dirty loads, Electrolux’s engineers (and other appliance manufacturers we’ve talked to) say that’s overkill. A boatload of detergent can actually be too much of a good thing.

“Most of the time, you’re only going to need one,” Allison White, an application technical leader at Electrolux, told Digital Trends when we visited the company’s testing labs to see the washer in person.

When the pod button is selected (and once you press it, it stays on from load to load until you turn it off), the machine behaves differently than it does with liquid or powder detergent. First, the pod begins to dissolve then moves to the SmartBoost system, where it mixes with water to evenly distribute the detergent throughout. That mixture then sprays over the laundry. We watched the pods’ journey through the system and saw some very clean stain strips at the end of the cycle. The competitor’s machine actually trapped one of the pods between the door and the gasket, leading to a less-than-stellar cleaning performance.

Designated dryer

Sensors that detect wetness are nothing new, but Electrolux also touted an innovation when it showed off its upcoming dryer. The EFME627 Front Load Perfect Steam Dryer ($1,099) has a new feature called “predictive dry.” Anyone with a dryer knows the time promised at the start of the cycle often doesn’t match reality. You either head down to the basement to find there’s still 20 minutes remaining or open the stopped dryer to a drum full of still-damp garments. If you sat and watched the timer (which we have; it’s not fun), it might hover at 20 minutes for more than half an hour or count down to three minutes, only to jump back up to 20 minutes because it’s still detecting moisture.

Electrolux says its new algorithm can predict the time your laundry will be done, plus or minus five minutes. The display shows it’s “thinking” for the first 90 seconds of the cycle as it measures the type of load, its size, and how wet it is. Then it will let you know when to expect a dry load. And it should be dry — but not too dry — thanks to the machine’s capacitive moisture sensors. Many dryers currently use sensors that require two metal bars to come in direct contact with your wet laundry. That’s no good if your socks are caught in the pocket of a fitted sheet.

“This sensor is going to be much more precise,” said White. To demonstrate the technology, White covered wet laundry with a dry cloth, and the sensor was still able to determine dampness even without coming into contact with those items. The sensors should help prevent both over- and under-drying, she said.

With the dryer’s new activewear cycle, “we’ve tuned the algorithm and the thresholds for that capacitive moisture sensor to that specific activewear load, and those numbers are completely different than the normal cycle, for example, so it really it doing something different,” said White. Because these synthetic fabrics dry faster, you don’t want them to keep rubbing up against each other when they’re already dry.

Let’s dish

In the dishwasher department, there’s the forthcoming Frigidaire Gallery 24-inch Integrated Dishwasher with Dual OrbitClean Spray Arms FGID2468 ($649). The OrbitClean has been around for a while; it’s a circular disc that rotates around on the spray arm. Electrolux claims it gets more coverage than a typical spinning arm, and it allowed them to reduce the number of nozzles to two for a more concentrated spray. Chad Fuhrman, a product line manager at Electrolux, compares it to the difference between a shower and garden hose with a nozzle attached. “What you end up with is that same amount of water distributed over a much larger area,” he said. The FGID2468 will be available this August.

News

LG’s SnowWhite is a Keurig for lovers of homemade ice cream

LG's SnowWhite conceptual countertop appliance, on display at this year's South by Southwest, is like a Keurig machine for ice cream lovers that produces your favorite frozen desserts from nothing but a little pod.
Smart Home

Is your coffee maker hiding mold inside? Here's how to clean it

Are you a coffee drinker? If you brew your coffee at home and you don't clean your machine, you could be drinking mold, yeast, and other bacteria. Here's how to clean your coffee maker.
Deals

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out some great vacuum cleaner deals available right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Smart Home

Our favorite coffee makers make flavorful cups of joe from the comforts of home

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Google Home Hub and Lenovo smart displays

Walmart slashed the prices of Google Home smart displays for two highly regarded Lenovo models and the original Google Home Hub. We can't think of a better way to improve your smart home setup and these deals can help you save up to $100.
Deals

Amazon lowers Echo Dot cost and slashes price of the Dot and Smart Plug bundle

Amazon just unleashed extraordinary price cuts on third-generation Echo Dot smart speakers. The Alexa device is back in stock following the blowout sales last holiday season. The Echo Dot is the best-selling Alexa smart speaker worldwide.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Smart Home

These best outdoor security cameras will keep porch pirates at bay

Worried about porch pirates stealing your packages, or intruders entering your home? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one of these outdoor security cameras.
Smart Home

Your Instant Pot can do it all. Research says it has another important function

Researchers at Dakota State University tested a variety of pressure cookers for sterilization and found that Instant Pot provides enough pressure and heat to kill off food-spoiling bacteria.
Smart Home

Need some help? Here's our handy step-by-step guide on how to Airbnb your home

Getting ready to make your home a great rental? Here's how to Airbnb your home with the right amenities, insurance, supplies, and everthing else that you need. Use this guide to get started without making beginner mistakes!
Deals

Dyson sale shatters prices on vacuums just in time for spring cleaning

Steep price cuts on Dyson vacuum cleaners for the spring cleaning season help you save money on the tools you need to do the job. We've found the best discounts on Dyson vacuums from Amazon and Walmart and put them all in one place.
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on Echo devices that play Alexa’s sweetest-sounding music

Amazon slashed prices on Alexa-controlled Echo devices with the best music sound quality. All Alexa smart speakers stream music, but some sound better than others. Save on Echo Plus and the Echo Sub bundled with Echo and Echo Plus speakers.
Product Review

Simple and small, the Google Home Hub is your low-key smart screen

What’s small, simple, cute, and lacks a camera? The Google Home Hub is the latest smart display to hit the market. Powered by Google Assistant, there’s a lot to like about this device.
Smart Home

Arlo listens to feedback, improves video quality for its premier security camera

Arlo relaunched its flagship Arlo Ultra 4K HDR security camera system with worldwide availability. Arlo fixed issues from a limited early release and now the marquee brand is available in multiple configurations with A.I-driven monitoring.