Fall clothes are starting to pop up in the stores, and I couldn’t be happier. Even though it’s sweltering outside (and humid? Really, Los Angeles?) I am itching to layer a new silk tank with a chunky cashmere pullover.
I know that the honeymoon will end, however, after I’ve worn everything and have to figure out how to wash it.
(Psst! Shop my very Swashable Fall Edit at the bottom of this post!)
Oftentimes, clothes aren’t even dirty, you know? They’re just… worn… and need to be refreshed. I have experimented with hand-washing and flat-drying a cashmere sweater, which works, but getting the blocking right for the length and width and getting those baggy elbows to spring back is a bit tricky. And that silk tank top? Well, I’m not that brave, so I usually send things like that to the dry cleaner (expensive) along with my beaded things, my lace things, or anything that’s bedazzled. Again, they may not really be dirty, but just wrinkled, stretched out, or they’ve picked up the smell of Korean barbecue (so worth it).
Why am I sharing all of my laundry woes? Because Whirlpool and P&G just got together and created a laundry problem-solving appliance: Meet the Swash Express clothing care system.
Swash is— how shall I explain this— a between washes cleaner. Hang an article of clothing inside, pop-in a Keurig-style “Swash Pod” and in 10 minutes it will (a) remove light wrinkles, (b) restore the fit, and (c) remove odors. The only thing it won’t do is remove a stain— if you got marinara on your button down, it’s not Swashable. You know who you are.
So, do you need one? Well, I’ve been living with mine for a bit, Swashing everything that isn’t nailed down, and I’ll tell you what:
1) It is a large thing— the depth and height of your washer or dryer, but with a slender width. It only needs an outlet (no water hookup) so if you have space, you could put this in a closet or tuck it behind an armoire in your bedroom… anywhere it can get power. It’s been designed in neutral “Linen” and “Shadow” colors and is attractive from the outside, but it’s definitely going to stand out due to its size. Mine is tucked right next to my washing machine and I’m happy I had room for it in my laundry room. Also, I’ve got a prototype right now, but it had no gliders on the feet… I was worried it would scratch my floor over time, so I’m hoping they add some of those to the final product.
2) It’s $499, so it’s definitely a considered purchase, just as expensive as some washers or dryers. In my house, it could pay for itself in dry cleaning bills in a matter of months, with all the shirts and suits my husband regularly sends to the cleaners. The Swash Pods work out to about 60 cents each, so if they can keep my clothes away from the dry cleaner for a wearing or two, saving me money and increasing my clothes’ longevity, well, that’s something indeed.
3) I am a total spazz with a steamer. I see other people use them (okay, mostly on infomercials) but honestly, they never work for me, no matter how long I stand there and wave the wand. Imagine the shirt you wore last night being Swashed and ready to wear again in the time it takes you to shower… and you didn’t need to stand there spilling water and burning yourself with steam.
4) All my skinny jeans have so much stretch in the denim that they’re all but falling down after a day of wear. I don’t like putting them in the dryer but if I don’t, they never really spring back to that perfect fit. Swashing them puts the skinny back in my jeans… in 10 minutes. This is my biggest use case, though as the months get colder I know I’m going to be Swashing my sweaters with abandon.
5) There are clips inside that hold the clothes taut so they emerge wrinkle-free. They’re spring-loaded and grab your clothes in a multitude of places to ensure they’re pulled tight and ready to be de-wrinkled. These clips are a bit unwieldy and certain articles of clothing slipped off the included hanger a bunch before I figured out how to clip them successfully. Not a problem for blazers and shirts, but for pants (they want you to hang them over the sloped shoulders of the hanger), it was tough.
6) Right now, the Swash Pods come in three different scents. If you love scented fabric softeners or detergents, you will love these. They even make the room smell nice while your clothes are being Swashed, which is a perk. Personally, I tend to shy away from artificial scents, so I’m looking forward to unscented Swash Pods, which I’ve been told will be available soon.
Recap: Swash is available for pre-order at Bloomingdales for $499. It’s not the same as washing: If it’s stained or dirty or beyond-sweaty, skip the Swash and just wash the darn thing. But for those in-between things that aren’t truly dirty, but just need a pick-me-up… or for those beaded, lace or sequined delicates that will face torture at the dry cleaner, the Swash is a marvel that might just have created its own category in large appliances. If you dry clean regularly, it will take a few months to make back the price of the unit, but afterward, it’ll cost you 60 cents to keep your clothes from all that wear and tear.
Would you try this on your clothes? Do you do enough dry cleaning to make it worthwhile? Let me know in the comments!
Oh, and here’s my Swashable Fall Edit to shop… it’s my first Polyvore composition— what do you think?
Thanks to Swash for furnishing a Swash to help me write this post. All opinions, as always, are my own.