Cleanyst's Countertop Machine Aims to Be the (Eco-Friendly) Keurig of Cleaning

While soaps and detergents are great at keeping your body and home clean, they aren't always a clean choice for the planet. Even if you buy in large quantities (which isn't always possible if you live in a small home with little storage space) and use refill packs instead of buying new plastic bottles every few weeks, liquid soaps, shampoos, cleaning solutions, and detergents are heavy and bulky, meaning they take a big carbon footprint to ship. A new company is trying to reduce the environmental impact of your cleaning routine by taking out the part of those products that make them so heavy—the water.

The Cleanyst system allows users to mix their own personal care and cleaning products at home by adding regular tap water to pre-packaged concentrates and blending them together in reusable bottles. The appliance, which just launched on Kickstarter, acts kind of like a Keurig for soap—you pop a concentrate packet in the machine, then it heats up the water and mixes up the concentrate to create a ready-to-use soap, detergent, or shampoo. The process (which Mental Floss saw in action at an April 2019 demo) takes just the push of a button and a few minutes.

Cleanyst is launching with six different home care products (dish soap, laundry detergent, fabric softener, all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, and tile/tub cleaner) and four different personal care products (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and hand soap) to start. The company eventually hopes to branch out into even more products, serving as a one-stop shop for all your cleaning and hygiene needs. The dye-free, plant-based concentrates are available in fragrance-free and naturally scented versions, or the company has aromatherapy concentrates that you can mix in to personalize the smell of your products. All of the formulas are vegan and are not tested on animals.

A hand places a bottle under a Cleanyst machine with a concentrate pouch in it.

Cleanyst, Kickstarter

Cleanyst isn't the only company trying to take the water out of cleaning products. For instance, Truman's, a direct-to-consumer cleaning product company launched earlier this year, ships concentrated cleaning solutions for counters, floors, glass, and bathrooms in pocket-sized cartridges. You just have to pop the cartridges into a spray bottle filled with water in order to dilute the mixture.

Cleanyst's creators take that idea a bit further. It's relatively easy to mix a thin surface cleaning solution with water, but creating a more viscous soap from concentrate is much harder. In order to create thicker gel mixtures like hand soap and shampoo—and one day, lotion—Cleanyst uses an industrial mixing system similar to what's available in a laboratory. This means even the thick substances mix evenly with the water, which would likely be impossible to achieve by shaking it up by hand.

Water comprises two-thirds or more of the weight of most home and body care products, and by shipping only concentrates, Cleanyst estimates that it can reduce single-use plastic by 80 percent. And while the concentrates are currently being shipped to users in light plastic pouches, the empty pouches can be mailed back to Cleanyst for recycling.

A cardboard box of Cleanyst concentrate packages

Cleanyst, Kickstarter

By reducing shipping and packaging costs, the company is also able to pass on savings to customers—the products are all just a few dollars each, and Cleanyst estimates that the average user can save $150 a year by switching to its system. If you're buying shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, and other personal care products for a family, the savings could be significant over time. All of the home care products cost less than $3 per pouch, while the body wash pouches cost $5 and the shampoo and conditioner pouches cost $6 each.

The kits come with 12-ounce and 16-ounce reusable plastic mixing bottles. (The system automatically dispenses personal care products in 12-ounce quantities and home cleaning products in 16-ounce quantities.) Users can either mix their products in Cleanyst's bottles then use the included spray and pump heads to dispense the final mixture, or use Cleanyst's bottles to mix the products and then transfer the solution to another reusable dispenser.

Buy the Cleanyst system on Kickstarter starting at $99 for the appliance itself, one 12-ounce bottle, one 16-ounce bottle, and two concentrate pouches of your choice. The units are scheduled to ship in December 2019.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Wizarding World Gold, a Magical New Harry Potter Subscription Service, Has Arrived

The Potter Collector, YouTube
The Potter Collector, YouTube

For Potterheads, Christmas just came early. There’s a new Harry Potter subscription service on the market, and it’ll make you feel like you plunged face-first into one of the magical books—not unlike Harry’s frequent forays into the Pensieve.

Engadget reports that Wizarding World Gold is a 12-month commitment, and includes access to all seven Harry Potter ebooks through the Wizarding World app, collectible pin badges, merchandise discounts, and more.

That’s really just the tip of the iceberg-sized rock cake. After signing up, you’ll receive a pin, a print of J.K. Rowling’s sketch of Hogwarts, and a personalized journal called Keys and Curios, designed by the graphic design team behind the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film franchises. It features your name, Hogwarts house, and “enchanted keys” that “unlock hidden secrets” when scanned with the Wizarding World app.

You can also watch Wizarding World Originals, an exclusive video series that delves into the mysteries of the world of Harry Potter; gain early access to collectible merchandise and priority bookings for events like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and enjoy magical quizzes and puzzles. You’ll also make the guest list for festivities like the Wizarding World Gold Christmas Party in the Great Hall at Warner Bros.’s Studio Tour London.

If you register now, your welcome gift with the pin, print, and journal will arrive in about two weeks, and your first official subscription box will follow later this autumn. It’s $75 for the entire year, which is quite a bit cheaper than flying off to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

If you have any funds left in your Gringotts vault, you can supplement your fantasy-filled subscription with a Harry Potter pop-up book, sock Advent calendar, bathrobe, or even Pandora jewelry.

[h/t Engadget]

This Automated Tea Machine Brews Tea Bags and Loose Leaves With the Convenience of a Keurig

BRÜ
BRÜ

The convenience of Keurigs has changed the way people get their morning coffee, but for tea drinkers, the options have been far more limited. Though companies have released their teas in K-cup pods, you’re usually beholden to a more limited selection in terms of flavor variety and leaf type. The BRÜ is looking to change that by giving tea drinkers an automated brewing machine that allows for full customization, like temperature control, cup size, and the option to actually choose from your favorite loose-leaf teas and bags. With more than $180,000 in pledges raised already, the BRÜ has shattered its $30,000 goal on Kickstarter. But you can still get your own machine for just $95 by heading here before the campaign ends on November 1.

The BRÜ looks just like a Keurig in many ways—there’s the water tank, the familiar spout, and the drip tray. But with this machine, you're in control of far more. If you want a small cup of strong, bagged green tea, it's just a few button presses away. If your friend then wants a weaker glass of loose-leaf white tea that's not too hot, it can be ready in minutes, all without the hassle of dealing with a traditional kettle. With its stretch goals already reached, the company is even working on a setting for cold tea, which will brew a small but concentrated cup of hot tea, then dispense chilled water on top of it.

If you act fast (like fast, fast) you can still score the $95 BRÜ package, along with a glass mug. The next tier starts at $115 and includes a similar haul, but this time it’s for the BRÜ+ machine, which the company says dispenses the water in a way that actually cleans the tea chamber after each cup.

The BRÜ won’t be available for the holidays, so if you’re looking to give it as a gift this Christmas, you’ll receive a gift card voucher. Orders are expected to start going out for delivery in April 2020. For more information, head to the BRÜ Kickstarter page, where you can become a backer until November 1.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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