CLEANR Debuts Powerful New Washing Machine Filters to Help Stop the Largest Source of Microplastic Pollution from Entering the Environment

– New nature-inspired filters consistently outperform the market in manufacturer-testing, are small enough to integrate without major changes, enable microplastics capture in under 30 seconds a week –

BERLIN, Aug. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — CLEANR, a new greentech venture based in the U.S., today unveiled its powerful new internal and external-retrofit microplastic filters for washing machines at the world’s largest appliance industry conference, IFA Berlin. Washing machine wastewater is the single largest source of microplastic pollution globally, accounting for 35% of emissions.[i]

CLEANR technology uses a vortex filtration process that delivers 300% higher efficiency than traditional filters.

CLEANR’s nature-inspired technology has consistently outperformed the market in manufacturer-testing and is the first solution proven to meet upcoming French regulatory requirements, including microplastics capture efficiency and usability. CLEANR’s filters capture more than 90% of microplastics down to 50-microns in size and are highly user-friendly, where microplastics removal is easy, dry and takes less than 30 seconds per week and maintenance takes less than two minutes per month.

For washing machine manufacturers, the solution is cost-effective and integrates into virtually any washing machine model due to its simplicity and small size: the technology requires no additional pumps and can be separated into two parts to accommodate washing machine models with tight interior space limitations.

“CLEANR’s core technology, VORTX, is powered by a novel vortex filtration process that was inspired by nature and delivers 300% higher efficiency than traditional filters,” said Max Pennington, CLEANR’s CEO.  “This enables our filters to handle three times as many wash loads as others before filter-cleaning, operate with no electrical pumps, and trap the smallest microfibers.”

Tackling microplastics pollution 

CLEANR estimates that widespread adoption of its CLEANR INSIDE internal filter and its external filters in the EU and U.S. alone would prevent the equivalent of over 280 million plastic bags from entering waterways every year. Performance testing designed by washing machine manufacturers that hold nearly 45% of market share in Europe found that it outperformed competing solutions in nearly every test. 

Every year, over a half-million tons of microplastics spill into the world’s oceans from washing machine wastewater, and researchers expect that amount to double by 2050.[ii] To address the problem, governments in Europe and North America are moving to require that new washing machines be outfitted with microplastic filters.

France broke ground in 2020 passing the first such law, which goes into effect January 1, 2025. Meanwhile, legislators in the UK and European Union and in some of the largest states and provinces in North AmericaCalifornia, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and Ontario – are advancing laws like France’s that could go into effect as soon as 2025.

These legislative efforts follow growing public awareness of the microplastic pollution problem.  Research shows microplastics are found in 83% of the world’s tap water. It has been estimated that humans currently ingest a credit-card size amount of them every week, and one study found microplastics in the blood of nearly 80% of human test subjects.[iii]

Consumers in Europe are especially engaged on the issue. For example, Germany’s 2023 BfR survey found microplastics in food to be the most urgent health topic among German consumers, with two-thirds (66%) saying they’re “very concerned” about it, compared to just 38% in 2018. A similar survey in the U.S. last year found about half of Americans (49%) were “very concerned.”[iv]

Europe is becoming ground zero in the fight against microplastic pollution,” said Terry Moore, CLEANR’s Executive Chairman. “For appliance manufacturers, this is an opportunity to galvanize customer relationships and make a major contribution to the environment. Our goal is to help leading appliance brands and their customers turn the tide on microplastics pollution with innovations that make clothing-care more sustainable.”

Breakthrough filtration technology

CLEANR’s technology, VORTX, represents a breakthrough in microplastics filtration. Its design was inspired by a filtering process that occurs in marine life. Instead of attracting particles to the filter surface, VORTX suspends and isolates them using fluid patterns that form a vortex and push the particles into its biodegradable capture unit, the CLEANR Pod, for safe removal.  The filtered fluid exits through GKD’s 50-micron patented stainless steel microplastics mesh

This design not only vastly reduces clogging compared to traditional filtration designs but makes the solution more compact and separable into two parts. That gives washing machine manufacturers greater flexibility to integrate the filter into machines that have limited space for new components, reducing overall design and deployment costs and significantly increasing speed-to-market.

Key features

  • CLEANR’s nature inspired VORTX filtration technology outperforms traditional sieve and crossflow designs by more than 300%, capturing over 90% of microplastic particles down to 50 microns in size.
  • VORTX ensures greater filter longevity, handling three times as many washloads before filter-cleanings compared to competing solutions.  CLEANR’s solutions power through heavy cotton loads that often cause competing solutions to underperform.  CLEANR’s solution also delivers high-performance in the full range of washing machine cycles and settings.
  • CLEANR’s internal and external filters provide an effortless user experience that makes disposing of microplastics dry, easy, and complete in under 30 seconds per week. The filters also support WiFi communication with washing machines to update users on filter capacity and performance.
  • CLEANR’s biodegradable CLEANR Pods are designed to prevent microplastics from being rinsed down the drain and enable quick and easy microplastics capture.  CLEANR will also offer consumers a recycling program for captured microplastics.
  • CLEANR INSIDE™, the company’s internally integrated filtering solution, offers appliance manufacturers major cost and go-to-market advantages because it requires no motors or pumps and can be architected in two parts to fit more easily inside washing machines with significant internal space limitations. The solution is designed to be compatible with most major smart home platforms.
  • CLEANR’s Premium External Filter features a simple and elegant design and is compatible with virtually any washing machine.

CLEANR’s new filtering solutions will be widely available in 2024 and are on exhibit September 1-5, 2023, at IFA 2023 in Berlin in the new Sustainability Village (Hall 2.2, stand #412).


CLEANR, Inc. builds best-in-class microplastic filters for washing machines that effortlessly remove the largest source of microplastics in the environment. Its technology represents a breakthrough in microplastics filtration, with a patent-pending design that is inspired by nature and proven to outperform conventional filtration designs by over 300%. The company is building a platform filter technology that enables product manufacturers and business customers to materially reduce their microplastic emissions from impacted fluid streams, including residential and commercial washing machine wastewater, in-home water systems, tire particles in runoff water, textile manufacturing effluents, industrial wastewater, fisheries discharge, and other sources.  

[i] IUCN, 2017

[ii] OECD, 2022

[iii] Orb Media, 2017; WWF, Dalberg, Univ. of Newcastle, 2019; Environment International, 2022

[iv] Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (BfR), 2023; BfR, 2018; Oceana, Ipsos, 2023

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