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Dishwasher or hand wash?
November 7, 2012 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Dishwasher vs hand washing -- which is more efficient in this scenario?

(Yes I saw the previous AskMefi answers and the linked articles, but it still doesn't answer my question)

I live in a house of 4 roommates. We've always hand washed dishes even though there is a (fairly modern) dishwasher installed. But now two of the roommates want to try switching to the dishwasher. I'm against it. We discussed how this would be done, what the rules would be, and so forth. I'm not convinced the dishwasher is more efficient, and they aren't against hand washing (in fact we are all great about not leaving dishes in the sink, ever).

Here are our caveats. These are their ideas, not mine.

- Dishwasher would be for individual plates, bowls, silverware, and glasses only. Pots, pans, cutlery, and other prep items would still be hand washed because there's simply not enough of it to go around and the dishwasher may damage some of these types of items anyway.

- Dishes and bowls would be pre-rinsed before going into the dishwasher because we only use enough dishes to run the dishwasher at most every 3 days and don't want food scraps to get moldy, attract bugs, etc.


Here are my arguments:

1) Our method of hand washing is very efficient. Basically we soap up the sponge with a little bit of water, and scrub all the plates etc immediately after a meal. Once they are all soaped and clean, they get rinsed individually under a small stream of water. I estimate that it takes maybe a liter to rinse 4 glasses, 4 bowls, 4 plates, silverware, and a couple pots and pans. We do not let the water run continuously.

2) Even if the dishwasher is more efficient with water use, we are only talking a difference of at most 100 gallons over the course of a month. That's like each of us taking 2 fewer showers a month, if that. It's super minimal and would save us perhaps $2 in utility costs.

3) The dish drying rack would still be used for pots, pans, and other items excluded from the dishwasher, so why not just spend the extra 30 seconds to wash your plate and glass while you're at it?

4) Putting away an entire load of dishes from the dishwasher is a much more demanding task than putting away a few dishes at a time from the drying rack. Plus it's like "out of sight out of mind" and I don't have confidence that the dishes will get put away.

5) We could take out the dishwasher and use the space for additional storage (it's a small kitchen so we need every bit we can get).


What do you guys think? Is there really a benefit when you're already efficient at hand washing, when you don't use enough dishes to fill up the dishwasher except twice a week anyway? I totally see the point with families who have 3 kids, and use a lot of dishes, and don't have the time, and run the dishwasher every night... but for our situation, it makes no sense to me.
posted by buckaroo_benzai to Home & Garden (43 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
What makes no sense to me is that you have somehow managed to find four people who all wash their dishes on time without any guff and cause zero problems for anyone else and two of them want to make it easier on themselves and someone is standing in the way of them doing this. What.

If you don't want to be a part of the dishwasher use, just don't use it. The amount of water/energy you save/don't save is, by your own calculations, pretty negligible, so that should be a non-issue. Let the dishwasher fans use it as they see fit, and continue to do your own thing. Everyone's happy!
posted by phunniemee at 10:17 AM on November 7, 2012 [51 favorites]


Why don't you just let them start using the dishwasher and you keep washing things by hand? Personally I don't understand people who don't want to use a dishwasher when one is available (partly because most of the people I've known who think they're good at handwashing really aren't, and dishwashers at least get things actually clean). Dishwashers get things cleaner and make it easier to wash things. Major time-saver. So if you don't want to take advantage of the benefits, fine, but there's no reason they shouldn't be able to.
posted by DoubleLune at 10:19 AM on November 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I do not understand the problem. It appears that any utility cost difference between hand washing and machine washing is negligible, so it comes down to personal preference.

Is there a reason those roommates who wish to use the dishwasher cannot do so without the permission of those who prefer to wash dishes by hand?
posted by Tanizaki at 10:21 AM on November 7, 2012


If you're really against them using it, you need to make a better case for how it affects you and why you feel the need to micromanage their use of it. Because I'm not seeing it. Also I've never heard of a dishwasher damaging pots and pans. That's why they invented dishwashers.
posted by bleep at 10:22 AM on November 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


We are only two people, and we pretty much operate on your roomates' scheme: all prep and cooking items washed by hand, eating items may be washed at the same time or may go in the dishwasher. We run the dishwasher every four or five days.

