Steam dishwashers could reduce water and energy use

  • 01.09.2022
  • Earth.Com

Conventional dishwashers often do not eliminate all the harmful microorganisms left on plates, bowls, or cutlery. Moreover, they require long cycles which use a lot of electricity, while the soap that is pumped in and out is released into water sources, leading to environmental pollution.

According to a new study led by the Technical University of Dortmund and the Technical University of Munich (TUM), superheated steam dishwashers – which kill 99 percent of bacteria on dishes in just about 25 seconds – could be a more effective and environmentally-friendly solution.

The scientists created a simulation of an idealized dishwasher, resembling a box with solid side walls, a top opening, and a nozzle at the bottom. Plates covered with heat-resistant strains of bacteria should be placed directly above the nozzle. Once a certain threshold temperature is reached in the simulation, the microorganisms are deemed inactivated.