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How does a dishwasher help you anyways?

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
I was wondering how your dishwasher help you or not help you, and either way, how do you get all your dishes for the day (including all the stuff you use for cooking) done with minimal time & effort and most efficiency?

For me the dish washer really doesn't help me - I never know what's washer safe and what's not since it doesn't say on the containers/dishes like it says on clothing cleaning instructions, so many things I wash it myself; things I put in seems to never get cleaned and I have to wash it again by hand; in order to for the washer to wash it clean I almost have to pre-wash the dishes myself to get rid of everything on it, and i might as well just finish the dishes myself instead of taking the time to load and unload the washer; the pots & pans I wash them myself because there isn't enough room to fit everything into the washer and again, it almost never comes out clean unless I wash it by hand first. Is it just me? How do you use your washer? I'd like some tips on the quickest way to get the dishes all done. Since I cook everything from scratch and I do many things myself, I just don't have the time to deal with the dishes and kitchen mess produced from eating & cooking or preparing each meal...
post #2 of 69
We used to only use the dishwasher. I would load the dishwasher as we used dishes and start it once it was full.

However, for the last several months I've really tried to make a point of washing dishes by hand. We probably use it once a week or less now. I use it when dishes have started to pile up. I'll go around the house and pick up everything that's been left around and load it up. (water glasses are a big one, as well as DD's cups) With DD's cups, I'll even throw clean ones in and run it on a hot cycle.
post #3 of 69
We live in an apartment with a tiny kitchen and we have a small dishwasher that connects to our kitchen faucet. It helps us because our sink and countertops are so small that we'd have to wash all out dishes in shifts or several times throughout the day.
post #4 of 69
I wash everything in the dishwasher. I unload it while cooking dinner, and reload it with dirty dishes. The only hand-wash item is my sharp knives. I eliminated every non-safe item in the kitchen b/c I know me. We bought a used dishwasher on craigslist as an upgrade, and then upgraded to a mid level new dishwasher ($400). It's easy to fit all the pots and pans in. My plates fit on top rack. Top rack is half glasses and cups/ half plates and bowls. Bottom rack is silverware and pots and cutting boards. I use a high quality detergent (Cascade complete powder from costco) to make it work well. I don't even pre-scrape most dishes.
Taxes and touching gross dishes make me stabby so I try to make it pass as fast as possibly.
post #5 of 69
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post #6 of 69
I use the dishwasher all the time. I almost never hand wash anything. I wouldn't buy anything that wasn't dishwasher safe, because as you mentioned, it would be too much trouble to wonder if this is okay to put in or not. In a seven day period, I probably run ours 3 times. Sometimes more, but definitely not daily. Eating at home creates a lot of dishes.

Our house didn't have a dishwasher when we bought it. While I was pregnant I insisted that we buy one. Even though we ended up loosing cabinet space. I am the only one to wash dishes, it would take DH FOREVER to wash dishes. And since I am a SAHM, it would be my job 100% to hand wash the dishes. No thank you.
post #7 of 69
I don't hand wash anything either. EVERYTHING that gets washed goes into the dishwasher. To me, hand washing seems so tedious.
post #8 of 69
After 3 years of handwashing everything I will move heaven and earth to never be without a dishwasher again! As soon as something is used it goes into the dishwasher. When it is packed full it's set off and an hour later everything is cleaned using so much less water and detergent (I use powder, not the tabs) than I would use if doing it by hand. My two older sons take turns to empty it and put everything away.

I hand wash wooden spoons and plastic food containers at the end of the day. Five minutes at the sink. thats enough for me! I really should start delegating that to the boys as well.
post #9 of 69
Thread Starter 
Here is what I don't get - you do need to scrub/pre-wash or at least rinse off the dishes & stuff on them before they go into the washer in order for them to come out clean (especially if the dishes are going to be sitting in the washer waiting for a while before they are run). It's not like you can literally dump all your dirty dishes straight into the washer from the dinning table. Now, that rinsing (sometimes even scrubbing), to me, is like enough manual labor I might as well put some soap on it and be done with it. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

Anyways, my point is that because of the work involved in running the washer (such as what I just described, or having to wash things that can't go into the washer, for example), dish washer really doesn't save me much time and effort. How do I make it actually work for me?
post #10 of 69
I would probably start buying paper plates and cups if I didn't have a dishwasher. I hate dishes as is, and the thought of having to handwash everything makes me want to run away.
post #11 of 69
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post #12 of 69
I'm fairly certain I use more water and soap hand washing than using the DW. I do hand wash my anodized or stainless cookware, cast iron (of course) and anything that won't fit in the DW (if I don't want to leave it waiting for the next load).

