Sanyo Electric Co. has developed a household washing machine like no other: It can use air to wash clothes. The electric appliance maker will begin selling the washer, called Aqua, on March 11, 2006. It is the first drum-type household washing machine to use air, specifically ozone, to keep clothes clean.
Aqua was developed in line with the goals of reducing the amount of water needed during washing and recycling the water that is used. Its technological innovations set it far apart from conventional electric washing machines.
Retailing for ¥250,000 ($2,155 at ¥110 to the dollar), the machine has a washing capacity of nine kilograms and a drying capacity of six kilograms. Its most notable features are its ability to use the power of oxidization to kill bacteria and eliminate odors and its "air wash" function, which uses ozone, a chemical shown to be effective in breaking down dirt.