What Is A Dishwasher For?


True confession: I don’t use a dishwasher. In fact, I don’t even own one. It didn’t seem like a big deal when we bought our home, ten years ago, when it was just my husband and me. After all, we were only going to live in this house for a few years before moving on to something bigger and better.


Before this house, we had lived in numerous apartments outfitted with noisy old machines, which took forever to fill up and then, never got our plates and glasses completely clean. They worked pretty well, if you wiped and rinsed the dishes before loading them up, but then, where is the time savings in that?


I blame in on the way I grew up. Again, we always had a kitchen full of Amana appliances. But the dishwasher always sat empty. Occasionally, it was used as a glorified drying rack. It may have had something to do with the fact that we ate meals, Chinese-style, with lots of little bowls and few plates. The top rack would get filled up while the bottom rack sat empty. While we waited to collect enough plates to fill the lower rack, we’d end up washing our rice bowls by hand.  Very rarely — like after a big dinner party — we would actually use the machine for washing the numerous plates and bowls used. One time the machine overflowed and flooded the kitchen. It seemed that one of the lines had developed build-up and clogged up. Something which could have been prevented by flushing out the tubes with regular use. This machine created more problems than it solved.


But after having children, I viewed the dishwasher with a new set of eyes. Instead of scrubbing bottles, nipples, and the numerous intricate parts of a sippy cup by hand (in near-boiling water) I could see the usefulness of the machine. Not to mention the fact that pediatricians always recommend sterilizing chew toys in a hot wash cycle. Now that my boys are too old to for sippy cups or teething rings, I can get by– sort of. I’m still dreaming of a dishwasher. A new kitchen, really. Make that a new house.


As for my mother, when she remodeled her old kitchen, she replaced the avocado green dishwasher with a stainless steel Bosch. In the even that she ever wants to use it, I’m sure there’s an old box of Cascade lurking under the sink.


    • says

      I think if I had a dishwasher after my kids were born, I’d probably use it, too. I’ve been known to bring whole bunch of sippy cups to my in-laws to sanitize them.

  1. says

    Lol, might be a Mexican thing, too, since my mom never used ours either. Instead she stored her pots and pans in it, or used it as a drying rack at Thanksgiving. I, on the other hand, swear by dishwashers. I bought a portable one off Craigslist when our last rental didn’t come with one. Best investment ever.

    • says

      Christine, judging by the discussion on my FB page, it is clearly a Mexican and Latino thing, too, because lots of other people said they never used their dishwashers, either! My husband keeps talking about getting a portable dishwasher, but where would we put it?

  2. says

    I love the orange plates and mugs! Our dishwasher ends up being used as a drying rack. We don’t own enough plates or cups to make it possible to run a full load!

    • says

      Thanks, Miss Mochi! We used to have grown up looking plates, but since they’ve broken over the years, we’ve been replacing them with rainbow colored Fiestaware. Makes eating more fun.

  3. says

    NEVER used a dishwasher growing up. When we first got married, we also never used it except for large loads after a party. After having J, we also never used it. You know what happened? I read an article on EPA (?) that said using dishwashers save water. I was “what?” and then did an experiment. Used it for a month and our water bill didn’t increase! If you spend an hour doing dishes, why not just let your dishwasher do them right? Also, we have FULL loads every 2 days. We don’t pre rinse, and our washer has no problem getting old-day food off of the dishes. Yay!


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