Crystal Wash 2.0 claims to clean your clothes sans detergent

The Bluetooth-enabled Crystal Wash 2.0 is a curious, detergent-free way to wash your clothes.

Megan Wollerton

Megan Wollerton

Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton has covered technology for CNET since 2013. Before that, she wrote for NBC's Dvice.com (now SyFy). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

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Crystal Wash

As far as washing machine accouterments go, detergent is deemed a necessity. But, one company is trying to change all that with Crystal Wash 2.0, an odd spherical device that promises to supplant your Tide, Gain and other traditional clothes-cleansers.

The $50 Crystal Wash 2.0 (converted, about £32, AU$64) claims to be a natural dye-, chemical- and perfume-free alternative to regular detergents that won't upset sensitive skin or cause colors to fade.

Peer inside its round enclosure to find a bunch of mineral-based bio ceramic "beads" that contain antibacterial and antioxidant properties. They also produce hydrogen peroxide and work to maintain a pH level of at least 8.5 in your water -- according to Crystal Wash, this helps optimize each cleaning cycle so you get the best possible results.

Crystal Wash

Each Crystal Wash 2.0 is supposed to last for at least 1,000 washes (at one wash per day, that's over 2.5 years). Considering that the super-size 150-ounce, 96-load Tide Original costs about $17-$20, the savings are significant (if Crystal Wash 2.0 works, that is). But, this eco-approach to laundry does have to be "charged" in the sun about once a month to ensure that it's maintaining the proper pH level.

As an update to the original un-smart Crystal Wash, the 2.0 version is Bluetooth-enabled. The free companion Android and iOS apps are supposed to alert you when the laundry cycle ends and when you need to charge your 2.0, as well as offer on-demand pH level reports, stats that let you monitor cleaning progress and more.

The Crystal Wash 2.0 has 15 days left on its Kickstarter campaign, but it has already surpassed its $100,000 goal (£65,000, AU$130,000). You have to contribute at least $50 to get a Crystal Wash 2.0. They ship anywhere in the world, and delivery is scheduled for September.