Personally, I like emptying the dishwasher twice a week better than I like emptying the drying rack daily, so the fewer items in the rack, the happier I am.

I don't mind hand washing, but I would be baffled if someone told me that I couldn't use the dishwasher. It seems like you are going out of your way to create a problem where none really exists.
posted by Kriesa at 10:23 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


You seem to be pretty set against the dishwasher. You're using the efficiency argument, but that seems to be a red herring inasmuch as you simply don't like the dishwasher. So, assuming you live in a free country, feel free to not use the dishwasher at all.

That being said, here's a study comparing hand washing vs. dishwasher efficiency in terms of water/soap/electricity use. The conclusion seems to support the argument that for the vast majority of people, dishwashers are significantly more ecological.

If you're trying to force other people to not use the dishwasher, good luck. Dishwashers are probably more efficient, quicker, easier and more hygienic than hand washing.
posted by Mons Veneris at 10:24 AM on November 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


Also I've never heard of a dishwasher damaging pots and pans. That's why they invented dishwashers.
Actually, that part I get. Anything with a plastic handle that goes over a metal insert is prone to get water inside the handle and rust out, and knife blades don't do well in the dishwasher. Plus, if you don't run the dishwasher daily, then the cookware in the dishwasher isn't available all the time.

But that's moot, since the roomies are planning to wash the cookware by hand anyhow.
posted by Kriesa at 10:27 AM on November 7, 2012


Why don't you just try it and see how it works? I do not understand why you need to have a huge theoretical debate first to figure out the optimal system. It's not like lives are at stake here...
posted by randomnity at 10:43 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think your system makes sense. But I also agree with everyone that seriously, let other people use the dishwasher if they want to so bad, and you just do everything by hand if that's what you want.

I'm also not clear why you're trying to talk other people out of using the dishwasher, unless one of your concerns is that "everyone puts their dishes in the dishwasher but then leaves it all in there over the course of several days because they're waiting for a full load and that ends up leaving us fighting over the same soup spoon becuase it's the only one that's clean". If that's one of your concerns, that is a good point to raise with them - but otherwise, just you keep doing everything by hand, and let them use the damn dishwasher if they want to.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:43 AM on November 7, 2012


It seems like the argument isn't really dishwasher vs. handwashing so much as "Should we get rid of the dishwasher?" because absent the "We need the space" argument, this really does come down to personal preference and there is really no reason why you can't handwash your dishes while your roommates use the dishwasher otherwise.

For me the most compelling dishwasher problem argument is that if you run it twice a week, the more "popular" dishes wind up being mostly in the dishwasher whereas dish doing by hand is more frequent and you can always pluck a favorite glass out of the drainer and use it as often as you want. I'm a handwash-4-lyfe sort of person but I can see the argument for a dishwasher in your situation and your counterarguments seem to be a lot more "I don't like it" and "I don't trust you" as opposed to something that points out the superiority of your method other than preference. Not that preference isn't important, it just may not sway your roommates.
posted by jessamyn at 10:44 AM on November 7, 2012


Are you in some kind of cooperative living setup, or are you just four people splitting the rent? If it is the latter, then I say live and let live, treat your roommates like autonomous adults, and everyone does the dishes in the way they prefer.

Now if you have a cooperative setup where everything is more intermingled and decision-making is communal - you have more say, but even so, I would treat your roommates as adults and at least give the dishwasher a chance. In any case, it's bad shared-housing form to micromanage how people get things done. As long as the end result is sparkling clean dishes, all is good. Dishwashers don't use any more water than hand washing IME.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:54 AM on November 7, 2012


Dishwashers are awesome. They sterlize the dishes, keep them contained in an area until you're ready to run it and don't require drying. When you're ready to empty it, it's ready to be put away. No dishes in a rack, no extra effort, awesome.

Why do you care? Intellectually you know that the dishwasher is a better instrument for both energy and water efficiency, I'm telling you the dishes get cleaner. So why the push-back.

Also, no one is making you use it.

I don't even see how you have a right to object.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:59 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


For me the most compelling dishwasher problem argument is that if you run it twice a week, the more "popular" dishes wind up being mostly in the dishwasher whereas dish doing by hand is more frequent and you can always pluck a favorite glass out of the drainer and use it as often as you want.

