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Researchers Develop Self-Cleaning Clothes

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the your-washing-machine-is-pissed dept.

Science 220

Ponca City, We Love You writes "Researchers at Monash University, in Australia, have found a process to coat natural fibers such as wool, silk, and hemp that will automatically remove food, grime, and even red-wine stains by coating their fibers with titanium dioxide nanocrystals, which break down food and dirt in sunlight. Titanium dioxide is a strong photocatalyst and in the presence of ultraviolet light and water vapor, it forms hydroxyl radicals, which oxidize, or decompose, organic matter. "These nanocrystals cannot decompose wool and are harmless to skin," says organic chemist and nanomaterials researcher Walid Daoud. Titanium dioxide can also destroy pathogens such as bacteria in the presence of sunlight by breaking down the cell walls of the microorganisms making self-cleaning fabrics especially useful in hospitals and other medical settings."

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Let's get this out of the way. (0, Offtopic)

SamuelA1337O (1019988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547528)

Here comes the grey goo.

Slashdong is teh sexy! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547538)

You just live me for my (bitch) tits!

Sunlight? (5, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547544)

Sunlight?

This is some new kind of LED, right?

"...natural fibers such as wool, silk, and hemp..." So what if I'm sitting real close to someone who is wearing spandex or nylon or some other artificial fabric? Does it eat through those?

Re:Sunlight? (5, Funny)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547972)

It's the light bulb in the big blue room.

Re:Sunlight? (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548086)

"...natural fibers such as wool, silk, and hemp..." So what if I'm sitting real close to someone who is wearing spandex or nylon or some other artificial fabric? Does it eat through those?


Interesting ramifications if you went to the beach [wikipedia.org] to get some sun [wikipedia.org] in the presence of a woman [wikipedia.org] wearing a bathing suit [wikipedia.org] .

I think we may need to get a grant to see if this chemical can cause the spontaneous decay of women's swim wear in public. :-P The practical applications of that technology would be staggering.

Cheers

Re:Sunlight? (1)

evilklown (1008863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548216)

I'm already preparing a product line of beach towels covered with this material in this hope!

Totally off topic (4, Interesting)

Deagol (323173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548244)

But what is wrong with this picture [wikimedia.org] (from one of the Wikipedia links above)? Is she some sort or slave woman whose chains were photoshopped from her legs but not all of her shadow? WTF?

Re:Sunlight? (1)

joto (134244) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548272)

Actually, it's a kind of a gravity lamp, but unlike the one written about here recently [slashdot.org] , this one doesn't spin a rotor to generate electricity, and it generates its own gravity field by having immense mass. The crunching of matter through gravity results in a fusion reaction which heats matter further and balances the contraction so that it doesn't turn into a black hole. The light it creates is simply a byproduct of this heat, and contains almost every wavelength of light, thus creating a good work light, hence the term "daylight" which historically defined working hours. While most workplaces have artificial light available today, sunlight is still of importance in agriculture, and for planetary environmental reasons.

Re:Sunlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22548350)

Why would you be sitting next to someone who was wearing artificial fabrics? NATURAL FIBERS ONLY, that should go for you AND your friends. Works for me.

Re:Sunlight? (1)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548408)

"Now this is made from a space-age fabric specially designed for Elvis. Sweat actually cleans this suit!"

X-D

--ted

Its Achilles heel (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547546)

Obviously this would be the perfect clothing for many slashbots. However its requirement of sunlight to activate the self-cleaning enzymes makes it impractical for those basement dwellers among you.

Can they modify the fabric to react to the glow of a CRT?

Re:Its Achilles heel (2, Insightful)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547782)

Yes, but it reacts to the UV light...so all you have to do is replace your normal closet bulb with a bright UV lamp and then hang your clothes up for the night with the light on!

Re:Its Achilles heel (4, Funny)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547928)

You mean you have the energy left to take your clothes off and hang them in the server-room closet before you slump over your keyboard for the night? You obviously aren't getting in enough WoW.

