The luxury of washing machines is something that families in many parts of the world just can’t afford, but the team behind GiraDora wants to change that. The group has developed an innovative all-in-one washer and dryer that’s powered entirely by a foot-operated pedal. Since the GiraDora is a completely manual machine, it offers a promising solution to washing and drying clothes in places without access to reliable electricity.
GiraDora is designed to be adaptable and comfortable for use both standing and sitting. The main container is a plastic tub that can be filled with water and soap, or kept empty for use as a dryer. The lid also doubles as an ergonomic seat, so that the person pedaling isn’t required to stand for long periods of time. GiraDora’s foot pedal is spring-loaded so that it is easy to spin the washer or dryer cycle with a simple, repetitive action. Until now, other pedal-powered washing machines have usually been expensive solutions for “first world” use.
Wash cycles in electric machines aren’t just convenient, they also protect against many health dangers caused by hand washing. In remote regions and poverty-stricken communities, the chore of washing clothes can last for six hours on as many as five days per week. Bending over to clean clothes for so long so frequently causes damage to the spine and stress in the body. Hand washed clothes themselves can pose a danger when they are not dried under proper conditions, since mold and harmful bacteria can grow and infect the wearer.
Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You invented GiraDora specifically to alleviate these health dangers and bring more effective clothes washing to those who need it most. They have already received awards to acknowledge their social innovation and the potential of GiraDora around the world, and are looking to launch with finished GiraDora units in communities in India and South America. Currently, they are testing a $40 GiraDora prototype in Peru and other parts of Latin America. Although the machine is still under development, the GiraDora team promises they’re working hard to make it available to the public as soon as possible.