Dr. Lab Experiment One: Do the Dishwasher


Meet Dr. Lab aka hti. Straight from the HQ Lomography Archive where he has been whipping up some weird and wonderful experiments just for you. Many thanks Dr. Lab for sharing your laboratory experience, secret techniques and analogue passion in the first of his special edition Film Freak Tipsters. Now come on everyone and do the dishwasher!

The examples seen in this effect were done with Kodak Ektachrome E 200 35mm. Dr. Lab recommends x-pro film when attempting any of these film techniques because the popping colours achieved by cross processing are what really accentuate the great effects.

What You’ll Need

• 1 Roll Kodak Ektachrome E 200 35mm
• 1 Dishwasher Cycle (normal)
• 1 Dark Room (try your bathroom)
• 1 Hair-Dryer

Step One:

Put your roll of film into the cutlery basket of your dish-washer, (so as to keep it from flying about) add regular dish-washer detergent and set to a normal cycle.

Once the cycle is finished be sure to rinse the film in clean cold* water afterwards thoroughly

*Cold water is a must! Film has a chemical emulation that needs to be fixed by cooling.

Step Two:

With your rinsed film at the ready you need to find a nice dark room like a washroom with the door closed. Make sure that there are no light leaks because now you need to pull the film out of the roll to blow-dry it. It will take about 10 minutes of blow-drying until the film goes from slimy and wet to perfectly dry and normal feeling again, which is what you need it to be like before loading in your camera.

Step Three

Load and shoot! Then cross process as normal and try to contain your excitement while you wait for the results.

As you can see the effects in the case of doing the dishwasher are extreme. A look any film freak will be sure to dig! Please do share your results with us if you try this at home!

Submit now!

written by hti on 2010-10-29 #gear #tutorials #film #tipster #x-pro #dr-lab #dish-washer #top-tipster-techniques


  1. chaoticsense
    chaoticsense ·

    This is AWESOME! Great tip!

  2. shoujoai
    shoujoai ·


  3. tallgrrlrocks
    tallgrrlrocks ·

    wow! I want to try it! I just need to make our bathroom dark. hmm......

  4. copefan
    copefan ·

    gonna give it a go!

  5. fafascinado
    fafascinado ·

    amazing results!! I'm going to try it soon!

  6. panelomo
    panelomo ·

    that's a good one! i've got the roll of film. now, i just need to buy a dishwasher.

  7. stouf
    stouf ·

    Sweet ! And like panelomo I need a dishwasher ! : )

  8. nural
    nural ·

    putting a roll in the dishwasher right now!!

  9. squamy
    squamy ·

    Awesome!!! I also need a dishwasher...

  10. kdstevens
    kdstevens ·

    A variation to try: someone in this group boils his film after exposure and takes it to the film lab still wet and has it cross processed. No dishwasher needed.

  11. panpriatel
    panpriatel ·

    So how about that manipulation after exposure? Before? Does it make a difference?

  12. jaminsemirang
    jaminsemirang ·

    I wished my Mom had a dishwasher. I've never realized that it is cool stuff before i read this post/

  13. piedra_preciosa
    piedra_preciosa ·

    Great, I have a dishwasher but how can I put the film to my camera without a roll?

  14. yarah
    yarah ·

    Well I assume you put it back in the roll, but how do you do that? Or when you take it out, you leave the end in the roll?

  15. piedra_preciosa
    piedra_preciosa ·

    Wow thanks ;) sorry for asking;)

  16. lupo
    lupo ·

    A wash-machine can be an option :P I tell you later !!!

  17. weaver
    weaver ·

    use a popsicle stick to wind the film back in the roll, there's a little grove on the bottom of the film that the stick will catch onto and its easy to turn!

  18. piedra_preciosa
    piedra_preciosa ·

    Thanks :)

  19. beni
    beni ·


  20. sea_monstersss
    sea_monstersss ·

    This absolutely blew my mind. It's so simple, I don't know how I never thought of it myself. This really is fantastic.

