Soapless Washing Machine

November 5th, 2007 BY Heather Utendorf | 4 Comments

Every year people spend hundreds of dollars on laundry detergent to wash their clothes. Not only are people spending all the money, but they are flushing the harsh chemicals into their water supplies. What about a washing machine that used no soap at all? That’s right, a washing machine that would clean using only water. Several companies have made products that lessen the dependence on detergent, but now there’s a washing machine available in limited markets that cuts out the soap all together.

The Haier WasH20 washing machine takes the water molecules and breaks them into its OH- and H+ ions. The OH- ions operate like a cleaning agent. They draw and hold the stains before the H+ ions sterilize the clothes. The cost of this innovative front loading washer is currently less than $1000 dollars, not to mention all the money saved on detergent. The downside? The machine is currently only available in France. Hopefully it will take off there and be available in other countries soon.

There is a hurdle for consumers have to face in order to embrace this new technology. People want things that smell clean. That means, we want out clothes to smell like “Fresh Linen” or “Sunrise Dew” or some other cottony scent when they come out of the washing machine. The idea that clean doesn’t smell like anything is a new concept that will take time to catch on with everyone.

The other issue that might slow the approval of this washing machine in other countries is the fact that there the breakdown of water is producing pure hydrogen to sanitize the clothing. Although the risk is very minute, hydrogen gas only needs 4% H2 to become combustible. Again, the risk is low but it is another hurdle Haier will face in expanding its marketplace.

Cleaning clothes without the use of any chemical agents would improve the environment in so many ways, but first consumers need to change their attitude about “clean” as well as be assured their washing machine isn’t going to become a mini hydrogen bomb. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s doubtful the makers of detergent are too worried yet.

  1. SageMother

    The conversion present in this machine is still a chemical reaction, but not as obviously devastating as phosphates int he water supply can be. Something we can all do in the meantime is switch to front loading washers that both wash and dry in the same compartment. They use less laundry detergent and much less energy at the sa time!

  2. Ianto Everett

    I’ve used eco-balls in my washer for a while now, they work on a similar, detergent free principle. I do need to use a stain remover on some clothes but they clean really well, and the remarkable thing is, is that they do come out smelling like ‘fresh linen’, i’m not quite sure how, but eco-balls do work.

  3. Jewel

    Those look awesome! I can only imagine how much money I would save on detergent, plus think about how much stress it would take off our earth.

  4. Roguegal

    Most Americans would worry about a hydrogen bomb sitting in their laundry room. The older generation would definitely have a problem with no detergent. But, if it wasn’t for the hydrogen bomb threat I think I would like it. I am disabled and my arms and hands do not work well. This would save me movement. But, I would have to see it work first.

  5. What do you have to say?