Morgana Matus

Pedal-Powered GiraDora Washer Needs No Electricity and Costs Only $40

by , 03/17/14

giradora, washing machine, human power, foot pedal, portable, affordable, electricity, dryer, spin

In developing countries that lack electricity or the funds to buy expensive machines, taking care of laundry the old-fashioned way requires an enormous amount of time and effort.  That’s why Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You created the GiraDora – a combination washer and spin-dryer that is powered by a foot pedal.  At only $40, this ingenious contraption is an inexpensive way to help break the cycle of poverty in many disadvantaged communities.

giradora, washing machine, human power, foot pedal, portable, affordable, electricity, dryer, spin

Designed specifically for those with the least income living in the poorest nations, the GiraDora hopes to ease the burden of washing clothes – a chore that can take nearly 6 hours a day, 3-5 days a week.  The portable plastic tub can be filled with soap and water before a lid is placed on top, acting as a seat.  Then, all the user needs to do is rest on the washer, and pump the spring-loaded foot pedal.

This ergonomic design alleviates back pain and chronic wrist strain from scrubbing and wringing clothes and leaves the hands free for other tasks.  Loads of clothing can also be washed at one time instead of having to scrub individual articles, which uses less water and overall effort.  In addition to avoiding health problems associated with physical stress and mold growing on wet fabric, the GiraDora can also help generate income through providing laundry services, rentals, and direct sales.

The GiraDora is currently being field-tested in Peru, and there are plans to introduce it more widely into South America and India.  The project has been recognized by both the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, and the International Design Excellence Awards.

+ Dell Social Innovation Challenge

+ International Design Excellence Awards

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106 Comments

  1. Richelle Edwards March 20, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Can Americans buy one?????
    How much would shipping be?

  2. Katherine Walters March 19, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    This is awesome. Looking forward to it coming to market. It is amazing what creative minds can come up with. Three cheers!

  3. lauramik March 19, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Please tell me how to order one. I live in Texas.

  4. elchew March 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    oh my goodness. this is for real? were can i get one of blue prints to make one cause this is perfect. get one for everyone in the house.. dinner can be a 2 in one event. sat morning cartoons too. i fond we do so much sitting around there would never be dirty cloths.

  5. Alice Marti March 19, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I live in an apartment in Flushing, New York and I would love to have such a washer at $40. I always have lots of laundry and I don’t always have enought quarters for the machines in the laundry room in the building to do the laundry. Can I order one on line in the mail? on eBay? That would be great and would make my life a lot easier. I have 4 rescue cats and I like to keep them clean. Thank you – A. Marti – 141-05 Northern Blvd. 6-G. Flushing, NY1354 (alicehm@earthlink.net)

  6. Pedro Kawamura March 19, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Hi, congratulations for the project. There is some way to buy this equipment in São Paulo, Brasil? or maybe to reproduce the project with reciclable material?

  7. Krishna Chandra Panigrahy March 19, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    It is very nice,we all should use such eco-friendly gadgets in our domestic use

    – kc panigrahy,, sunabeda

  8. Franklin Bacon March 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Being that laundromats in the U.S. charge at least $3/load, it could easily be marketed here. Not only that, many of the poor in the U.S. do not have easy access to a laundromat; many being a full mile away. Rural areas are even worse and a lot of young people do not own a vehicle.

  9. Dylan Martin March 18, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I love this, this will save me so much on my electric bill.

