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Traveler's Washing Machine: Pipe Dream or Reality?

If you slosh your clothes in a sink or a bucket to get them clean while you travel, and can't quite wring them out enough to not drip puddles on the floor, perhaps you might consider a portable washing machine. One of these options may not exist. Others look promising.

The Astone Traveller was touted last year as coming out soon. I have found nothing written about it after March 2006. Given the size and one critique I came across, it might have been only big enough for underwear, a pair of socks and a T-shirt. The design looks neat though. Made to be inflatable, once your clothes are clean you can fold it up and pack it right in a suitcase. But, again, did it ever hit the markets?

Intrigued by this portable washer notion, I looked further. There is the Wonder Washer which is one of those gadgets "As Seen on TV." I've never seen it on TV. Have you? It looks like a trash pail with controls. According to a review, it comes in handy for small washes but doesn't have a rinse cycle. You have to dump the soapy water to put in fresh. This one is on Amazon.com, but it is listed as not being available. Did they fly off the shelves and the supply can't keep up with the demand, or is this another gadget gone bust? It is featured as a Taylor Gifts offering. Talor Gifts seems to specialize in "As Seen on TV" items.

There's another portable washer. This one involves cranking. Maybe it's like a big centrifuge. If it could double as a portable ice-cream maker or a salad mixer, I'd say we're onto something. And here's a link to a supplier with two portable washers. One is just for shoes. They're made in China.

Maybe portable washers you can use why you travel are really just the fantasyland of someone's imagination. Back in 1952, a traveling washing machine was patented and is listed as a "Totally Absurd Invention." This one was designed to bring your car into the laundry business. Somehow the idea is that you attach the washing machine to your car and drive about 20 miles an hour while it cleans your clothes. Read the description. It's pretty amusing.

Filed under: Business, Gear

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