Consumer Report: Laundry Made Easier?

By: Lauren Evans Email
By: Lauren Evans Email

The average American does almost 400 loads of laundry a year. Lots of products promise to make cleaning and drying your clothes easier. Consumer Reports took a closer look.

Plenty of people HATE washing their clothes and ironing them, too. These products claim to make that easier.

Mister Steamy’s commercial promises to leave your clothes wrinkle free.

So Consumer Reports got some extra-wrinkled men’s shirts and asked Mister Steamy to work his magic on them.

The results?

“Well this shirt hung out with Mister Steamy, and it’s still quite wrinkled," explains Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman, of Consumer Reports. "Look at the sleeves, the collar and the whole rest of the shirt. Not exactly something you’d want to wear on a job interview.”

Next up: Purex Complete 3-in-1. It’s supposed to be a detergent, softener, and anti-static all in one sheet.

Consumer Reports tested it on all three counts.

“The Purex wasn’t so amazing," Lehrman says. "Our tests found that there are detergents that’ll get your clothes cleaner and fabric softeners that’ll get your clothes softer. It did do a pretty good job of removing static electricity and cling, but so do most fabric softeners.”

Consumer Reports also tested some laundry appliances that claim they can make life easier. Take dryers with an extra steam cycle. They cost extra, but supposedly the steam reduces wrinkles, if you have a few shirts you want to refresh.

But Consumer Reports’ tests showed dryers with steam left the shifts still wrinkled. So, unfortunately it’s back to the ironing board.

If you want your clothes to look smooth but just can’t be bothered ironing, Consumer Reports says take newly washed items out of the dryer fast. If your clothes are dry but still have wrinkles, toss them in the dryer with a wet towel.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jenny Location: Jackson on Oct 27, 2010 at 10:09 AM
    Please email me the laubdry soap "recipe" sounds like a fantastic idea! ccsauber@yahoo.com (if you don't mind sharing)
  • by sue Location: Michigan on Oct 26, 2010 at 04:50 PM
    So, Laura, what are the 3 ingredients? And, how much of each? Thanks!
  • by Laura Location: Lansing on Oct 26, 2010 at 09:27 AM
    Money down the drain! I make my own laundry soap. It has 3 ingredients, takes 10 minutes to make. Each batch makes 3 gallons and costs appx. $3.00 IF even that much! Works out to about a penny per load. My sensitive skin kids do great with it, and it's low sudsing so it works with my HE washer.
  • by Laura Location: Lansing on Oct 26, 2010 at 09:27 AM
    Money down the drain! I make my own laundry soap. It has 3 ingredients, takes 10 minutes to make. Each batch makes 3 gallons and costs appx. $3.00 IF even that much! Works out to about a penny per load. My sensitive skin kids do great with it, and it's low sudsing so it works with my HE washer.
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