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No room to hang out? Try microwaves.

For consumers lacking the space or ambition to hang up their laundry to dry, mechanical clothes dryers are a must. Now, the appliance industry and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have joined forces to develop a machine that dries garments with microwaves instead of hot air.

According to John Kesselring, senior project manager at EPRI, the proposed appliance will dry clothing faster, more gently, and more efficiently than electric or gas-powered dryers. Instead of heating the entire garment, the microwaves selectively zap the water in damp clothing, Kesselring says. Conventional dryers can overstress and weaken fabrics in the course of heating them with hot air, he adds.

EPRI plans to field-test commercial and residential versions of the new dryer next year. The U.S. Public Health Service Center for Devices and Radiological Health will evaluate the EPRI design to make sure it protects consumers from possible exposure to microwaves.
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Title Annotation:new microwave appliance may dry laundry efficiently and without weakening fabrics
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Oct 24, 1992
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