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25 August, 2020 - 13:20 By Tony Quested

Space-age laundry really is rocket science

Technology used in spaceship and hospital sterilisation is at the heart of a thrusting Oxbridge laundry startup initiated by a former NASA engineer.

Oxwash, fresh off the launchpad thanks to the inspiration of Kyle Grant, has followed up its bow in Oxford by opening in Ronald Rolph Court, Cambridge.

Sterile water reclaimed from a previous wash cycle is re-used for the next. This saves up to 60 per cent of the water consumption versus a typical commercial washing machine, Grant says.

He adds that microfibre filtration of the reclaimed water captures more than 95 per cent of all the fibres shed during washing. “This process prevents plastic pollution of our waterways and drinking water,” Grant adds.

Disinfection and sanitisation of the washing is performed using ozone. Generated using electricity and oxygen from the air we breathe, ozone is an extremely powerful disinfecting agent.

Automated and variable dosing of biodegradable detergent chemistry prevents surplus chemical usage. Chemical disinfectants increase the hygiene of the wash cycles whilst simultaneously preventing colour running. 

The Cambridge launch follows an investment of £1.4 million earlier this year.

The CleanTech innovator is further parading its ‘green’ credentials by promoting a concierge service, which uses electric-cargo bikes adapted with portable ozone generators to collect items to be cleaned at the Cambridge lagoon. 

Items are delivered back to owners in a no-contact drop off using dissolvable laundry bags. Customers also have the option of a self-drop off and collection service.

Using its innovative technology, Oxwash can save up to 25 litres of water per wash and prevent 100 million plastic microfibres from going into the world’s oceans. 

Current customers include the NHS and Oxford Vaccine Trial, with Oxwash having offered a coronavirus (COVID-19) disinfection service.

Grant said: “The laundry industry is broken. Wild amounts of fresh water, energy and chemicals are used and it is simply not sustainable. 

“We’re developing processes to have zero net impact for the whole laundry process – from collection to washing and back to delivery again. Cambridge is incredibly advanced when it comes to cycling culture and infrastructure and we are thrilled to be launching our second lagoon following the success of our Oxford HQ. 

“We hope to be an active, positive part of the community and cannot wait to start washing Cambridge’s laundry sustainably.”

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