Is this the end for kitchen-sink dramas? Swedish design firm creates self-cleaning plate...

... but it’s not approved
for use yet

It's the question we all fear after a gut-busting Sunday roast; whose turn is it to tackle the mound of dishes festering in the sink? Now, though, a revolutionary self-cleaning plate created by a Swedish design firm could make this anxiety a thing of the past.

Designed by the Stockholm-based Tomorrow Machine studio, the plate is made from a cellulose pulp which is pressed in a heated mould. A "super-hydrophobic" coating is then applied – this means it's extremely difficult to get wet – making it impervious to even the thickest gravy or heartiest soup.

According to Tomorrow Machine, this coating is created using a process called "Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solutions" which involves dissolving wax in carbon dioxide at high temperatures and pressures. The firm is quiet about the exact science behind this, but claims the resulting kitchen equipment repels all dirt and liquid.

"Hopefully this process will mean we can say goodbye to washing up for ever, because it's completely based on how nature cleans itself," Hanna Billqvist, a designer for Tomorrow Machine, said.

"It mimics the surface of a lotus leaf with a special surface that is self-cleaning if water or dirt falls on it."

This new form of cellulose material, commissioned by the Swedish forestry organisation, is lightweight and malleable but hardens in a similar way to ceramics so is durable enough for the domestic kitchen.

Ms Billqvist says that existing self-cleaning techniques use "not good chemicals" while Tomorrow Machine’s new technique is eco-friendly. However it still requires further testing before it can be approved for use with food.

Daniel Doherty, executive chef at 24-hour Duck & Waffle restaurant in the City of London, isn't convinced, despite 7,000 dishes a week being washed in his restaurant.

"Not washing plates would not be worth the clip round the ear from my mother, and to be honest, I understand why. I like china plates, and I like cleaning them with hot suds," he said. "Maybe my being somewhat traditional, or normal, some may say, may leave me behind, but I'm happy to take the risk."

Jeanette Orrey OBE, who was a dinner lady for 20 years before founding the Food for Life Partnership to improve food education in schools, is more positive: "It would have been a life-saver if I'd had this, as we could be washing upwards of 12,000 plates and pans a day. Just think how much money on energy and water we could save to put towards better school meals."

Ms Billqvist wouldn't say how much the plate cost to develop or how long it would take to bring to market, but she hoped it would eventually cut water and chemical usage and be "used in drought-affected countries in places such as Africa where it could have a real benefit."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Lead Application Developer

    £80000 - £90000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am current...

    Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

    £30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

    Project Coordinator/Order Entry, Security Cleared

    £100 - £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Ham...

    Senior Digital Marketing Executive

    £35000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz