We love our pets, but their shedding? Not really.
Pesky pet hair and dander love clinging to clothes and they often turn into a bigger mess when put through a regular washing machine. Appliance maker Maytag says it has a solution to this long-standing pet peeve.
The company is introducing a new washer-dryer system specifically designed to rid clothes, towels, blankets and other fabric household items of pet hair during the wash and dry cycles.
Maytag said its Pet Pro system will be the first washer-dryer on the market to feature technology developed specifically to remove pet hair.
“We designed this system for homes with pets,” said Anna Utley, vice president and general manager of laundry at Whirlpool.
Industry analysts said Maytag’s new washer comes at a time when consumers are hungry for innovation in home gadgets.
The pandemic has forced families to embrace a more home-centric lifestyle, and consumers continue to look for ways to improve that at-home experience, whether it’s new ways to prepare meals, clean or entertain.
In 2022, the home space and home improvement industries have a significant opportunity to offer “new” ways for customers to add a little sparkle to their daily routines, says Joe Derochowski , vice president and industry advisor for the habitat and home improvement categories at market research firm NPD.
What Maytag is doing is an example of that, he said.
“This new laundry system has many advantages. This fills a long-standing need from pet owners who were probably hoping for a better solution to removing pet hair from their clothes,” Derochowski said. “In home improvement trends, we are seeing a migration from outdoor space in 2020 to remodeling bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms now. So this innovation is also hitting that trend right moment.
But Maytag’s timing may not be ideal. Big-box stores that sell home appliances, including Best Buy and Target, said inflation-weary shoppers were cutting back on discretionary purchases for the home.
And Maytag’s Pet Pro System doesn’t come cheap: Utley said the Pet Pro System will be available for pre-order in white and black finishes (priced at $1,199 each for a washer and dryer finish). white and $1,299 each for a black trim package) starting August 26 on Maytag.com.
The system will also be sold on Lowes.com starting September 27 and exclusively at Lowe’s stores in October.
Utley said Maytag was already researching the issue of animal hair removal before Covid.
“Our system has really taken a long time to develop,” she said, adding that its launch is even more timely now given the increase in pet ownership during the pandemic.
With the Pet Pro washer, Utley explained that customers can select the Pet Pro option for any wash cycle. The cycle uses increased water levels to help remove pet hair from clothes and pass through a built-in pet hair filter. Utley said tests showed the Pet Pro filter removed five times more pet hair from clothes than traditional Maytag washing machines.
The dryer has an option to use an extended drying time without heat to remove pet hair from clothes and capture it in a lint trap.