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Cleaning is one of those things that needs to be done but generally isn't high on the list of fun things to do. In recent years there have definitely been more than a few people looking at technological solutions to reduce or eliminate our need to clean.

Here are a few of our favourites:

  • Self-cleaning showers. Okay, so there's the somewhat gimmicky "Shower-Shower" from Intelligent Consumer Products which is a rather expensive misting device designed to coat your shower with a shower cleaner of your choice at the touch of a button. It has three different cleaning levels (light, normal and heavy) and all kinds of sensors to ensure it doesn't accidentally spray cleaner around your bathroom or dump it all over an unsuspecting shower occupant. Kind of a neat idea, but only if you have a separate shower stall, and only if you like shower cleaning fluid. Even if we didn't only have tub/shower combinations, we have brass fixtures which tend to be incompatible with most shower cleaners on the market. Not to mention that the "Shower-Shower" simply wouldn't blend into our bathroom decor.
  • Self-cleaning tiles. Although we're still waiting for this technology to make it into the consumer market, some of the self-cleaning material research being done in this area is pretty interesting. Wouldn't you want a self-cleaning bathroom tile?
  • Self-cleaning underwear. Okay, so the nifty fabrics that are now being developped aren't limited to self-cleaning undergarments, but it seems that's what captures the imagination of most journalists... Mary can't wear 90% of them - many synthetic materials just make her feel miserable, but who can resist the idea of high tech clothing that doesn't need to make a trip to the laundry machine every time you wear it?
  • Self-cleaning house. One creative solution that we read about many years ago involved a lady who had completely redesigned her living space, removing all fabric and replacing it with water proof synthetics. All the cupboards, bookshelves and other storage locations had doors which could be closed. Then (and this is where it gets really fun) she had a gigantic sprinkler system installed throughout the entire place and drains put in the floors of every room. At the press of a button all the doors would close and the water would turn on. This was her solution to cleaning (and apparently also served as a unique way to shower and wash dishes). The article in question has since been lost, but it's possible that the woman in question was Francis Gage, the designer of the self-cleaning house. The only problem is that none of the information I've seen on Francis Gage talks about the showering part, which is a detail we remember quite vividly! (So efficient!)

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