Why is it harder to wash oil off plastic than ceramic surfaces?

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benjamin asiedu

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benjamin asiedu  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Chris, could you kindly explain to me why it is harder to wash oil off a plastic container than it is from a ceramic plate for example.


I love the show btw!


What do you think?
« Last Edit: 16/09/2011 20:30:03 by _system »


Offline MikeS

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I must stress that I don't really know the answer but I imagine that plastics and oil have a similar molecular structure and hence an affinity to bond together.


Offline Bored chemist

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At least part of the answer is that the water has a greater affinity for the (polar) surface of the ceramic than the (non polar) oil does.
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