I hate dishwashers, and even if I have a dishwasher available, I still wash my dishes by hand. Which technique wins out overall, based upon time consumption, activity level, cleanliness overall, and even cost? Learn which technique is the best way to get the dishes clean.
When it comes to washing dishes, I believe that washing them by hand is far less time-consuming than putting them in the dishwasher. Why? Because you normally have to rinse dishes off before they hit the dishwasher, then you have to load the dishwasher just right to get all your dishes to fit. While the average load of dishes washed by hand takes about 30 minutes, a dishwasher takes far more time (sometimes an hour or more) to wash, and that doesn’t include the rinsing, stacking, and putting away. As far as time consumption goes, I believe just washing dishes by hand is the easier way to go.
What about the activity level demanded for washing dishes? In this case, it’s a bit of a toss-up. While washing dishes by hand requires a lot more hand movement, washing drying, rinsing, and placing dishes in the drying rack, you have to rinse dishes before hitting the dishwasher and then do a lot of bending and leaning to place them in the racks. Added to that, you then have to repeat the bending and lifting to get the dishes out to put them away. I find both activities to be equally physical, but I find the dishwasher to be more invasive as far as the leaning goes.
As far as cleanliness of the dishes goes, I would say washing by hand wins by leaps and bounds overall. When you wash dishes by hand, you have control over every piece of food and stain, and can scrub until you get the results you want. With the dishwasher you just cross your fingers that the sauce caked on the pan will slough off in the cycle, and to be honest, all dishwashers have that old refrigerator smell to me that stays steamed onto the dishes when they are done. Even if they are spotless from the dishwasher, that nasty smell lingers. When you wash your dishes by hand, they come out just right every time, and if not, just wash it again. One plate re-washed by hand versus doing the whole dishwasher load AGAIN is no contest.
What about cost? As far as hot water usage goes and the costs of soaps, not to mention the cost of the buying the dishwasher unit to begin with, once again, I would have to go with washing dishes by hand. Unless your house came with the dishwasher, you are already exceeding the costs of doing dishes by hand, since homes already come with a sink. Dishwashers also use anywhere between 4 to 12 gallons of water per cycle, depending on how energy efficient it is, whereas washing dishes by hand uses about 3 gallons, including rinsing, of water. Added to that the fact that dishwasher detergent is pricier than dish washing soap for hand washing, and in this case, washing dishes by hand clearly wins again.
Sometimes, tried and true is just plain better. An efficient hand dish washer far out beats the best qualities of the best dishwasher by far, and washing dishes by hand is actually relaxing, rewarding, and less costly overall. I may be biased, but hey, my dishes are pristine, I’m not wasting electricity or more water than I have to, and when I’m out of dish soap I just use shampoo if I have to. Can’t do that with a dishwasher.
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