Dishwasher or by hand

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hemifoot

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British Columbia
we recently top down remodeled the house.we didn't install a dish washer during the kitchen reno for 2 reasons.we 're both retired so we have all the time in the world to do dishes,and when we do dishes by hand our kitchen stays cleaner because we wipe down every surface in there at least twice a day.and with my "old man hands", it feels good to soak them in hot water a couple times a day.
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
I couldn’t imagine not having a dishwasher in a S&B. There are just two of us, but we really cook instead of buying prepared food, and we use real plates, dishes, and silverware. We end up running the dishwasher every day, as much for convenience as need. The high heat of the dishwasher sanitizes everything to an extent home sink washers just can’t do. If you are worried about operating costs, buy a Bosch that doesn’t used a heated drying cycle. They are fabulous! I bought one for my previous house, and I will replace the one in my current house with a Bosch as soon as the current one dies.
 

Domo

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Fort Myers, FL
Fun fact: Using a DW sanitizes the dishes - thus no germs/bacteria. Doing dishes by hand leaves some organisms alive.

As a result of using a DW, children are not exposed to their "pound of dirt" and tend to grow up with more allergies and illnesses than households that do dishes by hand.

Here's one source - there are many... DW vs Hand Washing
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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West Palm Beach, FL
I mostly handwash, multiple times daily rather than collecting a batch. Often just a plate, a couple knives and some glasses. Plus the cat food bowls. I may use the dishwasher if we have a meal that uses a lot of dishware & utensils rather than just a couple plates and silverware, but that's maybe once a month. I have plenty of time and never minded washing dishes.
I'm pretty sure that the dishwasher would be more water efficient, especially if done in batches every couple of days, but I never did that.
 

Skookum

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Fun fact: Using a DW sanitizes the dishes - thus no germs/bacteria. Doing dishes by hand leaves some organisms alive.

As a result of using a DW, children are not exposed to their "pound of dirt" and tend to grow up with more allergies and illnesses than households that do dishes by hand.

Here's one source - there are many... DW vs Hand Washing

I wonder how much "playing outside" negates any difference between the development of allergies in homes which use a DW versus hand-wash. I grew up in a home with a dishwasher but I was always covered in dirt from playing in the woods. No allergies :)

You can tell the kitchens where dishes are hand-washed. Similar to RV's. "Dish stink". It's a very specific smell. Kind of like a towel used for drying hand-washed dishes that's been used too much between washes.

Does anyone hand-wash their clothes anymore? Probably very few. Most people have a washing machine. Dishes are no different.....
 

Domo

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I wonder how much "playing outside" negates any difference between the development of allergies in homes which use a DW versus hand-wash. I grew up in a home with a dishwasher but I was always covered in dirt from playing in the woods. No allergies :)

You can tell the kitchens where dishes are hand-washed. Similar to RV's. "Dish stink". It's a very specific smell. Kind of like a towel used for drying hand-washed dishes that's been used too much between washes.

Does anyone hand-wash their clothes anymore? Probably very few. Most people have a washing machine. Dishes are no different.....
Good questions - I wonder is anyone asked the researchers whose report findings I repeated...

I can agree that some folks have smelly homes - doesn't make any difference what appliances they have...
 

Zulu Kono

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USA
Had a discussion this past weekend with my SIL about which is cheaper. Washing dishes by hand or putting them in a dishwasher.
Given is that it’s at a sticks and bricks. It’s for two people. I assume that if using the dishwasher you would have to have about 3 days of dirty dishes before you would need to wash them. Using the dw you have to rinse all the dishes before putting them in the dw using hot water. Then there’s the electricity for running the pump and a motor to spin the spray head, then the electricity to keep the water hot and the electricity to dry the dishes.

Which is cheaper? Of course a salesman selling dishwashers will tell you it would be a lot cheaper to use the dishwasher instead of by hand.
I'm at the point in my life where I don't
care what's cheaper, I care what's easier.
Dishwasher all day long.
 

Lou Schneider

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As a result of using a DW, children are not exposed to their "pound of dirt" and tend to grow up with more allergies and illnesses than households that do dishes by hand.
I once got a girlfriend very upset by observing that kissing was a good way to get two people's immune systems in sync with each other.
 

jymbee

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Upstate NY
Silverware goes in the dishwasher as we have a supply of several days. Plates & cups mostly go in the dishwasher but items we use daily such as certain serving utensils, bowls, etc. I wash by hand.

Don't get the concerns re. sanitization when it comes to hand washing vs dishwasher as long as one uses hot water & strong detergent when washing by hand no reason at all to be concerned IMO.
 

solarman

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Texas
Had a dishwasher up until 7 years ago when I moved. I sometimes went a month between washes, never rinsed, licked them pretty clean sometimes. Now I have a 2 legged dishwasher, she don't mind it. I HATE to hand wash.
I gained a dishwasher when I got married.. LOL
 

Ex-Calif

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I'm an early riser. I put the coffee pot on at about 5:30 then do my morning personal bathroom routine. Back in the kitchen to wash the previous days dishes, by hand, and by then the coffee is ready.

Then I plop in front of the computer to converse with all you knuckleheads until I realize the day is getting away and I have real stuff to do...

As for which is more expensive? Hmmm... I have a well so there is no water cost. I just googled that pre-1994 dishwashers can use 9 gallons a load. Energy Star washers about 4 gallons.

I probably use 2-3 gallons. Half a sink of wash water and half a sink of rinse water. In an early life I was a kitchen hand and the key to clean dishes is the hottest rinse water you can stand while wearing a good pair of rubber gloves. My glasses are usually spotless air dry in a couple of minutes.

