Swash in action

Odds are that you're used to ironing some of your clothes to keep them wrinkle-free, or taking them to the dry cleaners when you can't (or just won't) put them through a washing machine. No great shakes, right? Well, Procter & Gamble and Whirlpool apparently believe that these are terrible burdens -- the two have unveiled Swash, an appliance that freshens your clothing one piece at a time. The device uses the combination of heat and a special solution (held in "Swash pods") to eliminate wrinkles and smells in your apparel without either damaging it or requiring time-consuming care; your duds should be (almost) as good as new in roughly 10 minutes. It doesn't require water, and it can handle delicate materials like cashmere and lace. At first blush, it looks like a good way to save a favorite coat or sweater from the ravages of time.

However, this is most definitely an extravagance. While Reviewed.com found that Swash worked as advertised, you'll really have to despise dry cleaning to justify the running costs -- the device by itself is $499, and each 12-pack of pods is $7. That could quickly add up if you're using the machine multiple times a week. It's also not going to remove stains, so you'll still be in dire straits if you spill a drink on your shirt right before a big date. You can buy the Swash at Bloomingdale's this September, but you'll want to think carefully about your typical attire before you splurge on a unit. Just how badly do you want to dress to impress?

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