Hans Rosling and the magic washing machine

What was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution? Hans Rosling makes the case for the washing machine. With newly designed graphics from Gapminder, Rosling shows us the magic that pops up when economic growth and electricity turn a boring wash day into an intellectual day of reading.

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5 thoughts on “Hans Rosling and the magic washing machine

  1. In fact, a dishwasher uses less water and energy than washing the dishes by hand. I suppose that it’s the same for washing machines. Although you wash clothes much sooner than you would if you had to do it by hand.
    Dryers, on the other hand, are a different thing.

  2. What did the Industrial Revolutionists do to get time to read and educate their children? They had clothes-washers, too: human ones.

  3. Giliell,

    I am suprised to hear that dishwashers use less energy than hand washing. I wash all my dishes by hand (mainly because I am too cheap to buy a dishwasher and there is no place in my kitchen to put one). I figure that I use about 5 gallons of water per day to do this, all of which is heated in my hot water tank. However, I think the actual number of hot gallons I use would be closer to 3, since the uncut water coming from my tank is too hot for my hands. In essence, this boils down (no pun intended) to whether heating 3 gallons of water (and storing it) consumes more energy than a dishwasher uses in a typical run, assuming that one runs the dishwasher every day. I’m a bit skeptical, but willing to be convinced. Do you have a reference I could look up?

  4. I do have indeed:

    Here’s the actual study: http://www.landtechnik.uni-bonn.de/ifl_research/ht_34/Report_Dishwasher_RRT2009_1.pdf

    And a follow up on the differences produced by individuals: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/built-in-dishwasher-vs-hand-washing-which-greener.php

    It probably doesn’t take into account that you use indeed more dishes if you have a dishwasher and more clothes if you have a washing machine

  5. How you use your washing machine can also help. Most washers these days have very efficient features. But it still boils down to how you are going to use it.

    If you want to save electricity and water, you have to use maximize the use of your washer. Wash in full loads, lessen laundry usage, use cold water or set the water level to just under what you have been using previously.


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