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These Nano-Infused Fabrics Self-Clean in the Sun

Researchers at RMIT University have developed a new technology that uses NanoBiotechnology to create self-cleaning textiles capable of degrading organic matter when exposed to light. 

At the Ian Potter NanoBioSensing Facility and NanoBiotechnology Research Lab in Melbourne, Australia, scientists are experimenting with a new technology that could essentially allow clothes, blankets, carpets and other textiles to clean themselves.  Copper and silver-based nanostructures grown directly onto different textiles release “hot electrons” when exposed to light, giving them a “burst of energy” that allows them to break down organic matter.

In the future, this technology could provide people the option to keep their clothes clean simply by shining a light or walking out into the sun, eventually replacing the need for washing machines all together.   Researchers have also said that the technology could one day be used to develop antibacterial textiles, designed to fight and kill superbugs and help keep consumers cold and flu free.

The team at RMIT University isn’t the only group working on self-cleaning fabrics, though.  ODO Denim has allegedly developed the world’s first pair of self-cleaning jeans, designed to repel stains and eliminate bacteria and odors.  Funded initially by Kickstarter, the patent-pending jeans are woven with 10 to 15 grams of silver per pair.  The silver ions help to prevent bacteria from accumulating, while integrated nanoparticles help prevent stains by creating a higher resistance in the fabric.

The jeans are set to release in the near future, selling for $95 a pair, with the first set going to the original Kickstarter contributors.  While it might be awhile before we can completely disregard our washing machines, the technology is well on its way to becoming the next big thing in fashion.  Learn more about it by clicking here.