  10. Sarita Premley March 18, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    You can Like the GiraDora on facebook and stay up to date with the (slow, slow) process of bringing it to the market. Patience seems to be the byword!
    Here is the latest post:
    ‘Hello All, Sorry that we haven’t been as active as usual on this as normal. I’d like to take a second to explain why. Somewhere along the lines, much of the tone in the responses has changed from a small but vocal amount of fans. I’ve always encouraged a healthy dialogue but much of the tone has become attacking and with a sense of entitlement and I have just been reluctant to continue to post with that kind of counterproductive conversation.
    Trying to bring GiraDora to market has been a very long and difficult process, especially since we are all full time students with limited funds. But since the beginning, the team has remained dedicated to this project and continue to do so. We have had some very exciting developments, but many are at a point that we can no longer talk about publicly.
    I’ve always tried to be open and share with you the process of bringing a product from idea to market, a process that can take even large corporations years to do, as I think it’s a very interesting story of all the obstacles and challenges one faces in this world of entrepreneurship. Our path, just like every other entrepreneur, has not been a straight line, but one filled with a lot of twists and turns and stalls.That is just the nature of design, business and manufacture.
    We have all been so grateful for everyone’s interest and support in this project and I will continue to try to share everything that I can. We are still dedicated to this project and to the people of Cerro Verde where GiraDora first began and will continue to strive to bring GiraDora to market.
    Thank you all for your patience and most importantly your support.’

  11. Jargbe March 18, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    this is very innovative, how can I get some to buy and sell?

  12. Benjamin Cooley March 18, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I firmly believe this to be a hoax. It is not available for purchase anywhere on the internet. I’ve exhausted all search possibilities and there simply is no outlet for the GiraDora.

  13. John Orafa March 18, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    With a growing community of preppers and people looking to live off grid, this is God sent. Let us know when it hits the US market.

  14. dfreak01 March 18, 2014 at 11:36 am

    We are involved in missions in Mexico, how do we make a purchase??

  15. Popsicorn March 18, 2014 at 9:59 am

    How do I get one? I’m in Canada.

  16. Terri Richardson March 18, 2014 at 6:23 am

    How wonderful for these inventors! Obviously the filling and emptying doesn’t happen on the dirt where the photos were taken.

    I agree with other commenters that American markets are ready for this invention, that the poor communities here could benefit from it as much as any emerging population. Also, there are thousands of Americans at any given moment trying to figure out how to live off the grid. They will flip over this invention, a reason not to use electricity when you don’t have to use it.

  17. caridad March 18, 2014 at 1:54 am

    this is really cool!
    where can i buy one?

  18. Rachel Uffer March 17, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    I live in Colombia, how can I get one of these?

  19. sgsdesign March 17, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I’d love to have one for road travel trips/camping.

  20. Lisa Engle March 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Awesome idea! Can’t wait to buy one. (needs wheels and a handle)

  21. Squeakydc March 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I have been looking at this thing for almost 2 years now and I WANT IT!!!

  22. Alaskawolfe March 6, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Poor America wants this thing too.. it looks big enough to do sheets. Some of us rent and have to pay to do laundry. Those machine rental prices have gone up, and do not allow for soak time.(some times needed for more difficult soiling). At $40 I can pay for it in just 2-4 months of not using my landladys filthy machines that do not get my clothes properly clean. at !.50 per machine. we are talking about $2 or more for commercial sites, =I really want my own hours, camping options, and soak time. please tell us when we can buy one.

  23. enc January 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    How about the emerging poor in America???? TENT cities outside Hollywood, CA. and D.C.

  24. zoebarry November 19, 2013 at 1:34 am

    i want one for myself as a constructive way to exercise!

  25. Owen Minnis November 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Also looks like an inexpensive way for college students to give laundromats the finger.

  26. Walter Apaz November 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    How can I buy it and have it shipped to the US?

  27. Raeann Krugger November 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    This is great and they’re doing a good thing but it’s VERY frustrating because there is nowhere online where you can purchase one of these. Don’t advertise something that isn’t for sale unless you have a website for us. Thanks!

  28. Anu Guptill October 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    I use a couple buckets, a plunger and a few soap nuts then dry it on a line…

    Send them that, it will break less easily.

  29. orickie September 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    As a senior citzen living in a rural area of the US this would be a great solution to hand washing items. My greatest appreaction of those souls that were inspired to create this great product. Living in the US doesn\’t necessarily mean leaving in luxury for most of us. Where can we find this product for sale.

  30. mogale August 20, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    who are the retailers for Giradora pedal operated washing machine

  31. Amanda George August 16, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    i can say id love to have one of these for myself for the simple fact that is saves power is eco friendly and omg you get a workout too id use it just cause now on areal note where can i get one!!!!!!!! id tell families with low incomes about it too come on where can you go wrong with this

  32. Geoffrey Pfister Sr. August 16, 2013 at 12:13 am

    I would buy 2 and donate one more….

