What Is Bosch Active Oxygen
Like in every line of work, new technology can come along to revolutionise the whole industry. Of course, for every few technological marvels that change the game, there are many more that fade into obscurity. But one piece of recent technology within the washing machine industry that looks set to take off is the Bosch Active Oxygen washer.
Bosch have claimed that this technology can kill virtually all bacteria on your clothes (up to 99.9%) – not by using hot water, but by using oxygen.
Well, not quite ‘oxygen’ (or O2) on its own – but ozone (O3), which is just oxygen plus an atom (we’d have just called it ‘oxygen plusanatom’). Bosch’s range of Active Oxygen washers still use traditional water and detergent to clean the clothes. However, in addition to this, these models will blast clothes with an ozone that can not only destroy bacteria but, perhaps more evidently, can eliminate odours from items.
While the delivery of this process, and the technology powering it, is brand new, the idea is actually a lot older – stretching back to early 20th century France; Paris to be ‘exact’ (psst… that’s French for exact). The process of using ozone to kill bacteria and viruses, making it kind of like a bleach, was used as early as 1906. Even today, the process can still be found in water bottling plants. It’s even possible to find external ozone generators being used in launderettes and medical facilities (such as hospitals and nursing homes) to effectively reduce bacteria across multiple washing machines.
But let’s get back to Bosch-ics. The Active Oxygen washing machine actually generates its own ozone within the machine itself via a built-in ozone generator. When the cycle begins, the generator releases gas into the sealed drum. The molecules than destroys the bacteria’s cell walls. This process brings about the dramatic reduction of harmful bacteria such as E.coli and C.albicans (prevalent in cancer and HIV sufferers).
To put it simply, your clothing can be disinfected and sanitised via a cold water wash. Previously, such levels of cleanliness were only possible via the usage of very hot water. While it does add an extra 30 minutes onto a cycle, it can actually be more energy efficient for households.
Additionally, an Active Oxygen cycle can be started without water – meaning it can freshen and deodourise clothes or items that are dry-clean only or made from delicate fabrics. This is because, as aforementioned, the cycle utilises colder water temperatures as low as 20°C – meaning that your days of resentful hand washing may well be over. Well, that is unless you’re like Mrs. Doyle and enjoy the misery of it all.
It also means that there’s actually no need to wash certain clothes separately – such as baby clothing and underwear. As the Active Oxygen tech indiscriminately kills all bacteria, there won’t be any leftover to transfer between items.
Bosch is so confident in the bacteria cleaning technology that it claims that your child and a pet could share the same cuddly blanket between cycles, and neither would be the worst for it (we presume that selling point is meant to benefit humans rather than dogs or cats).
This could not only cut energy bills down for families, but could also dramatically reduce the amount that you are spending on detergent every month. After all, no need for separate cycles = less washes.
The neat thing about Active Oxygen is that it offers the best way to clean and freshen clothes with an everyday washing machine without the need for harsh chemicals, as the generator itself is using natural gases to cleanse clothing. Due to the molecules being completely dissolved within the machine during the cycle, this appears to make it an incredibly safe process.
To counteract the possibility that any bacteria is missed, the machine is able to perform a secondary ozone cleanse at the end of a cycle.
You’ll find the Bosch Active Oxygen tech in all Series 6 and Series 8 models from the manufacturer. These machines are pretty cutting edge and full of great little design and technological improvements over the already impressive Bosch range – making them not only more intelligent and responsive, but more efficient and easy-to-use.
Time will tell if ozone generation within domestic washing machines are going to take off in a big way. However, the technology’s prevalence in industrial laundry settings – combined with the increasing amount of people with illnesses who are being treated from home – makes us think that most washing machine manufacturers will be investing in ozone generation technology.