Portable washing machine concept folds down like a collapsible silicone cup

We live in an age of many conveniences enhanced by technology, and yet there are still some things that remain as burdensome as they were centuries ago. Sure, we now have smart washing machines that can go through each step of the process automatically without human intervention, but there are still aspects of the task that need to be done manually. This is especially true for certain types of clothing that may be too delicate to clump together with everything else. Washing machines themselves can be quite a literal burden due to their size, limiting their use to just one location. While it may be fine for general use, there are some more specific needs that are not met by regular washing machines. These corner boxes are what this design concept is trying to address, and it takes its unique shape after a popular style of reusable coffee cups.

Designer: Kai Xia

Today’s most advanced washing machines can wash, empty, spin, dry and refill water on their own. However, they cannot separate clothes based on color or prevent delicates from getting mixed up in the pile. This still has to be done manually, and on some occasions people have to wash smaller or more delicate clothes by hand. Large washing machines can also be a bit overkill for people who live alone, especially if they can take the larger clothes to a laundromat or similar. What they need is a smaller machine, which is what this folding washing machine design is aiming for.

If the basic design of this washing machine looks a little too familiar, you may have seen one too many collapsible cups. In fact, these two things share a lot of similar characteristics in that regard, with the top part of the structure folding down onto the smaller base into a shorter and more portable unit that you can carry around or even store. And like a silicone cup, this concept also uses thermoplastic elastomer or TPE to make it more resistant to aging, yellowing and corrosion. Unfortunately, that material is not the most long-lasting or the most sustainable option available.

Despite its rather deceptive appearance, it is still a washing machine, but one designed for a very specific purpose. The low power consumption and limited capacity means it can run at gentler speeds, providing the perfect settings for washing smaller clothes or those made of sensitive material. Although it sounds unnecessary to have another washing machine, assuming you already have a regular one, it is certainly better to have to wash the few parts yourself.

The collapsible washing machine is also designed for a specific demographic, particularly single-person households trying to save both space and expense. The machine does not take up too much space, but it can be compressed even more when not in use. Electricity and water consumption is also significantly lower than a normal washing machine. As a bonus, it can also be equipped with antimicrobial blue light to disinfect clothes, which is especially useful for underwear or baby clothes.

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