You’ve read the ads and webpage – pureWash Pro is the newest way to clean your clothes using little or no detergent at all. So you’re probably asking yourself how this happens. What is this ozone that we keep talking about, and how is it a smarter way to clean clothes?
What is Ozone? Ozone, (O3), sometimes called “activated oxygen”, contains three atoms of oxygen rather than the two atoms we normally breath. Ozone is the second most powerful sterilizer in the world and can be used to destroy bacteria, viruses and odors. Ozone occurs quite readily in nature, most often as a result of lightning strikes that occur during thunderstorms. In fact the “fresh, clean, spring rain” smell that we notice after a storm most often results from nature’s creation of ozone.
How does ozone work? The third oxygen atom of ozone makes it extremely reactive. This atom readily attaches itself to other odor molecules. When contaminants such as odors, bacteria or viruses make contact with ozone, their chemical structure is changed to less odorous compounds. As more ozone attacks the remaining compounds, the odor is eventually destroyed. This process is called oxidation. Ozone reverts back to oxygen after it is used, making it a very environmentally friendly oxidant.
Why shouldn’t we wash with detergents? In the traditional laundry process, excessive chemicals and hot water are used causing the wash water to become very damaging to your clothes. Most detergent companies will tell you this is done to help swell the fibers of the cloth to release the dirt. What they don’t tell you is the extremely damaging effects this has on the fabric. Additionally, detergent and hot water alone will not kill bacteria that harbors in your clothing. Finally, these detergent chemicals build up and remain in your clothing and the wash water, making them your laundry unhealthy for you and the environment.
How does ozone kill bacteria? A healthy bacterial cell thrives by maintaining an intact cell wall. When an ozone molecule comes into contact with a cell wall, it penetrates the wall, creating a tiny hole and injuring the bacterial cell. Once that happens, the bacterial cell begins to lose its shape as more ozone molecules continue creating holes in the cell wall. After thousands of holes are created, the bacterial wall can no longer maintain its shape and the cell dies.
Why is ozone so amazing? Because of its powerful oxidation properties, ozone dissolves soil on contact and does so at cold water temperatures, instead of conventional 140-160 degrees. This drastically reduces heating costs. Additionally, the EPA and FDA have acknowledged that ozone is capable of reducing pathogenic bacterial levels on clothing by 99.9992%.
Will ozone get rid of stains? Ozone removes organic stains from clothing through the oxidation process, but it is not the answer to all stains. Occasionally, some clothes have heavier stains from lip stick, nail polish, food, wine, oil, or grease. Because ozone uses only cold water, it is not suited to perform well on these types of stains because of the physical nature of oil at low temperatures. Just like when using laundry detergent, pre-treating tough stains, or soaking in hot water is a must. For most clothes that only need washed to remove body odors or freshen up, ozone cleans more efficiently and much better than with detergent.
Is ozone safe for me and my family? Because ozone is an organic molecule that is completely biodegradable, it reverts back to oxygen as soon as it completes its objective, leaving absolutely no chemical residue behind. The life span of ozone in this use is about 20 minutes, so by the time the wash cycle is complete, the ozone will have completely dissipated. Even if you were to come into contact with the ozone-infused water, you have no need for concern. Ozone is safe if used correctly. Only extreme High concentrations of ozone can cause health problems if proper safety measures are not taken, but the level of ozone used in the laundry process is far below the safety guidelines outline by the EPA, FDA, and OSHA standards.
Has ozone been used in laundry before? For over 20 years, hospitals, hotels, and sports centers have used ozone to clean their laundry. As you can imagine, these types of facilities rely on a hygienically clean environment to prevent against viruses, mold, and bacteria that can easily spread through the laundry process. Since their laundry volume is so high, they use commercial ozone laundry systems that cost thousands of dollars and take up large rooms. pureWash Pro takes the same technology used by these commercial systems and applies it to a residential environment with a unit that will fit into your home laundry room and cost so little that it pays for itself within a year.
pureWash Pro was invented by Allen Johnston, who has received the patent on using this technology in a residential laundry system. View the history of residential ozone laundry systems for details on how pureWash Pro was developed.