A central aspect of household hygiene is dirty laundry. For the majority of consumers, washing clothes has less to do with reducing the possibility of bacterial infection and more with certain aesthetic aspects, such as reducing offensive odours. From a research standpoint, however, both cases can be traced back to a single cause: microbiological textile contamination. As a result, the washing process itself plays an important part in the overall fight against microorganisms and contaminants in the home. Thus the study of how contaminants can be effectively eliminated during washing is essential for effectively reducing the risk of infection, disease or other negative effects like odour.
The growth of microbes on textiles and their effective elimination during the washing process are subject in varying degrees to many different factors. Researchers at the Faculty of Life Sciences are interested in better understanding these factors. Through hygiene-related experiments, researchers hope to not only gain a better picture of the underlying mechanisms behind the adverse effects of microbes, but also to develop realistic, innovative analytical methods to better assess the antimicrobial performance of the washing process both in terms of reducing the risk of infection and disease as well as eliminating negative aesthetic effects of microbial growth on textiles.