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If you’re anything like the team here at Ideal Home, you’ll either hate ironing or just about tolerate it. A YouGov survey published in February found that doing the ironing is the household chore Brits dread the most, with more than 50 per cent saying they dislike it, and 30 per cent saying they hate it. A lot. Yet there has never seemed any way of escaping the ironing pile... until now. Meet Effie (no relation to Henry Hoover), the machine that does ironing for you.
More automated ironing: Hate doing the laundry? This robot washes, dries, irons and folds your clothes
The brainchild of two London-based engineers, Effie can dry and iron 12 separate pieces of clothing at once. She's a doddle to use, too. First, grab your wet, wrinkly clothes from the washing machine. Next hang them up on hangers, as you would if they were already ironed, and add them individually to Effie's pull-out rail.
Hit the start button and Effie will pull in the items one by one – think of her like a car wash for your laundry. As the doors close on your clothes, a bar runs down the item, using steam to bust any creases. And voilà, before you know it, your clothes pop out the other side, ready to put away in a drawer or wardrobe. It takes around three minutes to 'iron' each item.
Effie can handle all sorts of fabrics, from delicate silk, through to polyester, viscose, cotton and denim. And when you're done, simply wheel Effie into the nearest cupboard or corner, out of the way.
Rohan Kamdar and Trevor Kerth started working on Effie in 2015. 'Ironing is a problem of time and effort – it takes a long time and it is difficult to do,' they explain. 'We developed Effie as a solution that makes it 95 per cent faster, and as easy as hanging up your clothes on a hanger.'
Getting to this point has not been straightforward. Not least because 40 Effie prototypes were created before the boys were ready to unveil their creation to the public. However, Rohan and Trevor are now happy with Effie and trying to get her to market. If you want an Effie in your own home – and quite frankly, who wouldn't? – you can sign up at helloeffie.com (opens in new tab). 'Since we were able to quickly test multiple versions and different features of Effie, we are confident that the final form is a device that you will be excited to use, and will save you so much time and mental anguish,' Rohan tells us. 'We hate ironing!'
And how much will all this convenience cost you? The 'Early Bird' price is £699, with pre-ordering available from March 2018.
Should Effie prove successful, the team plans to forge ahead with their mission to 'fully automate the home, one chore at a time'. In the meantime, we're already thinking of new uses for our ironing board. Coffee table? Plant stand? Desk? Slightly precarious weights bench? Suggestions on a postcard, please...
Amy Cutmore is Editor-in-Chief, Homes Audience, working across the Future Homes portfolio. She works on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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