Wonder Wash Corp. of Mesa, Ariz., hopes to clean up with its all-plastic countertop machine used to wash clothing. Wonder Clean, manufactured by Wonder Wash, weighs less than 10 pounds and can wash as much as 5 pounds of clothes using only 6 quarts of water and 4 tablespoons of detergent.
The machine was featured March 18 on QVC, an in-home TV cable shopping network.
Wonder Clean's inventor, Eli Benenson, is an aeronautical engineer. He lived in Argentina for several years where he invented the device and sold it in South America. He had 14 molds built to make the product's 24 parts.
Last year, he brought the molds to the United States.
Aeromold Plastics Engineering Inc. is the primary molder of the parts made from a variety of plastics including ABS, nylon-reinforced fiberglass, polypropylene and high-impact polystyrene.
The machine's cleansing power is based on the principle of pressure and heat, said Benenson. Hot water heats the air inside the container, which tries to expand, but the hermetically sealed container prevents it. Pressure builds up in the container causing the soap and water to penetrate garments.
He and business partner Tom Fleetwood are busy manufacturing the first 1,500 units ordered by QVC for the show. The pair demonstrated Wonder Clean at a special event in Phoenix sponsored by QVC as the network searched all 50 states for new products for the show.
Benenson and Fleetwood said the hand-washing machine is not meant to replace an electric washer, but to supplement it.
``It can be used for delicate items that require hand washing,'' Benenson said.
It also can be used to dye clothing because the dye will not affect the plastic, and can be used by campers and people with recreational vehicles.
Wonder Clean's suggested retail price is $59.95.