Imagine if I told you there was a device out there which could replace all of your soaps and cleaning supplies with water. Pretty unbelievable, isn’t it? Need to remove some heavy duty mildew? No more heavy abrasive cleaners. Just use tap water. Need to remove food stains from clothing? No more spray cleaner. Just use ordinary tap water. Preparing fruit? Preserve it with tap water. Just about anything you can think of can be made better with tap water…according to Tersano, the creators of the Lotus oxidizing system. Let’s take a closer look and then we will put a few of their claims to the test.
What’s In the Box: The basic kit includes everything you need to get started right away:
- the base unit
- spray bottle
- multi-purpose bowl and lid
- reservoir cap
- booster cartridge
- micro-fiber clothes
- user manual
Additionally, Tersano currently offers a baby bottle attachment and drinking water treatment system. I will be looking at the baby bottle attachment as part of this review. The drinking water attachment will be reviewed at a later time.
Overview: Before we get into what to do with the Lotus system, let’s talk for a minute about what it is and what it does. Basically, the Lotus system “super-oxygenates” your ordinary tap water. Like Steve Rodgers becoming the super soldier, Captain America, this turns your scrawny ordinary tap water into a super sanitizing agent.
(Image compliments of http://www.theozonehole.com/ozonecreation.htm)
So, what is a super-oxygen? Essentially, it is an Oxygen (O2) molecule which is forced to take on an extra atom of Oxygen, creating an O3 molecule. Those of you who know a little about chemistry should instantly recognize this O3 molecule as Ozone, which is now famous for being the layer of the atmosphere which protects all living things from deadly solar radiation.
So, now we have two things Ozone (or super-oxygen) can do for you. Not only does it sanitize your home, but it also protects you from deadly solar radiation by parking itself in the atmosphere (for my next trick, I will proceed to explain why the sky is blue…but that is a question for another review).
OK. So, now I know you are wondering what this all has to do with sanitizing your home with tap water. Well, the O3 or ozone molecule is extremely unstable and tends to break apart. When this occurs, a powerful sanitizing agent is created. In the words of Tersano:
When you expose bacteria and toxins to super-oxygenated molecules, they begin absorbing them immediately. The super-oxygenated molecules break apart within seconds and when they do, the bacteria and toxins quite literally explode.
So, what do you all think so far? Frankly, I thought it sounded a little suspect. Fortunately, my sister-in-law is a chemist. So, I emailed her, and she assured me that there is actual science to support the theories upon which this system is based. I have to admit, I was more than a little impressed. But, science aside, the question on all of your minds right now is does this work? Can we use super-oxygenated tap water as a cleaning agent? Well, that is the same question I had when I put the Lotus system to the test.
Setup and Use: Before I get into testing Tersano’s claims and my experiences, let’s take a quick look at the unit itself. The main component of the system is the base. To set it up, all you have to do is remove the reservoir cap and insert the booster cartridge into the back of the base. You are now ready to go.
One thing I will note here, the base is not a small item. It has a considerably large footprint and will use a significant amount of countertop space. We do not have a large kitchen, and you can see in some of these pictures that it really ate into the available space on the countertop.
Once the base is setup, decide which attachment is best for your activity. A handy chart in the user manual will help you decide whether to use the spray bottle, multi-purpose bowl, or another attachment. Basically, though, there are a few basic rules to follow:
- if you can submerge the item, use the multi-purpose bowl
- if not, use the spray bottle
- use the baby bottle attachment for baby bottles
- use the drinking water treatment system for drinking water
Frankly, one problem I had was that these attachments were all fairly large. I hope that, in addition to the counterspace required to use the Lotus system, you also have quite a bit of storage space in which to keep it when not in use. You will need it.
Once you have determined which attachment is best, simply fill it to the maximum fill line with cold (it must be cold) tap water. If you are using the baby bottle attachment or the multi-purpose bowl, then place your items into the water. The instructions call for the items to be fully submerged, however, I found that many of the items we tested the system with floated. So, they did not fully cooperate with the submerging requirement.
Next, attach the accessory, filled with water, to the base, select the appropriate mode and push begin. I was extremely impressed with how easy this whole system was to use. I suppose it could have been considerably more complicated than just add water and push go. That being said, it was somewhat finicky about the water being at exactly the correct level. To much or too little water will earn you an error code.
