The concept of self cleaning clothes has got to be one of the dreams of bikers everywhere. One pair of shorts, one jersey and a sock or two, always fresh, always ready to wear. Think how much time, frustration and washing powder you’d save. You couldn’t even be blamed for turning all the whites that ‘special’ pinky grey either.
NewScientist.com reports that bacteria impregnated into every single fibre of a fabric, could live, breed and eat up the dirt, creating self-cleaning clothes.
“Eventually, the garments in your wardrobe may be able to support a variety of bacteria engineered to eat odour-causing chemicals and human sweat. Other bacteria might secrete waterproof and protective coatings to extend the life of clothing and produce antiseptic for bandages.”
Despite very strong evidence to the contrary from our laundry basket, bacteria don’t colonise fibres that easily, and researchers have had to fire the bugs in under pressure. At the moment they’re testing with a flourescent (but harmless) E-coli bacteria, but they plan to impregnate clothes with all sorts of beasts of different capabilities, such as waterproofing or antiseptic duties.
Although human sweat and other filth is planned to be the main food source additional nutrition may be neccesary occasionally, as research leader Dr Fowler said “You could end up having to feed your shirt instead of wash it,”.
Now all they need is a bug that does the ironing and hangs them back up again.