Over the past few years, new washing machines have become much more efficient, both in energy and water use, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. Always making sure you have a full load and only using cold water is the best way to use your machine if you have one at home, but for those wanting to save even more energy and water, there haven't been many options other than hand-washing.
A new electricity-free washer that is powered by a foot pedal could be just what people wanting to move farther off the grid have been looking for.
The Yirego Drumi is 22 inches tall and spins a small load of clothing, water and detergent in the interior ball drum when the pedal is pumped. It can accommodate six to seven pieces, or 5 pounds, of clothing at a time, which keeps it from being a good substitute for a family of four, but it would be suitable for a couple living in a tiny home, camping trips, college students or anyone looking to run their machine less.
It would also come in handy during power outages or when you're trying to avoid running a load until you have enough to fill your machine.
The company that makes the Drumi says that it uses 80 percent less water and detergent than a typical washing machine. Each load requires 10 liters of water: five liters for a wash cycle and then another five liters for the rinse. The total wash time is only about 6 minutes, with a wash cycle taking up to three minutes depending on how many items you place in it, a rinse cycle only taking two minutes and then one additional minute for spinning out excess water.
The lid of the Drumi can be used to measure out the water and it also features a push button for draining the water at the end of each cycle. Because the washer drains out from the bottom, it could be set up either in a bathtub or shower or outside.
The washer is available for pre-order for $129 until the end of June when Yirego will be launching a crowd-funding campaign to manufacture the units. The estimated delivery date is July 2016 for anyone in Canada and the U.S. Here's hoping they come up with a larger-sized unit too.
You can watch a video of the Drumi in action below.