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Which is better: dishwasher or washing dishes by hand?

By Wendy Ruopp, April 18, 2012 - 11:30am

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Wendy asks: Do you primarily wash your dishes by hand or use a dishwasher?


By hand. Had a dish washer years ago for a short time and didn't like it.


04/19/2012 - 8:47am

We hand wash all of ours, primarily due to the VERY hard water in our area.


04/19/2012 - 9:32pm

I always find this to be a false comparison for several reasons:
1) How are these test people washing their dishes? 27 Gallons of water? Crazy! I use a device I call a plug to keep the water in the sink the whole time; magical device maybe 10 gallons if I get fussy and change the water half way through.
2)When you live in an area with water everywhere water is less environmentally damaging then the electricity to run the washer which is usually generated by burning coal. If you live in a desert, again it's called a plug it fits in the round hole in the sink.
3)Hot water can be heated using gas which is much more efficient then using electricity to rewarm the water in the dishwasher over and over again.
4) the soaps for the dishwasher are much worse environmentally then regular dish soap. Rinse agents are even worse then the soaps.

Enough for one day


04/21/2012 - 12:25pm

I wash mine by hand, always have always will. What;s a little exercise and time any way? Get family to gelp with them- family time and communications time.


04/25/2012 - 12:00am

hand wash. i have a dishwasher, but i dont like the results.


04/25/2012 - 8:35am

I wash by hand, even tho, I do have a dishwasher. I use an electric tea kettle to boil water which takes a few seconds, rinse most dishes first, then wash. Takes me a few minutes. Save on the hot water bill and the electric kettle is super fast.


04/25/2012 - 5:58pm

By hand. I've heard before that dishwashers are supposed to use so much less water, and frankly, I don't believe it. Perhaps my method is very different than methods typically used by others washing dishes by hand. The only way it makes sense to me for a machine dishwasher to use less water than by hand, is if the hand-washer ran the water full blast the entire wash time. What is the point of doing that?

It's simple, really. A few inches of hot water in one side of the sink with the dish soap. Wash all the glasses, and place them in the other side. When they're all washed, put the silverware in to soak, and rinse the glasses in half-volume (as in, not full-blast) of hot water. Repeat with silverware, then plates & bowls, and finally pans. It may only be a little time soaking, but it works: I rarely have to soak anything longer.

Why only a few inches to start? I can see what's in the sink, and am much less likely to splash on myself and the rest of the kitchen. Plus, if washing something greasy, only a bit of water is changed, rather than a whole sinkful.

We had 7 kids in our family, and we kids did the dishes. We'd be eating off them next meal, so we did a good job - it was rare anything needed to be rewashed. That really only happened when a "new" kid learned the ropes.

I've used a dishwasher, but by the time all the wiping & pre-rinsing was completed, I could have actually washed the dishes. Seemed such a waste of time & water, I'll never have another dishwasher. And I confess, I'm a bit scornful of folks saying hand-washing just doesn't get them clean enough: nonsense. My son & I are terrifically healthy. Yet my siblings with kids and dishwashers are none of them nearly as healthy as we are. But I digress, slightly.

Can't wait to try more recipes in this volume. I do enjoy the magazine very much. Thanks for letting me have my say. ;)



04/26/2012 - 12:52pm

A plumber once told my mom to use 1 c. vinegar in the dishwasher, instead of rinse agent, to keep her machine unclogged. It worked, it also kept white mineral spots from staying on the dishes:)


04/26/2012 - 1:47pm

That's all well and good, but my budget dictates whether I have a dishwasher or not. And right now, it's telling me "NO!"


05/05/2012 - 2:55pm

I use a dishwasher knowing the process is more sanitized than by hand.


05/24/2012 - 1:06pm

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