That's it, too. I just don't comprehend not handwashing dishes, because it's so quick and easy and you're done versus opening the dishwasher, finding a spot for the dish, closing it, running it, remembering to empty it... seems like more stuff to keep track of.

It especially seems ridiculous since by their own admission, they still want to hand wash over half the items that need cleaning anyway AND pre-rinse the plates and bowls. I mean come on, at that point, you're already halfway there and pretty much negating the point of a dishwasher to begin with.

We are doing a trial run to see how it works out, but they keep throwing the whole "The dishwasher is so much more efficient, we are going to save water and energy!" argument around... and I don't buy it, or at least I don't see how the inconvenience (ok, admittedly my perception) of using a dishwasher is outweighed by a couple bucks of utility savings.

It's just that we have had no problem with handwashing, I think one of them brought it up as a lark (I may have mentioned getting rid of the dishwasher to make space... can't remember)... the dishwasher has not been used in at least 10 months.

We'll see what happens. Who knows, they may get annoyed with it themselves.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 11:00 AM on November 7, 2012


I estimate that it takes maybe a liter to rinse 4 glasses, 4 bowls, 4 plates, silverware, and a couple pots and pans.

I doubt it. If you want to be sure you're not kidding yourself data-wise, in addition to infantalizing your roommates and being a micro-managing control freak, set up an experiment. Catch all of your rinse water for the above stuff and then measure it.

By the way, if the dishwasher hasn't been used in at least 10 months, its seals may no longer work.
posted by carmicha at 11:02 AM on November 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


It especially seems ridiculous since by their own admission, they still want to hand wash over half the items that need cleaning anyway AND pre-rinse the plates and bowls. I mean come on, at that point, you're already halfway there and pretty much negating the point of a dishwasher to begin with.

But what difference do their actions make to you specifically? Sincerely? I mean, yeah, maybe it isn't as efficient a use of their time as they think, but it's their time they're wasting, not your time. Why not let them?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:04 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Regarding the potential removal of the dishwasher, I note that OP describes four housemates and I therefore assume that the OP is a renter. If so, if the dishwasher was in the house when the lease commenced, it had better stay there unless the landlord approves of its disposal.
posted by Tanizaki at 11:09 AM on November 7, 2012


infantalizing your roommates and being a micro-managing control freak

Seriously?


But what difference do their actions make to you specifically? Sincerely? I mean, yeah, maybe it isn't as efficient a use of their time as they think, but it's their time they're wasting, not your time. Why not let them?

I guess I didn't make it clear -- we would decide this as a group and either all use the dishwasher, or not. The thought being that if only 1 or 2 of us used it, it would take a really long time to get full, and we'd have lots of "missing" dishes between cycles.

Plus, like I previously said, it also partly comes down to whether we are going to decide to keep the dishwasher or take it out, sell it, and put some new shelving in its place.

So yes, the decision one way or another affects all of us.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 11:11 AM on November 7, 2012


Regarding the potential removal of the dishwasher, I note that OP describes four housemates and I therefore assume that the OP is a renter. If so, if the dishwasher was in the house when the lease commenced, it had better stay there unless the landlord approves of its disposal.

The homeowner is one of the roommates, but they mostly don't care whether the dishwasher stays or goes. It's a group decision.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 11:13 AM on November 7, 2012


Yeah, but what WE'RE saying is, WHY do you have to decide this is as a group? Why can't you live and let live?

Also, if you put the pots and pans in there, and the cutlery, too, it'll fill up faster and you will be able to run it sooner.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:14 AM on November 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Seriously?

I was not the originator of the comment you responded to, but yes. If a roommate approached me (and I have had similar situations in the past) the way you have written this here, then yes, I would think you were trying to micromanage my kitchen actions because you thought my wish to use the dishwasher was stupid and immature.
posted by phunniemee at 11:20 AM on November 7, 2012 [18 favorites]


To me, this seems to depend on how big the dishwasher is and how often the four of you eat at home.

For example, if it's a smaller dishwasher (since it's a small kitchen, this may be the case), and the four of you eat 2 or 3 meals at home each, you'll probably run a load every day or every other day. And that seems rather sensible.

If you only eat one meal at home every three days (per person, on average), then it makes less sense to do this.

