Why do ceramic dishes dry quicker than plastic ones?

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Neith Little

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Neith Little  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Naked Scientists,

When I wash dishes, the ceramic ones dry much faster than the tupperwares.  Why is that?

Thank you!

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 05/04/2011 08:30:02 by _system »


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Why do ceramic dishes dry quicker than plastic ones?
« Reply #1 on: 05/04/2011 09:15:55 »
First of all, I should make it clear that I only dry dishes under extreme duress. However, with my limited experience in these matters, I would think it's something to do with Specific Heat.

Specific heat is a fancy term scientists use to try to confuse people, but basically it boils down (no pun intended) to a substance's ability to store heat. Ceramic items seem to be pretty good at storing heat, so when you take them out of the hot water, the heat stored helps the water to evaporate.

On the other hand, a lot of plastics have a low specific heat compared to ceramics, so they cool down much more rapidly. Consequently, the water is less inclined to evaporate.

That's one possible reason. I suppose it's possible that surface tension has something to do with it too, but I really do not know.
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