Clean Laundry Without Water

Global powerhouse Unilever makes such a wide range of products that you likely have several in your home right now. Their website touts that 2 billion people every day use their brands. The company’s sheer size makes their co-creation platform notable. At the Unilever Foundry, they invite anyone in the world to “collaborate with us for a #BrightFuture.”

The most recent Foundry challenge aims to reinvent laundry to rely less on water. The ideas submitted range from the mundane (better detergent) to truly out of this world (Star Trek bodysuits that don’t need to be washed). The top 30 vote-getters get reviewed by Unilever’s Water Innovation Team. The last five ideas standing land a trip to London to pitch their idea to Unilever in person!

I submitted six, a few of which I think are relatively unique, practical and innovative. If you have a few minutes to read through them, I would appreciate your comments and votes!

Update, December 2015: One of my ideas won this contest. Stay tuned for a future post about my trip to London! And a special thank you to those of you who took the time to vote or comment on my ideas.

A portable stain removing appliance
It’s every office worker’s nightmare: a few hours before a big meeting, you drip coffee on your shirt. Suddenly you’re standing over the restroom sink, shirt in hand, praying that the stain comes out and the shirt dries in time. If only there were a small, portable machine that could save the day! View the full idea >


An appliance that freshens up your clothes between washes
Sometimes you wear a shirt or pair of pants for just a short time. They’re not really clean enough to go back to the closet, but not really dirty enough to need time in the washing machine. Tuck them in a “refrigerator for your clothes” that circulates cool, filtered air around them to freshen them up or infuse them with fragrances. This is also ideal for things that can’t hit the wash: handbags, shoes, fashion accessories or dry clean only items. Or rid clothes of closet or drawer smell to add an extra burst of freshness before wearing. View the full idea >


A washing machine that filters, stores and reuses water
The average washing machine uses around 25 gallons of water per load. At the end of the cycle, it’s mostly only contaminated with light soil and detergent. And it’s flushed away. Many hospital and hotel facilities clean, recycle and reuse laundry water. Why not do so in individual washing machines in every home? View the full idea >


And my other three concepts which aren’t as well developed, in case you’re curious:

To comment or vote on any of the ideas in the contest, head on over to the Foundry. Registration is quick, free and easy – and there’s no limit to the number of ideas you can vote for or comments you can make.