Friday, March 11, 2011

My Dishwasher Blues

      There are two dishwashers in my house...ME and the machine.

      Now I'm a capable dishwasher. I get the job done. I'm steady as I wash dishes three times a day seven days a week. Sometimes I wash more than three times a day if there is baking or extra food prep. On the other hand I'm pretty old and wiggly. Sometimes I don't see the dirt! Maybe I've had one too many whacks with the cast iron fry pan? But I'm the kind of person who doesn't look for dirt. I just don't see dirt very well. I also don't see dirt in people. I look for the good stuff and ignore the rotten stuff.

     Now the machine is 24 years old. So it's old and wiggly. It has been on a down hill roll for several years. It runs well, but it doesn't clean very well. Maybe it doesn't see the dirt too well? Maybe it's tired? Several years ago I stopped making the old dishwasher wash glasses. They just didn't come clean. Then I stopped putting cutlery in as it was always spotted. When the rest of the dishes showed some stain I decided to quit using the dishwasher and washed dishes by hand. The dishes shined up in a hurry. Then I read the old manual and found out I was supposed to put soap in two places instead of one. I tried putting soap in two dispensers and the dishes came out perfect. The next time I ran the dishwasher the second dispenser did not release the soap  so my dishes were a mess again. The sensor to release the soap door did not release. On my next wash there was a big click while the water was heating? Oops I think the second soap release door opened. Sure enough! It had opened. So I'm going to try the dishwasher one more time.

    This dishwasher being twenty-four years old doesn't owe me anything so if it doesn't work I will throw it away.

    Now new dishwasher shopping? That's another story1 I posted long ago that I hate shopping. I think you''ll probably have to read one more whiny post!


  1. That was a cute post. I've had the same dishwasher for 35 years - my hubby. I don't do dishes. I do all the cooking and he does all the dishes. He's beginning to have those same problems of being wiggly and missing some dirty spots. Even though my dishwasher is starting to have problems, I better hang on to him.

  2. That is one appliance my wife and I do not have. We (particularly I) enjoy doing the dishes and find the ritual particularly therapeutic.

  3. Interesting that in two comments both do not use dishwashers. Dishwashing machines have had a bad rap over the years as far as the environment is concerned. Detergents, excess water and energy use are three problems. Changes have been made to lessen these problems but the problems are still there.
    I applaud you for not using dishwasher machines.

  4. I loved my new one at the old house. It was practically silent, and efficient! I loathe doing dishes. I cook and hubby does the dishes. It works for us!

  5. Our decision is to replace the washer. I hope we get something that is like the one you had. The cheaper ones are really poorly made.
    I don't mind washing dishes.

  6. I had tried to comment on this earlier, but somehow my response disappeared on me. Anyway, as your daughter, I was rather amused by this one. I can just see you washing dishes, and the "supervisor's" remarks and feedback on the quality of workmanship as well.
    Just to point out a couple of things... older machines were clearly inefficient and should be junked. Newer, Energy Star rated and efficient machines are much more water friendly and frugal. As well, it's a bit of a myth that hand washing saves resources, since most people don't start out a sink to wash like Red does; barely any water at all, and keep adding hot rinse water. Many people fill the sink with water quite a bit before washing a thing, and keep addimg more, and running lots of rinse water. In comparison, a fully loaded (and this is the key) newer dishwasher will waste less water. The waste on dishwashers is when people run them only partially loaded. I've learned to become very creative in cramming our washer before running.
    Another interesting thing I learned recently is that - although not really well known to the public - pretty much all dish detergent is now phosphate free. This is great from an ecological standpoint, but many consumers have noticed that the dishes just dont' come as clean as they used to. This is because, ironically, the phosphate component was what cleaned dishes best.
    Believe it or not, the best part of the cleaning process for dishes is the drying phase. It's actually the heat that really cleans and sanitizes, not the water or the detergent. This is why it's a good idea to add your dishcloth to the upper rack for a wash and heat dry; kills the germs (and the kitchen tends to be the dirtiest place in the house, with the dish cloth being one of the dirtiest items anywhere in a home).
    Also, air drying is better than towel drying (and I was never a big fan of the latter, tho I have fond memories of listening to CBC's "As it Happens" while reluctantly drying dishes for Dad) again because you're not mucking up towels or potentially spreading germs around with them.
    So there! My wisdom in dishwashing. :)

  7. As your dad, I am pleased to receive your comment.
    You have certainly researched dishwashers and dish washing. And to be reminded of dishwashing when you were a kid is a bonus.
    One thing that isn't thrown in your cfalculations is the energy and materials to make a new dishwasher and destroy or recycle the old one.
    I always like the great effort you go to to make a comment. It's always more than my post. It would have a bigger bang if it was posted right after the post because people rarely go back and read old posts.
    Thanks for dropping by Hiawatha house.