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Singapore Students Invent Waterless Washing Machine

Mon, Nov 21, 2005

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Waterless Washing Machine

Two Industrial Design students from the National Univeristy of Singapore (NUS) are the first Asians to win the Design Lab Award at the international Electrolux Design Lab 2005 competition! Their product? A waterfall-inspired washing unit that require neither water nor detergents. Need I say more? Imagine the amount of water it can save!

Gabriel Tan and Wendy Chua, both third year students in NUS, beat 3,000 other students from over 88 countries. Ahh…you two make me proud to be a Singaporean!

“Called Airwash, the waterfall-inspired washing unit is waterless and does not use detergents. Instead, it utilises negative ions, compressed air and deodorants to clean clothes. By using atmospheric air and negative ions � a natural cleansing agent � it fights dirt and bacteria with nature’s own weapon. Airwash is also designed to be placed anywhere in the home, instead of the designated laundry area.”

- National Univeristy of Singapore

As good as it seems, The Straits Times has quoted Wendy Chua as saying it’s not meant to replace the traditional washing machines. But more a hybrid of the washing machine and the dry cleaner. Bummer…

There should be a strong market for this if it’s not too costly. After all, a large portion of potential buyers will likely be those looking to save some money on water usage.


Update 1: Here are some pictures of the Airwash, Airwash’s inventors, and some other worthy products showcased at the Electrolux Design Lab 2005 competition.


Update 2: “I’ve heard of this for the future of space travel. they should expect NASA to be knocking on their door soon.”BLACKANGEL32076

I don’t know much about space travel, but this is perhaps the most qualified comment around the web so far. Everyone, including myself, has been thinking about home usage. But yeah, what about space travel usage? The water saved could mean a lot. Any experts in the spacecraft field could give a comment?


Source: thegadgetblog.com

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This post was written by:

Leon - who has written 798 posts on hiptechblog.com.


28 Comments For This Post

  1. Andrew Says:

    No water, no detergents, could you use it for “Dry Clean Only?”

  2. pnmerk Says:

    So I guess it will also help people that are allergic to soap.

  3. deyjvu Says:

    Could this be a replacement for drycleaning???

  4. Pankaj gupta Says:

    Nice site and nice feel.

  5. SigiL Says:

    Hey, I didn’t catch any product demos on the site. Were the designers required to build working prototypes? How will these work? I’m not sure negative ions will do the job?

    Just curious :) Really pretty designs though.

  6. Kamana Says:

    yea great product eh…

  7. Ramalia Says:

    Does it clean well then?

  8. Lasse Says:

    Will one pair of my jeans fit in there? It seems pretty small. Let’s say it’s a men’s product then. Not for girls with wal-in closets

  9. Bealz Says:

    Although not completely waterless, a sonic cleaning method was invented several years ago that cleaned clothes in a tiny amount of water with no soap or “deodorants” necessary. The big detergent makers got wind of it and bought the guy out, nothing has been heard of it since!

  10. Lundmark Says:

    It will clean odor and dust off clothes, but will not remove wrinkles or any sort of stains. The natural oil secreted by your skin will be unaffected.

  11. Jack Says:

    Maybe we can use it to replace the shower…

    Imagine.. waterless & soapless shower! woo hoo!

  12. Dave Says:

    It’s 2005 we should also be drving in gasless cars and running off of “free energy”. However, thanks to the oil giants and gas companies, this will never happen. Good luck to the company who tries to license this thing. The people from tide will have their panties in a bunchle if the “water-free washer” goes on the market. Godspeed to the designers.

  13. instantDisbelief Says:

    Hey Sigil:
    and i quote “beat 3,000 other students from over 88 countries”
    do you really think that they don’t know what they’re talking about? ofcourse they had to make a working prototype, you cant beat out 3000 other students with just some ideas scribbled on paper.
    and you dont think negative ions would work? um…are you even entirely skilled in the area of “negative ions”?

