Before you fork over big bucks for an updated washing machine, take a moment to consider the new $1,099 Electrolux Perfect Steam EFLS617. Like many modern washers, the Perfect Steam comes equipped with a myriad of cycle modes and fancy laundry options. What really makes the appliance unique is its fresh approach to detergent prep and fabric care. Electrolux goes so far to say this machine is the best home washer it's ever built.
Apparently the key to the Perfect Steam's strong cleaning performance is a feature Electrolux calls SmartBoost. The function uses a special chamber and pump reserved solely for thoroughly mixing detergent and water before the laundry cycle begins. This complete pre-infusion of soap and washing liquid supposedly unlocks the full dirt-fighting power and stain-lifting potential of its cleaning solution. Best of all, this perfect storm of suds should work its magic across all of machine's laundry cycles.
Lots of modes to clean your clothes
As you'd expect from a flagship washing machine, the Electrolux Perfect Steam EFLS617 offers a staggering array of special modes and technology billed to effectively remove soil and grime from your garments. Aside from the SmartBoost feature, which serves as the foundation for all other cleaning cycles, there's a Sanitize function that Electrolux says will kill and remove 99 percent of bacteria lurking within dirty clothing as well as 95 percent of allergens.
The machine relies on something called the "LuxCare Wash System" as well, which apparently controls a combination of washing machine behaviors such as mechanical movement, cycle timing and load sensing plus water temperature to maximize cleaning power.
Another laundry mode similar to SmartBoost is "StainSoak." This function also uses an associated chamber to combine water, detergent and stain remover into a solution Electrolux claims is powerful enough to banish blemishes, yet goes easy on fragile fabrics. Additionally a Perfect Steam mode is billed to "gently lift stains" from clothing fibers.
Cleaning modes and basic specs
- Front-load design
- 4.4-cubic-foot capacity
- LuxCare wash system
- 15-minute Fast Wash cycle
- Sanitize option
- StainSoak option
- Perfect Steam option
- Extended Refresh option
- Fresh water rinse
Finding a place for the Perfect Steam
Available in smart-looking color schemes of Island White and Titanium, Electrolux will also offer both electric and gas versions of its Perfect Steam 600 series washing machines (which includes the $1,099 electric EFLS617 model). The company plans to sell matching dryers too which will share the 600 series designation plus a similar bevy of advanced clothes handling functions. Of course the ultimate appeal of the Perfect Steam 600 depends greatly on whether its vaunted cleaning functions actually live up to the hype.
Electrolux expects these appliances will arrive in stores by April 2016. And if the shelling out over a grand for a slick new washer is too rich for your blood, Electrolux plans to hawk slightly less-expensive Perfect Steam machines (500 and 400 Series) which lack SmartBoost abilities (and slower fast-wash modes) for about $100 to $200 less.