A washing machine which uses only one cup of water per cycle could go on sale in the UK next year.

A typical washing machine uses about 35 litres of water for every kilogram of washing – plus power to heat the water and dry the clothes

Xeros Ltd, a company formed by the University of Leeds, has secured funding to develop a machine which uses plastic chips to remove dirt and stains. As the clothes are not wet, there is no need for drying – eliminating the power consumption used for spin drying and the need for a clothes dryer.

Xeros says that the price of the new machines will not be dramatically different from conventional washing machines.