Manufacturers of the white goods within our home consistently focus their attention on making their products ever more advanced and concentrate on the way we live, and the way we undertake our chores. Some features that are added to our in-house technology however, lead us to question whether or not they are really improvements at all, with many believing that adding features, functions, bells and whistles continually serves only to confuse users. One such feature is that of ‘baby wash’ functions found on many of the latest washing machines. Here we take a look at whether these programmes genuinely offer something to facilitate the wellbeing and health of our babies, or whether they are just another unnecessary complication.
Baby care wash functions… Just what do they aim to do?
Before we analyse whether baby wash functions truly work we need to know what the manufacturers say that they are supposed to achieve. One recent innovator within this area is LG, who say that they are leading the way in developing improved handling of baby garments.
Specifically they state that…
“A dedicated Baby Care programme works to minimise detergent residue whilst protecting your baby from harmful bacteria by a thorough rinse repetition. By performing a ‘Medic Rinse’, which uses a high level rinse and a warm (40 degrees) rinse, residues which often contribute to skin irritation in children are dissolved and washed away. A ‘Rinse More’ cycle then repeats five times to tackle bacteria and stains”.
So, does this go beyond the average wash?
There’s no question that the chemicals within home detergents can irritate, and even damage, a baby’s delicate skin, and what’s more there’s also little question about some forms of bacteria being harmful to children. So, with these two points in mind, it seems that LG are arguably onto something with their specialist baby wash function.
What may be more difficult to establish however, is whether or not these specific cycles are any more effective at rinsing and reducing residue than the standard wash cycle, and it is this that remains unproven. With other manufacturers, such as Indesit and Hotpoint, also focussing upon providing baby wash care functions amongst their standard washing machine programmes it certainly seems as though there’s an appetite for the feature.
At this stage, it seems hard to definitively state that these programmes offer significantly enhanced performance for washing baby clothes. That said however, there is currently no evidence to the contrary, so it would seem to be worth selecting a machine offering this functionality if you are a parent of young children and the model you purchase isn’t significantly more expensive than one without this feature. The logic of the manufacturers’ claims would appear to be sound so there may well be substance to their claims that these programmes do offer real benefits. In addition to testing out one of these cycles for yourself, you’ll almost certainly want to take a look at the detergent you’re using as this could also have a significant impact on your baby’s skin. Take a look at this Mumsnet post for some suggestions as to which are the best detergents to try.
Steam: Another way in which manufactures are tackling harmful allergens
Allergens can be a problem for a whole host of people, including babies, and those who are naturally susceptible and sensitive to the allergens that clothes can attract. So it makes sense that this too is serving as a focus for the manufacturers of white goods and, in particular, the designers of washing machines.
One way in which manufacturers are overcoming the scourge of allergens (which notably can include dust mites, as well as germs that are found within pet hair) is through steam and, again, it seems that LG are once more leading the way within this area with their patented TrueSteam technology. This, they say, can reduce allergens by as much as 99.98%, and can also serve to sterilize bacteria.
Check out the video below for further information…