Tide is developing laundry detergent for space in partnership with NASA. Astronauts need clean undies too!
The space detergent has to be degradable and work in the closed-loop water system that is currently at the International Space Station. This means that water, air and even urine are recycled back into usable water. With this kind of system, you can’t put heavy chemicals into your laundry if the water will be filtered into potable water. Tide’s space detergent has to clean stains and odors with far less water.
If Tide succeeds, this product could make its way to Earth-bound consumers. It would be one of many consumer products that were developed for space but became useful on Earth. Did you know that solar panels were originally developed for the Mars Rover and that Velcro was originally developed for space suits?
NASA says that if astronauts can do laundry, they won’t have to pack so many clothes for their trips. I guess they’d been bringing their dirty laundry back with them? Who knew?