- Procter & Gamble is collaborating with NASA to put a new detergent to the test in space.
- Tide has created a fully biodegradable detergent that is specifically designed for use in space.
- The stain removal components and effectiveness will be evaluated on board the ISS.
On the International Space Station, there has never been a laundry day—until now. Procter & Gamble is collaborating with NASA to put a new detergent to the test in space. For the time being, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) use their outfits many times before being entirely changed with new gear sent by supply ships. Because of the restricted cargo capacity, replacing the clothes supply is difficult for distant space missions such as Artemis Moon missions and roundtrips to Mars.
Without a laundry solution, the ISS receives 160 pounds of clothes per crew member every year. Ingredient safety and compatibility with NASA life support systems are major problems for off-Earth laundry, as is the restricted quantity of water available each washload and the necessity that the wash water is filtered back to drinking-quality water.
To address these issues, Procter & Gamble’s Tide has created a fully biodegradable detergent that is specifically designed for use in space to solve malodor, cleanliness, and stain removal issues for washable items used during deep space missions, while also being suitable for use in a closed-loop water system.
Tide’s Space Act Agreement
Tide has inked a Space Act Agreement with NASA to assist in the development of laundry detergent solutions and space technology development, according to the exclusive “show and tell” information session. NASA may test and research Tide cleaning products in space under the terms of the agreement. Needless to say, the Tide crew is ecstatic about the opportunity.
Tide’s announcement of space exploration to create low-impact washing solutions follows Tide’s Ambition 2030 pledges, which were revealed earlier this spring. Tide’s Ambition commitments included actionable goals to find resource efficiencies in energy, water, and waste across the laundry lifecycle – from manufacturing and packaging to consumer use phase and end of life – in order to reduce the environmental impact of a load of laundry while increasing the impact of clean clothes.
In collaboration with the ISS US National Laboratory and SEOPS, a provider of launch deployment solutions and services, “Mission PGTide” (P&G Telescience Investigation of Detergent Experiments) teams will test the stability of cleaning ingredients under microgravity conditions and exposure to radiation levels experienced in space onboard a 2022 cargo launch to the space station.
Furthermore, the stain removal components and effectiveness will be evaluated onboard the ISS using Tide To Go Wipes and Tide To Go Pens. In less than a year, astronauts will use the items to evaluate their sensitivity to microgravity, stain removal, and other features.