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Vortex Laundry: Water Powered Laundry Kit for LEDC

Vortex Laundry is a sustainable, eco-friendly, and economical laundry kit by only using water energy for LEDC. It functions without using electricity, man power, and synthetic detergent.

What it does

It is designed to be used with existing plastic containers. It creates a vortex and enhance speed of the water. The ceramic balls replace the synthetic detergent. It is an eco-friendly washing machine that does not use any harmful substances and physical labor

Your inspiration

Limited people have access to the electric-powered washing machine. Hence people in LEDC do laundry at the riverside. Which requires intense physical labor and synthetic detergent cause severe water pollution. We wanted to deliver a design solution for these problems, therefore rather than physically doing laundry, people can use the time more qualitatively and save the environment. We realized that a lot of universal sizes of plastic containers are easy to find but easily thrown away. We aim to use those containers to be recycled and be used as a washing machine without man-power nor electric-powered at a cost-effective price.

How it works

When water flows into the machine, the cap of the small container with propeller allows the container to rotate while the water passes through. The speed of the water produces a strong vortex that hits the fabric of clothes and washes dirt out. As the propeller rotates the small container, the dirty laundry in the container rotates too. The cap of the small container also has a filter in the front to block any gravels entering. As a result, running water rotates and creates a torrent to separate the dirt in the fibers of the laundry. Small ceramic balls are attached to the propeller as a replacement of the synthetic detergent. Ceramic ball produces infrared ray and negative ions that make atomic particles gather around the dirt and washes out of fabric easily. Therefore, the ceramic balls exert strong cleaning power and deodorization power to make clean laundry.

Design process

Our initial design was using a single container with blades and bearing of the container. In our first prototype, we conducted an experiment to study to find an effective rotating solution only with water flow and the best possible solution to accelerate its speed. In our first experiment, our product had blades on the side. We realized that container facing front is the most effective way. But a better solution for the blade is needed so that water can easily pass through. Hence we iterated our design by replacing the blade into the propeller form. And we brought the propeller into the front of the container so that water can directly apply force. But, using a single container had limitations to use the most out of water energy. In our second iteration, we used containers into two-layered. It not only made water speed faster, but also created water vortex. The water vortex allowed faster effect to rotate the container and better solution to be a washing machine. Through our design iteration process and experiment, we were able to design Vortex Laundry.

How it is different

Vortex Laundry is a sustainable solution to enhance the life quality of LEDC people to do laundry without electricity and synthetic detergent. Since Vortex Laundry is relatively low in technology, very simple to assemble, and does not require electrical energy, it is suitable and efficient for new laundry solution. Using the flow of rivers instead of human power enhance life quality because people can use time more qualitatively than physically doing laundry. It is also eco-friendly because it only uses water energy and ceramic balls to replace synthetic detergent, which does not cause damage to the environment. The price is relatively cheap and cost-effective so that it is in an affordable range. Finally, it can be easily produced and delivered efficiently using as simple mechanisms as possible. We only deliver as small as possible so that it can be delivered internationally with a low shipping price so that anyone can use it.

Future plans

Currently, it converts the flow of water into rotational energy, enabling laundry. However, further research into fluid dynamics will lead to a stronger vortex. We are considering applying the Bernoulli equation to speed up the flow rate inside, and to induce a stronger vortex through the design research of the propeller. The current prototype allows water to flow inside at the same speed as the external river, but further research and design will allow water to stay inside a little longer so that the effect of ceramic balls can maximize washing performance. It can also be used as a dryer with the use of airflow instead of water.


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