OXO's Salad Spinner – A different "Spin" on lettuce
OXO's Salad Spinner was inspired by a children's top, illustrating how even the most basic products can influence design innovation. Before its introduction in 1998, crank or pull-tab salad spinners were considered high-end products. Some people even used the spin cycle of their washing machine to dry lettuce. The easy-to-use OXO Salad Spinner turned the tool into an everyday kitchen essential.
Fun Fact: Recently, OXO's Salad Spinner was turned into a portable centrifuge to diagnose anemia in rural parts of the world.
- Difficult to Start: Pull-string and crank-style spinners require fine motor skills and strength to begin the spinning motion.
- Soggy Lettuce: Some salad spinners do not achieve high levels of RPM, leaving users with damp lettuce that has to be "towel-dried" before serving.
- Cumbersome to Operate: Spinners commonly spin out of control on countertops unless one hand is holding it down tightly while the other is pulling or cranking.
- Troublesome to Clean: It is not uncommon for lettuce to get caught in the lid of a salad spinner.
Early OXO Salad Spinner Prototype
- Push of a button: During user research, the development team learned that people inherently enjoy the action of pressing down on a button. Not only is it fun and easy to do, but it gives them a sense of satisfaction that something is working.
- Use the force: Early in the development process, the designer actually calculated the surface tension of water droplets on lettuce. This helped determine the precise level of centrifugal force required dislodge the water and dry the lettuce without damaging it.
- Weeble-Wobble: The centrifugal force required to dry lettuce without bruising it was so high that the Spinner had a tendency to walk or wobble all over the countertop. Because of this, users had to use two hands – one to pump and the other to hold the Spinner steady.
- A Separate Piece: Our first attempt at a take-apart lid included pull tabs that held the lid securely together, but required too much force to separate the pieces.
- Get Pumped: The pump-style design makes it very easy for people of all ages and abilities to use without the need for significant hand strength or fine motor skills.
- Dry Idea: Continuous turning in the same direction allows the Salad Spinner basket to achieve higher RPM than most other spinners, resulting in the driest, crispest lettuce possible.
- Won't Slip: A combination of a non-slip ring bonded to the bottom of the bowl and the downward force from the pump keep the Salad Spinner steady on the table, allowing users to operate it with just one hand.
- Easy-to-clean: The clear lid immediately signals whether there is leftover lettuce caught inside and it comes apart with a simple pull to wash thoroughly.
The OXO Story:
In 1990, OXO staged a revolution (of sorts) by offering an easy-to-use, high-performing alternative to uncomfortable and ineffective kitchen gadgets. OXO's innovative take on the traditional Swivel Peeler, complete with its pudgy black handle, raised consumers' expectations of what could be expected from household products.
Today OXO offers over 800 products, each developed with a close (some might say "obsessive") attention to detail. Our goal is to deliver products that maximize comfort AND performance, illustrating our mission to create innovative consumer products that make everyday living easier.
Ever wonder what makes an OXO product an "OXO Product"?
OXO employees believe there are two rules that should guide product development: First, every new product must deliver a significant improvement over the status quo. Second, the functionality should never be sacrificed to make the product more attractive – above all it should work well.