A new nanocoating for fabrics offers the promise to automatically clean themselves, including red wine stains. Chemists have now found a way to bond tiny particles to fibers that actively fight stains and grime. And guess what? Throwing these fabrics into the wash or dryer can actually damage the clothes - so it looks like absolutely no “active” washing involved…..
Organic chemist, Walid Dauod of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia says the ultimate benefit of using self-cleaning fabrics is minimizing the use of chemicals, energy, water and of course cleaning bills as well.
To create the fabrics, the scientists use nanocrystals of the compound anatese titanium dioxide, which is capable of photocatalytic degradation - this is using light to break down dirt, stains and other harmful micro-organisms. The crystals bond with the wool fibers (invisibly) and do not change the texture or movement of the fabric. When the fabric is stained with red wine and exposed to sunlight for 20 hours, the harsh stain had disappeared.
The team of researchers expect the self-cleaning materials to be on the market as soon as 2 years from now, although they warn that the concept is till in its very early days.