According to Engadget, LG is working on a washing machine that doesn’t require water at all. Of course, exactly how that works is still a mysterious trade secret.
A little less mysterious is LG’s Styler, a cabinet you can put clothes in to “freshen” them without actually washing them. The press release further explains:
“The LG Styler is a unique product designed for both washable and dry-cleanable clothes,” said Seong-jin Jo, President and CEO of LG Electronics Home Appliance Company. “The Styler can refresh and deodorize multiple fabrics, from shirts, sweaters and ties, to suits and thick winter coats, so they stay wearable longer, limiting sometimes expensive dry-cleaning.”
The LG Styler relies foremost on the Steam Refresh function, which is comprised of two features: Steam Spray and Moving Hanger Action. The Steam Spray feature helps keep clothes looking, feeling and smelling refreshed, while the Moving Hanger Action feature gently shakes steamed items to reduce everyday wrinkles, odor and dust. In addition to removing stale odors, users have the option to select an aromatic scent of their choosing to spray on clothing items with the Aroma Spray function.
It seems reasonable to speculate that the new waterless washer will be an evolution of the Styler, but how would it work, exactly? Perhaps with ultrasonics, the standard sci-fi method? Who knows, ultrasonics have proven fairly ineffective on soft pliable materials, being much more successful on things like jewelry. Perhaps a combination of chemicals and ultrasonics?
Regardless of how it’s accomplished, clothes washing has a huge environmental impact, from the water use to the phosphates and other substances in the detergents, and anything that reduces that impact is good for your bills and good for the planet. Engadget also says that LG is looking at a fridge that can stay cold for up to six hours without running the compressor, perhaps a lesson from the Coca-Cola company?