Woof To Wash: The Wonderful Dog-Operated Washing Machine
REASONS to love dogs: No. 342c – they can wash your clothes.
Woof to Wash enables specially-trained dogs to work an adapted washing machine with a footpad. The machine starts with a ‘woof’. Detergent is dispensed automatically. The door is opened by pulling a rope.
The device, which places dogs in direct competition with Romanians and Bulgarians (they can often only work in the UK as cleaners), is the work of John Middleton. “People who are visually impaired, have manual dexterity problems, autism or learning difficulties can find the complexity of modern day washing machines too much,” he says. “I had been working on a single programme washing machine to make things easier, and there was a lot of demand for it.
“But then I saw a video from the charity Support Dogs, where a dog strips a bed and loads the washing machine. I was completely blown away and instantly thought I could invent a machine where the dog does everything. So I got in touch with Support Dogs and they loved the idea. They said it would be a huge help to their severely disabled users.”
“Doing projects like this is mine and my team’s true passion,” he adds. “We make our money from selling mainstream products, but it’s making bespoke products – like the Woof to Wash – that really excites us. The idea is to simply show what can be done, because the possibilities really are endless.“
The charity’s director of operations Rita Howson is delighted: “What John has brilliantly come up with is to tailor make these machines to each individual’s needs.”
Dogs and man in harmony. And ever better than that, they also clean the dishes.