This is what working mothers really want, based on my experiences raising children......

Blue Ag+ is a revolutionary bacteria elimination function that defies conventional wisdom. The development team took advantage of the experience and ideas of a working mother engineer in the team.

"Mama" Engineer M

A member of the Front Load Washing Machine Department at Panasonic. Involved in the development and design of a washing machine featuring the Blue Ag+ function. Mother of two girls.

Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

Authority on Bacteria Elimination

Doctor of engineering who started his career working at The University of Tokushima, before joining the International Organization for Standardization as a member of the Antibacterial, Antifungal and Antiviral Standards Committee. He was also a Committee Member for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. He is currently an advisor to the Society for Antibacterial and Antifungal Agents, Japan.

I wanted a washing machine that can eliminate bacteria while washing.

That's when I started developing Blue Ag+.

Engineer M

At the time, the only ways to eliminate bacteria in laundry were either to wash with high-temperature water or use chlorine bleach. But if I wash with high-temperature water, clothes shrink and get damaged. And it takes time. Chlorine bleach can only be used to eliminate bacteria on white clothes. After all, it's not something I can easily do every day. There wasn't a function that enabled easy bacteria elimination with any item of clothing.

HirokiKOURAI, Dr.

Didn't you dry clothes outside in the sun? Ultraviolet rays from sunlight also have a powerful sterilizing effect. But bacteria are only eliminated on the surface of clothes that are irradiated, so every part of an item has to be irradiated.

Engineer M

My daughter had bronchial problems, so I was worried that air pollution and pollen might become attached to clothes and cause her to develop allergies.

Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

That's why you needed a washing machine with a function that can easily eliminate bacteria on clothes.

Engineer M

Yes. That's why I wanted a washing machine with Blue Ag+.

The wisdom of our predecessors ― hygiene with silver ions

Searching for a simple, safe and reliable hygiene technology

Engineer M

The development team read a huge amount of material looking for new sterilization technologies. It was at that time I came across your thesis concerning silver ions. They can be easily used to sterilize any clothes, even colored items, and there's no problem with safety. I knew at once that this was what we'd been looking for!

Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

I've been conducting research into silver ions for many years. It's been experimentally proven that silver ions have a strong, safe sterilizing effect.

Engineer M

And silver ions are relatively easy to make through a reaction with water, so it made sense to use them in a washing machine.

Engineer M

What we paid the most attention to was the discovery of OH radicals, which have an extremely powerful sterilizing effect. They can be produced by exposing silver ions to ultraviolet light.

The mechanism of OH radical generation and bacteria elimination

*Images are for illustrative purposes only.

Silver ions dissolved in water

Stick to bacteria

When the silver ions stuck to bacteria are irradiated with UV-A light

Many OH radicals excited by UV energy denature the protein of the bacteria

which suppresses their activity

Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

OH radicals, also called hydroxyl radicals, are a type of reactive oxygen. They work in the same way as the substances released by macrophages and natural killer cells, which are related to white blood cells, that attack bacteria and viruses entering the body.

Engineer M

Silver ions alone have a sufficiently strong bacteria elimination effect, but we needed something even more reliable. There's no such thing as "100%" in the world of technology, but we had to get as close to it as possible.
The good thing about OH radicals is that they have the same mechanism of action as the body's immune system, so they're safe and reliable.

Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

But OH radicals have an extremely short lifetime.

Engineer M

We overcame this problem by coming up with a way to continuously generate them.
Ag ions dissolved in rinse water stick to clothing. UV-A irradiation of these ions during the rinse cycle successively generates OH radicals to enable continuous bacteria elimination.

Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

I see. Irradiating clothes with UV inside the tub is a great idea. Because the clothes are agitated, the OH radicals are evenly distributed.

Engineer M

It was difficult, though, and it didn't work well at first. Through repeated trial and error, we finally figured out the best balance between UV wavelength and intensity, lamp mounting position, irradiation time, timing and other factors.

Stable performance is a must in any home

Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

Applying my research results for a washing machine must have posed some difficult problems.

Engineer M

There's a difference between the lab and a regular household. During a wash, a washing machine constantly splashes water and detergent, and vibrates. This affects the bacteria elimination effect. In theory it may seem easy, but in fact it isn't.

Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

Were there any other difficulties?

Engineer M

Water pressure, which differs from home to home. If water flow is too powerful, the concentration of dissolved Ag ions decreases. To deliver stable performance, the design had to be able to maintain an Ag concentration above the standard level under any water supply conditions.

Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

I followed this up in my university lab, and the presence of OH radicals was confirmed. And 99.99%* bacteria elimination performance has also been certified by a third party evaluation organization.

Engineer M

We're confident that our design will produce reliable results under any conditions.

Bringing Blue Ag+ technology to life

Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

Making silver ions in rinse water and irradiating them with UV-A radiation to eliminate bacteria. It's a ground-breaking approach.

Ag ion

Water passes through Ag ion device and Ag ions are carried in the water. The Ag ions penetrate the fabric to remove bacteria.

*The white frame indicates where the Ag ion device is mounted.

UV Light

Blue UV light on the upper part of drum and work with Ag ions.

Engineer M

After being rinsed twice as usual, bacteria on clothes are eliminated during a third rinse.
(Rinsing three times also makes sure there's no remaining detergent.)

What Every Mom Should Know

The Truth About How to Care For Baby Clothes

Baby clothes easily get dirty because babies drool, spill their food and frequently vomit.
Many mothers spend a lot of time washing their baby's clothes to keep them clean and hygienic. But they still worry about germs remaining on clothes.
Now they need worry no more. Let’s take a look at the best way to keep clothes cleaner.

Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

Authority on Bacteria Elimination

Doctor of engineering who started his career working at The University of Tokushima, before joining the International Organization for Standardization as a member of the Antibacterial, Antifungal and Antiviral Standards Committee. He was also a Committee Member for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. He is currently an advisor to the Society for Antibacterial and Antifungal Agents, Japan.

Is it true that baby clothes are best washed by hand?

Hand washing is a good way to keep baby clothes clean, but it's not the best method.

Hand washing gives mothers peace of mind because they can check the washing process themselves. But even when clothes look clean, some invisible dirt and bacteria may remain.

My little baby loves to put everything in his mouth, most often his clothes and socks. I'm worried about their cleanliness.

Even if clothes look clean after washing, there's still some invisible dirt there.

Invisible dirt refers to stains such as milk fat and sebum that have gotten deep into fabrics. Milk spat out contains fat, and babies sweat a lot due to their high metabolism. Both the fat and the sebum from the sweat can find their way deep into fibers and remain in fabrics. These types of oily stains are hard to remove by hand washing with cold water because they only begin to dissolve in water at about 40°C.

Are there invisible germs as well?

There are also bacteria and allergens. These can't be removed with a regular wash.

Bacteria can only be eliminated at a temperature of at least 60°C, which means a hot water wash is necessary. Therefore, it’s better to use a hot water wash for every load of laundry to ensure all of these unseen germs deep in fabrics are eliminated.

Hot water wash is also effective in removing allergens.

I'm afraid that hot water can damage clothes, like discoloring or shrinking them.

That's true. A hot wash at more than 60°C can be used for white, cotton clothes.

Colorful or delicate clothes, and items with decorative designs such as fringes, can't be washed with hot water. What's more, a hot wash takes time and consumes more electricity than a regular cold wash.

Sometimes dried clothes smell bad after washing. Why does this happen and how can I stop it?

The odor is caused by bacteria that can't be removed with regular wash cycles.

The bacteria on clothes multiply under the certain conditions. Subtropical climate is an ideal environment for bacterial growth.

I hang my baby clothes in the sun to dry. Is this exposure to the sunlight sufficient to eliminate bacteria and other germs?

Ultraviolet light acts as a powerful sterilizer. However, it has an effect only on surfaces exposed to sunlight.

Rain, clouds and other weather conditions obstruct the rays of sunlight and result in clothes being only half dry. These conditions also reduce the sterilizing power of sunlight, which leads to concerns about remaining bacteria.

Are there any recommended and reliable sterilization methods?

I recommend to use Blue Ag+, the latest antibacterial technology in a washing machine.

Washing in hot water by hand is tedious to do day in and day out. And many baby clothes are colorful and decorative with fringes and buttons, the kind of clothes that aren't suitable for a hot wash. That's why I recommend using Blue Ag+. It works with a regular cold wash, and its antibacterial performance is exceptional and reliable.
This technology makes it easier for busy mothers to get their laundry done with much less effort

Should I be worried that sliver ions (Ag+) will hurt my baby's delicate skin?

Silver ions are safe and reliable. Sliver has antibacterial properties and has long been widely used for dishes and cutlery for hygiene purposes.

Silver dissolved in water produces silver ions, which can eliminate bacteria without affecting the human body. These silver ions are widely used in antibacterial sprays for the body and antibacterial goods for kitchens and bathrooms

Are ultraviolet rays that eliminate bacteria harmful to skin?

Blue Ag+ uses only safe UV rays.

There are three types of ultraviolet rays. UV-B and UV-C are strong ultraviolet rays which are harmful to the human body. On the other hand, UV-A rays are safe for the human body, and only UV-A rays are used in Panasonic washing machines.

Is it possible to sufficiently eliminate bacteria with a machine wash?

Panasonic's washing machine with Blue Ag+ is really reliable.

Blue Ag+ uses Ag ions and UV-A light. It generates a strong bacteria killer, OH radicals, through a reaction between the Ag ions and UV-A light. Although it was previously impossible to provide a washing machine delivering this antibacterial performance, Panasonic succeeded. The result is elimination of 99.99%* of bacteria with a cold wash.

Comment from Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

Certified by a third-party organization, Ag ions are a safe and reliable way to eliminate bacteria.

Silver has long been known as a safe bacteria-killing agent. A third-party evaluation organization has even certified Ag ions, which come from silver, as safe and highly effective at eliminating bacteria. Based on my many years of research, I can recommend Ag ions as the best way to eliminate bacteria. The Blue Ag+ feature in this Panasonic washing machine uses these Ag ions to kill bacteria without hot water. One of the greatest benefits of Blue Ag+ is the more reliable bacteria elimination performance provided by the OH radicals generated when Ag ions are irradiated with UV-A. This feature is wonderful for busy mothers who want to eliminate bacteria on clothes simply by washing them in a washing machine.

Certification of Blue Ag+ Bacteria Elimination Performance

* MODEL: NA-120VX7
* TEST STANDARD: GB 21551.5-2010 (Antibacterial and cleaning function for household and similar electrical appliances – Particular requirements for electric washing machine)
* TESTING CONDITION: Programme "Cotton (cold water) + Ag+"
* ISSUE DATE: 1st/Mar/2017
* Up to 3kg load

Hiroki KOURAI, Dr.

Third party evaluation certification test results confirmed that 99.99%* of bacteria were eliminated.

Engineer M

Of course I was confident about its performance, but I'm relieved that it's been officially proven to be effective in eliminating bacteria. And the bacteria elimination effect continues after washing