"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Great Dishwasher Debate

It seems that all appliances have a life cycle anymore.  And it's usually shorter than you might think.  In the past few years we've replaced washing machines and dryers, refrigerators, TV's and PC's.

Last weekend, our 13 year old dishwasher started to make a horrible "I'm about to die" noise.  I let it complete it's cycle so all the water would drain, emptied it, and rolled out the police tape.

"What happened?"  SM inquired. 

"Didn't you hear it?  I asked, knowing full well that SM was napping in the lazy boy.  "It's dying.  Making a loud, grinding noise."

"I'll start researching dishwashers then."  SM replied heading over to the computer.

"Can't Bob come out and fix it?"  I asked.  (Bob is our small appliance repair guy.  We were on a retainer with him for a few years nursing our old washer and dryer.  Bob's fees usually run $75-$100 to come out and fix whatever needs fixing.)

"It's not worth it.  It'll cost $100 bucks to fix it and I can buy a new one for $300."  SM decided.

"Well, if you want to, why don't we just leave it alone for now.  I don't mind hand washing the dishes and if you think about it, we'll use less water doing it by hand than letting it run though it's cycles.  Less electricity too." I contended.

"We don't use the dishwasher THAT often."  SM countered.  "Plus, I like the idea of sterilizing the dishes.  You don't get that when you do them by hand."

"We both grew up without dishwashers and we're both still here to talk about it.  Somehow I think we'll survive."  I offered.

So this past week, I've been hand washing the dishes. 

I remember washing the dishes as a kid.  I also remember always having dishwashers in our homes as I grew up and became an adult.  When you have a large family with constant dishes getting dirty, I can see how appealing a dishwasher could be.

But it's just the two of us and I really only cook during the weekends anymore.  During the week the only dishes that get dirty are glasses, plates and silverware.  Those are easy enough to wash up quickly.  And even if I do a TON of cooking on the weekends, I still have the time to wash up.

I'm starting to think that having a dishwasher is not a necessity in my life.  It's a lazy way to postpone something that can be whipped out in 5 or 10 minutes easily enough.

We'll see.  SM usually wins these types of electronic debates.  In his mind a home should have a dishwasher.  If I was selling the house, I'd agree with him.  But right now?  With just the two of us?

For now, I'm kind of OK with my dishpan hands.


  1. I never had a dishwasher until 12 years ago.

    I think that I'm spoiled now though. With all the cooking and canning that is done around here, I do a minimun of one load a day!

  2. LOL - I missed my dishwasher on the farm. But I missed my washing machine even more - hand washing clothing is the absolute pits. So if I had to choose, a washing machine for the farm would be on the very, very top of my list :)

  3. We have a dishwasher, and let me tell you how useless that thing is! I have one of those old ones that you have to scrub off the gooks and bits and pieces before you can even think about the dishes in there. The only thing I use my dishwasher for is sterilizing my canning jars! It is worth keeping around just for that! And as for dishpan hands... I am a glove girl. Plus, they help me grip the dishes.

  4. We just had to replace our propane RV refrigerator when it died. Bought a GE household frig. Had to take the the window out to bring it in. 4 guys. What a chore. Bob still has finishing work to do.

  5. The thing that really sanitizes anything is scrubbing, it breaks open the cell wall of the bacteria/virus/ etc and it dies. Hence the 10 minute hand scrubbing of surgeons. Not all dishwashers use hot enough water to kill germs hidden in nooks in the dishes and nothing gets scrubbed at all. So your Husbands argument may not be valid. You can win ;)

  6. When our diswasher died several years ago, we bought a new one...and I often wonder why. I have to "pre-wash" dishes every time and still have to rinse or even RE wash dishes that went through the dishwasher. I've tried several types of wash liquid, but I think a lot of it has to do with our well water.

    I've stopped using the thing almost entirely; and when I DO end up using it, I cuss like a banshee after I open it because I STILL have to wash them again.

    If I KNEW for certain I could get a diswasher that REALLY worked, and if we had more people in the house, then I would consider getting a better one, but for now, it just sits empty & occupies a space that I could be using to store jars or pots & pans.

  7. I had a dishwasher in our condo about 4 years ago. When we moved to our farmhouse I thought "no big deal, I hardly ever used it". True, but I was surprised how often I thought of it once I didn't have it. I'm used to not having one now. Good luck in the debate! :)

  8. For five years at the beginning of my married life, we lived in a little cabin with electricity but no running water. We cooked, baked, canned, and bathed our first two children, all with water we hauled in.
    When we purchased this property, suddenly we had running water AND a dish washer. BLISS! But now, I like doing dishes by had, and even with four children, we've decided we will just live without the dish washer when it dies. I know there will be times when I really miss having it though.
    Happy dishing, whatever route you choose. :)

  9. This house is only 4 years old (a manufactured home)and it came with a dishwasher. But I do not use it except to steralize jars for canning. And when I wash dishes, I find myself doing it the way my Mom use to do it. She never had a double sink, So she would use a dish pan set to one side of the big sink. I have a double sink, but I still use a dish pan in one side, Because my Mom Did!

  10. One comment: Do not buy a more expensive Bosch! I hate this dishwasher..........

    Next one would be a Whirlpool.

    Carolyn, a serviceman told me to only use Cascade with Rinse plus keep the rinse thingy filled, so double rinse. We have hard well water too and the B does a credible job if it isn't overloaded.

  11. I like washing dishes by hand. Best wishes with your decision!