  33. Andrew Kottenstette August 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    After reading a lot of the comments here I have to say it is a false assumption that in the USA we are all automatically living in a First World Country. I also want a foot-powered washing machine. Don’t make me invent my own. I will set mine on a playground merry-go-round and power it with children…somehow evading child labor laws.

  34. Scott Knitter August 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    What about people in developed countries who live in apartments poorly served by bad laundry facilities?

  35. Ángela Meléndez August 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Wait, no, this is to reduce time and effort for people who actually need to and who don’t have access to electricity. If you are in a developed country and still want to buy this, please stop. BUY LESS SO WE CAN PRODUCE LESS. That is being eco-friendly.

  36. Jody McAndrew August 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    This is truly a magnificent invention.. getting back to basics will save many countries including America we have become so reliant on modern technology that we are using up resources faster than we can produce them..I certainly would not mind using shoe leather express to do my laundry,,, and I love my items on the line to dry,.,..Bravo and good luck to the less fortunate countries as this will be a great help to them… I would hope that some wealthy tyrant becomes soft and donates a few of them to less fortunate families…

  37. Abigail Wright August 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    They should make a larger version of this for bigger families or even for people from industrialized areas that want to be more eco-friendly & save money. Many people use a conventional washing machine but still the old method of drying to save money. Obviously, they are not interested in simply saving time as line drying is always slower, even in sunny areas. This is to save electricity to save money & lighten our footprints.

    The inventors definitely have a hit on their hands if they can offer multiple sizes internationally.

  38. pgropp June 7, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Where can I buy this?

  39. Lambeeno14 April 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I would be interested in buying one

  40. Janet Behning March 13, 2013 at 10:45 am

    How can I buy one?

  41. KRobertson February 22, 2013 at 2:40 am

    I would love to know when this item comes open for sale. If you could please email me either directions to make one or a date when it will be released.

  42. furianfire February 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Fantastic Idea, for parents with little kids that say they are bored, 1 could sit on top while the other one uses the peddle, thats why we have 2 legs one gets tired the other one can be used,also will save so much money on laundry, I spend aminum of $100.oo a month with 2 teens in the house, thats not including cab fare in the winter time, please add me will buy 1.

  43. welboel441kg February 11, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Where may I buy the GiraDora foot pedal clothes washer?

  44. cathgaum January 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Cannot wait for this to arrive in South Africa

  45. ddeutsch1028 January 24, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Where can I buy one of these or get the instructions on how to make one for my self? please e-mail me @ dgainesville1028@yahoo.com

  46. Joyce A December 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Where do I go to buy one?

  47. Maria Concilio December 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    For those in the USA that don’t want to wait there is the James Washer from Gaiam.http://reviews.gaiam.com/9381/63411/james-washer/reviews.htm

  48. Bob_D December 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Have you guys started selling it thus far or at the very least figuring out which platforms of business strategies you will be ultimately leaning towards??

  49. Aianah December 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I want one!

  50. Satyen Banka October 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

    pedal Powered washing machine. A boon for INDIAn villages and towns. i suggest the designer to make /develop a pedal powered Low cost electric generator also ,which can generate enough power to light a bulb/a fan / a tv set for 6-8 hours in remote Indian village where no grid power is available. Thanks for a wonderful development .

  51. Ilham Azlan Syah October 13, 2012 at 5:54 am

    How could you explain about the pedal’s work? I appreciate so much.

  52. chicagourbanprepper October 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    please please please let me know when this product is available in the west. my email address is chicagourbanprepper@gmail.com

  53. nysher October 3, 2012 at 7:01 am

    I would like to purchase one too. Please add me to the list: hannahjoy@ctc.net Thanks!

  54. thernwoo September 25, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Hey, I’m interested to buy this. Can I get a contact?

  55. Miscelany2 September 20, 2012 at 8:58 am

    When will these be for sale? I, like many americans, have no laundry room. I, like 99% of americans, am one of the working poor. I currently spend $10 or more a week to wash clothes (plus the cost of soap). If I owned this I could wash and dry most items at home. Please put it on the market sooner rather than later.

