Alex Cabunoc, based in Los Angeles, has developed ‘ Giradora ’, a human-powered washer and spin dryer which has been designed to increase the efficiency and experience of washing clothes in areas which do not have access to running water and power. This could be used with great advantage in a grid-down scenario, off-grid homestead or cabin, and even while camping!
The project evolved at the Art Center College of Design, where students were challenged by a South American NGO to create a product as part of their ‘Safe Agua Peru’ project, aiming to alleviate water poverty in the slums of Lima, Peru.
The Giradora seeks to make the process of cleaning more ergonomic, economic, and ecological in the long run.
The design is composed of a drum, whose shape is similar to that of a water barrel. Within the basin, there is the main washing tub which is then covered by a cushioned lid. The user is meant to sit atop the appliance and pump the pedal at the base of the cylinder with her foot – a more ergonomic position in which they are no longer constantly leaning over a wash basin. This action agitates the water, cleaning and rinsing the garments inside.
When water is released, the same action spin dries. Being foot-powered, the user’s hands are removed from being in contact with cold water, the use of water is reduced as things are rinsed more efficiently, and the risk of tenosynovitis from wringing clothes is eliminated as one’s hands are no longer doing all of the work.
1. Place clothing inside ‘ giradora ’.
2. Fill bucket with water, a couple inches above clothing.
3. Add detergent.
4. The user sits on the lid of the appliance.
5. The user pumps the pedal with her foot, which agitates, cleans, rinses then spin-dries clothes.
6. A drain makes it easy to capture grey water in a tub for re-use.
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