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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?


Dishwasher- scrape all food off , prewash NOT necessary, fill dishwasher completely, then set for regular clean and opt out of dry. I am a single person so it takes approximately 3 days to fill the dishwasher. The dishes come out clean even after waiting that long and I let them air dry.


05/25/2012 - 11:06am

Good question...
well, when I first met my boyfriend of two years now, I had always used the dishwasher, then one night after dinner he let out a little chuckle while I was loading up the dishwasher...asked what was so funny, his comment was "you're cheating", come to find out and to my surprise, he always washes the dishes by hand..."what"...why when you have access to this wonderful machine that does it for you, he informs me that it saves on energy to wash by he thinks, I'm not so sure though..depends on how many dishes there are I suppose, plus he does turn off the water in between rinses. So now if there aren't to many to wash, I will then do them by hand. I still use the dishwasher when he's not looking of course, then wonders for a moment how I washed and put away all those dishes so finally dawns on him later..." took the lazy way out I see''.....I just can't

Laura M.
Green Bay WI.


05/24/2012 - 11:58pm

Both. Some dishes always go in the dw, other things I always wash by hand. How on earth do they figure on using 27 gallons of water to wash one hand washed bunch of dishes? Do they leave the water running constantly? That's dumb...


05/24/2012 - 11:54pm

I alway scrape the dishes of debrie and mostly that does it, into the dishwasher. There are few things that nees a total rinsing but not much. I do pots and pans as well because it makes them grease free and shiny


05/24/2012 - 3:22pm

Stuck without a dishwasher. Never feel like the clean items are safe to reuse?


05/24/2012 - 3:16pm

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


05/24/2012 - 2:06pm

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 - 3:55pm

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 - 2:47pm

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 - 1:52pm

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 - 6:58pm

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