In the future, towels will never smell musty.

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated November 03, 2017

If laundry is the chore that never ends, then the towel sniff-test is the classic way to determine whether it’s time to stop avoiding your least favorite task. While that musty smell indicates the presence of bacteria, what if there was a better way to determine whether a towel is actually dirty? Soon, there will be.

The Mizu Smart Towel, which was recently funded by a campaign on Kickstarter, is designed to change color when it detects bacteria, dirt, or sweat on the fabric. When the dyed fabric strip on the bath towel, or the cute pattern on the infant towels, turn from blue to red, you know it’s time to throw them in the washing machine. How, exactly, does the color-changing technology work? “Mizu’s bacteria sensing technology is derived from natural plant extracts which enable the towels to change colors when in contact with bacteria metabolites,” the company’s founders explain. “When Mizu’s sensing areas get contaminated, the molecular structure of the dye on the surface will be reorganized, triggering the fabric color change from blue to red.”

These luxurious towels are made from Xinjiang cotton and can hold up to five times their weight in water. And because you'll want to wash these towels often, they're designed to be washed at high temperatures without losing softness or usability.

The new technology doesn’t come cheap: The bath towel will retail for $100—but those who back it on Kickstarter will get it for $42. Those who contribute to the Kickstarter campaign can expect to receive their towels before Christmas, and the towels will be available for immediate purchase in January. New Year’s resolution: Never dry off with a dirty towel again.