Student proves that a rinse cycle can be widely beneficial

A YOUNG inventor who developed a pedal-powered washing machine that attaches to a bike is hoping the same device could be used for water filtration, grain sorting and cement mixing in the developing world.

Richard Hewitt, 21, from Sheffield, is taking his “spincycle” device to India for three months testing and is looking to raise £14,000 to pay for further research.

His invention allows people to wash and rinse their clothes in two 10-minute bike rides.

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The product design graduate from Sheffield Hallam University was inspired to create the machine for the developing world after washing about 30 loads of children’s clothes at an orphanage in Burundi during a trip to Africa last year.

The spincycle consists of a frame that can be attached to the rear of any bike along with a 60-litre drum that is filled with water, soap and clothes.

Mr Hewitt said: “For an average load you do two 10-minute cycles, one a wash cycle with water and soap, and then another rinse cycle with just water.

“The bike isn’t that difficult to use as the radius of the barrel is smaller than the radius of the wheel so it turns faster.

“There is very little resistance, its like going up a slight hill.

“As you cycle it around, the attachment on the bike can make the steering a little light, like a car with a big load in the back. But as I’ve added jerry cans for the water to the front which balances it, it’s pretty easy to cycle.”

He is now exploring whether it can used as a business venture.

He added: “An entrepreneur could use it much like a window cleaner, travelling round from home to home, washing clothes for a fee.

“Or one of them could be given to a family who could wash the family’s clothes and also neighbours’ clothes, making a little money at the same time.”

He plans to take his idea to India to test its potential use by small businesses.