After a long day of work or play, the active person’s clothing tends to be wrinkled, smelly, germy or damp. It may be time for a laundry load or another visit to the dry cleaners. But wait! A Swiss appliance manufacturer has an innovative shortcut to cleaning clothing: Refresh Butler. The appliance, which can be built-in or free-standing, is a closed chamber where photocatalysis (light treatment) and steam refresh textiles. V-ZUG AG, Zug, Switzerland, submitted the Refresh Butler to the Hohenstein Institute, Bönnigheim, Germany, to test the technology and prove it can reduce odor and micro-organisms in textiles. The device achieved a Hohenstein Quality Label “Innovative Technology” following intensive testing.
The testing compared textiles placed for two hours in the Refresh Butler to textiles spending two hours in fresh air. Different unpleasant odors (sweat, cigarette smoke) were assessed by professional “sniffers” and an olfactometer, with specially designed software combining the inputs. Antimicrobial capacity was tested by applying a defined mixture of bacteria to selected textiles. After two hours in the Refresh Butler or in fresh air, microbiologists assessed the quantity and composition of the bacteria; extensive laboratory examinations showed that treating textiles in the Refresh Butler device is clearly superior to airing for reducing both unpleasant odors and germs. V-ZUG AG also gave the product a heat pump to dry rain-soaked clothing and steam out unsightly wrinkles. Read more at V-ZUG AG. For more on the testing regime, see Hohenstein Institute.