At one point, it seems as though virtually everyone has sat in front of washing machine and watched the soaked clothes tumble through the suds. That tradition may be a thing of the past if a new “virtually waterless” laundry machine finds its way to the mainstream.
Although only in prototype stage, this new machine may be able to save up to 90% of water compared to a conventional machine and will also cut carbon emissions. Created by Xeros, this machine replaces the old school idea of cleaning clothes. The technology goes with full on chemistry advances by replacing the majority of the water with reusable nylon polymer beads, the machine can clean clothes in less time than traditional machines, and we see these waterless wonders then you can thank Professor Stephen Burkinshaw, from the University of Leeds who made the discovery that certain types of polymer beads could be used for cleaning.
We’re even more impressed that these machines will use significantly less detergent than normally required, and that the electricity savings can be increased further by reducing the need to tumble dry, assuming that all the happy homemakers out there don’t already hang their clothes on a line and dry them the old fashioned way.
No, we haven’t taken this new “waterless” bad boy for a spin (yet) but we’re impressed that Xeros commissioned an independent Life Cycle Assessment from URS Corporation. The report found that the process has the potential to display a significantly smaller carbon footprint than that of a conventional wash.
Xeros aims to have a commercially viable product in production by the end of 2010. Although we hate to get too lathered up about this “potential” it does seem like a product that we can get fired up about. Hopefully this won’t be a full load of greenwashing because we don’t want to be taken for a spin.
Now if only this washer can do something about those missing socks.