It’s hard to imagine that people used to do laundry by slapping clothes against riverbed rocks. Then again, in a couple hundred years, people might find it astounding that so many of us currently rely on simple washers and dryers. Here are three ways technology is taking us from standard machines to the future of laundry.

1. Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Water

Dry cleaning is inconvenient and expensive. But if you like clothes made of wool, silk, and other fine materials, the dry cleaner is your only option.

Well, maybe not for long. Some companies have developed technology that almost completely eliminates water for washing clothes at home. Instead of water, these washing machines use small plastic beads that can remove odors and stains from fabric.

Switching to this kind of washer will make it easier for people to clean sensitive fabrics at home. It could also help prevent an upcoming water crisis. Most washing machines use about 27 gallons of water per wash. Considering that there are about 118 million households in the United States, switching to the new technology could save over 3.1 billion gallons of water per washing day.

2. Faster, Faster, Faster!

Your clothes washer probably takes about an hour to do an entire load of laundry. New technology is chipping away at that so people can clean clothing, towels, and other items much faster.

LG Home Appliances now has technology called TurboWash that reduces the time it takes to clean a full load by about 20 minutes. If you do eight loads of laundry a week, it can help you save 1,400 hours a year.

TurboWash uses dual nozzles that spray concentrated detergent onto your clothing. That helps the detergent penetrate fabrics faster while making it possible for your clothes to get even cleaner. Washing machines with this tech also use high-pressure nozzles to blast laundry¬†during the rinse cycle so you’ll get cleaner clothes without any residue. And you’ll get it considerably faster than your current machine does the job.

3. Automated for the People

Home automation is already starting to become an important trend in the appliance industry. With the right devices, you can use your smartphone or other Internet capable device to control the appliances in your home. Even if you’re halfway around the world (or, more likely, at the office), you can tell your washing machine to do a load while you’re away.

There are several advantages to this. First off, home automation is convenient. If you want your clothes washed before you get home, just turn on your washing machine while you’re at work. Secondly, it can help you lower your household expenses. Instead of washing clothes during peak hours, you can have your washing machine do the work at times when electricity costs less.

People don’t always pay much attention to household technology. Sending robots to Mars, after all, will always capture the headlines. Still, the future of household appliances is changing with every improvement made by today’s manufacturers.

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