The folks at Tide Detergent better watch their backs because the US Military has it out for them. Okay maybe not, but that didn’t stop Army physical scientist, Quoc Truong, from creating self-cleaning clothes that NEVER need to be washed.
Truong led a team of researchers on a five-year long journey to develop the clothing. The group worked out of the U.S. Army Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center in Natick, Massachusetts.
With more than one million soldiers currently serving in active duty, reservists and National Guard roles, the cost of washing all that laundry is high. Each service member receives five uniforms that constantly show signs of wear and tear along with the need to be washed on a very regular basis.
To create the “self-cleaning” military clothes, Truong examined the molecular level of the fabric and the substances that make it dirty. The goal was to create clothing that could fend off both water and oil based substances.
The group of researchers created their own specialized machines which then applied new compounds to uniform fabric. The coated uniform fabric was then endlessly tested to avoid motor oil stains, food stains, and other spills.
Truong and his researchers have even been working on antimicrobial additives that can be added to the clothing, thus helping keep bad smells away.
As the researcher rightfully explains, “On the battlefield, the soldiers don’t have field laundering equipment. In the event they get clothing dirty…they can just stand up and eventually the dirt will just fall off and the uniform is clean again.”
Removing bad smells could have the added effect of keeping soldiers safe in hostile areas where animal predators may be roaming.
Would you buy self-cleaning clothes if they were available to the general public? I bet some moms and dads would jump for joy.