Without doubt, one of the most infuriating household tasks is doing your laundry. Washing machines are there to help homeowners with the same, but they also account for a major portion of the total energy and water consumption every month. Energy efficient washing machines are a solution, but considering the adverse conditions in many parts of the developing world where people fight for the basic facilities like energy and water, there arises the need for a practical solution. Many rural areas around the world are not even connected to the electric grid and the modern washing machines are no use for the residents there. The best possible solution for washing laundry is such a case is an electricity-free washing machine.
Low cost, human-powered washing machines have caught everyone’s attention lately and they can turn out to be huge success the developing parts of the world if produced at a mass scale. Moreover, they are sure to interest ever eco conscious homeowner. Let’s take a look at some innovative washing machines that need no electricity to do your laundry.
Design: Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You
GiraDora is a pedal-powered clothes washer designed to address the problems of people living in the rural regions who have to work hard for even the most basic of facilities. The blue plastic bucket features a spinning mechanism that washes clothes and later dries them. After filling the plastic tub with soap and water, users can cover it with a lid. After this, the user sits on the washer and operates the spring-loaded foot pedal. GiraDora is not only electricity-free, but it also helps save water. Moreover, its inventors claim the washer to reduce health risks such as joint problems, skin irritation and mold inhalation and lower-back pain associated with hand-washing clothes. The GiraDora will cost around $40 only when produced on a large scale. GiraDora is currently being field-tested in Peru, South America.
Design: Aaron Stathum and Eliot Coven
This prototype low-cost washing machine for the people of developing world has been made from recycled materials. Dubbed Up-Stream, the mashing machine is human-powered, so you need no electricity while washing your clothes. When mass produced, the Up-Stream will cost a mere $4. Made with 5-gallon bucket, a plastic fiber rope, old water pipes and a neoprene cover, the foot-powered washing machine can be operated with utmost ease. The user has to fill the bucket with clothes, detergent and water, and then close the lid. After this, the user brings the bucket into motion by moving legs up and down, with two loops of the plastic rope strapped onto the feet. For tough stains, user can take out the clothes and rub them on the neoprene sleeve. When you are done washing, you have to rewind the plastic rope onto the reel and then pull it back hard to move the bucket at a fast rate. This process throws the water out of the clothes. With its projected cost of just $4, the Up-Stream seems a very practical and promising solution for the people with the least income living in different parts of the developing world.
- The Laundry Pod
Easy to operate, the Laundry Pod uses less than 5 gallons of water and no electricity. The Laundry Pod uses a hand crank and does your laundry in short span of time. Perfect for urban apartments and dorms, the compact Laundry Pod washer and spin dryer needs 1.5 gallons of wash water and 1/5 of detergent to clean the 10 garments. The user can put the inside bucket into motion by cranking the arm on the lid. The Laundry Pod boasts easy-to-use draining system and a flexible drain hose to remove the soapy, dirty water. Fresh water can be added after the first cycle and you can repeat the hand cracking process to remove the excess moisture. Priced at $99.95, the Laundry Pod comes in three different colors.
Winner of the 2005 MIT IDEAS competition, the Bicilavadora is a pedal-powered washing machine that can be made easily with readily available parts and tools anywhere in the developing world. The low cost washing machine uses inexpensive plastic barrels and bicycle components, and needs no electricity to do your laundry.
- Wonder Wash
The Wonder Wash is a hand powered portable washer, which makes it a perfect choice for dorms, urban apartments and cabins. Priced at $42.95, the Wonder Wash does a 5-lb. load in a couple of minutes. It enjoys a patented pressure system that forces detergent into the fabric at high speed for a fast and economical wash. It needs no electricity and is claimed to use 90% less water and detergent than the regular washing machines.