TED Conversations

Hans Rosling

Director, Gapminder Foundation


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What are your thoughts and questions on "the magic washing machine"?

I will be answering questions on my new TED talk today at 11.30 -1.30 pm EST.
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  • Mar 22 2011: Modern laundry detergent is the real labor saver, not the washing machine. In the "old days" soap was used, which needed very hot water to dissolve it in the water. Because of the wonder of modern detergent, we can now use cold water. Detergent also releases soil from cloth so scrubbing isn't needed like it was with soap, just some agitation after soaking for 15 minutes to shake the soil into the waste water which can then be poured onto plants or the lawn to make it greener. This argument also ignores that wells, plumbing, drains, septic or sewage systems, water heaters, etc., are all also required to even allow a washing machine to work. A simple bucket, stream or garden hose, and modern detergent can be easier (and more fun) than using a washing machine.

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