Ironing your clothes is a pain. While it's less of a drag than folding laundry, it's still a hassle.
Start up Effie plans to take the sting out of this chore with its self-titled gadget, the Effie. The £699 (that converts to about $918 in the US and $1,176 in Australia) Effie can press and dewrinkle up to 12 garments at once, automatically. According to its designers, the appliance can also dry wet garments and remove odors lurking inside them.
You can use the Effie to perform quick touch-ups of clothing before running out the door, too. It can also handle delicates. Just place whatever you want to wash inside the Effie, and, the company says, it will steam and refresh the fabric.
How the Effie works
A flat machine that's about as tall as a typical bookshelf, the Effie contains a fold-out rail with slots for multiple clothes hangers. The hangers, 12 in all, are custom made and built to handle garments of various sizes.
Inside the Effie shirts, tops, pants etc. are hit with a combination of steam and heat. Simultaneously the Effie's pressing system eliminates creases in their fabric. Effie is built to tackle cotton, silk, viscose rayon, polyester, and denim.
There's only one physical control on the Effie, a start button on the top of the machine. The Effie will also communicate with a mobile app to provide progress and status updates you'll be able to view on your phone. The app will serve as a marketplace as well to order optional fragrance pods. The pods are for adding extra aroma to pressed clothing.
The idea of an appliance like the Effie isn't new. The $400, no longer sold, used a similar design and also promised to remove wrinkles and bad odors from laundry items. Unfortunately it could only process one garment at a time. You also had to buy special pods that cost extra, since the Swash wasn't built to function without them.
LG's $1,999device accepts up to four items at once (no pods required) but is obscenely expensive. It also didn't work very well when we tested it.
At least the Swash and Styler actually made it to market. The($700 to $850) will supposedly process (dewrinkle and neatly fold) garments in batches of 15 to 20 items. You'll have to shell out a pricey $15 to $20 extra, though, for crease-reducing capsules. The FoldiMate is currently up for preorder but isn't expected to ship until sometime in 2018.
The, an appliance billed to magically sort and fold entire loads of laundry by itself, has yet to materialize. The product was promised to arrive back in March 2017 but is still nowhere in sight and lacks a price as well.
If the Effie can live up to what its inventors envision, then the machine has a chance for success. That's especially true if the price for its pods isn't sky high. So far no automated gadget has delivered on the dream of either robotically ironing or folding clothes. Until then I'll keep my ironing board and dry cleaner's phone number handy.