Arsenals of anti-bacterial sprays and other cleaners crowding cupboards in kitchens across the country could become unnecessary if the company that created windows that partially clean themselves can bring the technology indoors.

Researchers at Penn State University and PPG Industries are trying to develop self-cleaning countertops that would keep bacteria from getting a toehold and also kill them on contact.

“If you have a food preparation area, and you think you’ve cleaned it, the truth of the matter is if you go back in and take swabs, the bacteria are still there,” David Diehl, a senior scientist for Pittsburgh-based PPG, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in an article published Saturday. “We’re trying to address this as best we can with our coatings technology.”

Nationwide, 76 million people suffer from food-borne illnesses each year, accounting for 325,000 hospitalizations and more than 5,000 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Self-cleaning and germ-killing counters could be a big boon for PPG, which has developed self-cleaning glass called SunClean.

More here.