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File Last modified on: Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:37:07
 
An efficient method for cleaning cloths
 

The main objective of the invention is to provide an environment and user friendly and efficient method for cleaning of cotton or synthetic clothes. Our clothes get dirty with stains very frequently. These stains are mostly organic in nature and are due to sweating or materials like dyes, ink, turmeric, tea or coffee. Usually detergents or bleaching compounds are used to remove these stains. These cleaning agents convert the stains into water soluble material which have to be properly rinsed out. The clothes require physical handling which is time consuming and cumbersome. Moreover, these cleaning agents are not user or environment friendly.

Prof. M. Sharon of Department of Chemistry has developed an environment and user friendly and efficient method of cleaning clothes which eliminates use of polluting and allergic non-soap detergents and bleaching compounds and are very effective in the removal of fast stains.

In the present invention, the cleaning method comprises of mixing soap and ceramic oxide of nano-size particle followed by irradiation of the clothes with UV light. Ceramic oxides are biocompatible and include titanium dioxide (TiO2) zinc oxide (ZnO), iron oxide (Fe2O3) or tungsten oxide (WO3) preferably TiO2 or ZnO. Nano size particles of ceramic oxides form an electrically charged particles at the interface between the stained clothes and detergent solution.

On irradiating the stained cloths with UV light, photogenerated electrons and holes are formed at the interface, which convert the stains into gases (CO2) and water soluble mineral acid salts (hydrochloric acid salts) which may be easily rinsed out. The gases escape into the atmosphere and need no separation. The UV light may be from sunlight or UV light source and duration of irradiation depends on the nature and surface area of the stain. Typically for a 15 Watt UV light, an irradiation period of 20 to 30 minutes is required. If the cleaning is carried out in a washing machine, the UV light source is fitted in the washing machine and operated by the control panel thereof. Stains are removed by converting them into gases and water soluble mineral acid salts. For this reason all types of stains are effectively eliminated.

Shirts which got yellow sweat stained at the collars were soaked in a soap solution with water containing 10g of a washing soap and 0.1g of titanium dioxide of nano-size particles, exposed to sunlight for 30 minutes and rinsed with water. The shirts were completely free from the sweat stains. In several other examples, ink or turmeric or coffee stained towels were treated similarly and become completely free from the stains. This present invention provides an environment and user friendly and efficient method for cleaning clothes.

Indian patent application no. 24/MUM/2001 Patent grant no. 206020
Inventor: M Sharon

 

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