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What Does a Steam Feature on a Washer Do

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Question: What Does a Steam Feature on a Washer Do
What does a washer steam feature do and is it worth the higher cost?
Answer: While most steam washers are in the higher end of the price scale, at least one model (Whirlpool) is available for $1000 or less. Not all steam features are the same though, they vary in intensity and temperature achieved. But the higher the temperature reached, the better for killing bacteria, especially dust mites - a claim that some models are making. When it comes to bacterial removal, it would be very convenient to be able to kill germs and viruses from bedding and towels, after someone in the home has had the flu.

Another practical application of a steam feature is to loosen dirt from fibers and help with stain removal, similar to a pretreatment. Deep cleaning with steam has been proven to be somewhat effective in stain removal and could make pre-soaking a thing of the past.

When it comes to paying for this feature, it really depends on the efficiency of the steam and how often you might use it, as well as the price difference of the washer compared to one without steam. If you're looking at $100 for the feature, you need to weigh the convenience against this extra cost. If germ control is important to you, this is a small cost to pay for the added protection. On the other hand, an extra $400 may negate the benefit.

Take time to ask about the steam feature when looking at a washer and confirm the temperature achieved - so you can weigh the benefit against the extra cost for that machine.

Compare prices of steam washers
Compare prices of washers

Read More About Laundry Appliances

About High Efficiency Washers and HE Detergents
Before You Buy a Dryer
About the Cash for Clunker Appliance Rebate Programs
Before You Buy a Washer
What the CEE Tier Rating Means
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