I hand wash all my dishes, because I don't have a dishwasher. (I'm the homeowner and I continue to choose not to put one in.) I find it kind of zen and relaxing to just wash it all (especially since I only help out minimally with the cooking) and enjoy not having to deal with the noise (though the new ones are actually really quiet), but I actually don't think it's more efficient to wash it by hand. If you're timely about scraping off the dishes, it is actually much easier than having to wash the whole thing with soap, and then rinse it (on both sides!) to make sure that the soap is all rinsed off. Plus, washing cups is just a PITA, at least for me, since my hands are smaller and I have to cram it in there to reach every last bit.
posted by ethidda at 11:20 AM on November 7, 2012


Just so you know, needing to pre-rinse is a myth and wastes water. You should scrape off actual particles, but everything else comes off in the dishwasher 98% of the time. That 2% is not enough to justify the water wasted with pre-rinsing.

If you're worried about communicating when it's been washed and there's clean stuff to be put away, get a sign (my mom had one that stuck to the dishwasher and got flipped, worked great).
posted by DoubleLune at 11:22 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


We have a dishwasher. I just put my breakfast plate and fork in it, which took about 1.5 seconds. It was far fewer steps and much less time than it would have taken to wash it by hand.

It takes us several days to fill the dishwasher enough to run it (we hand-wash pots and pans, kitchen knives, and a few select pieces of glassware). On the rare occasions when we've completely run out of spoons for some reason but the dishwasher isn't full enough to run yet, I take a spoon or three out and wash them by hand.

We also have many, many bowls and plates and coffee cups, as a result of combining households, things left by former housemates, and so on, so it's rare that we so completely run out of any one item that dirty things waiting in the dishwasher have to be removed and washed by hand.

Realistically, how likely is it that your household will so frequently and consistently run out of a particular kind of dish or flatware that it has to be taken out of the unrun dishwasher and washed by hand? I mean, if you only have four spoons, one solution might be to acquire a few more. If this is a thing that would happen daily, then that's one consideration; if it's a thing that might only happen every ten days, then is it worth fighting with people you have to live with?
posted by rtha at 11:23 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is indeed pretty micromanaging to tell other roommates that they can't take care of dishes how they please. The general perception of dishwashers is opposite to yours - they are more environmentally friendly, they get dishes cleaner, and they are easier. I can see how they are confused with you not jumping on board this idea.
posted by zug at 11:24 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


The thought being that if only 1 or 2 of us used it, it would take a really long time to get full

I live by myself, I have my boyfriend over maybe once per week and friends over maybe once per month. I run my dishwasher 2x per week. My dishwasher isn't tiny or anything, I just like using actual plates to eat food off of and actual cups to drink out of.

I don't pre-rinse, ever. My stuff still comes out clean and I don't see or smell any mold. Maybe one dish per month comes out needing a little scrub, maybe.

I put pots and pans in all the time.
posted by magnetsphere at 11:24 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Seriously!

Yes, because not every aspect of life--or roommate behavior-- has to be operationalized to this ginormous extent. Consider that this is the second question you've asked about this topic-- see here-- and ask yourself why you care so much.
posted by carmicha at 11:28 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


The paper linked by Mons Veneris is pretty interesting (caveat: I agree with you on your dislike of dishwashers and suspicion they introduce more work). Although the overall conclusion is that dishwashers are better, there are some issues. First, the researchers use 12 place settings of dishes (140 individual items including utensils) as the daily washing load which may or may not be your daily load. If your daily load is less, the paper will overestimate your time savings. They identify and then lump three different kinds of dishwashers. Some are completely inefficient and use a huge amount of water and energy to produce dishes that are not clean enough to eat off of. Others achieve results comparable to a dishwasher except maybe in water use. So although it's true that the 'average' hand dishwasher is better off using a mechanical dishwasher, a person who can actually clean the dishes properly is about the same as a dishwasher. Note also that the study doesn't include pre-rinsing dishes for the dishwasher so probably also underestimates the water use.
posted by hydrobatidae at 11:29 AM on November 7, 2012


So, since this is a chill group of roomies of whom some seem interested in exploring the diswasher, why don't you just try it for a little while and see what you think after a month?

