Clothes would last a lot longer if we didn’t have to wash them so often, but c’est la vie, right? Dry cleaning isn’t exactly an ideal alternative, either, since it relies on dangerous chemical solvents that stick to freshly laundered clothes. But a new gadget hints at something that might just be the future of clothes washing: enveloping garments in germ-killing ozone within a portable case.
The Pura-Case by Italian studio Carlo Ratti Associati is a battery-powered device that sort of looks like a beefy garment bag. You can hang up to four pieces of clothing inside the case at a time to blast them with ozone, a naturally occurring gas composed of three atoms of oxygen (O3) capable of killing all kinds of pathogens on different surfaces.
Four different cycle settings achieve different things depending on your goals: a 1.5-hour “extra quick” cycle removes up to 80 percent of viruses and bacteria, a three-hour cycle removes up to 99 percent of viruses and bacteria, a four-hour cycle eliminates odors, and an eight-hour “eco-mode” cycle uses less power to achieve the same results. You can control it through an LED-lit top panel or remotely with the Pura-Case mobile app.
Most of us associate ozone with the “ozone layer” in the Earth’s stratosphere, which protects the planet from harmful concentrations of sunlight and filters out UVB radiation. It’s also commonly used to purify municipal water and sanitize hospital equipment. Multiple studies have found it effective at killing harmful pathogens like E. Coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile, and more.
Many people with high-contact essential jobs have spent the last few months changing out of their work clothes on their doorsteps to avoid bringing germs inside their homes. While the likelihood of contracting the novel coronavirus from your clothes is considered low, vulnerable people and health care workers still may want to play it safe, and a device like the Pura-Case makes that a lot easier.
The Case’s official Kickstarter explains that “Pura-Case is designed to purify your clothes and any other accessory you might want to sanitize after staying outside. Your keys, your shoes: you can put all these objects inside Pura-Case and get rid of the germs and smells attached to them in less than hour! The kit includes all the tools needed to make it freestanding — simply put it at the entrance of your home or any spot convenient to you. Or you can place it inside your closet or wardrobe using the handlebar on the top of the case.”
“Pura-Case is an IoT (Internet of Things) product: offline use is possible, but you can also benefit from its connection to the internet to become part of the user community across the globe. The Pura-Case team keeps working on new updates: new programs will become available through the app as the world evolves and different purifying options are required.”
The Pura-Case consumes very little power, especially compared to a standard washing machine, and can help save 15 to 30 gallons of water for every load of clothes you sanitize. You can claim one as a reward for backing the Pura-Case Kickstarter campaign at $249 USD or more.