Product Design

Mask Washing Machine

In order for a person to reduce their chances of contracting COVID-19, it is advisable for them to wear a mask or a facial covering whenever they venture outside of the home. As health care workers, my parents recognize the importance of washing and sterilizing their reusable masks with soap and bleach whenever they come home from work, which often takes over an hour when done by hand. Their long sterilization process inspired me to create a mask washing machine to help them wash their masks more efficiently. The washing machine consists of a stir plate base, a magnetic stir bar, a repurposed plastic box, an inner stand, and a strainer. I designed the stir plate base, the stand, and the strainer with Fusion 360, an application used to create 3D designs. Below are the Fusion 360 renderings for the stir plate base and the strainer:

Fusion 360 model of stir plate base
Fusion 360 model of strainer

After 3D printing the various parts and obtaining a circuit with a battery, a motor, and two switches from the Windward CREATE Studio, I was able to assemble the mask washing machine. The clear plastic box (originally a Milano cookies box) sits on top of the stir plate base and holds a magnetic stir bar, the inner stand, water, the mask, and any bleach or soap. The motor within the stir plate base rotates a stir plate holding neodymium magnets, which in turn spins the magnetic stir bar and agitates the water, bleach, and/or soap inside the clear plastic box. The inner stand serves as a barrier between the spinning magnetic stir bar and the mask. There are two buttons on the front of the stir plate base: a dial, which changes the speed of the motor, and a switch, which changes the direction of the motor. The dial allows the machine to be gentler on masks made with more delicate or fragile material. Once the machine has completely sterilized the mask with bleach and soap, the strainer is used to pour the solution out of the clear plastic box without losing any smaller, loose parts of the mask. I hope this product makes it easier for health care workers like my parents to effectively sterilize their masks!

Front view of mask washing machine and stir plate with mask inside
Top view of mask washing machine and strainer with mask inside
Strainer, inner stand, washing machine, and mask
Stir plate base buttons