(I'm with others in the opinion of dishwasher perception and also if there was a dishwasher and a roomie said I couldn't use it I would ask them what was wrong with it and if I could help get it fixed...)
posted by Feantari at 11:29 AM on November 7, 2012


Ok, I'm now convinced that I'm being a bit ridiculous in my opposition. I'll give it a try.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 11:30 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes, because not every aspect of life--or roommate behavior-- has to be operationalized to this ginormous extent. Consider that this is the second question you've asked about this topic-- see here-- and ask yourself why you care so much.

Ha! I totally forgot about that. Different roommate and reasoning then! Lived in another house after that where we had a dishwasher and nobody wanted to use it. Now I'm in a third place where we all get along happily and have been hand washing for months (it's what they did when I moved in, not my suggestion). Despite how it may seem, we're not really having an argument about the dishwasher, more just a chat about whether we should start using it or sell it and the various pros and cons.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 11:35 AM on November 7, 2012


it's so quick and easy and you're done versus opening the dishwasher, finding a spot for the dish, closing it, running it, remembering to empty it... seems like more stuff to keep track of.

The part you left out is the actual washing/scrubbing, which I find to be boring, tedious, dirty and by far the longest and most annoying part of washing dishes by hand. Machines are much better at this sort of thing.

Would you prefer to do all your laundry by hand, too?
posted by kpmcguire at 11:36 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Buy- used or new, Salvation Army/Goodwill is your friend if you are broke- a bunch more of the commonly used items, and let (!) your roommates use the dishwasher. Or your roommates can buy them. I am confused as to why this is an all-or-nothing deal for you guys.

You seem very polite and concerned and are overthinking this by a huge amount. They must be great roommates, as they are being lovely by even entertaining your exteded discussion of this issue.
posted by charmedimsure at 11:56 AM on November 7, 2012


I think you should just start using it and see if it works for all of you. You're talking about pros and cons as if there's a big risk involved. There isn't. It's already sitting there. Just use it.
posted by bleep at 12:09 PM on November 7, 2012


Tell me, have you ever had and used a dishwasher before? I often find that people who have grown up in houses without dishwashers or regular dishwasher use tend to seriously underestimate their utility as labour-saving devices. I have never meant a person who, on starting to use a dishwasher regularly, still preferred to manually wash up most of the time.

Also, put the pots and pans in the dishwasher; that's where you save the most time!
posted by smoke at 1:22 PM on November 7, 2012


Yes, I grew up in a house with a dishwasher that got used at least every other day (if not every day) with no hand washing ever. I haven't really used one on a regular basis for the second half of my life since then though. Gonna give it a chance! Who knows, maybe I'll love it.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 1:30 PM on November 7, 2012


If this helps at all, I think the good will of using the dishwasher will far outweigh any money saved.

I loathe doing dishes. I would suck it up if my roomies preferred hand washing. But being able to just throw the dishes in the dishwasher reduces my personal stress level. I am one who considers the dishwasher to be one of the best inventions, ever.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 1:31 PM on November 7, 2012


we'd have lots of "missing" dishes between cycles

The way to overcome the problem of dirty dishes sitting in the dishwasher when you need them is to take the ones you need out and wash them before using them. It's not a big deal. We wash every other day or so, and I find myself taking my favorite spatula out of the washer, giving it a scrub, and using it. Not a big deal.

(Also, how big is your dishwasher or how few dishes do you use when you cook that you estimate it taking a long time to fill? There's only 2 of us, and with regular cooking we fill it every other day or so. Huh. Ours is a bit small, but not excessively so.)
posted by telophase at 2:18 PM on November 7, 2012


Maybe you just need more dishes? The main arguments seems to be that you would run out of dishes. Can't you have enough that there can be dirty dishes waiting to be washed (now safely in the dishwasher and not making a mess in the sink or on the counter) and still have clean ones to eat off of. They are not that expensive or hard to get at a thrift store or what not..
posted by dipolemoment at 2:23 PM on November 7, 2012


While I would jump at the chance to have and use a dishwasher (washing dishes is my single most hated chore) I don't think it's totally crazy to not want to use it. Just on the principle of "if it works, don't fix it" alone I would be wary of introducing a new thing. Also, it sounds like you guys operate more like a family-style home that a bunch of people living separately. It makes sense to me that you'd all want to be on the same page with how the chores were being done.

