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Washing fabrics is a chore as old as civilization. As
everyone knows, the more recently a fabric item is
washed, the more likely it will attract a single small stain,
as if the universe enjoys such things. The response to this
is a mal-coordinated cluster of responses ranging from
the area with a tissue, to maybe running that
area under the tap. Most are unsatisfactory. So, a possible
The device in question will consist of top and bottom
halves hinged at the back not unlike a stapler. At the ends
will be two rubber circular seals. The user will insert their
stained clothing so that the rubber circles are over/under
the stain. Then, the device will be closed, clamping the
stained fabric between the two rubber seals. Then, at the
flick of a switch, water, of total volume around 100ml with
detergent will circulate around the device and through the
stain. Because the ends are clear plastic, you will be able
to see the stain and can stop treatment when it
disappears. Then you empty the device, refill with plain
water and run a second quick cycle as a rinse.
You're then only left with a ~5cm wet spot, which isn't the
end of the world.
||Then how would the pump circulate the water?
||Actually, a much simpler version would be to have two
independent sections, with rubber bulbs on either side.
Then you'd fill one and hold the other closed while attaching
them either side of the stain, then you could pump the
water back and forth by alternately squeezing the bulbs. If
you were clever, you could even store one inside the other.
||//You're then only left with a ~5cm wet spot// Is there any reason why the device is not a combined washer-dryer?
||//Can you send on to the ISS? <link>//
||Laundry in space is an interesting problem. I'd have thought
the way to go would be something like an ozone generator
in a sealed bag, then a quick rinse in a few ml of semi-polar
solvent, like ethanol, then expose to vacuum to flash off the
solvent and any other volatiles and that would deal with
||Because it's called a "mahcine" does it mean all of
the instructions are printed in Clingon?
||//other difficulty to cycling an airlock every washing
||I guess they just don't want the risk for modest payoff.
Laundry becomes routine, and that's when accidents