  56. kiwiweta September 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Hans Rosling talks about why the washing machine was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution.

    Hans Rosling is a professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute,

    TED Talks: Hans Rosling: The magic washing machine
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/hans_rosling_and_the_magic_washing_machine.html

  57. meadmaid September 11, 2012 at 6:54 am

    What an incredibly cool non electric “off the grid” clothes washer. I want one, but it looks like they’re not available in the U.S. yet. Please let me know when I can purchase one!

  58. Ditty Dot September 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Please provide information so we may order several units. Thank you.

  59. lisamuse September 5, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Excellent and thoughtful invention!

  60. gmharel September 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Great for here in Mauritius as well. Where can I order this from???

  61. nnadel August 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    This would be great in Jamaica too

  62. randrewohge RAndrewOhge August 30, 2012 at 11:48 am

    This would be the Washer of Choice for many “Green Conscious” Single Americans-you need to sell them here. It would help bring down the price for developing nations.

  63. chameleon_hunter August 30, 2012 at 10:34 am

    How long do you have to pedal per wash? I know you could go on the internet or read a book while pedaling.

  64. lindahale August 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Alex@CabunocDesign
    please have a Facebook page where we can ‘like’ or ‘subscribe’ to keep current with when you have these available. and Kickstarter — as another replied.

  65. mabrado mabrado August 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I would love to get one, please e-mail me further to bradleyshirto@gmail.com

  66. John B August 23, 2012 at 9:48 am

    There are also small electric washers. Try http://www.miniwasher.com

  67. bamboochik August 22, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I’ll be keeping an eye out for this!

  68. leslie201 August 22, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Where can I get one of these? This would be perfect for my home and when i go on long camping trips!!

  69. squeakydc August 22, 2012 at 3:06 am

    I have a hand powered pressure washer for clothes that I use when we go camping or just when the electricity goes off. Would love to have one of these also. They look really cool!!! Thanks for the article!

  70. nsmith August 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    i need this!!!!

  71. amy1960 August 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    i want one too

  72. Streamside August 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    buy one share one :D Love the idea!

  73. desertdider August 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    love to have one of these! like the others, i would like to buy one and share one!

  74. debcaldo August 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    I am interested in buying this item!!! How can I purchase this??

  75. oli August 15, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I think it would easier to use if you could power it with bicycle pedals and gears make it less work and more efficient, i know the design might be more complicated how about designing it into the product that they can upgrade themselves if they have a bike. I hope you read this. Great idea washing always sucks

  76. pava August 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    i really like this idea, and my family and i would get a lot of use out of this! Is it for sale in the USA and where could i purchase one for personal use? it would also be great for camping or helping the homeless, wow the uses for this are limitless, thank you for your wonderful idea and for having a head, heart and hands to help those less fortunate than yourself

  77. Rmatthew August 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Have you thought about the site Kickstart
    to generate some quick cash flow. and establish a user / priduction base.

  78. Juan Pablo Velez Duque August 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Me alegro que las tecnologías cambien a favor de lo simple y practico, y que haya gente pensando en esto para el bien comun, soy de Colombia y quisiera saber donde puedo adquirir una de estas lavadoras. por su información gracias.

  79. keenangray August 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    This is a breakthrough product!! I’m also amazed by the developed world interest. I would also love to buy one for me and another for a less fortunate family.

  80. Christopher in Aotearoa NZ August 11, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I’m in the developed world (Aotearoa NZ) and I certainly want one!

    I think it would be a great if the designers and manufacturers set up a program where I could buy one at a price that covered the cost of giving one away to a person in a slum where it would be much needed.

  81. babazero August 9, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    I am amazed the level of interest from people in the developed world……you can therefore imagine the response in third world Africa in Kenya where I come from. This is amazing.

