April 28, 2015 weblog
No-electric clothes washer appeals to pedal pushers
Did you say a washing machine "off the grid?" You mean a washing machine that does not need electricity? You work it with your foot? Small wonder that many sites this month have been picking up on the Yirego washer, which is tiny compared to conventional full-sized machines but potentially very useful nonetheless.
The Yirego is 22 inches tall; Andrew Liszewski of Gizmodo said, "If camping seems like fun but you'd prefer if roughing it wasn't so rough, the Drumi from Yirego is a compact portable washing machine that can clean around six or seven garments without the need for a power outlet, a generator, or even a sunny day to feed a solar panel."
Beyond travel, households may need backup washing aid in times of power outages; some people may just feel energy-conscious enough to use it as an in-between washer to reduce the carbon footprint. (The company said the washing machine uses 80 percent less water and detergent as a regular washing machine cycle.) Yet another user base might be dorm students and city bedsitter residents where very spare change, lost smart cards, minimal time and access to neighborhood self-service laundry facilities might not be so easy for a once-a-week laundry day.
Instead of hunting for a power outlet, forget about it. You power up the washer by stepping on a foot pedal. The washer can accommodate about six to seven items at a go. According to its makers, "It takes approximately one to three minutes for a washing cycle and an additional one to two minutes for a rinse cycle, depending on the size of the load and how much water has been added."
The machine holds up to five liters of water at once; the cleaning process takes ten liters of water—five for the wash and five for the rinse. The company said the lid of the Drumi can be used as a way to measure and add water; a push button allows for water drainage.
Jenny McGrath, home editor at Digital Trends, walked readers through the entire process. She said "you lift the plastic lid, add clothes to the drum, along with five liters of water. Close the lid and add the detergent to it. Pump the pedal for two minutes, then push the button to empty the soapy water. Add another five liters of water, pump the pedal for another two minutes, release the water, then pump for an additional minute to act as a 'spin cycle.' The pumping motion turns the rounded drum, tumbling the clothes inside."
Is the product ready for primetime?
A note on the company's site at the time of this writing said, "Thank you so much for your interest in our Drumi off-grid washing machine. Due to the large amount of traffic through our website, it has overloaded which has caused problems through our payment system. We apologize for the inconvenience. The amount of customers and distribution inquiries was far beyond our expectations- thank you!"
They also said, "We would like to extend our one time introductory pre-order price of $129.This offer will end at 12:00AM on June 29, 2015, before we finally launch our crowd-funding campaign." Estimated delivery is July 2016 with free shipping in Ontario and America-wide shipping for $40.
They also said they were on their way to accept international orders. They suggested subscribing to their mailing list for updates.
Toronto-based Yirego describes itself as a household design company. Its promoted niche is that it focuses on eco-friendly household products. Its goal is "to use as little energy as possible both during the manufacturing process and when our products are being used in your home."
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