Anyhow, it sounds like you're willing to give it a whirl, and probably it will be great, but I just wanted to let you know I don't think it's totally crazy and controlling to not want to mess with a good thing.
posted by looli at 4:36 PM on November 7, 2012


I work for an environmental non-profit and we had a dishwasher installed in our office, that should tell you something. It is much more water and energy efficient than hand washing. There are all kinds of great energy efficient dishwashers out there that don't require pre-rinsing. If your decision is about what is a better decision for the environment, then try the dishwasher!

I went from a house with no dishwasher to a house with a medium sized dishwasher. I am on Team Dishwasher!

I live in a house with two people and we run the machine every other day. I prefer using it because it uses much hotter water than I would ever use while hand washing so I feel like it gets the dishes cleaner. If you are not used to washers, you will soon learn what can and can't go in the washer (I used google!). I put my pots and pans in there (there's even a pot setting on my washer). I have a knife set that I bought specifically because it is supposed to be dishwasher safe. It takes me a few minutes at most to empty the dishwasher.

We have this great little dial that says clean/dirty that rotates and sticks to our washer via suction cup. Quite handy! All you have to do is figure out who empties it when.
posted by dottiechang at 12:19 AM on November 8, 2012


Did you grow up in a household without a dishwasher? Reluctance to switch to a dishwasher in households who didn't grow up using a dishwasher is A Thing - there was a documentary or television news segment on this I caught a while back.

1) They don't see the point. Washing dishes is easy.
2) They feel uncomfortable leaving dirty dishes hanging around, even if just until after dinner and the dishes are pre-rinsed.
3) They feel an important ritual of mealtime - the cleanup - is missed by switching to the dishwasher. This is especially true of large families where everyone had a part - wash, rinse, dry, put away - they missed the teamwork and camaraderie.

I don't know if any of the above applies to you, but just be aware your roommates may not feel the same way you do about using the dishwasher, especially the ones who grew up with it. They may see as prohibitions against using the dishwasher as unsanitary or a waste of time and energy, and they may worry about people procrastinating cleaning up after themselves.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:16 AM on November 8, 2012


If potential dish shortfall is the only problem that is holding you back from allowing your roommates to use the dishwasher while you wash dishes by hand (which sounds weird just to write out, since you aren't the boss of your roommates), then spend $30 at Ikea on more dishes or even just pick some more up at a thrift shop for $5 if you aren't too fussy about style. Problem solved!

I recall reading a study which found that only most efficient of hand washers, who washed in batches and rinsed and washed in bowls of water (rather than running water), were more efficient than an efficient dishwasher. I think your estimate of water use for rinsing is likely way off - that's like 10s of faucet use, assuming you have a fairly low-flow faucet.
posted by ssg at 12:06 PM on November 8, 2012


Update: We're almost at night #3 of dishwasher using, and it's not even half full. That's with 3 of us using it (4th roommate isn't around). We are running low on pint glasses -- we have about 12 of them and all but 2 are in the dishwasher. Still okay on plates and bowls.

Comments...

We can't get more plates, dishes, glasses, pots, pans, etc. The cabinets and shelves are already full. This is why we are considering ditching the dishwasher to begin with, because we need the space it takes up.

Thus, we can't also put every dirty item in the dishwasher. Because one of us might cook dinner, put dirty pans in the dishwasher, and then another of us may come home and need said pan. Yes, we could take it out and hand wash it but then we'd be washing someone else's dirty pans which isn't fair.

This also goes for other stuff like Pyrex containers (for lunches) etc. We have the right amount to go around (and which fits in our cabinets) at the moment, but no way to accommodate buying another set or two so that there's always enough in circulation (ie. dirty in the dishwasher plus enough clean).

I'm trying to stay open minded about it, but so far it seems rather pointless and more of a chore to deal with the dishwasher. Much easier in my mind for everyone to be responsible for their own dishes, hand wash and dry after using them, so that the clean stuff is always in the cabinet. That way there are no surprises, no items unavailable when you need them, and nobody ends up doing anyone else's dirty work.

One thought we initially had was just to keep the dishwasher and use it when we have potlucks or parties, and can fill it up and run it immediately. Then we realized that in those situations, we also have a bunch of people around who can help us hand wash a massive amount of dishes, and dry and put them away, in 5 minutes flat.

Open mind... open mind...
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 3:32 PM on November 9, 2012


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