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This Washer Uses Oxygen, Not Water, to Freshen Clothes

Bosch claims its new washer can kill 99.9 percent of bacteria.

Bosch's Active Oxygen Washer Credit: / Keith Barry

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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.

Bosch Active Oxygen washer controls
Credit: / Keith Barry

You can either add Active Oxygen to an existing cycle, or use it on its own.

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.

Bosch Active Oxygen washer from the front
Credit: / Keith Barry

The Bosch Active Oxygen washer claims to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria.

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.