Re:Its Achilles heel (4, Funny)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548012)

Well if you're playing WoW naked then it isn't a problem, is it? I mean....not that, you know...I do, or anything....it was just a suggestion...if you're into that..... *runs*

Re:Its Achilles heel (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548098)

somehow i'm reminded of that one sig "MMO's are like orgasms, You may solo yours but I prefer mine in groups"

Re:Its Achilles heel (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548426)

+3 Insightful.
Scary

BTW, great summary (3, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547870)

Researchers ... have found a process to coat natural fibers ... by coating their fibers...

That's some darn good journalism right there. Uh-huh.

Only self-cleans in sunlight? (4, Funny)

Gr33nNight (679837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547554)

I guess we'll be seeing many more geeks walking around in their underwear.

Re:Only self-cleans in sunlight? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547802)

I guess we'll be seeing many more geeks walking around in their underwear.
I wouldn't even wear that if I had a self-cleaning asshole.

Thats great but.... (1)

IronMagnus (777535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547560)

What about those of us who sit behind a computer in a basement all day letting our pizza spill on to our shirts?

Re:Thats great but.... (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547606)

Some blacklights in our basement should give the same effect - and also give us an excuse to put up those velvet posters we always secretly admired.

Re:Thats great but.... (1)

oddaddresstrap (702574) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548156)

Just move your workstation into a tanning booth. And I won't even apply for a patent.

Re:Thats great but.... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548162)

What about those of us who sit behind a computer in a basement all day letting our pizza spill on to our shirts?

Well, you're already not interested in the state of your laundry, so it's not like it's any worse than what you have now. :-P

Cheers

In Other News... (5, Funny)

wrfelts (950027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547564)

...man wakes up to find a pile of goo wearing his wife's very clean titanium dioxide pajamas...

Re:In Other News... (1)

tattood (855883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548296)

No kidding. Aren't humans essentially organic material? How does this break down the food and dirt and not the skin?

Re:In Other News... (5, Funny)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548422)

We most certainly ARE organic matter. And in a sense, we are also food. I for one do not desire to be digested by my own pants.

Awesome (1)

weston (16146) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547568)

I look forward to the development of advanced greenhouse-hospitals with remarkable amounts of sunlight.

Re:Awesome (2, Interesting)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547662)

That was my first thought, too. Sunlight is only allowed in recovery rooms at any of the hospitals I've been in, and MAYBE some lobbies.

Still, fluorescent tubes not only cause me to have seizures, but they also produce huge amounts of ultraviolet light. Will they still work? (No, the humor is not lost on me that the lighting in hospitals causes me to have seizures... )

Re:Awesome (1)

tim_darklighter (822987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547976)

All you really need is UV light (400 nm). So fluorescent bulbs are good. This includes black lights. :D

Re:Awesome (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548114)

What country do you live in?

I ask because the lack of sunlight in hospitals is a big issue here in the UK, where a lot of our hospitals are in very old buildings that just don't get enough light.

That's changing now, new wings tend to have lots of light.

Not quite enough sunlight to help with asepsis alas, but that's more because of things like cleaners carrying mops from ward to ward then anything else.

Re:Awesome (1)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548300)

Canada. Our hospitals are mostly built in the 70's around here, but they're building like nuclear fallout shelters. The fluorescent lights are still "natural light" fluorescents, but they still suck.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22548056)

Well, when you get enough titantium-dioxide nanocrystals in your lungs and pores, you'll have a good reason to be in your advanced greenhouse-hospital.

Nano-anything just doesn't sound too good to me.

Sounds good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547580)

...so long as the 1980's computer voice from "Back to the Future II" alerts the wearer when their jacket is dry.

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547594)

Titanium dioxide is a strong photocatalyst and in the presence of ultraviolet light and water vapor, it forms hydroxyl radicals, which oxidize, or decompose, organic matter.

If I am made of organic matter should I only wear these treated cloths at night?

Awesome! (1)

UWM (1162951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547618)

Now I'll never need to leave my room

Temporary Fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547626)

Great. Now we can look forward to "Clothes resistant flesh-eating streptococcus".

Interesting variety of uses (4, Interesting)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547630)

It's interesting that a compound normally used in dyes [wikipedia.org] is now being use to prevent stains.

Re:Interesting variety of uses (1)

tim_darklighter (822987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548326)

It's actually an important ingredient in sunscreen too.

Two questions (4, Interesting)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547644)

1) Does this process bleach the fabric? (i.e. Does this work for colors other than white?)
2) What does this do to the longevity of the fibers in the fabric? Does constant exposure to hydroxyl ions damage the cellulose in them?

