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Cleaning

Every now and then, we here at Gizmag like to take a look at how the other half (or one percent) live. And why not? It's nice to occasionally fantasize about say, waking up in a private, underwater hotel room, to be chauffeured in a Mercedes-Benz to a weekend getaway on your own personal floating island. But does that fantasy involve personalized, gold-plated cleaning appliances? If it didn't before, it sure can now with GoVacuum's GV62711 vacuum cleaner and it's US$1 million price tag. Read More
After a decade on the market, the Roomba has become the most well-recognized brand in robotic vacuum cleaners and a staple of many households. But while iRobot has improved the Roomba's filtering, suctioning, and collision detection over the years, actually controlling the vacuum has been left to its automated systems. Now iRobot has released the Roomba 790, which gives you direct control of the robo-vac's movement and settings remotely with a new Wireless Command Center. Read More
Enzymes are catalysts that boost chemical reactions by lowering the activation energy required for the reactions to occur. Added to detergents, they help break down the dirt into smaller pieces that can be more easily removed with water. While enzymatic detergents do work better than non-enzymatic ones, they are also more expensive. But what if the enzymes could be reused? A recent study by C.S. Pundir and Nidhi Chauhan, members of The American Chemical Society, may lead to cheaper laundry days and less in the way of valuable enzymes going down the drain. Read More

Pet owners will know that the joys of having a furry friend around the house can be offset somewhat by the mess they make - particularly come molting season. Such pet owners, as well as allergy sufferers, are who Neato Robotics is targeting with its latest automatic vacuum cleaner, the XV-21. Read More

When oil gets spilled in a waterway, clean-up crews will often introduce a solution known as a surfactant. This is a detergent that lessens the surface tension between the water and the overlaying oil slick, causing the oil to form into individual droplets which then sink or get dispersed by wave action. Unfortunately, such detergents aren’t entirely environmentally-friendly themselves, so the use of them on oil spills has been criticized as simply replacing one pollutant with another. Now, however, scientists from the University of Bristol have created a magnetic soap, that could be removed from the water once it had done its job. Read More
In many industries, such as health care, food preparation and electronics manufacturing, cleanliness is of the utmost importance. It’s important enough that huge quantities of water are used – and left tainted – in order to remove contaminants. While some groups have concentrated on creating better cleansers, a team of scientists from the University of Southampton have taken a different approach. They’ve created an ultrasonic tap nozzle, that allows the water itself do a better job at cleaning. The better that a given amount of water is able to clean, the less of it that needs to be used. Read More
Doing the laundry probably isn’t high on anyone’s list of fun things to do, so anything that speeds up the chore, while also cutting down on the amount of water and energy used, is going to be welcome. A new washing machine from Russell Hobbs looks to accomplish all these goals with its “super rapid wash” cycle rinsing and spinning a load of lightly soiled clothes in a world record time of just 12 minutes as opposed to an average 90-minute wash cycle. Read More
We do like our robotic vacuum cleaners here at Gizmag, but most of those that we have featured so far have, for good reason, followed a similar short and squat design. Dutch designer Dave Hakkens has opted to turn his back on this familiar shape and the household cleaner environment in which such a device might be found, in favor of a fairly large, industrial-strength ball for cleaning up public spaces. Read More
Just under a year ago we reported on a method to clean polluted water and soil by infusing them with pressurized ozone gas microbubbles. The process was developed by Andy Hong at the University of Utah and has now moved out of the lab and is being put the test in a demonstration project in eastern China. If all goes to plan the process has the potential to boost a wide range of environmental cleanup efforts around the world. Read More
Vacuum cleaning robots like the Roomba, LG Roboking, Electrolux Trilobyte and Neato XV-11 are already on dust patrol in countless homes around the world, saving people from untold hours of drudgery and aching backs. Now researchers at the Pohang Institute of Intelligent Robotics (PIRO) in South Korea have developed a robot that can handle the equally tedious – and often dangerous depending on which floor you live on – task of cleaning windows. Called Windoro, the robot consists of two separate modules that clean the window by spraying detergent and scrubbing away with a series of spinning pads. Read More
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