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Self-cleaning towel uses the natural power of silver and bamboo

Fed up of your grubby, hygienically challenged housemate and his aversion to the washing machine? If so, why not consider investing in the world’s first dermatologist-recommended self-cleaning towel as an early birthday gift?

Created by two engineers living in Canada, the so-called “SilverBamboo” towel not only promises to be the softest towels you’ll ever lay your hands — and assorted other bodyparts — on; it also promises to destroy upwards of 99.9 percent of bacteria present on said bathware, rendering it fresh, clean, and ready to carry out its drying duties without complaint.

Piyush Maheshwari, one of the brains behind the project, told Digital Trends that the concept started with his girlfriend. “She suffered a lot from acne,” he said. “She bought a lot of skin care products but, regardless of what she used, it used to come back every time. We went to go and see various dermatologists, and eventually one of them asked us how often we washed our towels. We said we washed them once a week, which seemed fine. Apparently it wasn’t.”

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As Maheshwari found out, microbes spread incredibly quickly — doubling their number every 20 minutes. While that may not sound too menacing, it means that if you start off with a single microbe on your bath towel, by the end of seven hours that number will have risen to 2 million. When he discovered that, Maheshwari decided to look for a solution.

This led him to research silver and bamboo, both of which possess antibacterial properties. “Silver is used heavily in health care, and has been used medicinally since around 400 B.C.,” he said. “Today, burn units in hospitals have silver in the bandages they use. Silver is also used by NASA due to its antimicrobial properties.” Bamboo fiber, meanwhile, contains a bio-agent called “kun” which blocks bacteria’s access to protein, resulting in mass destruction of microbes.

Bamboo fiber also happens to be incredibly soft and four times more absorbent than cotton: qualities that make it perfect for a towel. “What cashmere is to wool, bamboo is to cotton,” Maheshwari said.

The 100 percent organic, 600 GSM SilverBamboo towels have just made their way onto Kickstarter, where they’re looking to rack up 20,000 Canadian dollars ($15,000 in the United States). If you want to get involved you can check out the crowdfunding page here, where a pledge of 91 Canadian dollars will get you a bath towel. Or, if you’re willing to dry yourself a bit slower, significantly less for a hand towel.