Re:Two questions (3, Informative)

tim_darklighter (822987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547934)

1) Ideally no. If the coating is thick enough, light should not be able to get through and start the degradation of the fabric/dyes. This assumes that all fibers are similarly (and thus perfectly) coated. I could see cheaper coating processes leading to quicker bleaching. 2) This is similar to your first question. Only light + catalyst = degradation, so as long as the coating is uniform and thick enough to keep light from penetrating too far, it should be safe.

Well, there goes my plans... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547648)

I guess the old "Spill something on her dress and act concerned by patting her chest with a napkin" plan just flew out the window. Now I gotta use other plans to act innocent while copping a feel.

I guess I could try the "Make a sudden stop at a light right before it turns red and stick my arm out to make sure she doesn't fly forward" plan.

Re:Well, there goes my plans... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548180)

Well, we have these things called 'seatbelts' over here in the UK, you'd better hope they don't introduce them in the US or you're clearly never going to get any. Why you don't just make careful advances in snuggle time eludes me, though.. :p

No windshield wipers to self cleaning clothes (1)

schnoid (834307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547654)

Wow, these nano mites are working overtime! We just had an article about nanotechnologies taking the place of windshield wipers, and now we don't have to even wash our clothes! The future is looking promising! :)

Life span of garment? (1, Interesting)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547658)

Titanium dioxide is a strong photocatalyst and in the presence of ultraviolet light and water vapor, it forms hydroxyl radicals

It sounds like some of the titanium dioxide is used up in the process. How long will the self-cleaning property last?

Re:Life span of garment? (4, Informative)

BytePusher (209961) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547776)

"Titanium dioxide is a strong photocatalyst" meaning it's not used up in the process. It breaks water into an -OH and an H, which in turn clean your clothing. Basically, it'll produce bleach vapor from water vapor when sunlight is hitting it.

Re:Life span of garment? (1)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548258)

"Tide Titanium sweaters! Now with 45% more bleach fumes!"

I think I'll stick with washing stuff with soap and water. I do see this being useful maybe for tents and the like.

Re:Life span of garment? (1)

tim_darklighter (822987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547864)

No, the hydroxyl radicals are usually formed from a combination of molecular oxygen and water (multiple reactions). The titania is not degraded in a measurable amount. It is a real catalyst, and thus will last forever unless mechanically washed off of the fabric.

Re:Life span of garment? (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548016)

perhaps you should look up the definition of 'catalyst'- by definition catalysts are restored to their original state in process cycles and are not consumed in a reaction.

Not so fast... (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547676)

Clothes are relatively easy to clean... Now, self-cleaning keyboards... that would be an achievement!

Let us pool in money... (2, Funny)

middlemen (765373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547682)

Let us pool in money and buy one for our beloved RMS ! ;)

Why not make it with the original nanocrystal... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547688)

... Asbestos?

Armpit Stink (1, Interesting)

Numbah One (821914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547694)

Can these self-cleaning clothes handle the "armpit stank" most of us put out? those living in the basement of their parent's house might not consider this much of an issue, but the rest of us do :-)

Safe on the body, but inside the body? (1)

shking (125052) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547700)

OK. So it's safe on the skin, but what's the chance of inhaling or swallowing this stuff? What are the effects if it's taken internally?

Re:Safe on the body, but inside the body? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547724)

Self-cleaning anal beads! You're a genius!

Re:Safe on the body, but inside the body? (4, Funny)

shking (125052) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547824)

Self-cleaning anal beads! You're a genius!
No sh**!

Re:Safe on the body, but inside the body? (3, Informative)

tim_darklighter (822987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547766)

Titanium dioxide is non-toxic. You'll just poop it out.

Toothpaste (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548042)

Ever brushed your teeth? Maybe with white toothpaste? You worried about that too?

Re:Toothpaste (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548154)

The people most interested in self-cleaning clothes probably aren't the most acquainted with hygiene products.

Re:Safe on the body, but inside the body? (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548228)

According to wikipedia, Titanium Dioxide is used in many things, including as a food dye and in many toothpastes. So yeah, odds are you already swallow a good amount of the stuff as is.

self-cleaning and self-destructing? (4, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547710)

What stops the hydroxyl radicals produced by Ti02 from oxidizing the organic material in the cotton, silk, or hemp fibers?

