#102: Bootwash

I don’t have any kind of mud-room in my house, unless you count the dining room. This is a particular problem when there are several pairs of festering, filthy boots mounting up outside the front door -and I’ve been forbidden to experiment with the dishwasher ever again.

“Waiting for the mud to dry so they can be brushed clean” sounds like the kind of thing that manufacturers advise on product literature -marketing types wearing designer loafers that only ever come in contact with polished wood and deep pile carpet.


Today’s invention is simply a carwash for boots. I envisage a box, into which boots get placed, soles facing up. Brushes would scour the boots clean with the aid of some water jets. With brushes made of say 20cm strands, there would be no need to worry about moving them around the boots’ geometry: the brushes would reach everywhere in the box.

Naturally, the water could be recycled, as in a carwash and there might be a fan blowing warm air, if the boots needed urgent reuse.

It should be possible to sense the flowrate of dirt off the boots (by eg optical inspection of the recycling filters). Once the dirt removal rate had fallen below a certain threshold, the boots would be pronounced sufficiently clean and the wash process terminated. (Shining a light through a filter and recording the rate of change of opacity, seems to me to be a generally good way to alert the users of eg washing machines and vacuum cleaners to undertake an urgent clean out -I suspect it’s already done).

The final wash could even contain some waterproofing waxy agent. A number of these bootwash devices could be stacked together for family use, sharing the water and air flows.

This would be a particular boon to people suffering from smelly trainers.

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