Industrial and commercial laundries in hotels, hospitals and health care facilities have been using ozone injection laundry systems for more than twenty years. Now, smaller systems are available for use at home. One of those is PureWash Pro and About Laundry has reviewed the system.
What Does Ozone Do For Laundry?
First, what actually is ozone? Ozone is the same formula as oxygen O2 but with an extra atom O3.
It is created when oxygen is treated with highly charged electrical energy. Ozone was used as early as 1906 to treat the water supply in Paris, France due to its ability to kill some bacteria and viruses.
Around twenty years ago, ozone injection systems were installed in hotels and hospitals when natural gas and electric energy costs to heat hot water - the standard in infectious disease control - soared. Studies showed that exposure to specific levels of ozone could kill bacteria and viruses when used with cold water. These institutions have also found that they can also use fewer chemicals (detergent and bleach) to achieve desired results on lightly soiled fabrics due to the infusion of additional oxygen.
Most of these industrial systems treat water in a holding tank that is fed into the large washers. Final results are highly dependent upon water quality, amount and duration of mechanical action and the chemicals used.
Smaller systems are now available for use with a single home washing machine.
PureWash Pro Home Laundry System
The PureWash Pro Laundry System is offered by Greentech Environmental, LLC based in Johnson City, Tennessee. The system includes a wall-mounted unit that is connected to the water lines supplying your home washer and to the washer itself.
There is a third outlet where water can be added directly to a separate container to use in other home cleaning applications.
Installation is simple with few tools required. A placement template and mounting bracket with hardware are included. It is necessary to have adequate wall space with a couple of feet of the washer and a 120 volt electrical outlet (two prong). Water pressure must be 40 to 75 pounds. If you have hard water or water that contains iron bacteria, the water should be filtered before use in the PureWash system. If your washer requires both hot and cold water outlets to be opened during operation, a Y-valve must be installed and is not included in the kit.
It is important to note the measurements of the system: 12.19 inches high by 16.5 inches wide and 3.75 inches deep. At least one inch of unobstructed clearance is necessary around the unit to allow for installation on the bracket. The unit weighs approximately 5.5 pounds. All required hoses are included.
The unit includes a Desiccant Dryer to remove moisture from the air that flows into the system. When the unit turns from blue to pink (lasts 3 to 12 months), it must be replaced for proper operation.
Because ozone can cause rubber to deteriorate, you should check water hoses frequently.
To insure there are limited water leaks and damage, it is recommended to turn off the water supply completely when the washer is not in use. PureWash Pro should not be installed in areas where water lines may freeze because there is always some water in the system.
Each unit includes a simple quick start guide and an operations manual with a troubleshooting guide.
The system can be purchased directly from the company, online or from distributors. The unit has a two year guarantee and a 30-day money back trial period is offered.
How PureWash Pro Works
To create the ozone-infused cleaning water, cold water from your washer's water line enters the unit. The control board senses the influx and automatically turns on the system. The water then passes through a magnetic ionizer.
Humidity in the surrounding air is passed through the Desiccant Dryer to increase oxygen levels. The unit's electrical system creates concentrated ozone gas and electrical charges (ions) that dissolve in the water. The infused water then enters the washing machine for all cycles.
What PureWash Pro Promises
- Energy savings because hot water is no longer needed to clean clothes
- Reduction in detergent costs because you use only 1/4 the usual amount of detergent. All stains and heavy soil must be pretreated.
- More gentle on clothes.
- No need for chlorine bleach because it does not perform well in cold water and clothes will be white without it
- To kill up to 99.99% of bacteria
- To eliminate washer odor in front load high-efficiency washers
Product Review and Laundry Recommendation
Installation of the PureWash Pro was simple. Just a good screwdriver and leveling tool are needed. I would recommend that the mounting bracket be centered on a wall stud if possible. Fortunately, the water quality in my area is quite good so no extra filtering is needed.
It is simple to tell if the system is working because there is a slight ozone odor in the laundry area. It is not unpleasant but noticeable. There is also a small viewing window that shows the bubbles that form when the water is treated.
I washed our clothes for several weeks with PureWash Pro and cold water following the directions to the letter using only 1/4 my usual amount of detergent. I tested with both heavy duty laundry detergent (Tide, Wisk, Persil) and mid-level detergents (Purex, Gain, Arm & Hammer, all). I did not test with discount detergents because they do not produce good results at any time.
The clothes with no visible heavy soil came out smelling fresh and feeling clean. Those with stains that were pretreated had mixed results. Some stains came out with no problem. However, oily stains were still present. These usually require warm or hot water to remove. Clothes that I wear from gardening that have ground-in soil on the knees did not come clean even with pretreating.
I do not have the scientific equipment to measure bacteria levels.
PureWash Pro promises to be more gentle on clothes. This is certainly possible because only cold water is used resulting in less fading and chance of shrinkage due to high temperatures and using less detergent results in less residue remaining in clothes which can actually attract stains and odor.
There are benefits to the PureWash Pro system; however, the unit costs several hundred dollars and the savings in utilities and laundry products will vary widely from home to home. I often wash in cold water and never overdose detergent (that's what measuring spoons are for) so it will take me many years to recoup the purchase costs. However for a large family that doesn't follow every recommended laundry tip, it is possible for the savings to come much more quickly.
Beyond the cost and a few holes in your laundry room wall, there is no harm in installing the PureWash Pro system. For those who have lightly soiled laundry, it can work well for you. Give it a try and see if you are pleased with the results. For those with heavy duty stains, you will still need some hot water and lots of pre-soaking to have clean laundry.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.