Sounds like a great way to ensure no one wears last year's fashions.

Re:self-cleaning and self-destructing? (1)

Pvt_Waldo (459439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548068)

That was my question too. What's the difference between skin, wool, cotton and dirt or bacteria? You can just imagine the warning tags. "A small percentage of wearers find their outer dermis eaten off by this cloth. If you experience itching, discomfort or excessive bleeding out of your pores, please discontinue use and see a doctor."

Re:self-cleaning and self-destructing? (2, Interesting)

adamchou (993073) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548146)

More important than that, what happens to my skin when it gets oxidized?

Re:self-cleaning and self-destructing? (2, Insightful)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548416)

More important than that, what happens to my skin when it gets oxidized?

Your acne clears up. [expresschemist.co.uk]

Re:self-cleaning and self-destructing? (2, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548160)

Cotton is basically cellulose, which is chemically highly inert (it's a strong structure, and it arranges itself with all the chemically interesting bits on the inside of a spiral, so the attacking chemicals have trouble getting to them). Hydroxyl radicals aren't going to be enough to attack it agressively (though they might very slowly). This will be chemically similar to (not the same as) peroxide based bleaches, which are relatively mild (especially compared to chlorine bleach).

I don't know specifically about the other fibers, but many natural fibers are chemically resistant, so I'm not surprised they say it works with wool and other things as well.

Blood? (1)

grassy_knoll (412409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547718)

Does this also remove blood stains?

If so, Dexter [wikipedia.org] would love it...

however... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547738)

tagline...."The cyrstals when they eventually wear off become airbourne and the prolonged exposure causes suffocation due to scar tissue in the lungs." (j/k).

Can we say mesothelioma???

Idiocracy (2, Funny)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547756)

so that's how the clothes in that movie stayed so clean despite the surrounding filth...

there's proof positive this will work.

check it out in the time musheen!

Man, I remember when Lead was safe too (1, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547808)

Sure, they say that Titanium Dioxide, that uber dangerous chemical also found in white paint, is safe to wear now, but, what about 20 years ago? Back in my day, scientists said that lead was safe for gasoline, and that was wrong. Then they said that the pill was safe, until fish started popping up without sex organs? They used to have this four food groups and said I needed to eat a lot of peanut butter and cheese, and I did, and now I need a new thing to get my cholesterol back down, and I can only eat food that even dogs wouldn't eat. Back in my day, doctors used to dole out speed like it was going out of style and advocate a smoke to calm your nerves. Now they've taken all of that away, all the good stuff, and instead, I've got clothes that I won't have to wash. I know those are going to kill me too.

Nope, I'll just stick to washing clothes with water and a bit of soap!

Re:Man, I remember when Lead was safe too (4, Funny)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548276)

You know that soap will kill you. Also, water is the deadliest substance on Earth, says so right here [dhmo.org] .

Re:Man, I remember when Lead was safe too (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22548284)

There are a small number of people who are allergic to titanium dioxide.

I only know this because I am one of them. This is annoying because it means I can't use toothpaste, eat m&m's (or any other hard candy for the most part), and I get surface rashes from transfer exposure; e.g. my wife can no longer paint her fingernails because most nail polish has titanium dioxide. We only found out I had the allergy after we bought my wedding band, a beautiful piece of titanium...

Am I the only one.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547810)

Who immediate thought of this [imdb.com] when they saw the headline?

Re:Am I the only one.... (1)

Badmovies (182275) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547914)

I did as well. Didn't know it was out on DVD now, so I thank you kindly, sir.

Off to Amazon I go...

This might make business SCENTS and CENTS... (1, Informative)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547826)

But, it doesn't seem to make SENSE to me...

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthguidelines/titaniumdioxide/recognition.html [osha.gov]
Search down to:

HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION

http://www.theorganicmakeupcompany.com/CA/titaniumdioxide.asp [theorganic...ompany.com]

"Titanium dioxide has a variety of uses, as it is odorless and absorbent. This mineral can be found in many products, ranging from paint to food to cosmetics. In cosmetics, it serves several purposes. It is a white pigment, an opacifier and a sunscreen. Concern has arisen from studies that have pointed to titanium dioxide as a carcinogen and photocatalyst, thus creating fear in consumers."

