14-year-old creates washing machine for people who can’t afford electricity.
Remya Jose dreams of becoming a doctor, and won’t let anything get in her way, which in this case happens to be the dirty laundry – a task that fell to her and her twin sister when their parents fell ill. Instead of complaining like the average teenager, Remya decided to make short work of the daily task by building a washing machine of her own. It swaps out electricity for mechanical power, and offers an affordable alternative for anyone in India willing to try and build one.
After drawing up a basic diagram, Remya’s father took it to a nearby automobile workshop. To make sure everything went according to plan, the 14-year-old even paid a visit to the mechanics so she could explain exactly what she wanted.
The washing machine consists of a large aluminium container fitted with a horizontal cylinder made of iron net wire. To use the machine you just have to add your dirty laundry, fill it with water and some detergent, let everything soak for 10 minutes, and then pedal for three or four minutes. For the best results, you can also drain the dirty water, refill the barrel and repeat. Centrifugal forces created by pedalling mean it’s also possible to get clothes about 80% dry with the machine.
In rural areas of India, most people can’t afford an electric washing machine, and even if they could, the cost of electricity might also prove too much. That’s what makes this pedal-powered alternative perfect, especially as it costs just over $30 to build. Being portable, it’s easy to share with others in the community, or transport to the river if that’s the nearest water source.