The Waterless Washing Machine
Well, the machine is not TOTALLY waterless, but promises to use less than 90% of the water that current machines use.
The machine, named Xeros, which is also the name for the Greek god for ‘dry’ is being developed by researchers at Leeds University who also set up a company called Xeros Ltd to market the technology and attract present machine-makers to invest and provide other forms of assistance.
The machine uses reusable nylon-polymer beads to clean clothes. Because of the composition of the beads, it has an inherent polarity that attracts stains. The beads are simply put into the machine with the dirty laundry along with a dash of detergent and as little as a cup of water.
The water dissolves the stains, while the beads, because of the presence of humidity, become absorbent, and soak up the dirty water. What is noteworthy is that the water is not just attracted to the surface of the beads but rather gets collected at its centre, thus ensuring the cloth does not become dirty again as it rubs against the beads.
The user does not have to worry about separating the beads as the machine does it automatically for him or her. Besides, the beads do not need to be cleaned and can last for months on end.
Apart from using little water, the machine also conserves electricity. To be more specific, it uses only about 2% of the energy that conventional machines use because of the elimination of the rinse and spin cycles. Also, since little water is used, there is no need for the provision of a power-hungry. It also cuts down on carbon dioxide emissions.
The researchers hope the machine will hit the markets by next year.