"The MSDS states that titanium dioxide can cause some lung fibrosis at fifty times the nuisance dust, defined by the US Department of Labor as 15 mg/m cubed (OSHA) or 10 mg/m cubed (ACGIH Threshold Limit Value). The ACGIH states that titanium dioxide is "not classifiable as a human carcinogen". Symptoms of chronic overexposure to titanium dioxide in an industrial setting, according to the MSDS, include a "slight increase in lung tumour incidence in lab rats". It also states "when titanium dioxide was fed to rats/mice in a carcinogen bioassay, it was not carcinogenic". The NIOSH declares that at 5000 mg/m cubed there was slight lung fibrosis, concluding that this substance was carcinogenic in rats."

http://www.ccohs.ca/headlines/text186.html [ccohs.ca]

OK, I know the first slam upon me will be the lack of concentration of the TiO2, the means of entry, and so on, but STILL...

Re:This might make business SCENTS and CENTS... (5, Informative)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548320)

Any very fine mineral dust you inhale in large quantities -- and 5.0 grams per cubic meter is unbelievably dusty, like blowing a whole pack of chalk to smithereens in your office -- will cause the symptoms described in both the OSHA document and the more problematic document you cite from people who want to scare you into buying their (more expensive) "natural" products.

All particles with sharp edges, i.e. that come from minerals, irritate the delicate tissue lining your lungs if you inhale it. TiO2 is no different in this regard than, say, SiO2 -- plain old sand -- that you might inhale if you were around blasting or power sanding operations all day. (Google "silicosis.")

Furthermore, your lungs are built like lobster traps from the point of view of inhaled superfine particles: it's easy to get in, but very difficult to get out. This is why in the upper region of the respiratory tract, you have mucus that traps inhaled larger particles and cilia that beat constantly to flush them up and out, plus a cough reflex to expel the scum. But you can't have these things in the deep tissue of the lungs, because that surface area is needed for gas exchange.

So if you inhale very fine dust, it just stays in your lungs pretty much forever, jiggling around and rubbing on things, irritating them. Your body may decide to wall it off with scar tissue if it's irritating enough, which is the "fibrosis" mentioned. It's even possible if it's sufficiently irritating, like the very sharp particles of asbestos fibers, that it can stimulate lung cancer. For all we know, the only reason people get lung cancer in the large numbers they do is because, sooner or later, everyone's lungs fill up with irritating particles of all manner and description and the chronic irritation causes tumors. Unfortunately, the only way to eliminate the threat of inhaled fine dust completely is to never breathe without a heavy fine-filtering face mask.

Insofar as these clothes are concerned, the primary question would be: how is this very fine dust going to be generated? I mean, inhaling very fine silica (SiO2) dust is dangerous in exactly the same way, but you don't refuse to go to the beach or rock-climbing because you know the rock and sand has no reason to suddenly pulverize itself and become superfine dangerous dust. So how would fibers coated with TiO2 get pulverized and generate super fine dust? Don't say the motion of wearing the clothes, either, because you need much more force than this. Walking on the sand at the beach doesn't pulverize the sand particles and generated dangerous superfine silica dust, after all.

Obligatory Clerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547854)

I told the boss that if we could activate the cleaning process via moonlight that we could cater to the vampire and hooker crowd...

I can't wait to breathe that crap in (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547932)

and die of some horrible lung disease.

Is there something terribly wrong with simply getting up off your ass and cleaning your clothes once in a while?

RS

Re:I can't wait to breathe that crap in (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548092)

Is there something terribly wrong with simply getting up off your ass and cleaning your clothes once in a while?
Yes, but how much time/money/energy/chemicals are needed for that ordinary cleaning?

Anyway, I see it more as a good alternative to dry cleaning than to regular washing.

Re:I can't wait to breathe that crap in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22548246)

Is there something terribly wrong with simply getting up off your ass and cleaning your clothes once in a while?
You must be new here...

