Smart soap can save water


SOAP bubbles that collapse once clothes are clean could reduce the water needed during washing. Normal detergents contain surfactant molecules, which are oil-friendly at one end to capture dirt and water-friendly at the other to pull it away. They also tend to form bubbles, however, which require extra rinse water. Now researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, have made a “pepfactant”, which only forms bubbles under mildly alkaline conditions. Detergents tend to be alkaline, so during a wash cycle the molecules link to form bubbles. The rinse water lowers the pH, breaking the bubbles apart,
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