Home / News


How to Use Dolfi - AKA The Holy Grail

How to Use Dolfi - AKA The Holy Grail

We created this How to Use Dolfi guide with everyone in mind. Whether you’ve just received your brand new, ultra-sleek device, you’ve had it for a while or you’re looking into getting your very own Dolfi - these tips will guide you through the entire process of using your Dolfi for optimal results, which will prevent any technical glitches from shortening the life of your new best friend in laundry. 

What types of clothes Dolfi is designed for:

Your next-gen washing device is not meant for all types of fabrics. Here are the items Dolfi is ideal for and will deliver the best results: 

  • Clothes made of delicate materials such as silk, chiffon, moire, most sheer fabrics, lace, cashmere, and mohair
  • Clothes that are originally meant to be hand-wash only but are not damaged from contact with water alone like leather pants
  • Shaped apparel (dresses, bras, corsages, and hats)
  • Fashion with applications like buttons, studs, jewellery and more 
  • Delicate lingerie and undergarments 
  • Activewear like leggings, sports bras, sport shirts, sport socks and trainers
  • Swimwear 


    Lace is a perfect example of a fabric that Dolfi is great at cleaning

    What types of clothes are NOT recommended to wash with Dolfi 

    If you want to get the best results for your laundry, then you should take note of the clothing items that won’t work well with Dolfi. These are: 

    • Big volume laundry items like bed linens or towels
    • Working clothes with heavy duty dirt, like engine oil 
    • Jeans  
    • Large knitted items like blankets and big ol’ jerseys (sorry granny!) 


      The perfect water conditions for Dolfi 

      Achieving perfect water conditions is about the single most important thing to keep in mind when using your device. Water is the medium that creates the necessary conditions for the ultrasonic energy to do its cleaning magic and radiate its power. A low amount of water reduces the size of the active ultrasonic energy field and diminishes the cleaning results. You need enough water in the container to allow your clothes to float freely thus creating the best cleaning conditions. 

      It’s important to ensure that your Dolfi is never switched on and running outside of water. Pay close attention to the water level and make sure the water doesn't drain from the container during the wash cycle (Your Dolfi Sink Plug will help with this). These points are extremely important as both situations can lead to the device overheating.

      How much water do I need? 

      The more water you have around the fabric and device - the stronger the cleaning possibilities and results. We don’t mean that you need to head out to the swimming pool to wash your favorite threads - only that you need about 5-10 litres of lukewarm water for 1-2 pounds of laundry. 

      Water temperature 

      The water temperature should be around 30-40 degrees °C (86°F - 104°F). It should feel warm, but not burn to the touch. If the water is too hot, it can damage your delicates, especially woven ones.

      What container do I need?

      Dolfi should be used in a waterproof container. Hard materials, such as ceramic or metal, reflect the ultrasonic waves a bit better than plastic. Using it in your standard bathroom ceramic sink is perfect. 


      A standard ceramic bathroom sink is the perfect container for your Dolfi


      How to position the clothes and the device 

      The device needs to be placed in water in the center with the logo facing upwards. Let’s get one thing straight - your Dolfi is not meant for large washing loads but should instead be used for small loads and particularly delicate clothes. Ensure that the clothes are not packed too tightly. If there’s not enough water for the clothes to float freely, you’ll have less than ideal cleaning results. 

      Take note that you need about 5 cm of only water (no clothes or other objects) directly above the device. Your clothes should be placed in such a way that there’s an opening in the middle with the device being visible when looking into the container. This ensures that the ultrasonic energy can be radiated in the water to create the optimal conditions for cleaning. 

      An exception is when you’re washing only 1 item with a heavier stain. You’ll then need to place stained area directly above the device, while maintaining the 5 cm gap of only water. That’s where the energy radiation field is the strongest. 

      Dolfi and stains 

      If you have some stains on your clothes, you would generally try to pre-treat the stains before throwing them into a conventional washing machine. The same is true for Dolfi – you need to give special treatment to certain stains before the normal washing cycle. You can make use of a detergent enhancer or stain removing solution

      However, you’ll be happy to hear that Dolfi is great at removing common stains such as red wine, cacao, coffee, many juices, blood, sweat, and oil.