Once the cycle is done, simply pour out the water and retrieve your items. One thing we did notice here is that the system does not offer a dryer. If we clean the same items in the dishwasher, they will typically come out dry and ready to be put away. In the Tersano system, you will end up with a soaking wet item. That being said, the Tersano Lotus system was considerably faster to use than the dishwasher. The cycle typically took about five minutes and then required two minutes to settle.
One final note before we get into the experiments, if you are using the spray bottle, you must use all of the water within 15 minutes of the end of the cycle. After that time, the super-oxygenated molecules in the water will revert back to the pumpkins of ordinary oxygen molecules.
Experiments (Putting The Claims To The Test): OK, let’s take a look at the claims Tersano makes about the Lotus system and how well it actually lived up to those claims.
Claim 1: You Can Use The Lotus System To Sanitize A Room Or Area In Your House.
OK. Do I have your attention now. According to the materials, you can use the Lotus system (with the spray bottle attachment) to clean your kitchen or bathroom without using costly soaps, detergents or bleaches.
Well, of course I had to give this a try. And, of course, I couldn’t try it on something little like wiping off a counter. No, I jumped right in with both feet and the Lotus system and went straight for the guest toilet. This is always the dirtiest toilet in any house because people who don’t care how they leave it use it the most.
I cleaned the toilet (yes, I did it myself) using nothing except the super-oxygenated water in the Lotus spray bottle, and a clean rag. Surprisingly, I found it worked fairly well. Don’t get me wrong, I would not throw away the soaps just yet. If you have a really dirty or heavily used toilet, then this will probably not do the trick. But, if you just need to give the toilet a quick wipe down or a once over before company comes over, the Lotus worked great and was extremely quick and easy to use.
Claim 2: The Lotus System Can Be Used To Clean Mildew.
Who doesn’t hate mildew in their homes? It seems like in the summer, especially, no sooner have we cleaned the shower than the humid air creates a new bed of it. The stuff is just nasty and crops up all over the place. So, if a simple bottle of water can help us get rid of it, sign me up.
We have a particularly nasty spot on the wall around the shower control knob and faucet. It just seems to be a mildew magnet around there.
A few squirts of the super-oxygenated water and a swipe with a wet sponge, and here is what it looked like. Not too shabby. You would never know we did not use any bleach or other cleaners. Plus, as an added bonus, no obnoxious smell from the cleaners.
Claim 3: You Can Use The Lotus System To Clean Baby Toys.
Typically, we clean the plastic baby toys in the dishwasher, which works pretty well, but takes up a lot of space which could be used by things like…dishes. The Lotus system was pretty easy for this. Just toss the plastic, submersible toys into the multi-use bowl, fill it with water and close the lid. One problem I had was that most of the toys tended to float in the water, making it difficult to fully submerse them.
It was difficult to tell whether the toys were cleaner when they came out than before I started. Certainly, they were wetter, and they did smell much better (as noted in the materials, the toys all took on a clean, “after a thunderstorm” smell. I think this would be great if you had a lot of small toys to clean.
Of course, the problem here is that the system does not dry the toys. This means you will still need some space to lay them out to dry after you are done.
Claim 4: The Lotus System Can Be Used To Clean Baby Bottles.
Cleaning baby bottles is pretty much the reason I wanted to check out this system. Our third baby is about to be born. And if I remember anything from the first two, we could go through anywhere from eight to ten bottles a day. This pretty much means the entire top rack of the dishwasher.
The baby bottle attachment has four pegs, each of which can hold one bottle. It seemed to work well.
As you can see, I tested it with two bottles containing regular milk. I left the bottles dirty from the milk.
They came out sparking clean. Not bad at all. You can even toss all of the lids, nipples, rings, and other accessories right in with the bottles. It would have been nice if this could have cleaned eight to ten bottles at once, but it worked so quickly that it was prety easy to do two loads of bottles in a short time.
One final note, like the baby toys, the bottles do not dry in the system. This means you will have to leave them out to dry, which can lead to them attracting germs and dirt while they are sitting on the counter. This really seems to defeat the purpose of the system.
Claim 5: The Lotus System Can Be Used As A Deoderizer
This seemed like an odd statement to make. I mean, really I never would have pegged this as an air freshener. So, I decided to give it a try.
With two young children, we do a lot of laundry in our house, and after several loads, the washing machine can take on a pretty funky smell. Typically, we will run a load of bleach and water to clean up this smell. I sprayed the washing machine down with the Lotus spray bottle, and the smell disappeared. It has been about two weeks since I started this experiment, and the smell has not returned.
