Good Thinking

Venus turns a bucket into a washing machine

The Venus works with a user-supplied bucket, to wash up to 2.5 kg of clothing in one cycle
The Venus works with a user-supplied bucket, to wash up to 2.5 kg of clothing in one cycle
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The Venus works with a user-supplied bucket, to wash up to 2.5 kg of clothing in one cycle
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The Venus works with a user-supplied bucket, to wash up to 2.5 kg of clothing in one cycle
A pledge of US$45 will get you a Venus, when and if they're ready to go
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A pledge of US$45 will get you a Venus, when and if they're ready to go

We've certainly seen portable washing machines before here at Gizmag, although they've tended to be quite small and/or human-powered. There are higher-capacity electric models, which are more like their full-sized counterparts. The Venus, however, takes yet another approach. It's an electric agitator, that goes into a bucket supplied by the user.

The device runs off a standard household current, and is simply clamped onto the side of a 20-liter or larger bucket. You then add water and detergent, flip the power switch, then add items of clothing a few at a time as the water churns. Up to 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) of material can be washed in one cycle, which takes about five minutes.

Inventor Piyush Agarwalla created the Venus with several applications in mind.

First and foremost, he'd like to see it used by people in developing nations. Often these people can't afford a proper washing machine, they don't have room for one in their small home, or they don't have the necessary plumbing. As a result women will spend hours hunched over, washing clothes by hand and injuring their backs, shoulders and hips in the process.

According to Agarwalla, the Venus also requires less water than would be required to wash the equivalent amount of clothing by hand. Third-world users would need access to an electrical outlet with the current version, although a battery-powered model is in the works.

A pledge of US$45 will get you a Venus, when and if they're ready to go
A pledge of US$45 will get you a Venus, when and if they're ready to go

The device could also be used by campers, students without on-site laundry facilities, or for washing items that are too heavily-soiled to go straight into a regular washing machine.

It's already in limited production in India, although Piyush hopes to make it more accessible by driving its price down through mass production. To that end, he's currently raising funds on Indiegogo. A pledge of US$45 will get you a Venus, when and if they're ready to go. You can see a demonstration of one in the video below.

For another example of a washing machine designed to make life easier for people in developing nations, check out the foot pedal-powered GiraDora.

Source: Indiegogo

8 comments
Bob Flint
Spills a lot of water out, so the apartment below gets your dirty soapy water?
Rehab
If you have power to run it I am sure you could find an old ringer washer that would out perform this one, The foot pedal machine by Gira Dora seems to be a much better fit for the intended market. Fantastic effort and perhaps there are those that can take advantage of this. One thing that has always amazed me is the poor of Mexico. So many of them have so little and yet they, especially their children are always spotless and usually wearing white. Perhaps you should find out how they achieve this?
JimPike
What a truly great idea!!! As one who has done laundry by hand (too many years ago before we had the money for a wringer washer...) it was time consuming and difficult, especially washing the thick workman's coveralls and jeans. I hope to get several of the Venus. One is for myself to do my small hand wash articles that cannot tolerate the motion of my washing machine, and if they can, uses 5 gallons of water on the smallest cycle plus the extra detergent to accommodate water volume... One is for a disabled lady in assisted housing who cannot have a washing machine in her unit and cannot get to a laundromat even if she had the funds, and one is for someone whose hands are affected with severe RA and will use the unit for the same reasons as I. Only people who have to wash jeans, sheets, towels and everything else by hand will understand the godsend this is to people who spend hours every week to keep themselves and their families clean. Try washing your white shirts, day after day and year after year, by hand as they do in Mexico and you will have a better understanding of how difficult and time consuming it is. And no, there is no need to flood the person in the apt. under you. Just place the bucket in the shower or tub, or put less water in the pail initially and add more when the clothes are in the water when splashing will be less. Dahhhhhh!!!
Jay Finke
I like the size, I could always rustle up a 5 gallon bucket. and the naysayers have never done it by hand, this is a cool product and could be stored in numerous places, ready to make life easier !
pmshah
The first washing machine in the Indian market was Everest with SS tub, more like a mini drum and an impeller at the bottom which vigorously circulated the water without tearing up the clothes. It did not do a great job of washing but it found a fantastic alternative use. A churning machine for making butter ! The price and volume was just right for most small size farmers in the state of Punjab. Today for under $ 100/= I can buy a twin tub washing machine capable of handling about 3 Kg load. Why would I even think of buying this contraption ?
Magnetron
I hope this machine catches on but I have to say that the grid power side of it certainly limits it. I would prefer to see a simple solar panel charging a battery to operate it, however this will add to the cost for sure. I have to travel a lot and try to combine my washing with showering. I simply put my clothes on the floor of the shower and walk around on them and let the soap do the rest of the work. They get rinsed when I do. It works well for me and saves on power and water.
Vasuki Nag
Great idea. When mass manufactured, I can see this selling at $20 - $30 which would be great for developing countries and also for travellers. Spilling water is no problem, if you wash inside bath tub or wash basin. Also, final rinsing can be done by adding more fresh water without soap to the same bucket with the device.
VimBas Navrachna
@Bob Flint The reason you see water being split out of the bucket is for the reason that we used a 16.5 liter bucket in the demonstration video. This was to demonstrate that even in a small bucket, this machine works. We normally recommend a 25 liter (6 to 6.5 gallon) bucket for ideal washing. We will soon change the video and you will see that with a 25 liter bucket, there is hardly any water spillage.