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Do you run your dishwasher every night?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
I hope this isn't too OT, but I've heard several people say that their day can go ok, or completely fall apart, based on the status of the dishwasher. The frugal side of me doesn't like to run it unless it's completely full. My mom once told her friends that if a toothpick would still fit in my dishwasher, I wouldn't run it.

However, I have been noticing lately that the day goes a lot better if it starts with a dw full of clean dishes which I put away first thing. Otherwise, it ends up getting full at the most inconvenient time, and I have to run it, which means that then stuff starts piling up in the sink, on the counters, etc. and it's really hard to start dinner with a full sink and trashed counters.

My sister runs hers every night, no matter how full or empty it is. Well, I guess if it was completely empty she wouldn't run it, but she'll run it with very little in there.

What about you?
post #2 of 53
We only run it every few days (maybe 2-3x a week). Of course, we also let dishes pile up if it isn't convenient to put them in the dw immed. I think its incredibly wasteful to run a partially full dw and won't/wouldn't do it myself.
post #3 of 53
I have a portable dishwasher and I need to hook it up to the sink. The boys like to roll it around though, which is not good. I fill mine in the morning and run it if it needs to be run during J's nap or after he goes to bed. I don't have to run it every day, more like every other day.
post #4 of 53
No I don't run it every night, but my dh does. If it was up to me it would only be run when full. But in our division of labor the dishes are his job so he can do them his way. Any way he wants really, as long as I don't have to do it. I hate doing dishes.
post #5 of 53
I only run it when it's entirely full.

Sometimes that means every night, sometimes it's every other night--- it depends what kinds of meals have been made that day, and who made them.... dp can dirty four mixing bowls to make toast!

I heart having a dishwasher!

alsoSarah
post #6 of 53
we run it when it's full. but i typically do most dishes by hand anyway. tomorrow morning, i'll get up and clean 2 coffee mugs, 2 drinking glasses, a handful of silverware, three small plates and one large one. So, not too much--easy enough to do by hand. My DH will empty the dishwasher when he gets home from work (he has two chores--empty the DW and take out the trash/recycling)--and i'll start to fill it (instead of washing by hand--except all pots and pans). Should be full in a couple of days.

funny though: when my DH would get frustrated about dishes, i would tell him to stop using so many, to clean them as soon as he was finished using them (at least rinse)--and it'll be easier. And he would fume and fuss and say 'you use dishes too!' which of course, is true.

then i went out of town for a week--and he noticed that he had more dishes that week than ever before. he realized "wow, i do use a lot of dishes!" and then he watched me one saturday and noticed this:

i cook eggs and veggies in the same pan for breakfast and as soon as i plate the eggs and veggies, i rinse and/or wash the pan and set it to dry. I sit down with a plate, fork, drinking glass with water, and a mug of tea. I spend about 30 minutes eating breakfast, then i get up and wash my dishes (except drinking glass which i refill all day). At lunch, i'll use the same breakfast plate, fork, and drinking glass and make a salad. If i use a knife and cutting board, i wash it before i eat, and then wash my plate and fork after eating. When having a snack, i'll typically choose finger foods that don't require dishes--though i'll use the same dish again if not, and wash it after. At dinner, when a pot is empty, i'll wash it right away, but if it needs to cool off or soak, i'll set it in the sink to soak overnite. Typically, i leave my dinner dishes (and his)--and the next day i'll either wash them by hand (have to with pots/pans anyway) or put those dishes in the dish washer.

he realized that i use FAR fewer dishes than he does. by the end of the day, he's used 3-6 plates (meals and snacks), every pot and pan he could get his hands on, new utensils every time, and multiple drinking glasses.

no wonder he feels overwhelmed. LOL
post #7 of 53
I run it when it's so full that another meal's dishes & pans won't fit. Sometimes that means it gets run only semi-full, but it works to keep the dishes moving.
post #8 of 53
I've been trying to get in the habit of running it every evening (and it's usually full then anyway).
post #9 of 53
We only run it when it's completely full, but that is every day here. Just putting the coffee pot and its lid, and the coffee basket in, filled up half the top rack. I wash pots, thermoses, pet bowls, etc. in it.
post #10 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alsoSarah
dp can dirty four mixing bowls to make toast!
Sounds like your dh and my dh are related!
post #11 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird
we run it when it's full. but i typically do most dishes by hand anyway. tomorrow morning, i'll get up and clean 2 coffee mugs, 2 drinking glasses, a handful of silverware, three small plates and one large one. So, not too much--easy enough to do by hand. My DH will empty the dishwasher when he gets home from work (he has two chores--empty the DW and take out the trash/recycling)--and i'll start to fill it (instead of washing by hand--except all pots and pans). Should be full in a couple of days.

funny though: when my DH would get frustrated about dishes, i would tell him to stop using so many, to clean them as soon as he was finished using them (at least rinse)--and it'll be easier. And he would fume and fuss and say 'you use dishes too!' which of course, is true.

