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Home appliances declare war on germs

By Mike Wheatley | December 8, 2020
  • With the COVID-19 pandemic inducing new levels of paranoia among American consumers, appliance manufacturers are putting more focus on hygiene as they look for ways to sell their new products.

    Beko HygieneShield

    Brands including LG Electronics, Whirlpool and others are now offering household appliances that focus on hygiene by actively removing germs and allergens from their surfaces.

    For example, some of LG’s new refrigerators come with sterilizing ultraviolet lights fitted inside them. And Whirlpool has launched a new line of washing machines that come with built-in heating units that are designed to wipe out any germs hidden inside your dirty laundry, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    Add to that Beko Electrical Appliances Co., which has debuted a new HygieneShield range (pictured) of refrigerators, washing machines and ovens that come equipped with disinfection drawers.

    “People now think of home as the safest area—and they’re using their appliances more because they’re at home,” Dae-hyun Song, the president of LG’s home appliances and air solutions division, told The Wall Street Journal.

    Since the pandemic, consumers have been rushing to buy products for greater germ control inside their homes. From mid-March to the end of August, sales of vacuum cleaners, fans, humidifiers, and water filters climbed 32% compared to a year ago, according to NPD data, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Washing machines with purifying steam functions increased in demand by 46% from May to August. Air-treatment appliances increased 23% in that time period.

    “All of our product development now is being done through the lens of hygiene,” Mark Choe, a senior vice president at Samsung’s digital appliances business division, told The Wall Street Journal.

    LG is taking it a step further by even promising that some of its cleaning products with steam functions can “kill over 99.9%” of viruses when sanitizing items. It’s also starting to sell a “wearable” air purifier, worn over the face, with small motors that direct air through a pair of HEPA filters.

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