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Swash - He Spoke Style
Swash - He Spoke Style

The Swash Effect

July 30th, 2014

I wasn’t given much information about Whirpool and P&G’s new clothing care appliance called the Swash prior to it showing up at my house other than that it was “confidential” and that I was one of a handful of influencers tapped to check it out, test it, and provide some feedback to the brand. I had no idea what it looked like (though their Instagram account started to offer vague ideas) or what it did exactly, but the notion that it could possibly be a viable alternative to dry cleaning was definitely intriguing, both in terms of dollars potentially spent as well as convenience. So, now that I’ve had a chance to spend some time with it, let me break it down for you.

What It Is

A garment steamer that’s a little more than a garment steamer. When I first heard the name Swash, I hypothesized that it was some sort of cross between a garment steamer and a washing machine. It is, sort of, but at its core, it’s simply a garment steamer. An automated one. The ‘wash’ component of its name comes in the form of pods—think Keurig coffee maker—that add a dose of fragrance to your clothing to give them a quick refresh and a just-from-the-wash smell.

Swash - He Spoke Style

Small fragrance-filled pods help neutralize odors.

What It Isn’t

A washing machine. If your clothes are dirty, meaning soiled or stained, there’s nothing the Swash can do for you. It’s a garment steamer, not a garment cleaner. As for odors, the fragrance from the pods neutralizes some of them—it works well if you’ve been at the cigar lounge—but doesn’t remove heavier ones that might be more set in. For example, I tried it with a shirt that I’d worn for a day as well as one that was, let’s just say, a little riper. No dice.


Function. If you already use a garment steamer, as I do, you know that one of the keys to steaming something well is to 1) stretch the fabric a bit and 2) keep it stretched (or laying flat) until the moisture has left the fabric. If you fail to do the latter—a mistake I made plenty of times in my early garment steaming days—most of your work will have been in vain. The Swash solves the problem by having a series of clips that attach to your clothing to keep it stretched and held during the process. I found it to work extremely well with button-ups, polos, and pants.

Swash - He Spoke Style

A series of clips keep your garments stretched.

Convenience. I liken the Swash to a microwave in the sense that you can put something inside it, walk away, and come back to a finished product. (Unless, of course, you didn’t set the microwave long enough and your food’s still cold.) If you need to multitask while getting ready and don’t have the time to man your steamer, it could be beneficial.

Swash - He Spoke Style

A before and after with one of my favorite polos.


Size. It’s big. Very big. Though the machine is lean and could slide into a closet (that you’d need an outlet in), if you need to put it elsewhere in your home, it leaves a fairly large footprint. The design is interesting and is sure to start a conversation, however.

Swash - He Spoke Style

For reference: I am 5’9″; Kitten, above, is 12-pounds.

Fragrance. Currently, the pods come in three fragrances, each with a dryer sheet/detergent sort of smell. Personally, that’s not my thing. I don’t want to smell like the laundry. And having a fragrance-free pod would be a complete waste and absolutely unnecessary, since if no scent is what you want, you’re just looking for the steaming function, not the fragrance aspect of what it offers.

Hanger not great for suit jackets. That the Swash could potentially help maintain my suit jackets and blazers was honestly something I was eager to see, especially after I’ve talked about embracing the suck recently. I don’t mind using my garment steamer at all, but if the Swash could do a better job, I’d be all for it. Unfortunately, I didn’t give it a try because the hanger wasn’t designed to hold a jacket properly and I didn’t want to risk my jacket’s collar or shoulders getting misshapen in the process. A simple design change, or providing a hanger made for suit jackets, would take care of that problem.

Swash - He Spoke Style

You definitely don’t want to steam that into your suit jacket or blazer.

What do you guys think? Is the Swash something you could use? Is it something you would use? Share your opinions and discuss in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo.

Disclosure: Compensation for this post was provided by P&G and Whirlpool. The opinions expressed herein are mine alone and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of P&G or Whirlpool.

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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