      Some stains that have large particle sizes, such as ketchup or mustard, will require an initial treatment or rinse in order to remove the heavy bulk of dirt. For those ‘eviler’ stains - detergent enhancer or stain remover will help you achieve the best results. 

      When you’re washing your swimwear, you don’t need to use any detergent as Dolfi is able to clean the chlorine and sea salt effectively without it. 

      How do I know if it’s working? 

      Due to the nature of ultrasound, which is beyond the capabilities of human hearing, it’s quite difficult to see or hear whether or not your clothes are really being cleaned. That’s because the device is completely inaudible to the human ear but take a quick video with your phone and the microphone will pick up a sound that’s so powerfully loud, you’ll barely need any other reassurance. 

      Another way you can test the functionality of the device is to simply put your Dolfi in a transparent container with enough water, (logo facing up), put a source of light next to the water (like your phone’s flashlight), switch on the device and then you’ll see millions of beautiful little bubbles moving around due to the ultrasonic waves doing its thing. And there you go! 

      We’ll be providing more educational pieces on different things you can wash with your small, but oh-so-powerful Dolfi. If you ever feel lost the How to use Dolfi - AKA The Holy Grail should be your go-to. Stay tuned and learn more on how to stay fresh with Dolfi. Anywhere you go.

      Ultrasonic Clean: A Dolfi Story | Chapter Two: Combining Design with Technology

      Ultrasonic Clean: A Dolfi Story | Chapter Two: Combining Design with Technology

      After finalizing the unique and elegant design for the Dolfi device, it was time to pair it with the advanced technology that would live inside and create a working prototype. This was the moment every company that creates an innovative product eagerly awaits. The process, however, wasn’t without its ups and downs.

      Combining our new casing design with the engineering prototype brought forth unexpected issues that were predictable, but difficult to identify at that time.

      The functional testing with our shiny new 3D printed casings kept failing time after time. Attempting to discover the reason for this failure, we made more prototypes with 3D printed plastic and ran multiple tests. We could not understand the reason why and started to doubt the reliability of our ultrasonic system, but the engineering prototypes housed in generic plastic boxes still worked well. We even considered that the casing's unique shape might be causing the problems and that our amazing Dolfi design might not be suitable at all for optimal performance. It was a tough time of setbacks and doubts.

      Some of our 3D printed casings looked almost identical to plastic pieces from mass production.


      Changing their approach, our engineers decided to test the acoustic properties of our beautiful 3D printed casings and determined that even though they looked very much like injection molded plastics from mass production, they had completely different acoustic properties due to the different production techniques. Enough so that they ultimately caused the ultrasonic system to fail. So much for the fast way.

      Technology had come a long way over the last few years. Back in 2014, 3D printing was advanced enough to allow us to quickly and relatively cheaply produce good looking prototypes, but once we discovered that the material’s properties were causing the problem, we had to change our prototyping technique. The next best option for producing a sample was by CNC machining our casing out of plastic blocks, pretty much like a sculptor carves from stone, only done by a precise machine. It took us a while to find blocks of the right plastic for our casings. The options for readily available plastic materials were quite limited, and our application demanded material with particular parameters for factors such as acoustic properties and temperature resistance.


      CNC machined casings made from various materials.

      Finally, after several long weeks, we got the new casings to the lab. This time the tech worked fine which was great news! We overcame a major hurdle but, as it mostly happens during the development process, you solve one problem, and another one is already waiting for you. We discovered that the casing’s size on the functional surface was just a few millimeters smaller than was needed.


      We didn't perceive the little resizing as a big challenge and asked Andre, our designer, to scale up the casing a bit. However, it appeared that scaling was not as easy for physical objects as it might be for 2D pictures on a screen. “We needed to flatten an area on top of the device slightly,” explained Andre, “but that interfered with the overall smoothness of our design. Adjustments were required all around so as not to ruin the look and feel of the entire object. At this point, it was not so much designing anymore as it was crafting the finer details. It was a fight for every millimeter." With him, we were engineering the functionality through the eyes of a craftsman.