  82. Chewy August 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    This product would be a God-send for all the poor people in the USA. Like never before seen in my lifetime, so many people are struggling desperately to make end s meet and a product like this would allow so many people to cut their living costs in a meaningful way.
    In addition, for people who have small cabins on a lake, or people who have Pop-up campers, or even people who can only afford to pitch a tent at a state park for several weeks each summer, this items would be of tremendous help.
    I could also see where many seniors on very limited budgets might love to have one. They could do a load every day while they read their mail, etc, and save a bundle of money too. I sometimes think that those seniors who have very little money actually wear their clothing time and again as they have to limit their laundry costs. With this product they could readily launder clothes. What a wonderful gift this would be ………ai am certain that each and every one of knows someone who is struggling desperately to keep their economic head above water…..people who are truly very poor. Can you imagine how their eyes might light up if they were given one of these as a gift, say for the Christmas holiday, or a birthday?
    I want some for just that reason.
    My deep respect goes to the people who developed this……..you are truly humanities salvation.

  83. Dave B August 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    These may prove popular in the boating community. I hope they are made available in North America.

  84. lzbt August 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I want one! Seriously! Ask them to make it available for purchase, and all or part of the money can go to provide these little miracles to more families. I promise, they’ll make money. Let me know when the become available for purchase, cause I’m broke, and living in the U.S.A. and this would be such a wonderful break! I sometimes have to wash my clothes in a bathtub, so I understand where you are coming from! This is GREAT!

  85. CabunocDesign August 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Greetings everyone! My name is Alex Cabunoc and I am the designer of GiraDora. Thank you all so much for your appreciation of our project. If you want to learn more about this project and the design process, you can visit http://www.behance.net/gallery/GiraDora-human-powered-washer-spin-dryer/4519945
    Currently, I have only built working prototypes for testing and demonstration. So GiraDora is not yet available for purchase. We hope to be in a place where we can begin retailing GiraDora units in about a year or so. I will be making a database for those interested in receiving updates about the project. If you would like to be on that database, please email me at cabunocdesign@gmail.com. thank you again for your interest!
    -Alex

  86. MrsPaul August 2, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Just saw this on Gizmag. When I lived in the States I used a Wonder Washer which worked great but I then had to feed the wet clothes into an electric spinner.

    Now that I’m in the UK I use the electric washer my new husband brought to the marriage:) However, my husband and I are always looking for ways to cut down our grid dependency and might be willing to purchase two, one to donate and one to have here in our Scottish home.

    Hopefully something will be arranged with the makers along these lines due to the interest, I’ll keep an eye out for a programme.

  87. jacobvanhorn August 2, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Love the pedal design on the GiraDora. If you need something like this stateside, check out the Laundry Pod. It’s $100 and has a hand crank. http://www.thelaundrypod.com/index.html

  88. mamalady August 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    We would like one as well. How can we purchase one?
    stephanie@tomatocollection.com

  89. lenkartdecor August 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I want one too! where to buy?
    lenkartdecor@gmail.com

  90. speedy1224 August 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Where can I buy one??

  91. lvotey August 1, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Like many others, I want one. Where do we purchase?

  92. jado August 1, 2012 at 6:54 am

    This is fantastic! I live in remote north western Australia and often we lose power this would be great to have, how do I buy one and what would postage be like?
    Jade

  93. Oceansedge August 1, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Where can I buy one of these?

  94. thesparklet August 1, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Where can you buy this ?

  95. ryogo20 August 1, 2012 at 4:28 am

    how can i make an order? i ral wanna buy some.

  96. Anniken Moe August 1, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Great idea!
    Where can we acquire these for the western world (in this case Oregon)?

    Eager off-the-grid folks would love to know ;.)

    Anniken

  97. GiraDoraFan August 1, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Where can I get one? I do a lot of hand washing of my laundry and this would be perfect for me. I live in a studio and the nearest laundramat is 10 blocks away & I don’t have a functional car. Please let me know how or where I can purchase one of these GiraDora Washers!!! Thank you!!! :)

  98. Cntryspirit July 31, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I love this, this will save us so much on our electric bill. Where can I buy one?

  99. Cakestripe July 31, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I really, REALLY want one in the US – does anyone know of a company that sells them or ships them here?

  100. june13 July 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    This would be perfect for camping!

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