As energy costs go up and society becomes more eco-conscious, people have been opting to wash their clothes in cooler temperatures, which can sometimes leave dirt and fats behind. Bringing new meaning to the term “laundry crystals,” University of Warwick scientists in the U.K. have found that nanodiamonds help detergents clean clothing more effectively by loosening dirt from surfaces, even at lower temperatures.

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The research, published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, found that diamonds as small as 5-nanometers doubled the amount of fat detergents were able to clean at water temperatures of 77 degrees Fahrenheit, or room temperature. The project was a part of the “Cold Water Cleaning Initiative” funded by a group of scientists to find ways that carbon can work with everyday household cleaners to optimize efficiency. In the case of laundry, this means less energy spent cleaning clothing at high temperatures and more money saved by consumers. No plans for a commercial product, yet, but research continues to find ways to apply this to other cleaning methods.

via Futurity

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