London, Jun 9 (UNI) A washing machine that uses only a cup of water to carry out a full wash has been invented in Britain to set aside people's water woes in times of scarcity.
The machine, which has been created by academics at Leeds University, works by using thousands of plastic chips -- about half a centimetre each -- which absorb and remove dirt.
A cup of water and detergent are added to each load besides around 20 kg of the chips, mail online reported.
The water is heated during the washing cycle to help dissolve the dirt, which then gets absorbed by the plastic chips.
The makers said the chips should be removed at the end of each wash but could be used up to 100 times, which was the equivalent of six months' washing.
Researchers said the technology, which uses less than 2 per cent of the water and energy of other washing machines, could save billions of litres of water each year.
The technology, named Xeros, was said to revolutionise the laundry industry and the inventors were in talks with a commercial partner.
The machine, which leaves clothes virtually dry, could be on sale as early as next year, they said.
Professor Stephen Burkinshaw, one of the inventors, said tests have produced ''quite astonishing'' results.
''We've shown that it can remove all sorts of everyday stains including coffee and lipstick whilst using a tiny fraction of the water used by conventional washing machines,'' he added.
Dr Rob Rule, director of Xeros Ltd, a company created to develop and market the machine, said, ''This is one of the most surprising and remarkable technologies I've encountered in recent years. Xeros has the ability to save billions of litres of water per year and, we believe, the potential to revolutionise the global laundry market.'' UNI XC SKB GC1407