How does a dishwasher help you anyways? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 02:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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...
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#2 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 02:59 AM
 
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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.
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#3 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 03:06 AM
 
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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.

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#4 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 03:13 AM
 
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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.
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#5 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 05:27 AM
 
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#6 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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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.

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#7 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 11:32 AM
 
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I don't hand wash anything either. EVERYTHING that gets washed goes into the dishwasher. To me, hand washing seems so tedious.

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#8 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 11:59 AM
 
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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.
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#9 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#10 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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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.

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#11 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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#12 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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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.

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#13 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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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.

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#14 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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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.

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#15 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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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.
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#16 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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#17 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 03:22 PM
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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!

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#18 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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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.

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#19 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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#20 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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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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#21 of 69 Old 04-16-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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I cook everything from scratch too. I hardly ever pre-wash and barely have dirty dishes come out. I could do without it, but I like knowing yucky things are really 'clean' (knife used to cut chicken, moldy cup found 3 wks later, etc).

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#22 of 69 Old 04-17-2010, 02:33 AM
 
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A good dishwasher with an attached garbage disposal* is really helpful. Just as a washing machine lets you start your clothes washing and do other things while it works, a dishwasher does the same thing with dishes.

Personally, my rule for both clothes and dishes is "if it's ruined by the washer, I didn't want it" I do have a few items in each that I hand wash every time, but they are special and given dispensation because they are special.

If you wash wood or bamboo, oil them. Put crappy thin plastic in the top. Use a rinse agent. Once a month or so, run the dishwasher empty with a cupful of white vinegar.

*Now that we've got a dishwasher without a disposal, I've given up and switched to using it to rinse and drain hand washed dishes. It's just too freaking annoying and wasteful of water to thoroughly rinse each dish before putting it in there.
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#23 of 69 Old 04-17-2010, 02:35 AM
 
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I also have zero counter space, so hand-washing doesn't work well for us, I have nowhere to put the dishes to dry.
You have a dishwasher.
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#24 of 69 Old 04-17-2010, 03:24 AM
 
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Man, there are days I'd give a kidney for an efficient dishwasher. I am so tired of hand-washing everything in a sink set in a counter that was built for a short person in the 19 century.
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#25 of 69 Old 04-17-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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My husband's official household job is dishes.We run the dishwasher at least two times a day. It's his job because 1-He was always complaining that I didn't "do it right" 2- I refuse to rinse and 3- It helps SOOOO much knowing I don't have to do the dishes...it gives me so much more ambition to cook. Plus he told me once it's "easy, quick, bonus points" Works for us!
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#26 of 69 Old 04-17-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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DH loves the dishwasher and puts pretty much everything in it. I'm not that crazy about it. It's nice that it "stores" the dirty dishes until they're washed, but that's also one of the weaknesses. It seems like the kitchen knife, grater or whatever that I need is always sitting in the dishwasher, dirty. I've noticed that my good pans - about 19 years old - are starting to come loose at the handles and need re-tightening all the time. That didn't happen until after dh started putting them in the dishwasher.

I don't know. There are pros and cons. I've been without a dishwasher most of my adult life, and I don't care if we have one in our next place or not. I do think we save some water over handwashing, which is good. I still do quite a lot of handwashing. (I seem to be in the minority, but I also find the smell of the dishwasher, while it's running, makes me feel ill. It's gross.)

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#27 of 69 Old 04-17-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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I don't have a dishwasher. It works OK for us, I guess. I don't hate washing dishes-- don't love it but who does? I do some here and there throughout the day as they accumulate (I cook from scratch and like to bake, so yeah), or if that doesn't happen, do a big wash before starting dinner. I try to avoid that b/c who wants to do the dishes for 20 minutes before cooking?

My parents do the wash-the-dishes-before-loading-them-into-the-dishwasher thing so I thought that was normal! Seriously when my dad does the dishes he might as well just put them back in the cabinets as in the dishwasher.

I think what makes it a moot point is that-- it just doesn't take very long. Even when there seems to be a lot, it only takes a few minutes to wash enough to fill both of my drain racks.

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#28 of 69 Old 04-18-2010, 12:40 AM
 
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We joke that our dishwasher is more for sterilizing than for washing. We have to THOROUGHLY pre-rinse everything before it goes in.

I remember how excited I was to have a dishwasher when we moved here, but at this point the dishwasher is so minimally functional, it maybe cuts down on five minutes a day. I intend to do a lot more hand washing as soon as I'm done working FT hours next month.

Also my DH prefers the "spread the dirty dishes over all the counters method", rather than loading dishes in as soon as they are dirty. One more reason to do more hand washing, cause I hate cluttered counters.

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#29 of 69 Old 04-18-2010, 01:07 AM
 
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Our dishwasher serves as an under the counter two tier drying rack. Terriffic space saver. We don't run it, just dry dishes in it.
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#30 of 69 Old 04-18-2010, 01:25 AM
 
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I am a bigtime lover of DW that actually work. If we moved into a house with a not wonderful dishwasher replacing it would be extremely high on the financial priority list.

We put most stuff into it. Not wood, cast iron, or heirloom quality chopping knives though. [Chef friend said the heat does bad things to the blades over time.]

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
A good dishwasher with an attached garbage disposal* is really helpful. Just as a washing machine lets you start your clothes washing and do other things while it works, a dishwasher does the same thing with dishes.....
*Now that we've got a dishwasher without a disposal, I've given up and switched to using it to rinse and drain hand washed dishes. It's just too freaking annoying and wasteful of water to thoroughly rinse each dish before putting it in there.
We don't have a disposal but I still never rinse anything. Just scrape everything into the compost with a spatula.
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