Soap-sized gadget could spell end for washing machines

A tiny device could be about to revolutionise the way we clean our clothes, and make the washing machine redundant.

Dolfi is no bigger than a bar of soap, yet it transforms any wash basin into a washing machine. Its makers claim that the device washes clothes as well as a standard machine thanks to its ultrasonic technology.

To use it, the user drops the Dolfi into a sink full of water, dirty clothes and laundry detergent. Powerful ultrasonic sound waves are emitted by a transducer which travels through the water, forming tiny, high pressure bubbles which implode to create strong jets of water that remove dirt.

The device washes the clothes without any need for scrubbing or wringing in just 30 minutes.

Dolfi is so small it can be carried around in a bag for use at home, in hotels, or even at work.

And its creators claim that unlike a washing machine, which can damage clothes, the ultrasound leaves fabrics completely intact so they can be washed over and over without deteriorating.

The device can be used on any fabric - including cotton, silk, lace and even cashmere - and uses 80 times less energy than a standard washing machine.

The machine is the brainchild of German entrepreneur Lena Solis, who was inspired to design it after encountering problems washing clothes while travelling.

''The idea of Dolfi came after a few terrible experiences with laundry during my extensive travel.

''Inspired by the amazing benefits of ultrasound, successfully utilised for years in many industrial and medical applications, we're excited to bring the advantages of ultrasonic precise cleaning to everyday personal use.

''I believe that ultrasonic technology will change the way we wash.''

Andre Fangueiro, Dolfi's product designer, added, ''We want people to have more fun on their travels rather than stress about costly laundry service, or spend time searching for coin laundries, or even waste luggage space packing extra clean clothing.

''With Dolfi, travel will become easier, happier and a lot more fun.''

The makers of Dolfi will launch their bid for funding to manufacture the product on Indiegogo on 20 January.

A donation of $89 will buy the product once it has been manufactured.