Washing machines rarely pique our interest, but LG has put the laundry industry in something of a spin (sorry) with its revolutionary Steam Direct Drive machines.
The use of steam is a stroke of genius that not only cleans your kit faster and more efficiently, but also promises to de-crease your shirts and free you from the curse of ironing forever.
Spin me around
The ‘direct drive’ system is a more obvious innovation that turns the drum directly, doing away with the old belt and braces method that’s guaranteed to have your washer throwing itself around the kitchen as soon as your belt begins to wear out.
This machine, by contrast, runs so discretely we were initially convinced it wasn’t working. In fact, she runs like a racehorse at 1,400rpm and you can load her up with a king size duvet and still have room for the sheets thanks to its cavernous 9kg drum.
Throw your filthy laundry in through the extra wide drum and the sensor inside will actually tell you how big the load is and set the amount of water required accordingly.
LG clearly drafted in designers from its electronics division for this project because even aside from the glossy black finish (white and silver are also available), the fascia has more in common with the brand’s famous Chocolate phone than your average kitchen appliance. The friendly blue LCD display is huge, making it dead easy to choose the best cycle using the jog wheel and touch-sensitive buttons. There’s even a play/pause button.
Despite the enormous drum, this machine somehow manages to stick to standard dimensions and slots neatly into a regular 600mm slot. The only difference is that you need to plumb in both hot and cold inlet pipes. This is for the steam apparently, although the injection system has its own heater.
The steam brings the wash up to temperature faster, making the speedy 20-minute cycle possible, and by moving up in steps, it can attack specific stains that dissolve at particular temperatures. Genius.
Before the Steam Direct Drive we weren’t known to have favourite washing cycles, but it ‘refresh’ mode is a lifesaver. Bung in a shirt in the morning and it’ll blow away any, ahem, odours and steam away the wrinkles, so it looks freshly ironed.
This feature alone will reduce the number of loads you do each week, giving the SDD a decisive edge over the other eco washers out there, while ironing just became a quaintly outdated activity.