Green is the new black when it comes to the laundry room, yet many consumers do not realize they have a choice when it comes to high-efficiency (HE), eco-friendly laundry appliances. A recent survey commissioned by Whirlpool Corporation revealed that while nearly 60 percent understand what HE means in regards to laundry appliances, almost 40 percent believe that top-load washers use more energy than front-loading machines – a common misconception in today’s marketplace.
Traditionally, consumers seeking high efficiency laundry turn to front-loading machines, yet according to previous Whirlpool research nearly three quarters of American households still own top-load washing machines. In fact, 44 percent of consumers in the most recent survey said they did not know if top-load washers use more energy than front-loaders and 38 percent believe that they do, indicating a need for clarity when it comes to communicating the benefits of HE machines to appliance shoppers.
“Historically, front-load laundry pairs have led the industry in capacity and efficiency,” said Mary Zeitler, home economist, Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science, “but manufacturers like Whirlpool Corporation are working to offer superior energy and water savings in models to suit consumers’ needs and preferences. As more families look to save on energy, water and utility costs, it is important to understand that HE washers, whether in a top-load or front-load configuration, can deliver unmatched efficiency, saving time and money in the laundry room.”
And while overall consumer demand for eco-friendly products is generally high, understanding HE in terms of laundry and the configurations in which it is available varies. For example, consumers aged 18-44 said an HE washer would be a “must have” in their dream laundry room, while consumers aged 45+ said their “must have” would be a washer and dryer that are more ergonomically friendly.
Additionally, consumers who are married or were married appear to understand eco-efficient products, more so than their single/never married counterparts. In fact, 61 percent of married and 64 percent of previously married consumers said they understand what HE means in terms of laundry appliances – while only 51 percent of single/never married consumers said the same.
Last year at this time, Whirlpool introduced Affresh, the tablet that cleans the inside of high efficiency washers, helping to reduce the musty smell that some washers get. Now, Whirlpool introduces the Affresh washer cleaning kit. The kit includes Power Puck tablets and Grit Grabber cloths to more effectively remove and prevent odor-causing residue than using bleach alone. The Power Puck tablets use oxygenated bubbling action to penetrate and remove residue that can accumulate where it is hard to reach — behind the washer drum. The specially formulated Grit Grabber cloths give consumers added power to clean where they can reach by breaking up residue around the rubber door seal and detergent dispenser and locking it into the cloth.
“While not every washer will experience odor, it’s possible in all washers. Due to their efficient design, modern HE machines seal more tightly and use less water than older, less efficient washers which increases the potential for residue to build-up,” said Mary Zeitler, home economist for the Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science.
Odor may occur when residue from detergents, lint, sloughed off skin cells and soil accumulates in areas of the washer where water cannot rinse. The new Affresh kit offers a comprehensive approach to odor-causing residue by enabling consumers to clean both around the washer door and hard-to-reach areas behind the washer drum. Use of the new Affresh kit should not replace routine washer maintenance recommended in the washer’s Use and Care Guide. Routine measures such as leaving the door open after each load and using only high-efficiency detergents in the proper amount can also help reduce the occurrence of odor.
The Affresh washer cleaning kit includes three septic system-safe Power Puck tablets and six pre-moistened hypoallergenic Grit Grabber cloths and is packaged in a reusable container to make routine maintenance a snap. It is available at retailers nationwide with an MSRP of $10.99. For more information, please visit www.affresh.com