then i went out of town for a week--and he noticed that he had more dishes that week than ever before. he realized "wow, i do use a lot of dishes!" and then he watched me one saturday and noticed this:

i cook eggs and veggies in the same pan for breakfast and as soon as i plate the eggs and veggies, i rinse and/or wash the pan and set it to dry. I sit down with a plate, fork, drinking glass with water, and a mug of tea. I spend about 30 minutes eating breakfast, then i get up and wash my dishes (except drinking glass which i refill all day). At lunch, i'll use the same breakfast plate, fork, and drinking glass and make a salad. If i use a knife and cutting board, i wash it before i eat, and then wash my plate and fork after eating. When having a snack, i'll typically choose finger foods that don't require dishes--though i'll use the same dish again if not, and wash it after. At dinner, when a pot is empty, i'll wash it right away, but if it needs to cool off or soak, i'll set it in the sink to soak overnite. Typically, i leave my dinner dishes (and his)--and the next day i'll either wash them by hand (have to with pots/pans anyway) or put those dishes in the dish washer.

he realized that i use FAR fewer dishes than he does. by the end of the day, he's used 3-6 plates (meals and snacks), every pot and pan he could get his hands on, new utensils every time, and multiple drinking glasses.

no wonder he feels overwhelmed. LOL
I wanna be just like you.
post #12 of 53
I used to get hung up on not running a partially filled dw but stopped worrying about it when (1) I realized it uses the same amount of energy and water whether it's full or empty and (2) I really have to at minimum do a "rinse and hold" if I leave the dishes for the next day because I really cannot stand the horrible smell of a stinky, day-old, half-filled dishwasher. So if I'm going to do "rinse and hold," I might as well just give in and wash them. If I had only a very few and felt guilty, I'd probably just run a sink of water and take them back out and hand wash them.

Going to an every-night running has indeed helped our house run more smoothly the last few months.
post #13 of 53
chillie:

it's all about learning to clean while you're doing things. the kitchen can get overwhelming when you don't have a system.

while cooking, i clean up all items that were used to prep--knives, bowls for holding until adding to pots, cutting board, and then i wipe down the countertop. I plate the food, and since we usually don't have left overs, i rinse the pots as soon as they're empty--and sometimes wash them right then, and then set them on the hot plates to cool.

it really is easier to 'clean as you're going' than it is to clean everything once you're done. and, it's nicer that way.
post #14 of 53
I always wait until our dishwasher is full to run it. I don't want to waste a full loads worth of water and energy to wash half a dishwasher load of dishes. I usually run our dishwasher every 2 days in the evening. Then I unload it in the morning. It works great for us!
post #15 of 53
No. But I don't use the dishwasher very often, anyway. We usually do the dishes by hand. I used to just let them pile up, but I have gotten MUCH BETTER lately at doing them each night before bed. Waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes was so depressing. Sometimes I "treat myself" and put them in the dishwasher. Then I run it if it is full (usually takes 3 days or so) or if we are out of bowls or forks or whatever we are using the most of.
post #16 of 53
When we have dh's kids for the weekend, I seriously run it 2-3 times a DAY! Its just amazing to see how much food 2 teens can eat :

When its just our 'little' family, once a night or every other day is just fine.

I do like to keep the sink free of dirty dishes so I try to keep the dishwasher loaded with just dirties and run as needed.
post #17 of 53
I seriously had no idea people ran the dishwasher when it wasn't full. How strange. We run our dishwasher about 2 times a week.

So much of our electricity in the US comes from coal power - i.e. lots of greenhouse gas emissions! I don't understand why people are so wasteful with reguards to electricity. Maybe because it's so inexpensive that it's hard to cut back?
post #18 of 53
AlsoSarah! My DH is the same way.

Zoebird, I think your DH and my DH got the same memo on how to cook. It's crazy how many dishes my DH can use to make a simple meal. No wonder his mom used paper plates when he lived at home!

I run my washer every night after dinner. In the morning while I am making coffee, I unload it so I can just stick the dirty dishes in as the day goes by. I hate having a pile of dishes in the sink now that I have a perfectly good dishwasher! I would never run it unless it was completly full, and only run it more than once a day during big holiday cooking sessions or canning season. It is fantastic for getting those canning jars hot and squeeky clean!
post #19 of 53

Our system

I put my dinner dishes in the dishwasher at night, but I only run the dishwasher in the morning (after all of the breakfast dishes are put into it.)

Since everyone is at school/work all day, there are no dishes being dirtied.

This way, I come home to clean dishes, rather than a sink full of dirty breakfast ones. Not to mention, I know that everything I need to make/serve dinner is clean and ready to use.
post #20 of 53
I only run it when it's full...sometimes it's daily, sometimes every 2-3.
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