Some people are very good about immediately loading dirty dishes in the dishwasher after every meal; others leave them to fester in the sink until the leaning tower of plates and bowls topples over, and they finally load everything in all at once. And that’s people with a dishwasher. Those without an appliance still have to tackle that mountain of dishes by hand.
There are lots of dishwasher-less homes and apartments, whether due a lack of space, the price of the machine and installation, or both. One designer wants to solve these problems with a countertop dishwasher, the Circo. It cleans like a regular dishwasher, with a spray of water from below. Instead of running on electricity, though, the user operates it with a handle. Basically, you’re still sort of hand-washing your dishes.
After adding water to the tray and adding a sodium acetate tablet (which both helps clean the dishes and heat the water), the actual cleaning process takes just one minute and uses less water than a regular dishwasher (0.7 gallons, as opposed to 2.2 gallons). Making the centrifuge that serves as the cleaning mechanism was difficult, and designer Chen Levin didn’t offer many details to Gizmag.
The Circo doesn’t have a drying mechanism, so you can use it as a drying rack as well. However, it seems more useful to keep it empty and use it to immediately wash dishes as you dirty them. For one thing, it doesn’t appear to have much capacity. And hand-cranking plus sodium acetate (one of the by products of those baking-soda-plus-vinegar volcanoes we all used to make) likely won’t do much for a crusty mess of dishes that have been left out for several days.
Levin says the Circo dishwasher is in its final stages of prototyping, and he is currently looking for investors. Between the Circo and the foot-powered washing machine, pretty soon you’ll be able to get a workout just from doing your chores.