  21. repeatrepeat
    repeatrepeat ·

    The pictures look fantastic! I wanna try this myself and I'm curious what kind of dishwasher detergent you used? Did you only use "Clever Regeneriersalz" or anything else too, e.g. "Calgonit Tabs"?

  22. basho
    basho ·


  23. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    guess what i am doing right now?!?

  24. kamiraze
    kamiraze ·

    LOL @mephisto19
    That's my line! There in it as we speak :D
    I've used Afga Vista plus 200 and 400. Ill try to get one cross processed and one regular

  25. kamiraze
    kamiraze ·

    Well, both rolls failed on me... Both got destroyed inside my LC-A+. It looked liked it was going to work, but the tension inside builds up and the left cog wheel just breaks the piece between the sprocket holes. I've opened it and it was still damp.
    I suppose I was to quick with the drying process... Last ting I can try is to give film time to dry during the winding process.

  26. whiteranger
    whiteranger ·

    I just got my film developed, (lomo X-Pro 200) was disappointed, didn't get any cool effects. I used my hair dryer on cool temp, Should I have used it on high heat?

  27. whiteranger
    whiteranger ·

    I just got my film developed, (lomo X-Pro 200) was disappointed, didn't get any cool effects. I used my hair dryer on cool temp, Should I have used it on high heat?

  28. whiteranger
    whiteranger ·

    Ohh, I also used Cascade dishwasher packs with the powder and liquid. Should I use the liquid Dishwasher detergent?

  29. bass_clarinet_2000
    bass_clarinet_2000 ·

    I want to try that but how do you get it back in the cassette? Does anyone recommend anything that would make winding it easier?

  30. bass_clarinet_2000
    bass_clarinet_2000 ·

    HA! I actually read the comments and I saw some recommendations. What a waste of comment space on my part!

  31. adrienne-is
    adrienne-is ·

    Film - check. Dishwasher - check. Blow dryer - check. Darkroom - will create one. Going on a road trip this weekend and I'm taking this tip with me. Wish me luck.

  32. stickyvinny
    stickyvinny ·


  33. brunonf
    brunonf ·

    Here are my photos of the dishwasher film :)

    They aren´t as colourfull as i liked so i already washed 2 more films :)

  34. roundthings
    roundthings ·

    I just washed and dried my film tonight and I can't wait to check out the effects! Great tip!

  35. fght_ff_yr_dmns
    fght_ff_yr_dmns ·

    this is amazing!!! well done! really want to try it but :c i don't have a dishwasher... do you think i could just try hand washing it in warm water instead? or what about putting it in the washing machine instead of the dishwasher?

  36. macronation
    macronation ·

    anything poisonous in the film? i don't want to put any bad chemicals in the dishwasher

  37. clickiemcpete
    clickiemcpete ·

    Hmmm. Since you can't get all the moisture out of the film cassette I think another and perhaps better method might be to pull the film out in your dark room. Keep the canister out of the bath but then soak just the film in the hot water with dishwashing chemicals. Then, once it is rinsed and blow dried, roll it back into the dry canister. The soapy hot water solution and the heat from the blow dryer are probably all you need to make the changes to the emulsion.

  38. 33mmsemiautomatic
    33mmsemiautomatic ·

    yeah, I think I'll try this too.. I have all but the dark room.. all good, I'll find/make one :)

  39. novakmisi
    novakmisi ·

    here are my photos of the dishwasher film

  40. sea_monstersss
    sea_monstersss ·

    The part where I pull the film out of the canister and blow dry it freaks me out a bit. Does anyone know if I will adequately dry it out if I simply let it sit in rice for a certain amount of time? How dark does a dark room need to be? Am I not supposed to see what I'm doing? I still have yet to try this and I am so excited.

  41. sea_monstersss
    sea_monstersss ·

    The part where I pull the film out of the canister and blow dry it freaks me out a bit. Does anyone know if I will adequately dry it out if I simply let it sit in rice for a certain amount of time? How dark does a dark room need to be? Am I not supposed to see what I'm doing? I still have yet to try this and I am so excited.

