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Connected GE dryers can now order dryer sheets on their own

GE just gave its line of smart dryers the ability to shop via Amazon Dash.

Chris Monroe/CNET
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App-connected GE dryers now support Amazon Dash.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Pushy reminders to clean your dryer filter are one thing, but how about a smart dryer that shops for supplies by itself? That's exactly what GE just activated in a select group of its products. Starting today, the company's Wi-Fi-enabled clothes dryers can harness Amazon's Dash online ordering system to request refills on items that are running low.

Before you get too excited, at the moment there's just one thing from Amazon's vast database of retail products that GE's connected dryers can buy automatically: dryer sheets. You do have your pick of any dryer sheet that Amazon sells directly, currently a selection of 13 brands. This laundry item probably isn't at the top of your grocery list, it certainly isn't for me, but perhaps that's the point.

I find it's always the little, unassuming provisions that are the most frustrating to keep in stock. Jet-Dry, Sriracha hot sauce, WD-40, AAA batteries...the list of products you're always out of when you need them seems endless. If your dryer could cover a fraction of these things then maybe it's worth it. Here's how it works.

GE

Clothes dryer as Dash button

Paired with Android and iOS smartphones and tablets running the GE Laundry app, compatible clothes dryers essentially function as one giant Amazon Dash button -- one that pushes itself. Customers create a Dash Replenishment service, then link it to their Amazon account from within GE's Laundry app.

You'll have to specify how many dryer sheets you typically use per load (either small or large) plus the lowest level your inventory must reach before the shortage triggers a reorder. From this point, the dryer takes over, keeping a running tally of supply versus your stated usage and replenishing stock as needed.

These aren't the first of GE's appliances that can spend your money automatically. In fact, they're the last group of GE's major appliances to get the feature, coming after the manufacturer's lineup of connected dishwashers and its Wi-Fi-capable clothes washing machines.

Also keep in mind that only four GE dryer models, essentially the same machine sold in two color options and either gas or electrically powered, support Amazon Dash. Unfortunately when we reviewed the dryer, model GTD86ESPJMC, it took a relatively long time to dry wet clothes. That's a big letdown no matter how smart a dryer is.

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