The technology, developed at the University of Leeds, aims to save up to 90 per cent of water used by conventional machines, use 30 per cent less energy and have the environmental impact of taking two million cars off the road.
The machine works by replacing most of the water with thousands of tiny, reusable nylon polymer beads, which attract and absorb dirt under humid conditions.
Only a small amount of water and detergent is needed to dampen the clothes, loosen stains and create the water vapour that allows the beads to work. After the cycle is finished, the beads fall through a mesh in the machine’s drum and can be re-used up to a hundred times.
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