Haier WasH2O, No Soap Needed

Haier WasH20

Hurray for mad science! The Haier WasH20 is a detergent-less washing machine! It works by breaking water molecules into its OH- and H+ ions components. The OH- ions acts as the cleaning agent by attracting and retaining stains, whilst the H+ ions sterilizes the clothes.

Rumour is that it will retail in France soon for around €699 ($957).

Link [Product page - beware it is in French] - via Engadget

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Neither hydroxide nor hydronium can be expected to remove grease, oil, or fat from clothes. Either a surfactant (i.e. soap) or a solvent (i.e. perchloroethylene, as in dry cleaning) is necessary. Any acid or base which was strong enough to do the job chemically would also destroy the cloth itself. An idea long on eco-hype and short on chemistry.
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