Let me guess (1)

netglen (253539) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547942)

Once you wash these specially treated clothes in a regular washer, you lose the self-cleaning ability? :D

Re:Let me guess (1)

tim_darklighter (822987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548210)

I should hope not. Surfactants (like laundry detergent) usually increase the reactivity of the photocatalyst, so if you've got some fluorescent lighting in your washer, it will be doubly clean. Actually soaking these clothes in normal water and then hanging them up to dry in the sun may be the best way to clean them. Titania doesn't dissolve in water, and water greatly increases the reactivity of the photocatalyst by producing more hydroxyl radicals. Long live the clothesline!

Headlines (4, Informative)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547966)

Feb. '08 - Researchers Develop Self-Cleaning Clothes
June '09 - Startup "Washtec" Sells First Self-Cleaning Clothes
Oct. '09 - Old Navy, Nike, UnderArmour License Self-Cleaning Fabric Technology
Nov. '12 - Self-Cleaning Apparel Set to Overtake Ordinary Clothing Sales this Holiday
July '13 - Self-Cleaning Clothes Linked to Cancer, Impotence, Schizophrenia
Aug. '13 - Self-Cleaning Clothes Health Study Flawed
Nov. '13 - Self-Cleaning Clothes: The Killer in your Closet
Nov. '13 - SCCs do Pose Some Risk, Scientists Say
Dec. '13 - SCC Risks Exaggerated, Study Finds
Feb. '14 - Old Navy pulls SCCs from Shelves
June '14 - Newer, Safer, SCC Technology Developed

Pffft. If the clothing was smart (2, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548008)

If the clothing made from this fabric was smart enough, it would eventually figure out that the best way to get rid of the 'dirt' problem is to eliminate the one, who is wearing the clothing in question. While the researchers say that these nanocrystals cannot harm the skin, how long before it gains this ability, by say becoming exposed to some levels of X-Rays higher than normal? It wouldn't make long before a movie about the hungry killer suit is released. Also judging from the kind of garbage that get the Oscar nowadays [oscar.com] , this new movie is going to get fasttracked in that department as well.

self cleaning cloths? (1)

pdwalker (113292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548030)

Nerds of the world, Rejoice!

Really could be very useful (1)

Fered (992965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548034)

Ok, there have been many funny comments, but this could be very useful outside of the realm of those of us who have poor hygiene habits.

My girlfriend is currently in her third year of med school and she has repeatedly talked about the issue of doctor's ties, white coats, and other things in hospitals being harbors for germs.
I'm imagining that 'cleaning stations' could be setup relatively easily around hospitals where all you do is shine some UV light or whatever activates this stuff and you could decrease the spread of germs without huge cost or inconvenience. I mean, doctors wash their hands all the time, but how often can you realistically wash a tie?

I for one would like to see this developed further and find out how low we could get mass production costs.

Now hold on a minute... (1)

dwalsh (87765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548038)

<slashdotReaderCliche>
Are you telling me that normal clothes are not self-cleaning, and you are meant to wash them or something?
</slashdotReaderCliche>

Wait a cotton pickin minute? (2, Interesting)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548040)

which oxidize, or decompose, organic matter
How does it know the difference between a piece of pork and your skin?

Re:Wait a cotton pickin minute? (1)

mb108 (1228888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548188)

My thoughts exactly.... If it breaks down the cell wall of bacteria, it can do the same to your own cell walls. There's no structural difference between the two. Maybe it doesn't react to the keratin which composes the the outermost layer of skin, but still. There's going to be somebody out there who exfoliates a little too much, puts on their favorite self-cleaning shirt, and develops a nasty rash as soon as they step outside.

Oh, and the obligatory:
"Luckily, /.ers are safe from both exfoliation and sunlight."

Re: Wait a cotton pickin minute? (5, Insightful)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548290)

Not only that, but your skin is crawling with "good" bacteria and how does it know the difference between the "bad" bacteria to break down and the "good" bacteria on your skin?

Re: Wait a cotton pickin minute? (1)

mb108 (1228888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548494)

Not only that, but your skin is crawling with "good" bacteria and how does it know the difference between the "bad" bacteria to break down and the "good" bacteria on your skin?
"Yes folks, another great product from the people who brought you antibacterial soap and the vicious unkillable superbugs that infest your local hospitals! Enjoy!"

The world will be a better place when people realize that a bacteria-free environment is only desirable in one place: a surgeon's clean field.

