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This hand-cranked off-grid washing machine could help 5 billion people save a lot of time and effort

Source: Facebook/thewashingmachineproject

A Bath University student has invented a poverty-busting and time-saving manual washing machine so that women or children don’t have to spend 20 hours a week handwashing clothes.

Did you know that 70% of the world’s population lacks access to an electric washing machine?

Handwashing clothes sounds like a simple task, but for many women around the world it poses a significant obstacle to their wellbeing and livelihood. By providing displaced and low-income communities with an accessible, off-grid washing solution, The Washing Machine Project’s mission is to empower women with the time to take charge over their lives.

With a plastic drum, plywood and a few secret components, this London-based engineer has created a rudimentary washing machine that he says can ease the workload for families with little power or water.
Nav Sawhney’s hand-cranked washing machines are helping families living in refugee camps who struggle to hand-wash their clothes. With a plastic drum, plywood and a few secret components, this London-based engineer has created a rudimentary washing machine that he says can ease the workload for families with little power or water. Source: Facebook/thewashingmachineproject

“A mother or a child doesn’t have to spend 20 hours a week handwashing clothes,”

“A mother or a child doesn’t have to spend 20 hours a week handwashing clothes,” Nav Sawhney, an engineering student at Bath University, told Oxfam in 2020. Nav has created a manual, portable, washing machine.

Divya, a woman Nav met in southern India, first sparked the idea when she explained the struggle of washing clothes without a machine. This time-consuming, physical burden is often shouldered by women and girls in developing countries.

Now, Nav’s washing machines – which he named Divya after the woman who inspired them – could free up time for women and young girls to pursue education and paid work.

Source: Oxfam

We are trying to alleviate the burden of handwashing clothes for women all over the world by providing a manual off-grid washing solution. Our Divya's will make washing clothes faster and easier, giving precious time back to women.
Women often carry a disproportionate burden hand washing clothes a task which can take up to to 20 hours per week. We are trying to alleviate the burden of handwashing clothes for women all over the world by providing a manual off-grid washing solution. Our Divya’s will make washing clothes faster and easier, giving precious time back to women. Source: Facebook/thewashingmachineproject

Sawhney came up with a plan for an affordable hand-crank machine

After research in Iraq, Lebanon, the Philippines and Jordan, as well as India – he came up with a machine that uses only 10 litres of water a cycle, compared with 30 by a typical electric machine, crucial in places where water is short. It’s also made out of off-the-shelf components that are easy to replace.

Sawhney and his fellow volunteers won a grant from Bath University to help the project, and already received orders from Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, as well as from the UNHCR for refugees in Jordan.

Source: TheGuardian 

Azza haǵi Aleas is 49 years old and lives in a household of 10 with no access to an electric washing machine. The responsibility of handwashing everyone's clothes falls to her. She spends 8-12 hours every week on the task and describes how the required body position of squatting and sitting on her feet causes her back pain, numbness, and joint pain.
What would you do with your time if you could spend less time washing your clothes? “Paid work.” Azza haǵi Aleas is 49 years old and lives in a household of 10 with no access to an electric washing machine. The responsibility of handwashing everyone’s clothes falls to her. She spends 8-12 hours every week on the task and describes how the required body position of squatting and sitting on her feet causes her back pain, numbness, and joint pain. Source: Facebook/thewashingmachineproject
The Innovation Lab is a volunteer-led organisation who made all 50 washing machines with 75 volunteers from all over the UK.
Together with the Iraq Response Innovation Lab, Oxfam installed 50 of Nav’s machines in an Iraqi refugee camp. The Innovation Lab is a volunteer-led organisation who made all 50 washing machines with 75 volunteers from all over the UK. Source: Facebook/thewashingmachineproject
Brilliant! How these hand-cranked, off-grid washing machines can help 5 billion people save time and effort. The Washing Machine Project. Source: Facebook/BrightVibes

14-YEAR-OLD INDIAN SCHOOLGIRL INVENTS A PEDAL-POWERED WASHING MACHINE FOR THOSE WITH NO ELECTRICITY

The inventor of the off-grid washing machine-cum-exercise-bike made from recycled cycle parts even won a National Award for her design. Remya Jose, now in her 20s, from Kerala, India, is a gifted innovator with a number of ingenious inventions to her credit. The washing-cum-exercise bike that she developed when she was just 14 years old received a National Innovation Award from former Indian President Abdul Kalam. Learn more.

Make an Impact

HOW TO BECOME A YOUNG INVENTOR (WITH PICTURES)

Are you an elementary or high school student with a head bursting with invention ideas? You might not know what to do with all of these ideas or how to turn them into workable inventions. Maybe you don’t have any ideas yet, but want to know how to come up with them. With some research, planning, and prototyping, you can come up with ideas and then make these ideas into a working device. Here’s wiki-How.