  14. legit freebies Says:

    Whoa!! That is very interesting indeed

  15. Just A Thought Says:

    It’s another step to what washing would be like in the future, but with this design… are there no atmospheric effect to the environment?

    Here are the things we can see that has taken affect; no water needed… but with air.

    I’m assuming that it works like a vacum cleaner, with either air blowing towards or sucking inwards (or maybe changeable methods) to remove dirt from materials attached to the machine at appropriate speeds, and all excess dirt particles will be caught with a filter intact… just like the theory of a vacum would do.

    But with the method of ‘airwash’, which requires air… does that mean there would be some kind of an effect on the actual ‘air’ itself? Cause the used air has to leave somewhere!

    The dirt released won’t be filtered 100% and the smell caused by the dirt which eventually becomes dust and flows discreetly (not to the human eye) within the air that we breath in.

    Although this waterless washing machine is still in the early stages of progression, as a result of this… the air being effected has to be taken into account, as when the product reaches household consumers, we expect it to be environmental friendly (or as save as possible).

    The current way of washing may use a fair amount of water, but indeed it drowns dirt particles in the water, which that keeps the air we breath at home saver.

    We may still use water for washing machines… but it gets recycled to clean water (as clean as water can be and which we eventually get to use again), so it’s still not as bad as having unclean air to breath in instantly, which doesn’t get recycled quick enough in the atmosphere!

    All that being said and taken into account, it’s only the beginning of what we can ‘try’ and do at this day of age towards the future of inventions of what we can use ‘lack of’ or ‘instead of’ in order for us humans to be more environent friendly!

  16. Herman Says:

    Uh, as far as I know, the ionized material would actually act as a filter by pulling the dirt particles away from the air, and would collect, so it isn’t bad when concerning the air quality of your home, a lot of air filters also work in this fashion, where a piece of metal is magnetized by running a current through it, and this piece of metal traps airborne stuff because it is magnetized… I don’t remember exactly, but meh =P… I’ll look at the product details now

  17. Dan Says:

    This will be very useful for anyone because it is a washing machine which requires no plumbing! It could be used in hotel rooms, in caravans, in student lodgings. The space-station point is great too…

    This is the ’sonic-shower’ from Straw Trekkz.

  18. Ashton Says:

    Interesting, I wonder when we will have that.

  19. narcoleptic Says:

    am i the only one who thinks this is another useless quack invention like the segway?

  20. Joe Pomerening Says:

    What about clothes that are soaked in sweat? I don’t see how this will be effective enough to remove the stench of body odor if the clothes are wet.

  21. JRS Says:

    I won’t say it is impossible as I have no knowledge of the physics of ionic properties–beyond the fact that those ionic air cleaners sure made Hammacher Schlemmer some nice profits. HOWEVER, since the entire difficulty in stain removal is trying to separate two substances (and in many cases not dissimilar when it comes to “dyes” and “stains” and organic fibers from organic stains) from eachother, I have skepticism regarding Airwash’s stain removal and cleaning properties.

    Perhaps if you are interested in replacing your bottle of Febreeze with contemporary furniture–it may find a nice niche.

  22. Michael Says:

    Great invention, I hope it gets better and cheaper!!

  23. lava Says:

    How often to replace filters and how much would they cost?

  24. esther Says:

    how use the air wash

  25. ijay Says:

    ehh…i wana to noe more abt tis waterless washin machine can ani 1 tell mi more?huh?plz…

  26. PSP games Says:

    Very nice design product. ^^

  27. Nishant Says:

    [Comment ID #318 Will Be Quoted Here]

    what will be the approximate price range of this product…?

  28. Chris Says:

    The Principal is very sound I was debating on having my 3 faux fur blankets dry cleaned and decided to experimint when inspired by this technology. We have the Negative Ion Air Filtration system in our furnace and air conditioner and when I vacumed the blankets over the filters I was amazed at how well it eliminated the cat odors and stale smells from them. Perhaps it isn’t truly clean but they certainly no longer have that old smell to them delaying a costly dry cleaning bill. It was however good exercise! Thanks for the inspiration!

