Buttons designed be kept next to washing machines for ordering more capsules, as well as other staples

Amazon has launched the Dash Button, a wifi-enabled gadget that can be pressed to instantly order items from the online store.

The button can be kept next to the sink to instantly order toothpaste, for instance, or stuck on a washing machine for when supplies are running low. Pressing the button will send a message to Amazon that supplies are needed, and the company will ship them to people’s homes.

The buttons will be offered free to Amazon Prime members, who can sign up on the site to be in the running to receive an invitation.

The company has already signed up a range of brands — including Bounty, Olay and Huggies — who will supply custom-made buttons, featuring their logo and images.

The technology uses the “Dash Replenishment Service”, a system made for the delivery of products that people tend to use continuously and regularly need topping up. The same technology can be built in to household appliances so that they can automatically request products — the first products, which include Whirlpool washers, water filters, coffee machines and printers — are set to launch this autumn.

Dash is the latest in a run of products introduced by Amazon intended to make it easier to order household items. In December, for example, it launched Amazon Prime Now, which delivers items to select addresses in an hour.

And earlier this week, Amazon unveiled Amazon Home Services, which allows the site to be used to order cleaners, electricians, plumbers and more.