Eco-friendly nanoparticles to keep clothes clean

Researchers have developed a coating for clothes that repels bacteria.

U.S. Army

A $28-million military research project could pay off for you at the Laundromat.

Researchers have developed a water-repellant coating using a polymer film (polyglycidyl methacrylate) mixed with silver nanoparticles that, when fixed to common clothing and soaked in a chemical solution, allows them to repel bacteria.

"The coating doesn't actually clean itself," said Dr. Phil Brown of Clemson University. "You will still need some water to rinse away dirt and stains, but cleaning will be quicker and less frequent."

That works for us, but how about socks? Originally developed to protect troops from biological warfare agents, the coating could be available in everything from hospital scrubs to lawn furniture in about five years. The treatment may prove eco-friendly as well by reducing detergent and water consumption in current laundry practices.

And meanwhile? Well, a certain faction here at Crave has hinted that a product called Under-Ease, a charcoal filtered, anti-flatulence underwear, might be a good start. The company motto: "Wear them for the ones you love."

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