Trying to get your clothes clean in eco-friendly cold water can be a pain, even if you get your roommate to do all of your laundry for you like I do. Here's a trick: have you tried adding a handful of diamonds? Apparently, it works wonders, and it'll save you money on your water heating bill, making it totally worthwhile.
Luckily, we're not talking about handfuls of diamonds like ones that you see in Bond movies. Think smaller. Much smaller. Specifically, we're dealing with nanodiamonds, which are each only about five nanometers wide, meaning that it would take about ten thousand of them placed end-to-end to make it across a piece of human hair.
Chemical engineers at the University of Warwick over in jolly old England have found that the addition of nanodiamonds to a conventional laundry detergent can make the detergent up to twice as effective at removing dirt and stains, even in cold water. The reason that this is important is that doing laundry in hot water (which is much more effective at removing stains) wastes a ton of energy, so if we can find a way to make cold water clean as well as hot water does, it'll be good news for the environment.
From what we've been able to dig up, buying nanodiamonds will run you about $24 per gram, meaning that you're probably not going to save a heck of a lot of money by adding them to your dirty undies and then running the wash on cold instead of hot. Eventually, though, researchers hope to figure out other ways to harness the unique capabilities of nanodiamonds in the context of eco-friendly household products.
Here's an idea: nanodiamond toilet paper. For that special, sparkly cleanliness, make sure you're wiping with diamonds.