      Finally, with a functional prototype in our hands, we were excited to share our creation with the world.


      To be continued in Chapter Three: Crowdfunding

      Previously, Chapter One: Design

      Ultrasonic Clean: A Dolfi Story | Chapter One: Design

      Ultrasonic Clean: A Dolfi Story | Chapter One: Design

      Today we’re taking you through the journey of Dolfi’s creation. The first chapter of the story for this revolutionary device begins with its design.

      It was early into the summer of 2014 when Lena, Founder/CEO of Dolfi met for the first time with industrial designer, Andre Fanguerio. Neither of them knew then that the destiny of Dolfi’s product design would be defined at that meeting.

      Andre’s eyes sparked with interest when Lena told him how much freedom he would have to shape the future product. The world had yet to see a hand-sized washing machine and there were no expectations in terms of its look. The product could have practically any shape - a great opportunity for the creative mind of a talented designer.

      The design process had begun. Andre’s initial concept was smart, modern, and vibrant. The device was intended to float on the surface of water and emit the ultrasonic waves.

      The silicone tube was not only a grip meant for taking the device out of the water, but also a protective case after use.


      With this design, however, there were several concerns. The engineering prototypes that the team was testing at that time were completely immersible, so there were questions on the performance of the floating device. Also, the frequent stretching of its silicone tube for storage could impact the durability of the silicone and reduce the product’s lifetime. The design was also very feminine, and they didn’t want to deter anyone from purchasing it based on appearance. They sought a look that was uniform, familiar, and intuitive to everyone who used it.

      So, Andre went back to the drawing board to create the next concept, and another one, and another one… There were many long hours of discussions and design meetings with concepts discarded again and again. It was an intense and emotional process. The freedom of creating a unique shape seemed to be a blessing at first but turned out to be a curse a few months later.

      “I have never created so many concepts for any product before. Typically, it is just two or three concepts,” said Andre. “It was really exhausting sometimes. The right shape was just slipping away.” During the first three months, they ended up with 11 concepts. You can see some of them here:


      Then, during some of those countless design review meetings, our brand/graphic designer noticed that one of the concepts looked like a brick of soap. “It’s a pebble!” Andre exclaimed. At that very moment, the concept for Dolfi’s amazing shape was born.

      Andre (left) and Lena (right) during a design meeting at a favorite restaurant in the Netherlands.


      “I really admire Andre’s talent, creativity and professionalism, but what defines him as a great designer is his dedication to perfection and fantastic ability to discard the good in order to strive for the best.” - Lena

      A lot of attention was given to the shape’s details. They ended up with over 20 different versions of the pebble shape:


      Lena and Andre took advantage of the amazing technology available and were able to 3D print a model in just few days. Holding a mockup of the future product in their hands made the endeavor feel very real. After making a good number of 3D printed prototypes for different shape versions, they finally settled for that One Ultimate Dolfi design:


      "Its smooth form provides the end user with a sense of friendliness and security that this object would help to wash even their most precious textiles," said Andre. "The curvature and acceleration of the surfaces are designed to communicate a high-end consumer product within its technological size. The end result is the small-sized, hand-held product that is both high-tech and high-performing."

      Looks like a completed product design, right? They thought so too, but the next challenge was waiting just around the corner.

      To be continued in Chapter Two: Combining Design with Technology

      Edit: February 2019

      Each year, the world’s oldest independent design organization, Hannover-based iF International Forum Design GmbH, organizes the iF DESIGN AWARD – the most prestigious world-renowned design prize. Dolfi has won 2019’s iF DESIGN AWARD in the Product category for the outstanding design of its innovative ultrasonic washing device.


      Dolfi won over the 67-member jury, made up of independent experts from all over the world, with its smooth organic pebble shape intuitively communicating the product’s purpose and function.The competition was intense: over 6,400 entries were submitted from 50 countries in hopes of receiving the seal of quality.