17 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. backwhack » :: Singapore Students Invent Waterless Washing Machine :: Keep abreast of the latest tech gadget. Stay hip! :: hiptechblog.com Says:

    [...] :: Singapore Students Invent Waterless Washing Machine :: Keep abreast of the latest tech gadget. Stay hip! :: hiptechblog.com wo Industrial Design students from the National Univeristy of Singapore (NUS) are the first Asians to win the Design Lab Award at the international Electrolux Design Lab 2005 competition! Their product? A waterfall-inspired washing unit that require neither water nor detergents. Need I say more? Imagine the amount of water it can save! Filed under: tech Comments: [...]

  2. Bloggus | Blog de Tecnología, Actualidad y Curiosidades desde Guayaquil, Ecuador » Blog Archive » Lavadora de ropa sin agua Says:

    [...] Nota completa gracias a hiptechblog.com y The Gadget Blog. [...]

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    [...] read more | digg story [...]

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    [...] Source: [HipTechBlog] [...]

  5. roblog » Blog Archive » Wasserlose Waschmaschine Says:

    [...] Unglaublich Hiptechblog.com berichtet von zwei Industrie Design Studenten der National Univeristy of Singapore, welche eine Waschmaschine erfunden haben, die ohne Wasser wäscht. Den gesamten Artikel gibts hier [...]

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    [...] Singapore Students Invent Waterless Washing Machine – Not really sure what I can add to that, seems like there is definately a potential market as we move ever closer to a world wide water shortage… Comment on the page also implies a possible usage in space which makes sense to me as long as it dosn’t require a well ventilated space. [...]

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  14. :: Congreso de ratones :: Says:

    [...] lavadora sin agua ni detergente Realmente alucinante Two Industrial Design students from the National Univeristy of Singapore (NUS) are the first Asians to win the Design Lab Award at the international Electrolux Design Lab 2005 competition! Their product? A waterfall-inspired washing unit that require neither water nor detergents. Need I say more? Imagine the amount of water it can save! Gabriel Tan and Wendy Chua, both third year students in NUS, beat 3,000 other students from over 88 countries. Ahh…you two make me proud to be a Singaporean! “Called Airwash, the waterfall-inspired washing unit is waterless and does not use detergents. Instead, it utilises negative ions, compressed air and deodorants to clean clothes. By using atmospheric air and negative ions � a natural cleansing agent � it fights dirt and bacteria with nature’s own weapon. Airwash is also designed to be placed anywhere in the home, instead of the designated laundry area.” – National Univeristy of Singapore As good as it seems, The Straits Times has quoted Wendy Chua as saying it’s not meant to replace the traditional washing machines. But more a hybrid of the washing machine and the dry cleaner. Bummer… There should be a strong market for this if it’s not too costly. After all, a large portion of potential buyers will likely be those looking to save some money on water usage. Escrito por Guillermo (0) Comentarios • (0) Referencias • Permalink [...]

  15. Harry Maugans - Technology, BMWs, and Business » Blog Archive » Singapore Students Invent Waterless Washing Machine Says:

    [...] Called Airwash, the washing unit is waterless and does not use detergents. Not even steam!read more | digg story [...]

  16. La lavadora sin agua - FayerWayer Says:

    [...] Link: Singapore Students Invent Waterless Washing Machine (HipTechBlog) [...]

  17. Chappysmom » Tuesday Stuff Says:

    [...] A couple cute links. Like, this site where you can time the speed it takes to type the alphabet. And how cool is this? A washing machine that doesn’t use water. Just a prototype, but so, so cool! That’s almost as nifty as the Scooba, which I would dearly love to have. Mopping floors and I do not get along. And do you exercise? You do? Are you sure? How about your eyes? Another fun little quiz [...]

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