Back in high school, I knew a lot of guys who were obsessed with keeping their sneakers white and clean. So, of course, other people did their best to mess up those shoes. Whether it was an "accidental" spill of soda in the lunchroom or a playful nudge off of the sidewalk into the grass, those shoes were the main target. Too bad those obsessive guys didn't have NeverWet, a spray-on coating developed by researchers at Ross Technology in Lancaster, Penn.

The silicon-based aerosol spray is made up of nanoparticles that create a hydrophobic surface when sprayed onto an object. Any liquid that comes into contact with the treated area rolls off without leaving a stain behind. The spray aids in preventing corrosion, icing and bacteria growth. It also helps keep surfaces clean by keeping particles like dust and thick oils on the surface, making them easier to wipe away.

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New Scientist tested out a pair of shoes coated with NeverWet and found that a few things were able to penetrate the water-phobic coating. These included solvents such as acetone and ethanol. The testers were also able to damage the shoes pretty thoroughly with a good ol' can of spray paint. So, it may not be the cure-all for white shoe obsessives, but it does work pretty well on electronics. According to a video on the NeverWet site, an iPhone sprayed with the substance still worked after being submerged in water for 30 minutes.

No official word yet, but the spray is set to hit U.S. shelves soon, with an international release coming later on.

Via: New Scientist TV

Credit: Christine Schneider/cultura/Corbis