Innovation has bought massive changes to our lives and to Earth itself in the last century. But none has caught my enthusiasm more than the invention of self-cleaning clothes! If this goes mainstream, it seems the day has come when we can finally be free from the bondage of laundry.

If there is one task that has been the bane of my existence – it’s doing the laundry. It is a tedious task despite advances in washing machine technology. Even if you don’t have to hand wash clothes, you still have to sort, check each item, and wait for each cycle. You have to do the washing in bulk, otherwise you would be wasting water, energy, and time. Unfortunately for us, we don’t have a choice but to do it. That or go naked, or worse, endure the stink. Bottom line is, somebody’s gotta do it.

The never ending chore - laundry!
The never ending chore – laundry!

But wait! Australian researchers at the Ian Potter NanoBioSensing Facility and NanoBiotechnology Research Lab at RMIT University have recently developed self-cleaning textiles! Yes, you read it right, they found a way to make clothes that wash themselves. The method involves growing special nanostructures, which can degrade organic matter (read: dirt) once they are exposed to sunlight.

These copper and silver-based nanostructures  are known for their ability to absorb visible light. The structures can rid your clothes of all that visible and invisible grime when they’re exposed to light – artificial or (thank you Universe), sunlight. And the best part? They clean fast. The fabric spontaneously cleaned itself in under 6 minutes after exposure to the sun.

According to Dr. Rajesh Ramanthan, ‘The advantage of the textiles is they already have a 3D structure so they are great at absorbing light, which in turn speeds up the process of degrading organic matter.’

Although the self-cleaning textiles are still in the development phase, the results look promising. Their main challenge now is how to build, integrate and permanently attach these nanostructures into fabrics on an industrial scale.

I can’t wait for the day when we can buy self cleaning clothes off the rack! When that happens, a little sunshine every day won’t hurt us, let alone our clothes.

In the meantime, me and my washing machine have a lot of washing to do. For now.

How about you? Have you heard about new inventions that could be a game changer in your life? Tell us about it, we’d love to hear from you.

Want to know more about this wonderful innovation? Read the full report here