We’re making the most of our time while we await our upcoming manufacturing window by doing extended durability testing. Here’s a look at just a couple of the more interesting tests we’re running and the results we’ve gotten so far:
Hose Memory Test
With any flexible material, the material is set in shape, but may lose its shape due to a number of factors, including:
- Temperature change
- Or simply repeated use
In our case, it was important to test for all three! First, we needed to test for temperature change because our hose design is using two separate hoses which are joined together. One is for the water to flow through while the other contains the wiring for the power button.
Note: The hose for our testing units is black, but in the production run it will be white. Colors have little to no impact on material performance, so the production units should perform identically in use.
We’ll digress for a moment here to say that having a power button on our handle was an important convenience feature for our team, as all of us have used water flossers and it can be annoying to reach for a power switch on the main unit when you’re done. Flicking a switch itself is more difficult than simply releasing a button, so stopping water flow will be much easier with Instafloss.
This is also a hidden safety precaution, as if you hit a sensitive part of your gums, your first reaction is to let go of the button, preventing any further pain and allowing you to find the cause of that sensitivity before proceeding.
Back to the testing… because our hose is actually two in one, there’s the potential that each hose changes shape at different temperatures.
So we’ve taken multiple hose samples testing them both for lower temperatures and higher temperatures to ensure that the shape was not lost.
On top of that, we understand that the hose may be occasionally and accidentally pinched or smushed. This pressure was tested for as well.
Finally, there’s just the element of losing shape after prolonged usage. This is similar to how your car’s springs eventually wear out and fail to provide the same level of comfort during your ride.
This is one of the few areas where our testing highlighted the need for a change. Originally, we had an external wrap, not the aforementioned (and pictured) 2 hose system. The outer wrap would cause inconsistent twisting of the inner hose when temperature variations were applied.
The new double hose setup however has passed our temperature testing.
Both the pressure test and the repeated use test were a pass, with normal usage not causing any deformation. Of course, extreme stresses can still cause the hose to lose its shape, but this is true of all materials.
Hard Water Buildup
Being a product that will be primarily used with unfiltered tap water, a big question on our minds was how water hardness may impact the product’s performance over time.
Our office and where we do much of our testing, is located in Miami Florida, which for the purpose of this testing is lucky because our water hardness is fairly high. It’s not the highest in the States (as you can see below), nor the world, but it is certainly sufficient for our tests.
We’ve tested by running water through the entire system for an extended period of time as well as soaking certain parts, such as mouthpieces inside of water for the last 3 months.
We’ve found that the bulk of Instafloss’ components are not subject to decreased performance due to hard water build up, but our mouthpieces, which feature very precisely sized and placed jets, eventually do.
This is similar to how your shower head may start out with strong and straight beams of water but over time those beams begin to weaken and shoot in directions they weren’t supposed to.
This is one of the reasons why we recommend replacing your mouthpiece every 3 months. The other is for cleanliness as bacteria will build up on the mouthpieces, just like your toothbrush.
2021 hasn’t gone the way that anyone hoped it would. The pandemic continues to rage on, and the supply shortage is continuing to affect people at all levels!
That being said, as we look back at the year, there’s one constant for us, that keeps it bright: That’s you! Your support is incredibly meaningful to us, helping us bring this dream into reality. Thanks to you, we’ve been able to avoid taking traditional investment, allowing us to maintain our independence and to pursue goals that are important beyond simple return on investment, such as eco-friendly manufacturing.
And for that, we’re incredibly grateful. We hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving (for those not in the USA, we wish you the best possible regular Thursday full of appreciation) and we look forward to sharing exciting updates with you as we continue to move forward towards delivery.