If you do the laundry for your family, self-cleaning clothes are probably at the top of your futuristic fashion wish list. And it may not be too long before this dream becomes a reality (kind-of).
Scientists claim tiny metal structures attached to cotton fibres can break down grime when exposed to sunlight. Researchers grew 3D copper and silver nanostructures on cotton thread, which was then woven into a piece of fabric.
When it was exposed to light, the nanostructures absorbed the energy, making the electronics in the metal atoms excited. This made grime on the surface of the fabric break down, cleaning itself in around six minutes.
Dr Rajesh Ramanathan, a materials engineer at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, who led the research, said: 'There's more work to do before we can start throwing out our washing machines, but this advance lays a strong foundation for the future development of fully self-cleaning textiles.'
Good news... but will they tackle tomato ketchup and grass stains? Only time will tell.
This article is part of our Tech Innovation for the Future series, brought to you in association with Honor.