Daniel Porter
Jun 26, 2012

Nanotech does your laundry

University of Warwick Chemistry researchers discover that carbon nanocrystals significantly enhance cold-water detergents. Most fats, particularly those found in crystallized form on our dirty clothes, are not not soluble at cold temperatures. Most laundry-doers circumvent this problem by using warm water to wash away these solids when washing their clothes. The members of the "Cold Water Cleaning Initiative" -- Warwick, Aston University, the UK Research Council and P&G -- hope to do away with the hot water cleaning and save energy in the process. The latest advance on this front uses 5 nm carbon nanocrystals. The team found that twice as much crystallized fat was removed with the addition of nanocrystals to typical commercial detergents. "Even at temperatures as low as 15 degrees centigrade, otherwise hard-to-remove fat could be solubilised from a test surface," said Dr. Andrew Marsh, who led the project.