There are so many things that come under the title of “Things that I loathe that everyone else loves” that I am going to have to write a mini-series.
Top of that pile of things however is the humble dishwasher.
Now, it may be that I just come from a long line of non-dishwasher owners, or it maybe that the rest of the planet are completely insane. I know where I think the reality lies…
When we moved into a house with a dishwasher for the first time ever, everyone told us how in a matter of days we would not know how we survived without it.
Previously, if I mentioned that we didn’t have one, people would look at me with a mixture of horror and pity. “But what do you DO?!”
Well…we, er, wash the dishes up in the sink. Designed for that purpose. In the washing up bowl – also designed for that purpose. Using a couple of items to assist in this mammoth task – washing up liquid and a non-scratch sponge.
All of the Dishwasher Lovers also have these items. Why do they need them though, if the dishwasher is so marvellous? Because
surely, they are completely superfluous, no?
NO. Because dishwashers are liars. Big, fat, stinky LIARS. (I would totally have told my kids off for speaking to each other like this, but they aren’t reading this and neither are any of the lying dishwashers.)
Reasons that dishwashers are rubbish:
- They are just another cupboard
Here’s a day in the life of a dishwasher – it gets opened approximately 20-30 times a day. Mostly so that people can retrieve the item that they put in there earlier, because they need it again. A favourite mug, a specific knife maybe – but they need it.
Said item is then washed in the WASHING UP BOWL, using some of the magic liquid and a sponge, or dishcloth if you’re an old school purist, before being used by the retriever. Possibly this process gets repeated several times before the item is returned to its final resting place in the dishwasher at the end of the day.
Now, I’m not saying I don’t do that too – I just take the item off the draining board/rack, or give it a swill out from where it was sat on the side waiting to be washed up. And here is the key to why people like dishwashers and I don’t though…TIDYNESS.
For the sake of not having loads of stuff cluttering up your work surfaces, all you tidy bastards spend hours bending and scraping in reverance to your dishwashers. Shin bashing, back aching, crumb dropping hours.
The irony is, you probably have loads of stuff on your side AS WELL that won’t fit, or needs pre-washing before you can put it in. This leads us neatly onto reason 2.
2. They don’t wash stuff properly
The times I have been privy to a dishwasher being unloaded where literally half the stuff has come out dirty, is unbelievable. Caked on spag bol, lettuce leaves attached to the sides of glasses – well and truly boiled to death by the steaming jets of skin melting water – but still attached nevertheless.
What do the dishwasher owners do? Well, apart from maybe occasionally pretending that they haven’t noticed whilst putting the bowls away, they just stick the dirty stuff back in. Stick it BACK IN! It’s had 2 hours of making more noise than the children do, used more chemicals than you find in a 750cl bottle of Sunny Delight and it still hasn’t got them clean. It needs sacking, or at the very least a verbal warning for not achieving ANY of the KPIs set out in the Dishwasher Manual.
When it gets loaded in the first place, there is an extra step in the process where all food must be scraped off (OK, I’ll grant you that I have to do that before it goes into my washing up bowl) and then rinsed to make sure there are no offending articles left.
Now, by my calculations (based purely on my own scoffing fury at the owners of the dishwasher rather than any particularly rigorously tested algorithm) I could have washed up half the fucking dishes by this point. They could be steaming gently on the plate rack, hygienically air drying ready for the next time I need them, or maybe even to be put away! (See previous reason for likelihood of this actually happening…)
Nothing more to say here.
4. They use an inordinate amount of products, water and time
The amount of time it takes to wash up the dishes for the day, even after a heavy pan usage dinner is about 10 minutes. If the more stubborn stuff goes in a soak for a bit whilst I am watching something obsessively on Netflix, then so be it, but actual standing-at-the-sink-washing-up-dishes-time is hardly ever more than that.
Average dishwasher cycle? 2 hours…really? I feel like doing an advert like the old Fairy Liquid one with the number of dinner settings I could wash up in 2 hours stretching out along a picnic table like a Royal Wedding Street Party.
An average dishwasher uses 16 litres of water per cycle. The average washing up bowl is 9 litres but is never full of water due to, you know, the dishes in it. Another win for Team Bowl. Plus, you can’t tip your dishwasher onto your roses at the end of the day…
Related dishwasher products needed? Well for starters there is the rinse aid, the salt, the cleaner for the dishwasher itself (SEE! I told you it was shit at doing it’s job – it can’t even clean itself FFS)
Then the tablets – should you get the powerball one? Should you get the one with added glass sparkler? Should you get the one your manufacturer recommends? Whatever you plump for, your wash is going to cost you at least £1.50 a week just for the flipping tablets!
5. They cause massive arguments
I have seen dishwashers being loaded, then reloaded and re-reloaded in an ongoing process that involves the whole household, but in particular the grown-ups.
HE put the bowls in the wrong area of the dishwasher. SHE put the plates the stupid way round. There is too much in there for the dishwasher to clean it properly (after all, the poor thing only has 2 hours to do it in…), there is not enough in there to warrant putting it on. The list of ridiculous rules is endless.
Like card games, the rules for each household vary as wildly as different religions. One person’s perfectly packed plates are another’s crockery catastrophe. If you’re washing the dishes, the only argument is who washes and who dries. In our house even that is irrelevant as we leave it all to drain. (I’m a big fan of putting-stuff-into-soak or leaving-stuff-to-drain)
6. What you miss when you’re not doing the dishes
At Christmas, it’s a way to let your food filter down into your legs, or have a sneaky turkey fart, but it’s also part of the socialness of Crimbo. Everyone sprinting (OK maybe speed walking whilst elbowing your competitors in the ribs on the way)to the kitchen to be the washer-upper (because you can sit down again when everyone else is still drying up and putting away), flicking each other with tea-towels and getting first dibs on the pudding.
When it isn’t Christmas, or another major social event though, there is a lot to be said for ten minutes of peace, standing with your hands in warm water, seeing a mess being transformed into a warm, clean stack of plates and bowls.
Depending on your view from the sink, there is the distinct possibility of seeing something you wouldn’t normally see. My view currently takes in next door’s nesting box, where some very cautious Bluetits are currently making their home. They are so careful about not being spotted by an evil magpie or an errant tabby cat, that you’d never notice them if you weren’t stood still in one place for more than a minute.
So, you can keep your
extra cupboards dishwashers and I will chuckle at you reloading the bastard things when I visit. Because my soul has been fed by Bluetits, I have at least £100 more a year from not buying shitloads of chemicals and I can feel smug about my reduction in energy usage.
You will however, have to pry my tumble drier from my cold, dead hands…