Nanotechnology is science on a very tiny level—it examines the atoms and molecules of different substances to see how they affect each other. Recently, this research has been put to impressive use.
Nanotechnologists are now saying that they have produced “self-cleaning” products that, when applied to typical household surfaces, simply make the dirt disappear.
Nanotechnology cleaning has several branches and functions in many different ways, but just a few of them are:
Self-cleaning fabrics. Fashionistas, rejoice! Australian researchers have discovered that a thin layer of titanium dioxide nanoparticles will immediately “eat” any stain. This could revolutionize the clothing industry.
So far they’ve only tried this technique on wool and silk, but don’t worry—eventually they’ll get around to all your favorite fabrics.
Cleansing films. These chemical treatments are applied (usually sprayed) onto smooth surfaces that tend to accumulate a lot of grime.
This makes them perfect for the kitchen or bathroom. After being sprayed, the nanotechnology in the chemical breaks down dirt at a molecular level, so that if left on long enough it will completely dissolve. If left to work only a small amount of time, it will at least make the grime easy to wipe off.
One of these films uses titanium oxide nanoparticles as its main ingredient. Titanium oxide is known as a “photocatalyst” because it has the ability to turn ordinary light into energy, and then uses that energy source to kill harmful bacteria. When you use this nano-spray, it literally eats the dirt right off of anything you spray it onto.
This form of nanotechnology cleaning has also been modified to create a super-effective window cleaner. Nanotechnologists have customized the molecular characteristics of thin polymer layers, making a product that you can quickly and easily apply to glass surfaces from your kitchen window to your car’s windshield.
Many people enjoy using it on their windshield because it has long-lasting water repellant properties. This not only makes the windshield easier to keep clean, but also makes driving in the rain much safer.
Nanoparticle soaps. When nanoparticles—or in other words small amounts of a chemical whose structure is based on nanotechnology, are placed within a regular hand soap, they greatly increase the efficiency of the soap.
This is great news for the environment, since nanoparticles can replace other chemicals with harmful byproducts. It also increases the natural efficiency of hand soap to keep your hands clean, making this a win-win situation from many angles.
Silver nanoparticles. This one is still in question because there is some concern that small particles of silver may damage helpful bacteria if they find their way into the water systems, as they inevitably will if used for cleaning purposes.
On the other hand, their antibacterial properties make them great cleaning agents when it comes to the gunk on your counters and floors. Elemental silver naturally kills off harmful bacteria.
Super washing machines. Companies like Samsung have used nanotechnology cleaning to revolutionize the way we clean clothes.
During the wash and rinse cycles, their machines electrolyze silver particles to produce over 400 billion silver ions. These ions penetrate and permeate the clothing inside the washing machine, giving it a deep-clean at the molecular level.
Not only this, but the nano-silver provides a lasting layer of sterilization that eliminates 99.99% of household bacteria on your clothing for up to 30 days. And perhaps best of all for mothers is that it automatically keeps the washing machine clean.
The silver nanoparticles disinfect every little nook and cranny of the washer’s insides. Samsung is also developing a similar product that will keep your refrigerator clean and free of bacteria.
Below is a list of other household cleaning products that are currently in development:
Altimate Enviorcare. This spray-on film is packed full of titanium oxide nanoparticles and not only kills bacteria, but also eliminates odors.
EnviroSan Products. This line of cleaning products replaces harmful substances with more environmentally-friendly nanoparticles called “micelles,” which remove grease and dirt with unparalleled efficiency.
Nanofilm. As the name suggests, this one is also a liquid film. It uses polymer molecules that bond to glass surfaces like your windshield, protecting it with a thin, strong shield that repels dirt and water. This means that your windshield will self-clean for weeks before another application is needed.
Nanotec.Similar to Nanofilm, but with a more all-purpose application. It can be sprayed on most smooth surfaces and not only cleans the dirt off them, but leaves behind a hydrophobic layer of nanoparticles that repel water and dirt.
Although these miraculous nanotechnology cleaning products are still in their experimental stages, within as little as five years we may find them becoming a central part of our everyday lives. Already there are a handful of everyday cleaning products being developed.
However, the ramifications of this technology will go beyond your living room, although they are useful around the house. Nanotechnology is keeping everything clean, from cars to windows to historical monuments.
Certain important buildings in Rome and Tokyo have already been given a liberal coat of self-cleaning spray to keep grime and dirt from accumulating.
Nanotechnology also creates a positive solution for pollution. The future of nanotechnology is bright, there are endless possibilities, could we invent a substance that eats garbage, who knows ! ? Scientists are conducting research products of this nature.
Researchers at the University of South Australia’s Ian Wark Research Institute have found a way to purify drinking water with nanotechnology, something that is increasingly crucial in today’s world. Poor-quality drinking water continues to be a dangerous health issue for the majority of the earth’s population.
However, researchers Peter Majewski and Chiu Ping Chan discovered that by coating silica particles with a thin layer of hydrocarbon-based active material and releasing them into major water systems, they can remove bacteria, viruses, and toxic chemicals from water to make it safe for human consumption.
These Surface Engineered Silica, or SES, were mixed into the water for an hour and then strained out. After its nanotechnology treatment the previously contaminated water was found to be completely free of pathogens.