Do I Need Steam in My Washer and Dryer?

If you’re in the market for a new washer and dryer but confused if a steam washer and steam dryer are worth spending the additional $200-$400 per unit upgrade, then you’ve come across a great blog to help you make a wiser, more educated decision. 

The majority of people in the U.S. have spent most of their lives using a washer and dryer without added steam and have had no problem getting dirty clothes clean and wet clothes dry. That is the whole purpose of a laundry set, right? As technology improves in appliances though, the benefits once missed, are now realized in this new category of washers and dryers. Maybe we have been accustomed to normal for too long.  

To achieve true steam, you need to reach 212 degrees F. and most normal washer cycles only get up to 140 degrees F. In order start killing germs, you need to reach a temperature of 171 degrees F. and that is just to start! The only reliable way to kill germs and bacteria is to heat water to 212 degrees F.

STEAM IN WASHERS

Some mid to higher-end front load washers will have a sanitizing cycle that should reach 171 degrees (F) during wash time. If you are concerned about the quality of your machine’s sanitization, make sure that it either has its own internal water heater or specifically states in manual that the sanitation cycle does in fact reach that temperature. 

Unlike water and even hot water, steam is hotter and can penetrate and open the very smallest pores of clothing. This works as a kind of prewash that is more effective than soaking, while speeding the process up and saving on energy and water consumption at the same time.

When the smallest pores of clothes open up through steam, deep down dirt and stains are more easily removed during the washing agitation cycle. In fact the best stain removing washers ranked by various companies all have steam as an option. There is no doubt that steam washers can beat non-steam washers in a head to head battle comparing their ability to remove stains and bacteria. 

If you are thinking of upgrading your washer, I would recommend selecting a steam model. The average cost of a steam washer will be more than a non-steam version but is well worth it in the long run. Paired with the upgrade to steam capability, you’ll typically also enjoy larger capacity and additional wash options like a quicker wash times and faster spin cycles.   

My recommendations are from Electrolux, LG, and Maytag and they are the following:

#1. Electrolux EFLS627UIW

In my opinion, this washer is the best value and best at stain removal.

#2. LG WM3900HWA

#3. Maytag MHW8630HW

STEAM IN DRYERS

Now that we covered the benefits of steam in washers, let’s talk about the benefits of using steam in a dryer. The purpose of a dryer is obviously to dry your wet clothes, so how would introducing steam into that process help? Steam in a dryer actually offers some valuable benefits. 

SANITIZE, REFRESH AND DE-WRINKLE 

Think about what you could do if you had steam in your dryer. Clean and refresh your bed pillows without washing them? It’s almost like dry cleaning! The steam in the dryer will penetrate the smallest pores through your pillows and kill bacteria, dust mites, help remove dead skin cells, and body sweat and oils that may have made their way through your pillowcases. 

You could refresh that delicate blanket or comforter which is too big for the washer without the dry-cleaning fees! You can refresh your clothes that are not dirty enough to be washed and know that you have killed all the bacteria and removed odors. If you’re too busy too iron, throw that outfit in your steam dryer and the steam will help eliminate the wrinkles. Your kid’s favorite stuffed animals can be sanitized using a steam dryer as well. Many steam dryers also come with dryer racks so you can put your shoes on them and run a steam cycle without damaging the shoes or the dryer. 

My recommendations for steam dryers are paired from the washers above:

#1. Electrolux  EFME627UIW

In my opinion, this dryer is also the best value and best at using steam to its advantage.

#2. LG DLEX3900W

#3. Maytag MED8630HW

I appreciate that these new technologies can be a bit intimidating. I also understand the feeling and the unease in wondering if steam features are just a fad. We have seen steam in washers and dryers for quite a long time now, so I am comfortable in saying that steam will also be around for a long time to come.  You are welcome to stop into Metropolitan Appliance and speak to myself, Skyler, or any of my fellow associates. We would love to show you our laundry selection and help you find the perfect steam washer and dryer that will work for your needs.

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