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Diamonds can make your laundry cleaner

The next time you’re unsatisfied with the way your clothes come out from the washer and dryer, just add diamonds into the mix, set it and forget it. You read that correctly. But then again, if you were rich enough to afford diamonds for your laundry, you probably have someone doing the chore for you with excellent results, right?

A new research by scientists from the University of Warwick and Aston University in England found that nanodiamonds — ones small enough to measure up to ten-thousandths the diameter of a human hair — can have an extremely cleansing effect on laundry thanks to their ability to loosen crystallized fat from surfaces. These nanodiamonds can do more than regular washing powders can under low temperature washes since they can get into the core of the fabric to break down dirt and oil.

The use of nanodiamonds for laundry tackle an issue with cold water washing, which has less cleaning power than hot water but is more environmentally friendly by using less energy. The “Cold Water Cleaning Initiative” project, funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Proctor & Gamble, aimed to explore carbon alternatives to wash cleaner clothes in an eco-friendly manner. 

“We found that the 5-nanometre diamonds changed the way detergents behaved at 25 degrees centigrade, doubling the amount of fat removed when using one particular commercial detergent molecule,” said the project’s lead engineer Dr. Andrew Marsh.”The physical and chemical insight already gained paves the way for future research to explore how this unique behaviour might be exploited in other ways.”

Of course, the term diamond alone makes it seem as if the method would be rather unaffordable by the average household. But at these small sizes, calling these carbon chemicals diamonds might just be the scientifically correct way to identify the formula as oppose to their actual expensiveness. You can purchase a gram of nanodiamonds for approximately $24, according to DVICE, which could or couldn’t be any savings at all depending on how much money your washing machine saves from not using hot water. We would also infer that since nanodiamonds are twice more effective that the average washing powder and detergent, you would also use less of it per load.

So just in case of the future when you’re rolling in cash, you can always tell your friends you’re wearing diamond-sparkly-clean clothes and hope not to sound like a total douche.  Just go in prepared to give them the scientific findings you’ve learned from above. Until then, don’t try throwing actual diamonds into your washing machine or you might ending damaging the texture of your clothes.

Image Credit: Flickr / Kim-bodia

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