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Self-Cleaning Cloth Keeps Your Shirts Bacteria-Free With Pure Sunlight Power

Illustration for article titled Self-Cleaning Cloth Keeps Your Shirts Bacteria-Free With Pure Sunlight Power

This is laundry science at work. Researchers at the University of California at Davis have developed a compound that blends into cotton clothes and, when exposed to sunlight, destroys bacteria and toxins.


The compound is known as 2-anthraquinone carboxylic acid, or 2-AQC, and can be incorporated into cotton threads without the risk of washing off. After an hour's exposure to our yellow sun, the super compound produces reactive oxygen species, such as hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide, that break down nasties like E. coli and dangerous pesticides.

While it probably won't lift your average grass stain, the researchers hope to see it applied in health care, food processing, and even the military. I take this as the first step toward clothes that won't ever have to be washed again. [Journal of Material Chemistry via CNet]


Image Credit: Patricia A. Phillips/Shutterstock

You can keep up with Kwame Opam, the author of this post, on Twitter, Facebook, and occasionally Google+.

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I was under the impression that UV light from the sun already killed most bacteria upon exposure. I recall reading an article that NOT making your bed and exposing your bedroom to sunlight, during the day, was a good way to keep the bacteria living in your bedsheets under control.