How do you wash your dishes?

Dishwasher Hand wash dishes

The great debate of the moment in our house is how to wash the dishes.

As you know, we recently moved house. Unfortunately our dishwasher didn’t survive the move and so we were forced back to washing all of our dishes by hand. This led to some interesting discussions on how we should approach dish washing in the future.

Now we used to live in a tiny, one-bed flat. We didn’t have room for a dishwasher, even though we wanted one! So every night, we would have a big pile of dishes to wash. It was always the last thing we felt like tackling, after a hard days work. You’ve just eaten a big meal and sat down to relax, when you remember that enormous pile of dirty dishes. You know you must tackle them tonight, or you won’t have the crockery and pans you need for tomorrow. You also need the kitchen counter space back, as your kitchen is so tiny. It was never something we looked forward to and washing dishes seemed to take over half our lives!

Now I cook everything from scratch- eating take-away or even a ready-meal is a very rare occurrence in our house. One of us also has a  special dietary requirement and so, all of this equals extra pans and dishes- usually at least twice as many.  We didn’t look forward to having guests over- partly because it was a massive squeeze to get even two more people around the table. Dishing up the food was tough because there wasn’t enough space to lay out the plates and the pots it had been cooked in. But mostly because the pile of dishes would become extreme. We worked out we were spending at least an hour a day washing and drying dishes, this doubled if we had guests or if I baked a cake, for example. The task felt endless.

And so, I have to laugh at these minimalist bloggers who are proponents of having as few dishes as possible and washing up by hand. They must be mad, I think. Although I know that washing dishes by hand uses less water, which is great for the environment and your pocket if you are on a meter. But, using a dishwasher is more hygienic and gets the dishes to a higher temperature during the wash. Sure, dishwashers ruin your glassware faster and no doubt take the pattern of your crockery faster too. But how do you manage, maybe they’re not bakers and home cooks?

But what about you, my readers? Do you wash dishes by hand or do you have a dishwasher? What difference does either make to your life? What are the reasons for your choice? I would love to hear your thoughts. Come on- join the debate!

5 thoughts on “How do you wash your dishes?

  1. I have a dishwasher. I temporarily packed away all our dishes except for one set for each person, and a set for a guest. It really helps to get us washing by hand and not letting the dishes pile up. The only choice I have to make is do I want to wash my dish after I eat, or before the next time I eat? No more piles of dirty dishes. 🙂

  2. Interesting post. Virtually every meal we serve in our home is cooked or baked from scratch – from steel-cut oats, omelets and crepes for breakfast to pizza, salmon, soups and pasta for dinner. Never heard of anyone becoming ill from eating off of hand-washed dishes, so the fact that dishwashers immerse dishes in hotter water doesn’t seem to carry much wait. By the time we’re done drying our dishes, they are perfectly clean and spot free. We never lose time to having to clean out a clogged dishwasher drain, either, and suspect that these energy hogs don’t save quite as much time as people imagine. And, yes, hand washing seems to result in fewer broken dishes and longer dish life as well. We can’t imagine any circumstances that would induce us to go back to these space and energy wasters.

  3. I’ve never had a dishwasher and I doubt I ever would. It just seems like a waste of money for one person. I can understand if you have a larger household or if you use a lot of dishes when you’re cooking or baking, but for me it only takes ten minutes to wash up at the end of the day.

  4. One of the things that might help in your case, with extra pans and dishes because of diets: don’t use dishes, unless you have guests. When it’s just you, there is nothing wrong with taking your veggies and meat out of the pans, and it means considerably less dishwashing you have to do.

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