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Why don't dishwasher door seals stop suds?

  1. Jun 29, 2014 #1

    Stephen Tashi

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    Science Advisor

    If you put laundry detergent or detergent for hand wiashing dishes into a dishwasher, you may get suds leaking out the seals around the door. Why are suds able to get past seals that are sufficient to stop water and water plus non-sudsing detergent?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2014 #2
    Good question.

    The water spray is not directed at the seals, so any splash should not leak out. Would, with a pressure differential, some air might leak out before water?

    But with suds, they fill up the whole drum container. An expanding bubble would contact the seal, with the air forcing the thin film through the seal. It could be that the water level sensor does not register bubbles, and thus more water would be added to the dishwater with a bubbly producing detergent, since some of the water is in the form of bubble film.

    I don't know how correct that is.
  4. Jul 5, 2014 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Perhaps the seal is good enough for water, but it leaks air (I think it has to, as the temperature inside is changing), and suds behave as air in this context? Or even better than air, when the surfactant is present on the water surface and helps wetting the seal?
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