80wash, which was launched in early 2021, aims to eliminate two problems at once: water waste and chemical detergent consumption. The company has developed an ISP steam technique that cleans garments with half a cup of water and no detergent by using dry steam and non-ionizing rays.
Despite advances in current laundry technology, washing machines require around 100 litres of water to remove one tablespoon of filth. Furthermore, wastewater, a cocktail of chemicals from detergents and fabric softeners, generally ends up in bodies of water, negatively impacting the ecosystem.
Chandigarh-based startup, 80wash, claims that this machine washes fabrics—and even metal components and PPE kits—in 80 seconds (may go higher depending on the stain) using a few millilitres of water and no detergent. The company was founded by Rouble Gupta Varinder Singh, and , Nitin Kumar Saluja.
The machine is based on proprietary ISP steam technology, which kills bacteria (sterilises) using low-frequency (non-ionising and non-polarising) radio-frequency-based microwaves and eliminates stain, filth, and odour with the assistance of room-temperature dry steam.
According to the company, a single cycle of 80 seconds (7-8 kilogramme machine) can wash up to five clothing using half a cup of water and no detergent. In the case of stubborn stains, the procedure can be repeated many times.
Typically, 4-5 cycles are required to remove stubborn stains. On the other hand, its larger machine (70-80 kg weight) can wash 50 items in numerous cycles using 5-6 glasses of water (depending on the clothes).
Currently, the devices are being tested commercially in seven locations, including hostels, hospitals, and salons in three cities: Chandigarh, Panchkula, and Mohali.
The invention’s seeds were planted at Chitkara University’s innovation centre in Rajpura, Punjab. Rouble was studying his Btech in computer science in 2017 when he met Nitin, associate director at Chitkara University Research and Innovation Network (CURIN), and Varinder, a project manager at Aautosync Innovations, Chitkara’s automotive centre of excellence.
Nitin and Varinder have previously collaborated on various startup initiatives and supervised students to help them establish product market fit.
Initially, the trio worked together to create a UV-ray-based quick sterilising system for hospitals. Following a series of conversations and expert recommendations, they decided to expand the fabric machine and create something rapid, automated, and, most importantly, environmentally friendly. However, UV rays were insufficient to clean garments.
Nitin explains, “Mere sterilisation was insufficient. The microwaves eliminated 99.9% of the germs, but we still had to deal with dirt, stains, and odour. This is when we began developing our revolutionary dry steam technique.”
To work on the proposal, the trio assembled a team of microbiologists, textile specialists, and others.
Dry steam (low moisture steam) is highly excellent in stain removal. However, as the co-founders explain, its production necessitates the system maintaining high pressure, which necessitates high electricity. As a result, the entire procedure is exceedingly dangerous.
The 80Wash team developed their patented technique here. They say, “We succeeded to create dry steam at room temperature and patented this method. This addresses all four issues: stains, filth, odour, and germs.”
The team got their patents in early 2021, formally launched the firm, and manufactured a 7-8kg load washing machine for pilots. 80Wash had plans to file for a global patent by this year.