Heat from inside - good for the environment

A clean solution - the MENSHEN wax closure

In a way, it is more or less an everyday topic for all of us: washing up. You open the dishwasher, put the dirty dishes in, close the door. And you do this a few more times until the machine is full. After that, detergent in powder or tab form is put into the flap provided and the dishwasher is switched on. And after an hour or two – depending on the program setting, the number of dishes and the degree of soiling and/or leftovers – hey presto, the once dirty dishes, silverware and glasses are clean again. The dishwasher – one of the great achievements of the nineteenth century – is meanwhile indispensable in the majority of households. The days when each glass and each plate was individually washed in the kitchen sink and then dried with a tea towel – also by hand – are long past. In exceptional cases, bulky things like pots, pans or casseroles are still washed up by hand; sometimes the sharp kitchen knife or the good family china service as well. But by far most of the dishes land directly in the dishwasher. Besides making the work much easier, this appliance also has the advantage of hiding the mountains of dirty dishes that were once piled up in the sink and on the draining board. Nowadays, it all disappears behind the door of the dishwasher.

American woman invented the dishwasher

These at times vast mountains of dirty dishes were what gave the American Josephine Cochran the idea of inventing a machine that washed up, and then to patent it in 1886. After that, however, it took some years until the dishwasher advanced on its global triumphal march. After the two World Wars, it was not until the 1960s that it slowly found its place in German households. Eventually, in the 1970s, the dishwasher increasingly became the top seller of the various manufacturers. Although the principle has remained the same, it has been optimized and improved over the years. While in 1963, only 0.2% of all households could boast a dishwasher, the amount had risen to 23.5% by 1983 and even to 44.8% by 1998. Today, a dishwasher can be found in almost three-quarters of all households where it makes housework much easier. If only there were not those, sometimes foul, smells that waft towards you from time to time, every few weeks, once the dishwasher door is opened. Because one thing the machine is not able to do is that it cannot set physical and chemical laws out of force. It is after all only natural that vegetables, milk products, meat, etc. will sooner or later give off a more or less unpleasant odor. This is the case in the kitchen sink and in a closed dishwasher as well. After a while, this inevitably leads to the dishwasher starting to stink. And that has nothing to do with the hygienic circumstances in the relevant household; it is simply unavoidable. That is, unless you only put clean dishes into the dishwasher, thus preventing any food residues from remaining in the machine and so causing foul odors to escape whenever the door is opened. But nobody does that, of course.

Dishwashers need to be cleaned regularly

The fact that leftover food accumulates in the machine is unavoidable and quite normal. So it is absolutely essential to remove these residues, if possible after each wash cycle. A wide choice of cleaning and care products for dishwashers have been on the market for some years to ensure that the entire interior of the machine is clean and to get rid of odors. The different systems empty their contents inside the dishwasher to make sure everything there is clean and smells fresh. Additionally, limescale and grease residues in the nozzles, spray arms and filters are dissolved and removed, thus keeping the important functional parts in the dishwasher in an operative condition. The challenge here is to stop the cleaning and care agents from being released before the hot water in the machine has reached the internals. This achieves the best cleaning results and makes sure the contents do not run through the machine and into the drain unused. But how can we ensure that the required amount of cleaning agent really does flow from the bottle into the machine internals at exactly the right moment? Because if the bottle is open when it is put into the machine, the liquid cleaner will be rinsed out with the first jets of water without any chance for its cleaning and caring power to take effect. After all, it is the interaction between hot water and the contents of the bottle that enables full effectiveness, and this even though the first wash cycle in most of the cleaning programs is a cold one. This means that the bottle has to remain closed during the first, cold wash cycle and not release the active substance until the second, hot phase.

Wax plug from MENSHEN has a great effect

This has to function in such a way that, even though the closed bottle hangs in the dishwasher from the start of the washing up program, it does not open until there is hot water inside the machine. Without having to open the door in between. So, how does the bottle know precisely when this moment has been reached? The solution is simple, but somehow ingenious. How does the packaging know that there is hot water in the dishwasher and that the cleaning agent has to flow from the bottle? The answer to this question is in the closure. Basically, it is a conventional screw closure. The special feature on it is a hole in the top plate with a diameter of just over a centimeter. To prevent the liquid from escaping through this hole, an aluminum seal is first placed over this opening and welded to the top of the closure. In a second step, the hole is sealed from the inside of the closure with a wax plug. The packaging is consequently tight and nothing can leak out. After that, whenever the cleaning program is to run, the aluminum seal is pulled off the closure and the bottle is hung upside down in the dishwasher. The packaging is still tightly closed and nothing can escape thanks to the wax plug. When the cleaning program is started, the bottle remains tightly sealed in the first washing cycle with cold water. The bottle and the closure still don’t allow any of the cleaning agent to escape. This alters in the next phase. The washing up programs on all dishwasher types heat the inflowing water to between 60°C and 70°C. Because the melting point of wax is just above 50°C, the wax plug in the closure melts in just a few seconds and the cleaning agent can flow out through the hole and mix with the hot water. It is then ejected through the nozzles in the spray arms and distributed throughout the interior. As a result, all the relevant parts are thoroughly cleaned and the dishwasher has a pleasant odor for a while. It’s actually quite a simple concept, but one that first needed to be devised. In this case: MENSHEN MAKES IT HAPPEN!

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