If only I'd had this as a student... (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548054)

I wouldn't have had to hammer my socks until the were bendable again :)

This must be what Star Trek uniforms are made of (1)

greenslashpurple (1236792) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548060)

You always see captain Kirk, Spock, the Redshirts, and all the rest of them beam down into dirty, dusty, hostile environments for weeks at a time. Most of the episodes, the planet hadn't even evolved dry cleaners or laundromats, or it had evolved way way past that. Yet their shirts are always spotless. I always wondered how that worked. Now I know: Titanium nano crystals from the future embedded in the very fabric of the star fleet uniform.

Environmentally friendly (1)

El Pollo Loco (562236) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548136)

That's pretty awesome. Less water usage. Less work for me. It's win/ win. The water savings along could be incredible.

Also a paint (1)

GreatRedShark (880833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548148)

I remember seeing at the Toronto Condo Show a year or two ago a company that had a paint which had similar properties: would kill bacteria and destroy dirt when the dirt/bacteria contacted the painted material that was exposed to sunlight. They claimed it was already quite popular in medical settings and also in residential settings in Asia, and they were trying to break into the local residential markets.

It sounded really cool, but unfortunately, they guy who was at the booth was more sales than tech. Does anyone know what this was, or how it worked? It sounds similar to the clothing described here.

fnorp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22548158)

uabj yfrdw ***UhvhHHOHO boddaa railways You are not logged in. You can log in now using the convenient form below, or Create an Account, or post as Anonymous Coward. You are not logged in. You can log in now using the convenient form below, or Create an Account, or post as Bob DoloE.

Recall notice and related news release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22548190)

We regret to inform our customers, that due to manufacturing errors at our plants in China, some batches of our self-cleaning cloth have demonstrated unexpected behavior. In those cases the cleaning process has been extended beyond the material of the clothing. We have reports where the cleaning process removed the skin layer of the person wearing underwear products made from our patented material. We have identified the cause, and put in more stringent manufacturing rules.

In related news: Reinventing the funeral business

An Australian company have applied for patents for their "bodybag coffin", which may revolutionize the way how we take care of those who passed away. The "bodybag coffin" is based on nanotechnology, which allows the breakdown of the dead body within hours, eliminating the need for expensive burial sites. During the fast elimination process the "body beg coffin" offers different options. The simple version collects the remains (which are broken down to less than a handful of ashes-like material) into a small "soul bag" and can be taken by the relatives by the end of the funeral ceremony.

Other version of the "body bag coffin" can produce electricity during the breakdown process and the "soul energy" can be captured and stored in a variety of ways to create a memorabilia of the passed away person.

The "body beg coffin" is very environmental friendly, there is no technical difficulty to re-use it over and over.
The public will have to get used to the idea of the re-usable "body bag coffin", but the company spoke person pointed out, that we already use the same equipments to cremate bodies.

Rich customers would probably have their own "body beg coffin", while the "Dynasty" version will aim to "family body beg coffins", where family members could use the same "body beg coffins" to "bury" their loved ones for generations to come. This version will be equipped with a technology, called "DNA-elIminate", which will make sure, that at the end of the process any remainders of the DNA of the deceased is completely "shredded".

The Colors... (1)

hhr (909621) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548194)

Making something self-cleaning by coating it with titanium dioxide seams to pop up every couple of years. There was an effort to make self cleaning kitchen tiles and self cleaning house siding.

These wonderful technologies run into two problems.

One, they only come in one color-- white.

Two, they only work in UV light. So the shady bits can get very dirty-- dirty enough to block the UV and halt the self cleaning trick.

What's the point of having a self cleaning garmet if you have to tumble it for hours under UV light?

This might be great, but... (1)

HiChris! (999553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548324)

It wouldn't work well to go out in the hot sun hoping to get the armpit stick out of your shirt

Let's see if I understand this.. (1)

ghjm (8918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548456)

Pizza goes on shirt. Sunlight activates catalyst. Catalyst causes a chemical reaction that decomposes the pizza into ... what? Organic gases?

What does this smell like while operating?

-Graham

boy, this sure doesn't worry me (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548462)

What, this stuff could have an adverse effect on human skin? Impossible. Since when have we ever rushed a poorly understood product to market with no consideration of future consequences?
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