  42. shakiat
    shakiat ·

    I don't have a dishwasher... any other way?

  43. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Love these photos. I totally want to try this. But first, can you tell me how to put/roll the film back into it's cartridge after you pull it out to dry it??

  44. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Also, does it have to be Kodak Ektachrome film? Will other films work good? Will 400 speed work well or should I stick to 200?


  45. threalcookiemonster
    threalcookiemonster ·

    would any of the chemicals in the film leak out into the dishwasher? is it okay to do it with dishes in?

  46. natalieerachel
    natalieerachel ·

    So so so great, I really want to try this out when I get the chance!!

  47. eraklon
  48. susielomovitz
    susielomovitz ·

    do I have to dishwash before shooting? can I shot and then dishwash it?

  49. dreifachzucker
    dreifachzucker ·

    oooooooooh... what if I forgot to rinse the film in cold water?

  50. dreifachzucker
    dreifachzucker ·

    I blew it dry right after dishwashering the film, so it's probably not a problem?

  51. mimifleuri
    mimifleuri ·

    WOW, these colors are great! I'm gonna get myself a dishwasher right away :D
    I soaked my film in vinegar and baking soda. That has some great effect too.
    Thanks for the tipster!!

  52. usha_berg
    usha_berg ·

    WOW!!! This is a great idea!!!

  53. itisanormalname
    itisanormalname ·

    washed it for 1.5 hours. left it in a dark room for a night to dry. kodak portra 160vc

  54. skrutt
    skrutt ·

    Oh, how fun! Need to try this! Soon! :D

  55. paulawit
    paulawit ·

    Hey please! I would like to know how much time you let the film washing?

  56. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    has anyone tried this with neg film and not cross processed?

  57. superkulisap
    superkulisap ·

    @mikeydavies my friend tried it with a color negative film. check this out: www.lomography.com/homes/boredbone/albums/1798110-color-porn

  58. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    @superkulisap thanks dude! i may try this after the roll has been taken, does that work? anyone tried?:)

  59. superkulisap
    superkulisap ·

    @mikeydavies you're welcome. It will work even after the roll has been taken. Check out my happy accident, no detergent though, just water: www.lomography.com/homes/superkulisap/albums/1727259-wet-ro…

  60. vrtl55
    vrtl55 ·

    my dishwasher has stripped my film clean! :C what did I do wrong?!

  61. du3ky
    du3ky ·

    Could you do this with exposed film?

  62. kaardevries
    kaardevries ·

    This is so cool! I'm def going to try it! :)

  63. dopa
    dopa ·

    nice results, now my noob question: how do I reclose the film can? the cap bends, when I open it...

  64. redfactor
    redfactor ·

    this looks so much fun :-)

  65. aguillem
    aguillem ·

    @dopa Just pull it out, no need to break the canister.
    It becomes a bit more difficult if you do it after shooting. The best is to rewind carefully so the end of the film is still out of the canister. Otherwise you can pull it out in different ways, you'll find tutorials on the web.

  66. dopa
    dopa ·

    wow, thanks for your quick response @aguillem

  67. aguillem
    aguillem ·

    @dopa You're zelcome, and thanks to @bongofury for the tipsetr:

  68. cynnievwg
    cynnievwg ·

    I don't know what went wrong. I gave the film to a friend of mine to wash it in the dishwasher., maybe he forgot to put the film under cold water. Anyway, when I got the developed photos, only one photo waited for me, and 5 more out of the 36 on the negatives. The other negatives were not even in the envelope. Anyone an idea, what happend? :(

  69. pan_dre
    pan_dre ·

    Still loving this one, Dr. @hti!

  70. alienmeatsack
    alienmeatsack ·

    @pan_dre - I have yet to try this technique! And I've tried a lot :D Could be a fun experiment still :D

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