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London - They are already known as a girl’s best friend. Now it seems diamonds could soon be her favourite stain remover, too.

Chemists added small amounts of nanodiamonds – pieces of carbon less than a ten-thousandth of the diameter of a human hair – to commercial washing powders.

They found the diamonds made the detergent much more effective at removing dirt and grease, even at 15C.

In one case, double the amount of fat was removed in a 25C wash when diamond dust was used. Researchers believe the diamonds’ rough surface could help to rub grease and fat from materials.

They hope the discovery could make it possible to wash clothes effectively at lower temperatures.

Research leader Dr Andrew Marsh said: “These findings tackle a problem that forces consumers to wash laundry at between 60 and 90C more than 80 times a year.”

The research by scientists at Warwick and Aston universities, partly funded by Proctor and Gamble, was published in the journal Applied Materials and Interfaces. - Daily Mail