Tiny beads and less water - the future of the washing machine?
Just what kind of unhinged madness from hell is THIS then? The future of washing machines? 90% less water than we use now? Beads? BEADS??
And get this; once the beads have reached the end of their working life in the washing machine, they can be recycled and used to make, among other things, car dashboards. No, really.
The idea is that thousands of the tiny beads flood the drum of the washing machine and do the job that good old hot water and soap powder do now. What’s more, the beads can be used hundreds of time before they need to be replaced. Cowabunga, as someone over there just roared.
If it takes off, it’ll bring dry-cleaning into the home and save over 40 gallons of water a year in the UK alone. It’s probably way over 40 gallons to be precise – we don’t have an exact number and thought it would be best to hedge our bets at the bottom end of the scale.
It’s a system that’s been devised by a chap called Bill Westwater (nice) and his company Xeros, and Bill reckons it could be mass-produced by the end of 2011. Bill says that: “The net saving in water, detergent and electricity and including the cost of the beads, we calculate, is about a 30% cost saving for the user.”
He reckons the machine has been tested successfully on a range of stains including mud, red wine, curry stains and ink from ballpoint pens. Coming soon – grown-up versions of those kids’ ovens that run on ice? Hope so.