How The Washing Machine Changed Our World

Washing and drying clothes used to be a time consuming and tedious job before the advent of washing machines. The washing machine made a labor-intensive job automatic, which benefited society. Thus, the washing machine is yet another gift of modern technology which saves a lot of time and energy of people.

Sneak peek in history.

Clothes first appeared in human history 1,70,000 years ago. Various kinds of clothes and other washable items were gradually invented as humans progressed. This also led to the need to wash various kinds of clothes. The earliest method to wash clothes was using river water, beating the clothes on the rocks and leaving them under the sun to dry. Public wash houses appeared in the Roman empire.

The public wash houses were used by women to wash clothes on any day of the week. The household laundry used to be brought by the women to wash them at one go in the public wash houses. The method of washing clothes was made somewhat easier with the advent of washboards in the 18th century. However, the energy-sapping work of collecting water, heating water, soaping, scrubbing, rinsing, and drying clothes continued until the invention of first the semi-automatic electric washing machine in the 20th century. Automated washing machines finally hit the market but were initially too expensive for most people.

Impact on women

The responsibility of washing the household laundry usually fell on women in the past. Even in the present times, womenfolk of the families are the ones who manage the laundry of the entire household. However, before the invention of washing machines, women had to spend a lot of time washing clothes. They also used to expend a lot of energy in washing clothes, which left them exhausted. Furthermore, they were also exposed to waterborne pathogens.

Washing machines freed up a lot of time for women and saved their energy levels. Consequently, they were able to engage in work that generated income. Thus, many experts on human society and health believe that washing machines also played a major role in helping women unshackle the bonds of patriarchy and enter the job market.


There are extensive benefits to washing machines, which positively impacted the world. Some of them have been listed here.

  • Washing machines wash several clothing items together, which saves a lot of time and energy.
  • There is no dearth of options for washing machines with respect to load, cleaning features, and other factors that cover all kinds of cleaning requirements and budgets of the consumers.
  • The modern washing technological tools used in the washing machines eliminate even stubborn dirt and stains from even heavy fabrics. Manually removing tenacious dirt and stains is a very exhausting and may not even succeed in completely removing the dirt particles and stains.
  • Modern washing machines are also equipped with a drying feature, which means the machine dries the clothes after washing. This has eliminated the need to dry clothes in the sun and the inability to wash clothes during cloudy or rainy days.