Online Exclusives

Swash This!

By Nancy Jeffries, Online Editor | July 28, 2014

Procter & Gamble rolls out the “ultimate clothing care accessory” for fashion lovers.

P&G and Whirlpool Corporation have launched a new technology designed to reduce or eliminate ironing time, while refreshing fabric and restoring the fit of clothing lost after wear. The at-home clothing care system called Swash, was created to fit into a living space, such as a bedroom or closet, and enable consumers to enjoy the benefits of clothing care in their own homes.
At its recent launch at The Standard Hotel in New York City, Lauren Thaman, P&G, associate director, communications global innovation, explained how the device works. “The Swash System utilizes a combination of a pods formula, plus heat, plus spray technology, to refresh clothes, save time and money and reduce the dry cleaning bill,” she said.

The device is said to reduce wrinkles, refresh fabric, and preserve clothing, in 10 minutes, with the push of a button.
According to P&G, Swash allows consumers to eliminate ironing, save money on dry cleaning, and better care and preserve clothes. P&G and Whirlpool identified several trends that prompted the development of Swash, namely that people are reluctant to excessively launder or dry clean their clothes for fear of damage. This has led to several unique measures, for example, showering with denim, freezing cashmere and putting clothing in a salad spinner to dry.

People have also become resigned to the high cost and inconvenience of processes like dry cleaning, ironing, or steaming. People who dry clean at least once a month spend more than $750 a year on the service and 80% of consumers report they don't enjoy ironing. The trend of re-wearing clothes between washes is also on the rise.

"Swash gets clothes ready to wear quickly, effectively, easily and without requiring extensive resources. In the amount of time it takes one to shower, clothing will be ready to wear," said Charles Pierce, group president, P&G New Business Creation.

Swash is not meant to replace dry cleaning, as it does not remove soil. It does however, claim to neutralize odors and leave clothes smelling fresh, releasing odors from fabrics and carrying them away from garments. It also de-wrinkles and reduces the need to steam or iron clothes, as the formula in the Swash Pods cups gently relaxes fabrics as the rapid drying system leaves them ready to wear. The formula in the Swash Pods cups penetrates stretched fabric fibers and restores the fit to clothes that has been lost after wear. The Swash system is claimed to extend the life of garments, is gentle on clothes and doesn't wash away dyes. It is said to prevent pilling and fiber loss and uses optimal heat to provide the best care for clothes without causing damage.
At its New York City launch, Thaman demonstrated how the system works, using an integrated tension system to gently hold clothes in place, while an advanced spray technology applies a solution to the clothing from the Swash Pods cup. Then, a rapid thermal drying function combines an express heat system with airflow recirculation to dry clothes quickly. She hung a wrinkled shirt on a hanger, placed it into the device, clipped it into place with slight tension on the fabric, and set the process in motion. Ten minutes later, the Swash cycle was complete.
 “It’s a transformational experience,” insisted Corey Moles, senior business manager, new business, Whirlpool. “Now you can just Swash it, and you’re good to go. The device fits in your bedroom, utilizes a standard plug, and it’s meant for someone who cares about their clothes and their style.”
Moles noted that the Swash system is available for pre-order exclusively at Bloomingdale’s and and will be broadly available for sale nationwide at such retailers as Best Buy and Bed Bath &Beyond, beginning in September.
The Swash System plugs into a standard 120-volt wall outlet and requires no water or professional installation. It can be used on denim, wool, polyester, lycra, cotton, cashmere, sequins, delicate beading and lace. In addition to its ability to remove light wrinkles, neutralize odors and leave clothes smelling clean, it also helps extend the life of garments as it doesn’t wash away dyes; and the formula in the Swash Pods cups is said to penetrate stretched fabric fibers and restore the fit to clothes that may be lost after wearing.

A Clothing Care Fashion Accessory

According to Kate Young, celebrity stylist, who is collaborating with P&G and Whirlpool to spread the word about the new device, the Swash System is positioned to become “the ultimate clothing care accessory for fashion lovers across the country.”
Young said, “The best feeling is having confidence in what you’re wearing, yet so often we’re limited in our choices because garments are wrinkled, don’t smell fresh or no longer look like they did when you purchased them.” Young said, “Swash helps eliminate those issues, allowing you to make the most of your closet.”
The Swash system, which is available in two colors, Shadow and Linen, retails for $499. Swash Pods cups are available in multiple scents, including Awaken, Recharge, and Unwind, with a retail price of $6.99 for 12 cups. The pods are inserted into cup holders within the device, much like pod-based coffee makers. Their formula features a super-fast wetting agent that allows the solution to spread quickly across the fabric and penetrate faster than water, and contains a buffer complex that neutralizes the pH of body odor, so that is not simply masked. The formulation is also said to remove the mineralized ions typically found in tap water that potentially cause color loss and elastic breakdown in clothing.
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