Water is a precious resource and in places like Australia and the U.K., the onset of summer coincides with restrictions on water use – hosepipes for watering gardens are banned, and showers are recommended over baths. But even taking a shower uses a fair amount of water, which all ends up down the drain. The same goes for doing laundry. If only there was a way to combine the two into one unified unit.
There is, or at least there could be in the future. Four university students in Turkey have collectively designed Washit, a concept shower and washing machine combo that's capable of cleaning you and your clothes simultaneously.
Washit uses a closed-water plumbing system that collects the greywater from the shower outlet and stores it in a tank ready for washing laundry. Before the greywater reaches your clothes it passes through a series of three filters - carbon, organic, and chemical - to ensure your laundry doesn't emerge dirtier than when it went in to the machine. These filters can be removed for cleaning or replacement at any time.
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The designers of Washit imagine the appliance will be used both in domestic and public settings. In a domestic setting the washing machine door is on the outside so that laundry can be deposited at any time. But in a public setting this would be switched around so that the door is on the inside. The user could then step in to the shower and remove their clothing in situ ready for washing. Washit can then dry the clothes ready for the user to put them back on before they leave the unit in the same outfit as they were wearing when they entered. Except both the user and their clothes would be clean and fresh.
The Washit concept won the Hansgrohe Prize 2012: Efficient Water Design at the iF Concept Design Awards, with the judges noting, "This is an interesting combination ... a clever solution: identical components, resource-saving, aesthetic appeal, hygienic." The students are now at the prototyping stage, and figuring out the best way to take Washit from concept to reality.