Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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In-machine powder store

To save you messing around with measuring it out.
  [vote for,

Every time I do laundry, I have to put the powder and the fabric softener in the machine. This is at odds with my deeply lazy nature. Life would be much easier if I could simply empty the box into the machine, and let it measure out the powder for each wash. Ditto, of course, the fabric softener. Since a washing machine is basically a round hole in a square box, I imagine there has to be a considerable amount of "dead space" inside, which could be used for storage. I get a better laundry (since the machine can measure the right amount of powder better than I can), and more time to be lazy.
friendlyfire, Jun 24 2003

Cool Tablets http://www.wesh.com...1287545/detail.html
I love these things. [shazam, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       Now, if you just build in a clothes hamper, too...
FarmerJohn, Jun 24 2003

       This is a bit sensible, isn't it.
DrBob, Jun 24 2003

       how will it work for those little tablets that have to go in a net bag?
po, Jun 24 2003

       In fact, given the way powder is now stored in guns, why should it have to be measured out every time? The powder should come in cartridges that you can load into the machine en masse.
DrCurry, Jun 24 2003

       You would have to find a way to prevent the powder from getting overly moist around the warm, steamy water, and forming a large powder rock. I see liquid detergent working better here.
kevindimie, Jun 25 2003

       As a retrofit to washing machines without built-in detergent dispensing, you could have a hopper mounted on the wall above the machine that pours out the proper portion of powder at the push of lever.
AO, Jun 25 2003

       How will the powder keep from becoming humidified? Wouldn't it be more sesible to use a liquid detergent?
thumbwax, Jun 26 2003

       Hey, that's a really good thought.
kevindimie, Jun 26 2003

       [thumbwax] Hey ! You stole my idea !   

       I'd suggest large bag-in-box cartridges of liquid detergent with self-sealing valve; like giant inkjet printer cartridges. Just slot them in - Whites, Colours, Fabric Softener. All selected automatically by the wash programme. Automatic level indicators to show when you need to buy more. Never add too much detergent (wasteful !!)
8th of 7, Jun 26 2003

       Tide makes really cool tablets that are kinda like Alka-Seltzer. You just grab them and drop them in. I love watching them dissolve. If you make a dispenser to chuck them in automatically then I'll buy one.
shazam, Jun 26 2003

       shazzie, should they go in the net bags? I have found that if you sling them in loose, they can burn / mark dark clothes.
po, Jun 26 2003

       The lid of a powder storage bin could have a dessicant capsule (silica gel or equiv).
bristolz, Jun 26 2003

       I don't know [po]. I may have been doing this all wrong. I chuck them in when the water is full so I can watch them dissolve but the only clothes I ever wash are my work clothes. My wife is kind enough to do the rest and she won't let me touch her things.
shazam, Jun 26 2003

       I wouldn't let you touch my things either :)
po, Jun 26 2003

       I envisage Pringle-sized (or possibly double-pringle-sized) "tubes" of detergent (in liquid form for convenience, as suggested by kevindimie and thumbwax, and just missed by 8th of 7), which you simply plug in to alcoves on the front of the machine. The tubes have clear strips down their length, a la 8th of 7, so you can see how much is left, and as a bonus, give your washing machine a Greek, Doric Column look.
friendlyfire, Jun 26 2003

       //The tubes have clear strips down their length, a la 8th of 7//
Crikey! Perhaps he is more Borg than we knew.
my face your, Jun 26 2003

       The identical idea came to me late last night when I was out of liquid detergent. 8th of 7’s print cartridge idea is precisely what I had in mind, since this should be more of an appliance/packaging issue than anything else. Imagine liquid detergent packaged like water cooler bottles. Powder could be accommodated as well. You would buy it directly off the shelf at the store, and when you got home, you would unscrew the cap, flip it over upright, and plug it in to a receptacle in the front/top of the washing machine. Depending on how much laundry you do, it should last about two weeks. This eliminates pouring and measuring, so all you would really have to do is throw your clothes in the washer and select a cycle. The machine would automatically dispense the right amount of detergent based on your cycle selection. A “low-detergent” alert or the clear strip as suggested by some would eliminate my original problem.   

       I envision the consumer products companies could have several different formulas for whites, colors, stain removers, and smells (like “Spring Fresh” or “Summer Breeze” etc.) and sell them in two- and three- packs. A brand for the package itself – such as “in the new Tide “AUTOMAGIC” bottle!” would launch this into every new washer purchase. I think that it could be cost effective to embed an RFID chip in each package for tracking. Proctor and Gamble and Unilever should connect with GE and Maytag to make this happen.
marc1919, Jul 30 2004


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