Longest Line Of Washed Plates

Most everybody knows what it's like to wash dishes after a meal. And almost everyone has experienced what it's like trying to cram that one extra plate into the dishwasher or balancing that one last glass in the drying rack.

But if you had more than 2 miles (3.22 km) of open beach in which to line up your dishes to dry, those problems wouldn't exist. And that's exactly what Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (India) had at its disposal when I travelled to Chennai, India, on 6 April 2011 to watch the organization use its Vim brand dishwashing liquid to help wash and assemble the longest line of washed plates -- an incredible record total of 15,295.

The photo above shows the finish line, but the sheer number of plates lined up was incredible and truly unable to be captured in one frame. Guidelines required that each plate have a diameter of at least 25 cm (9.8 in) and the plates used by Hindustan measured 26.5 cm (10.4 in). When laid next to each other, the record line of plates measured more than 3.8 km (2.36 mi) up the Chennai shoreline on the Bay of Bengal.

To be eligible for the record, the plates not only had to be lined up in a row, but needed to first be used to serve a hot meal and then washed. The meal of choice was a toor dal dish, using rice, onion, tomato, jeera, garlic, turmeric, chili powder, oil, salt and green coriander, which was prepared and served as a donation to approximately 1,700 people at a local food bank.

Then, 145 dishwashers got to work, needing more than 5 hours to clean the thousands of plates using the Vim brand detergent.

Considering temperatures reached upwards of 36 degrees Celsius (97 Fahrenheit) all week in Chennai, the washing and lining up of plates under the sweltering sun was no easy task. This was made particularly true by the group not only hoping to break the previous mark, but smash it: the 15,295 plates crushed the nearly year-old record of 10,488 plates set in Thailand in May 2010.

But in the end, the ultimate prize was achieved as Hindustan Unilever took home its very own Guinness World Record.


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