WashAway is a hand-powered washing machine designed for India's lower middle class. It is a context-fitting and accessible solution for the time-consuming and physically demanding chore of laundering by hand — an activity that in millions of households takes place on a daily basis.
Based upon thorough research, WashAway is specifically fit for the Indian culture with its deep-rooted laundry routines, its limited household amenities and scarce access to water and electricity. WashAway is designed with local production facilities in mind but most importantly — it cleans and treats garments better than current methods while dramatically reducing the time required. Because of this, WashAway has the potential to significantly improve the situation of millions of housewives in India and other countries worldwide.
When in upright position, the reservoir below WashAway's drum is filled with water and soap. Next, the laundry is inserted. When placed on its side, the water and laundry are mixed. The drum can then be rotated using the folding handle at the rear. When finished, the product is placed upright again, separating the laundry from the water and soap. In this way, the water, that is only available for 2 hours per day, can be reused for another laundry cycle at any convenient moment.
Next to drawing the attention of several NGOs, WashAway was a finalist in a startup competition jointly organized by the Massachussetts Institute of Technology and YES!Delft.
As my graduation project, I performed the whole project entirely on my own. From performing research on culture, users and laundry context and routines, visiting local production facilities to concept development, mechanical engineering, building a fully-functional 1:1 prototype, CAD design and preparing the product for mass production.
Over the course of a 5 month stay in India, I observed and interviewed more than 100 women doing laundry to map out all factors relevant to the introduction and acceptance of a human-powered washing machine — not only functional, but also cultural and psychological. Additionally, concept, prototype and final design have been tested with end users multiple times throughout the project.