Bosch’s newest washing machine has a novel way of cleaning clothes. In addition to washing them in water and detergent, it can also blast them with ozone to kill bacteria and eliminate odors. There’s even a no-water cycle, which can refresh and deodorize dry-clean-only clothes.
The Active Oxygen washer promises to remove 99.9% of bacteria from a load of laundry. Other washers can only achieve such results using hot water, but Bosch claims that an ozone generator inside this machine can disinfect through oxidation, allowing for a cold water sanitizing wash.
Here’s how it works: When a wash cycle starts, an internal ozone generator releases gas into the sealed washer drum. Ozone molecules then destroy the cell walls of bacteria, killing them within seconds. At the end of a cycle, the process repeats itself. Overall, selecting the Active Oxygen option adds about 30 minutes to a given cycle.
You can also choose to run an Active Oxygen cycle without water, which can refresh the most delicate fabrics and dry-clean-only clothes.
Currently, the Bosch Active Oxygen washer is only available in Europe, where high electricity costs and efficiency regulations make high-temperature sanitizing difficult. But with a bevy of new clothes refresher options hitting the market in the U.S.—including the LG Styler and the Whirlpool Swash—we wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar cycle in the future on a washer sold in North America.