Wash, Rinse, Repeat, Hike: Arm-Powered Camp Dishwasher

If you would rather be chased through the woods by an angry mother bear than wash your camping dishes by hand, you’ll love David Stockton’s EcoWash System. The small plastic gadget is meant to be carried along on camping or hiking trips to keep dinner dishes clean and shiny without the need to dip your hands into a dishpan – and with no electricity.

The concept is simple enough. A squat cylindrical chamber holds dishes and utensils, and water and soap are poured in through a small opening at the top. A hand-crank pops out of the side and the user spins and spins, using elbow grease to slosh the dishes clean. Another small opening at the bottom of the chamber lets the dirty water out. Rinse and dry cycles follow.

The designer intends the washer to come with its own special set of plastic dishes and cutlery that would fit perfectly into the dishwasher. After washing, the dining set could presumably be stored and transported in the washer as well.

While it seems like a cool idea, this seems to be a fix for a problem that doesn’t really exist. It would take far more planning, money and muscle power to carry and operate this machine at a campsite than it would to simply wash the dishes by hand. But there are some people who would pay any amount and go to any ridiculous length to keep from doing dishes (we’re looking at you, ex-roommates), so this concept is just for them.

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See more in Unbuilt Concepts or under Technology. June, 2011.