Say Goodbye to Laundry with Self-Cleaning Clothes

Trevor English

Doing that load of laundry may soon be as easy as hanging them outside in the sunlight for a few minutes thanks to new research from RMIT University. The new cotton woven fabric would be treated with nano-particles that clean the textiles when exposed to sunlight.

“The advantage of textiles is they already have a 3D structure so they are great at absorbing light, which in turn speeds up the process of degrading organic matter.” ~ Dr. Rajesh Ramanathan, RMIT

Copper and Silver based nano-structures are the main catalysts to the cleaning reaction activated by UV light. This chemical reaction creates "hot electrons" which then bind with organic matter, thus degrading it. Now, being that humans are made of organic matter, the question still remains what the effect of this technology will be on the human body.

cotton mesh material[Image Source: Flickr]

Currently, the research team is trying to find the best way to attach the nano-particles to the fabric in an industrially scaled fashion. Dipping the different cotton based fabrics into various solutions has worked well so far at created an engrained nano-fabric.

Other hydrophobic materials while effective at first, have been shown to degrade at a rapid rate after washing. If the team can perfect the ability to embed the fabric with particles, then there would effectively be no need to wash your clothes ever again.

washing machine laundry clothes[Image Source: Pixels]

Next time your wife asks you to do the laundry, you can just throw the pile of clothes out in the sun and call it done [Note: This is not recommended]. Chemistry could be demise of laundromats across the world and you can say goodbye to the time consuming task of washing your clothes. Keep an eye out for more updates from IE about this versatile technology and we'll let you know when you can throw out your washing machine.