Back in my ambulance days, we were taught to wash our hands after each shift in warm soapy water—while mentally humming a segment of "Yankee Doodle Dandy." This would take us, they reckoned, to the 30 seconds required for the soap to kill whatever germs might have got past the gloves. To this day, I still hear that silly song in my head when I'm washing up in my kitchen after handling raw meat.
Now researchers at the UK's University of Southampton have come up with a faster way to disinfect, and it's chemical-free. The method is also theorized to get us out of the medically-problematic situation we've created, where we take so many antibiotics that the bugs are forced to evolve, creating ever-hardier strains. Amazingly, this new cleaning system is…bubbles!
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It's fascinating that they can turn bubbles into something that cleans mechanically just via ultrasound. (Perhaps less fascinating to jewelers, as ultrasonic jewelry cleaners have been on the market for some time.) Being able to clean something that ordinarily takes 20 seconds in just six means less water is wasted. Also, not mentioned in the video is that the water needn't be warmed in order to clean, which reduces energy expenditure.
If the team can get this Starstream device successfully commercialized, and integrated into kitchen taps, I'd happily pay for one if I never had to buy soap again. It would be less chemicals, not to mention money, water and energy, down the drain.