It’s counterintuitive–because more often than not, the technological solution is worse than the analog one–but washing dishes by hand actually uses around twice as much energy, and way more water, than the most efficient dishwashers on the market. And this tiny new dishwasher prototype uses even less water, and no electricity at all.
“The dishwasher is free from dependence on infrastructure,” says Israeli designer Chen Levin. Instead of plugging in, a hand crank on the side provides power for jets of water. A tablet made from sodium acetate heats the water up without electricity. The system takes only a minute to clean dishes, Levin says.
As cities get more crowded–and growing populations put even greater demands on water and power–Levin wanted to design something that would use the smallest possible amount of resources, in the smallest space. The Circo dishwasher, designed for postage-stamp sized apartment kitchens, can sit on a countertop. It doubles as a dish rack.
“I wanted to include the drying phase in the design,” he says. “And I wanted to emphasize the mobility of the product.”
Since it works off the grid, Levin says it could also be used in remote areas. The dishwasher is the first of several off-grid home appliances he hopes to make. “It was important to me to start with a dishwasher since the dishwasher is a kind of luxury product,” he says. “Since everybody can wash dishes by hand, it symbolizes the accessibility of high-end products to people that cannot own this kind of product otherwise.”
Levin is currently getting the prototype ready for manufacturing and looking for investors.