It’s now possible to send text messages through glass cleaner and vinegar. Technology invented by Stanford University engineers can relay messages through pulses of acids and bases to pH sensors, as The Verge reports. All it requires is a machine that can send out and decode messages of this type.

Researchers have been able to type text messages into a special machine that then sends out signals with vinegar and glass cleaners to a computer that decodes the chemicals back into text. Initially, inventor Nariman Farsad tried to use vodka to send messages, but the signals ended up building up so much that messages could no longer be received—kind of like a voicemail box that is too full. Instead, by using acids and bases (in places of the binary zeros and ones used by other communication systems), the chemicals cancel each other out when they’re received by the computer. The chemicals do, however, leave behind some residue, which means there’s a bit of noise in the signal that will have to be eliminated to make it truly effective.

The application of such a technology isn’t immediately clear, but the Stanford researchers suggest in a press release that it could be used underwater or in places with a lot of metal—both locations that usually confound electromagnetic communication signals. Because the tech could someday be used without electronics, it could potentially be harnessed to send messages off the grid, or to send signals between biotechnology nanorobots inside the body.

[h/t The Verge]

All images via YouTube courtesy Stanford University