giradora foot powered washer and spin dryer
giradora foot powered washer and spin dryer
aug 03, 2012

giradora foot powered washer and spin dryer

‘giradora’ by alex cabunoc and ji a you

alex cabunoc and ji a you based in los angeles have developed ‘giradora’, a human-powered washer and spin dryer which has been designed to increase the efficiency and experience of washing clothes in areas which do not have access to running water. the project evolved while the two were students at the art center college of design where they were challenged by a south american NGO to create a product as part of their ‘safe agua peru’ – a project that alleviates water poverty in the slums of lima, peru.

travelling to the neglected area of cerro verde, peru, cabunoc and you conducted first-hand field research, and realized the livelihoods of families depended on clean clothes – whether for work or children’s school uniforms, clothes needed to be presentable – but with no running water or drainage, and difficult conditions to trek to retrieve water, what might seem like the simple task of hand-washing clothes, is in fact quite challenging. based on additional research, they found washing clothes on average takes up to six hours per day, 3-5 times a week and can poses health risks including tenosynovitis from the constant wringing of clothes; chronic lower back pain from squatting; hand pain from cold water; asthma as mold clothes can take up to three weeks to dry in the winter.  

the ‘giradora’ seeks to make the process of cleaning more ergonomic, economic, and ecological in the long run.

giradora foot powered washer and spin dryer the user sits upong the drum-like basin which is powered by foot making it ergonomic

targeted towards families earning between 4-10 USD per day, the resulting unit costs less than 40 USD. the design is composed of a drum whose shape is similar to that of a water barrel. within the basin there is the main washing tub which is then covered by a cushioned lid. the user is meant to sit atop the appliance and pump the pedal at the base of the cylinder with her foot – a more ergonomic position in which they are no longer constantly leaning over a wash basin. this action agitates the water, cleaning and rinsing the garments inside. when water is released the same action spin dries. cabunoc and you have conceived ‘giradora’ so that it is comfortable and economic, while doubling productivity and increasing health. by being foot-powered, the user’s hands are removed from being in contact with cold water, the use of water is reduced as things are rinsed more efficiently, and the risk of tenosynovitis from wringing clothes is eliminated as one’s hands are no longer doing all of the work.

giradora foot powered washer and spin dryer the design is lightweight making it easy to carry

giradora foot powered washer and spin dryer the washing system is powered by one’s foot pumping the integrated pedal mechanism which agitates the water and cleans the clothes

giradora foot powered washer and spin dryer illustration of the ‘giradora’ in use

giradora foot powered washer and spin dryer testing out preliminary concepts

giradora foot powered washer and spin dryer exploded view of the proposed design

giradora foot powered washer and spin dryer product use: 1. place clothing inside ‘giradora’. 2. fill bucket with water, a couple inches above clothing. 3. add detergent. 4. the user sits on the lid of the appliance. 5. the user pumps the pedal with her foot, which agitates, cleans, rinses then spin-dries clothes. 6. a drain makes it easy to capture grey water in a tub for re-use. giradora foot powered washer and spin dryer the design team selected a color palette based on peruvian ‘cultura chicha’ known for its bright colors and folk patterns

‘giradora’ information video video courtesy of team giradora

hands in the mist – a short documentary in collaboration with latin american NGO, un techo para mi pais and its innovation centre. the film follows the design matters safe agua peru project. video courtesy of erik anderson

‘giradora’ has won an international design excellence award and has been nominated in fastcompany’s 2012 innovation by design awards.

  • The wonder washer is not the same, as it is hand powered and this is foot powered and as it is only a washing machine while this is an all in one, and is an inferior concept to the model proposed by the op. I have a wonder washer myself. Having to kneel over it and turn the crank by hand (I switch sides so neither arm is strained more than the other) is okay for me but for someone who is elderly or handicapped it would be difficult to impossible. Additionally the GiraDora seems to offer the ability to use it as a spin dryer as well. My current drying method involves trying to wring out the clothing by hand hanging it to drip over night and then usually wearing a wet set of clothing the next day or two because of how long it takes to dry. Yes the company that makes the wonder washer makes a dryer I could buy but it is a separate unit and electric powered. I would ditch mine and buy this in a heartbeat if it were ready for sale

  • Just frogging GOOGLE hand powered wash machine….duh!
    For those too damnably last to use the web……look up wonder washer.

    Get off your dead assets and figure it out!

  • I would like to buy one for my use and also contribute to your project. No info about these options is on your site, but the interest is clearly there. When your group has a moment, could you respond please?
    Cheers and ta!

  • This washing machine is a perfect addition to allow my family to further go off grid and save resources. How, when and where can I purchase one? If they are not going to be available in the US, could you offer a set of plans and material list? It is a wonderful thing that you are doing in undeveloped nations however there is a movement in the US to take a few steps back to the sanity of the way things were. I truly look forward to our next communication

    Thank you in advance for any information,
    Jeff Lockhart
    Branson, MO.

    Jeffrey Lockhart
  • Can you please tell me how i could get a GiraDora washer please.
    Thank you!

  • I would like two please.

  • I plan to go to an off the grid lifestyle soon and I would really need your washing machine. Please tell me how I can buy one. thank you victoria

    victoria Holliday
  • I would like to buy GiraDora washer.
    Thank you

    Mark Markovic
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