Dolfi is a portable ultrasonic clothes washing device

Interesting Engineering

Germany-based Dolfi launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign earlier this week to raise $100,000 to bring its ultrasonic clothes washing device to the market and has already quickly captured enough attention to nearly double its target with over 3 weeks left. Dolfi is a pebble shaped device that you can toss in a sink or container with your clothes (delicates and all) and some detergent and it will wash out the dirt using ultrasonic vibrations.

indiegogo-dolfi[Image Source: Dolfi]

Dolfi isn’t just a pretty package – this compact but powerful device consumes about 80 times less energy than a conventional washing machine, helping you make a huge positive impact for the planet and, of course, for your wallet.

That energy your washing machine uses to invigorate your clothes is not needed by the smartphone sized Dolfi, who uses ultrasonic vibrations to wash clothes without getting you in a spin. The nature of the device means that it can be used for delicate fabrics such as silk, lace, wool and cashmere; just toss everything into the water and within 30-40 minutes the device will have your clothes clean.

It's worth noting that you can only wash up to 1-2 kg of clothes in one sitting (that’s up to 4.4pounds) and although the whole cleaning process required no manual labor, you will have to rinse your clothes (probably by hand) before hanging them up to dry. Oh, and the device is completely silent.

"The device will glow blue while it softly cleans your clothes. Blue light indicates ultrasound vibrations in the water. It works like magic!" explains their campaign.

But as an engineer I don't believe in magic, so what's actually going on here.

Ultrasonic cleaning is nothing new, it's often used in medical industries for cleaning the materials that require thorough but delicate cleaning such as dental and surgical instruments, lenses, as well as jewelry, watches and more. Dolfi features a multi-frequency transducer that creates precisely modulated wideband progressive sound waves, which travel through water and form microscopic high-pressure bubbles. These tiny bubbles then implode, creating millions of micro-jet liquid streams. Those invisible yet powerful streams safely wash away all dirt from fabric.

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20150118063717-Travel_2_1[Image Source: Dolfi]

Dolfi's portability means it is perfect for travellers, backpackers and frequenters of business travel. “Pack smart for your great adventures: inflatable hanger, clever fixture, sink stopper and of course the Dolfi device," says the company's campaign, next to a picture of the 300g device fitting snugly into a suitcase.

At the time of writing it's currently raised $180,000 of funds, sealing the success of the campaign and meaning that they can go on to start mass production of the device. Those who have backed the campaign can expect to receive their device around August this year and if you're quick enough you can still get in on the pre-orders.

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