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Better Shampoo Bottles

June 27, 2016

Materials scientists develop a way to easily remove excess shampoo, conditioner, and laundry detergent from plastic bottles.

Transcript

Shampoo4

(Susanne C. Bard)

BOB HIRSHON (host):

A better bottle. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Every time you use up a bottle of shampoo, chances are there’s still a lot of product stuck to the sides of the container.

BHARAT BHUSHAN (Ohio State University):

Many times, you know, I get tired of squeezing shampoo out, and I throw the bottle away, because it’s a lot of work. So you are throwing a fair amount of shampoo away.

HIRSHON:

That’s Ohio State University materials scientist Bharat Bhushan. He says liquids like shampoo and laundry detergent have low surface tension, which makes them stubbornly adhere to plastic. In the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal  Society, he and graduate student Philip Brown describe a coating they’ve developed that uses specially shaped nanoparticles to repel shampoo molecules from plastic surfaces. Bhushan says if incorporated into the inside of plastic bottles, the coating could cut down on liquid waste, and boost recycling. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Susanne Bard