Brighter, whiter, and dryer

A new formulation of detergent and fabric softener has been developed by researchers at the University of Florida. The blend helps break down water's surface tension in the gaps between clothing fibers and so reduces the amount of water held by an item of clothing after washing. Dinesh Shah of the UF Center for Surface Science and Engineering and colleagues, in work supported by detergent manufacturer Procter & Gamble, reckon that the new washing liquid could cut drying times by at least 10% and so save US consumers around $300million each year in reduced power consumption by their more than 100 million electric dryers.