Dirty dishes are the worst. Nobody likes dealing with them, which is precisely why we invented machines to do it for us over 100 years ago. Today we’ve got some of the most technologically-advanced dishwashers you could possibly imagine – big ones, compact ones, and even ones that play classical piano. But despite how advanced our dish-cleaning tech has become, it may very well be obsolete in the next few years if these new self-cleaning non-stick dishes catch on.
Designed by Swedish design studio Tomorrow Machine and research company Innventia, this clever new dishware is made entirely from cellulose (plant pulp) with a superhydrophobic coating around it. In other words, it’s a renewable material that’s designed to repel liquids on a molecular level, causing droplets to bead and roll off rather than flatten and stick.
To clean the plate made from this stuff, all you need to do is just hold it over a sink and watch the food gunk slide right off. Apparently you don’t even need to wipe it down afterward – it’s so slick that sponges and towels are unnecessary. If the hydrophobic coating works as well as the creators claim it does (which can’t be said of all superhydrophobic treatments) widespread adoption of these dishes could drastically reduce the amount of water needed to keep dinnerware clean.
And the hydrophobic coating isn’t even the coolest part. The high-tech cellulose it’s made from is even more fascinating. The material, developed by Innventia, starts as a flat sheet of renewable plant pulp that’s hot-pressed into a mold, causing the cellulose to harden. Amazingly, this results in a plate that’s as hard as ceramic, but also shatterproof and extremely lightweight.
Unfortunately, the superhydrophobic coating hasn’t yet been approved for consumption with food, so you’ll have to wait awhile before you ditch your dishwasher. Until they work out the kinks, you can find more info on the dishes here.