Could Self-Cleaning Fabric Threaten Washing Machine Sales?
What if you could get rid of stains just by leaving your clothes outside?
According to CNN, researchers in Australia claim they have found a way to alter fabric so that stains disappear after a few minutes of sun exposure.
The researchers state that fabric can be dipped into a special solution that coats a stain with microscopic copper and silver particles. It can then be left outside where the particles react to sunlight and act as bleach on the stain.
"They get excited, then they degrade organic matter," one of the researchers, Rajesh Ramanathan, told CNNMoney on Wednesday. The tiny materials don't eat into the cotton "because cotton is cellulose -- is very tough."
Ramanathan, who works with his team at the Ian Potter NanoBioSensing Facility at RMIT University in Melbourne, stated that the process has been successfully tested on cotton, polyester and nylon fabrics.
The researchers also discovered that the coating continued to dissolve stains after 15 washes, meaning users have the option of washing their clothes and using the stain removing process simultaneously.
The new stain removing process can clean fabric in less than 40 minutes.
Ramanathan told CNN that he hopes that the experiments will convince textile manufacturers to treat their materials with the self-cleaning solution during the production process.
He also stated that bottling and selling the solution could be another option but he wants to make self-cleaning laundry easy for consumers to take advantage of.