Self-Cleaning Plates Could Put Dishwasher Manufacturers Out of Business

By Gerald Lynch on at

It's sad, but I've reached the age where the one thing I wanted more than anything this Christmas just past was a dishwasher. Didn't get one. I spend a good few hours a week doing the washing up, valuable hours that I could be otherwise wasting watching Only Fools and Horses re-runs or washing virtual dishes in The Sims.

And yet, my sink-bound toil may one day be unnecessary, whether I be equipped with a dishwasher or otherwise. Swedish design company Tomorrow Machine, specialists in packaging and food concepts, has made the world's first self-cleaning bowls and plates.

Or more accurately, they never get dirty in the first place. Inspired by the texture of the lotus plant (which allows water and substances to roll off it), the lightweight, strong tableware is made from a substance known as nanocellulose, which has been treated with a  super-hydrophobic coating. The used materials allow food waste and liquids to slide straight off the surface of the plate, while the leaf-mimicking design allows particles to travel across the plate smoothly without getting stuck.

Just a concept for the time being, the plates do have me slightly worried however. With lashings of ketchup poured over my chips, will I even be able to catch my fries as the dart around what sounds like a near-frictionless surface? Sounds like the tableware may make for great dieting tools too. [Tomorrow Machine via Lost at E Minor]