We scrape food into the garbage disposal and give everything a quick rinse. Only occasionally does something come out of the DW with food still on it and if it does it's usually because someone didn't rinse well.
post #13 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug-a-Boo's Mama View Post
I use the dishwasher all the time. I almost never hand wash anything. I wouldn't buy anything that wasn't dishwasher safe, because as you mentioned, it would be too much trouble to wonder if this is okay to put in or not. In a seven day period, I probably run ours 3 times. Sometimes more, but definitely not daily. Eating at home creates a lot of dishes.

Our house didn't have a dishwasher when we bought it. While I was pregnant I insisted that we buy one. Even though we ended up loosing cabinet space. I am the only one to wash dishes, it would take DH FOREVER to wash dishes. And since I am a SAHM, it would be my job 100% to hand wash the dishes. No thank you.
Amen! After years of not having a dishwasher...no thank you! I hate washing dishes with a passion. I passed on the unloading dishes part to dh and sometimes he loads them which is immensely helpful.
post #14 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
Here is what I don't get - you do need to scrub/pre-wash or at least rinse off the dishes & stuff on them before they go into the washer in order for them to come out clean (especially if the dishes are going to be sitting in the washer waiting for a while before they are run). It's not like you can literally dump all your dirty dishes straight into the washer from the dinning table.
Sounds like you need a new washer. A decent, properly working washer will eliminate the need to get the dishes clean before putting them in.

That being said, I have an older machine too, and I can't put anything in the machine that still has food on it. So everything gets a quick rinse (a soak if necessary), a quick pass-over with a scrub brush and into the machine. I don't care if it's greasy (it usually is). Doing it this way I don't have to use super hot water, I don't have to use soap (which doesn't work worth crap in our hard water), I don't have to submerge my hands in greasy water (which grosses me out). I also have zero counter space, so hand-washing doesn't work well for us, I have nowhere to put the dishes to dry.

I load (and run) the dishwasher every other day. I try to be in the habit of loading it daily, but it rarely happens - compounded by the fact that DH often "forgets" to empty the dishwasher.

I make just about everything from scratch, and running the dishwasher 3-4 times/week I manage to get everything washed, and that includes cutting boards and sheet pans. The only thing I have to handwash is the dehydrator trays, which just don't fit.

We have one of those portable machines that we roll across the room to hook up to the sink. Before we got it, we had a HUGE problem with the dishes because we both HATE doing them. It's used and close to 10 yo now, but until we can remodel the kitchen, there's no point in buying a new one.
post #15 of 69
I love my dishwasher. I, too, would start buying paper products if I did not have one. I don't rinse very well, either, just really quickly as they get loaded, and almost evrything goes into the dishwasher, and fits.
As far as when it gets done, ds unloads after school and loads after dinner. I kept the same schedule when I did it myself. The dishwasher gets run overnight.
post #16 of 69
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post #17 of 69
I think maybe you need a different DW detergent, or a new DW all together! We have an ANCIENT dishwasher (like it was top of the line in 1975 or so), and we still dont need to pre-rinse or pre-wash anything. we load straight from the table (or right after a dish is used) into the DW all the time. The only things that dont go in the DW are plastic lids, good knives, and pots/pans but everything else goes in. Those 3 things mentioned take about 5 minutes at the end of the day just like another PP mentioned. we only pre-rise if it's a big gob of ketchup or something that would congeal or get stinky over time.
we run the DW every 2-3 days, usually right before bed so everything is clean in the morning.

ceramic bakeware comes out spotless, since it's virtually non-stick anyway. glasses, plates, silverware all come out great.

We use method smarty dish tablets, and vinegar in the rinse-aid dispenser. easy peasy. even our old dino of a DW uses less water than we'd use hand washing all that stuff. not to mention, we dont have to dry anything before putting it away since it dries in the DW overnight.

Give your DW a second chance- they generally save water and detergent!

ETA: zensven- i was wondering why you'd wait to load till the sink was full! makes sense now!
post #18 of 69
Everything goes in my dishwasher dirty. Peas, carrots, mashed 'tato scraps and all. I do scrape off meat scraps into the garbage. But the dishwasher has a grinder, a type of garbage disposal, that takes care of everything else. Nothing gets rinsed at all. I have had a dishwasher that wouldn't wash anything but clean dishes. I didn't use it. But I LOVE my dishwasher.
post #19 of 69
post #20 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
I don't hand wash anything either. EVERYTHING that gets washed goes into the dishwasher. To me, hand washing seems so tedious.
Same here.
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