In the RV it's the same routine except I always pre-clean the dishes with a paper towel to remove all the foodstuffs.
 

Rene T

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Farmington NH
I want to thank everyone who responded. I still didn’t get my answer though. About half the people said do them by hand and the other half said to use a dishwasher. The one answer that made a lot of sense when Skookum said “how many people still wash their clothes by hand”.
 

Ex-Calif

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I want to thank everyone who responded. I still didn’t get my answer though. About half the people said do them by hand and the other half said to use a dishwasher. The one answer that made a lot of sense when Skookum said “how many people still wash their clothes by hand”.
I sorta started to answer the question but IMO it is probably cheaper to hand wash especially if the dishwasher has a heated drying element.

Water - if you do two sinks of water vs. 4 gallons in dishwasher = handwash
Electricity for washing = Hand wash
Electricity for water heating = Slight edge to handwash due to less water?
Maintenance on dishwasher = Nod to handwashing
Fancy dishwasher soap vs. cheap-assed Joy = Nod to handwash
Cost & depreciation on dishwasher = Nod to hand wash
Wearout replacement of sponges, scotch brites, dish towels and gloves = nod to dishwasher
Time saved = probably dishwasher

Difference = pennies per load if not pennies per week.
 

Dan_Frisbie

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Pensacola, FL
There’s two of us in the household and we use the dishwasher at home about twice a week. I cook a lot and often dinner prep uses quite bit of dishes and tools.
The motorhome does not have a dishwasher and I doubt we’ll ever have one there. Usually when we are in the MH, we have things to do during the day with motorcycles, dogs, paddle boards, etc, etc,. We will normally grill or eat an easy supper while camping.
 

Pedro Dog

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South Shores, CA
I've got the winner for the cheapest way to wash dishes. Don't rinse the soap off.

When I was younger I used to camp with a group of older folks in a off road club. My friends parents had motor homes and we tented. The Haneys used to conserve water by washing dishes in a pan of soapy hot water and didn't rinse them. Towel dry and that's it.

So I thought about it tonight and googled it and was surprised to find out that the British use that method. Here is an interesting story by a British writer from a 2014 article.

“Back when I was in Brownies, they had a Housework badge. As part of our Housework badge, we had to know how to wash up and dry dishes. They taught you to run hot water with washing-up liquid into the washing-up bowl and wash from least dirty to most—so to start with the glassware, and then the cutlery, after that any cups, side plates, and bowls. Then on to the main plates that held greasy food like roast meat, roast potatoes, etc. After that, you’d go on to the pots and pans, with the roasting tray or casserole dish being the last. All the dishes would go on the dish rack—you would dry off whatever didn’t fit on the rack, but you certainly wouldn’t rinse anything. Only if the water turned into soup you might swap it out entirely, or you might put some of the pans or really nasty dishes to soak, then wash them later with fresh water.”

“They gave a badge for that?” I asked.


“They did.”

“And I am to understand that this was the standard of hygiene that, in the days before shared housework, was placed before the future homemakers of Britain as a model to emulate and admire?”

“You are.”

“And it has occurred to no one in England that leaving soap on the dishes means you taste it with every meal?”


“So you say. I never tasted it, nor did any of my family and friends. It only seems to be Americans who are complaining about our dishes.”

“I don’t wish to be disrespectful. However, a country that gives its traditional dishes names such as ‘toad-in-the-hole,’ ‘bubble and squeak,’ and ‘spotted dick’ isn’t setting itself a high bar, foodwise.”

“The country that gave the world super-sizing, and where waiters routinely ask ‘Are you still working on that?’ as though you were digging a ditch, is hardly in a position to complain.”

“Surely Britons rinse off when they shower?”


“They do, but normally one doesn’t bring in the dishes when one showers. In any case indoor bathrooms were a luxury in the UK until the 1960s, and showers didn’t become common until the 1980s. Before that one took a bath, and the nature of a bath is such that you were often left with some residual soap.”

“And no one minded.”

“It depends what you mean by minded. We’re a frugal people, only recently arrived at wealth, and then mostly in the southeast of England. We’ve grown up making do. Only about four in 10 homes have an automatic dishwasher, compared to 78 percent in the U.S. In Britain water and heating costs are higher, sinks are smaller, and rather than two bowls served by a single mixing tap, we usually have a single bowl with two spigots, all of which makes rinsing difficult. Even so, of Britons who wash dishes by hand, more than 60 percent rinse them afterward.”

“There you go,” I said. “By your own account not rinsing was once the default national practice, and now it’s receding into history. Soon this disgusting habit will be at an end, and with it the risk of gastroenteritis the next time some Brit invites you over for shepherd’s pie.”


“Nonsense,” said Fierra. “Whatever the theoretical risk, there’s no evidence of any health consequences arising from British dishwashing methods.

“Let’s put this in perspective. All societies have their quirks. Britons aren’t much for rinsing dishes, while in the U.S….well, let me put it to you: what would you rather endure—the occasional taste of soap, in the opinion of some, or a lifetime of insipid cheese, chocolate, and beer?” —Cecil Adams
 

Ex-Calif

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NorthCentral Florida
Just turn the drying cycle off.
Yup definitely an option. I don't think anyone is gonna prove which way is cheaper but for the folks that run the dishwasher 2-3X a week that's probably cheaper too.

>>I've got the winner for the cheapest way to wash dishes. Don't rinse the soap off.<<

Yeah - when we backpacked/tent camped as kids we'd wash the mess kits in the creek with sand - no soap involved, or we'd use the same bit of bar soap we used for washing ourselves. Amazing none of us died from disease - LOL...
 
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