Clean Clothes Without Soap

Posted on February 13, 2008  Comments (2)

photo of eco washing balls

The Soap-free Green Laundry Revolution by Tania Rabesandratana:

Then, there’s the sheer weirdness of entirely eradicating washing powders in favor of such an intangible washing concept. “The balls are made of a special kind of plastic,” explains Steve Jones, the founder of Ecotopia, which sells a variety of washing balls he believes are top of their league, and a scientific breakthrough. “It is the chemical reaction between the plastic and the agitated water that actually does the washing,” he says. The product’s blurb says the balls “produce ionized oxygen that activates the water molecules naturally and allows them to penetrate deep into clothing fibers to lift dirt away.”

Right. Let’s go back to washing basics. Our machine works by combining three actions. First comes chemical action. Here, detergents act as surfactants: they lower the water’s surface tension, making it more likely to mix with oil, so that yucky grease and grime can be removed during rinsing. Second comes the mechanical action from the spinning of the washing machine drum. And finally, there is heat action, which consists of dunking your laundry in hot water.

The eco balls mostly increase the mechanical action so that you can do without the chemical action, thereby saving money and avoiding the use of evil pollutants. The increase of mechanical action also does away with the need for heat action, which in turn conserves electricity and water, which is good for your wallet and your planet.

Pretty cool, if they actually work. I think I might have to try these out. For the next stage of the process, DryerMax Dryer Balls claim to cut the drying time by 25% and soften the fabric. Some other cool gadgets and gizmos.

Related: Eco-balls – the big “wash off”Ventless Clothes DryersSarah, aged 3, Learns About Soap

2 Responses to “Clean Clothes Without Soap”

  1. CuriousCat: Nearly Waterless Washing Machine
    July 7th, 2008 @ 8:50 am

    “Researchers at the University of Leeds have developed a new way of cleaning clothes using less than 2% of the water and energy of a conventional washing machine…”

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Electrolyzed Water Replacing Toxic Cleaning Substances
    March 7th, 2009 @ 12:42 pm

    […] Clean Clothes Without Soap – posts on chemical engineering – iRobot Gutter Cleaning Robot – Water From Air by curiouscat […]

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