Of course, it is difficult to take pictures of smells, so you will just have to take my word for this one.
Claim 6: You Can Use The Lotus System To Prepare Fruits, Vegetable, and Other Foods.
According to the Lotus manual, you can use the Lotus system to prepare foods. Treating it with super-oxygenated water will slow the decay process, causing your foods to last longer. I tested this using a plum, and apple, and a peach.
The bowl on the left was treated with in the Tersano Lotus system (using the multi-purpose bowl). After about a week, I compared the two bowls of fruit.
First, we’ll look at the plum.
The skin of the treated plum was completely shriveled.
Meanwhile, the untreated plum still appeared to be juicy and ripe.
Inside, the treated plum (left) appeared to be waterlogged and did not look nearly as appealing as the untreated plum (right).
I found the same thing with the peach. Again, the treated peach is on the left.
Although neither the plum nor the peach appeared to have decayed, they also did not appear to have ripened properly. They seemed to have absorbed the water from the system and become waterlogged and ruined.
The apple was a different story, however. The untreated apple (front) had several rust spots from decay, which were not present in the treated apple (rear).
Additionally, when we cut open the untreated apple, a fruit fly buzzed out. No bugs were found in the treated apple.
According to the manual, you could also use this system to prepare beef, chicken, fish, shrimp, and virtually any other meats. This simply did not sound appetizing at all, and we decided that science would have to stop at a $7.00 steak.
Overall, however, I was not impressed by the way the Lotus system treated the food on which I tested it. It appeared to saturate the food with water, which, while it did not spoil, it was rendered equally inedible.
Claim 7: The Lotus System Can Remove Stubborn Stains.
Anyone who has (or had) young children knows that stubborn stains are pretty much a way of life. So, this seemed like a great way to test the system.
First, I gave it a try on the carpet. We are constantly finding new stains on the carpet (I think they just grow there). Scrubbing the carpet never seems to do much good. Carpet stains are like dandelions, they grow faster than you can fight them. I sprayed some Lotus water on a spot and scrubbed it with a paper towel.
It seemed to make a difference. I am not sure this was easier or worked better than other cleaners, but it definitely worked (and this was after just minimal scrubbing).
I also tried the Lotus system on a dirty bib.
We had spaghetti that night, so you know it was a mess. I sprayed the bib with the Lotus water and then we washed it in the washing machine.
When it came out, the stains had disappeared like magic.
For comparison, here is a spot which I did not treat with the Lotus water. Despite being washed, the stain is still present. I must say that I was impressed by this one. It worked at least as well as any commercial stain removers, and was considerably easier and cheaper to use.
There are plenty of other uses given for the Lotus system. In fact, pretty much anything you can clean, dust, or deodorize, you can clean with the Lotus system. There were far too many possibilities for us to test them all, however, I think the seven tests we conducted should give you a pretty good overview of how the whole thing works.
Conclusion: Well, I think my wife has been completely mortified by this review. I have shown you not one, but two dirty bathrooms, my stinky washing machine, and some of our dirty laundry. Oh yeah, and the stains on our carpet. Really, I only dirtied these things so I could test this system. We actually do not keep our house this dirty ordinarily.
Overall, I thought the spray bottle attachment on the Lotus system came the closest to working as advertised. It really did do a great job or removing stains and spot cleaning various areas in the house. The other attachments, however, I found difficult to tell whether they actually cleaned anything or just got things wet. It was also never terribly conclusive that this system was easier than just tossing everything in the dishwasher.
The system also takes up a lot of room on the counter with a fairly large base and several attachments. This, of course, does not include the space you will need to dry items after they have been cleaned. It would have been nice if the system included a drying mechanism. To me, it defeats the purpose of sanitizing something, only to rub it down with a towel, or place a dripping wet item on the counter to dry. So, in the end, it seems like — in addition to protecting you from deadly solar radiation — ozone can help sanitize your life. Whether it is easier than any other method of doing so remains to be seen.
Where to buy: Tersano
Price: $169 (basic system)
Replacement cartridges cost $5.99 and extra clothes cost $4.99.
Baby Bottle Sanitizing System ($199)
What I Liked: worked great for spot cleaning and stain removal, quick to prepare water, easy to use.
What Needs Improvement: the unit needs to take up less space, leaves items wet after cleaning, needs a drying mechanism, easy to get an error if the water is not filed exactly to the right level, difficult to store when not in use.