Tossing a load of laundry in the dryer can be a trepidatious chore, considering it’s quite possible your favorite shirt or pair of shorts might shrink or get damaged from the heat. But some of the newer, high-tech clothes dryers — along with their space-age touchpads — offer some pretty impressive tricks that’ll make your cleaning habits a whole lot easier.
High-Tech Dryers: What They Can Do
1. Handle Wet Sneakers Without Waking up the Neighbors, and Delicates Without Making Them Shrink
Look for a drum rack that slides inside so you can stabilize clunky items or block a sweater so it dries while lying flat and retains its shape.
2. Zap Germs—and Clothing Moths
Check out the options—they should include a sanitize cycle that eliminates 99.9 percent of the bacteria. With that kind of heat, moth larvae are toast.
3. Freshen Up Tonight's Outfit, No Detergent Needed
Bypass the washer and go directly to your dryer's steam option. It'll reduce odors, relax wrinkles, and get you out the door on time.
4. Save Energy
The first Energy Star-certified dryers have landed with a promise to cut annual energy costs by about $20. Saving the planet one kilowatt at a time.
5. Sense When It's Time to Heat Up—and Cool Off
Moisture sensors work better than thermostats and take the guesswork out of dry time so you don't create the fabric equivalent of beef jerky. Some dryers can be set to stop when clothes are mildly damp. A thoughtful trill will let you know when it's time to hang them up or iron them out.
6. End Ironing as You Know It
A perm-press setting slows down the tumbling for fewer wrinkles. Some machines have steam injectors that can help loosen wrinkles, while extended-tumble settings allow clothes to cool off without coming to a rest and hardening in a mass.
7. Let You Know When the Duct Is About to Catch Fire
Some dryers are so smart they can tell when the filter or duct is jammed with lint, at which point they will post a message on the touch screen. Some will even send you a text. Genius.
To learn more about genius dryers, go to Kenmore.com.