Washing Dishes: Sink or Dishwasher

United States
March 23, 2008 2:01pm CST
I was responding to another discussion about dishrags and sponges and it got me to wondering, how many people still actually wash their dishes in the sink, and how many have switched over to the dishwasher? Personally, I don't like dishwashers. You have to rinse all the excess food off the dishes before you put them in so it will clean them thoroughly. By that time I could have just washed the dishes myself. I feel the dishwasher uses too much electricity and water, moreso than if I just wash them myself (the electricity comes in when I turn on the garbage disposal) I have only used a dishwasher once in my entire life. I was over a friends house for Easter, and volunteered to do the dishes. She had so many dirty, that I loaded some in the dishwasher, and washed some by hand. That was only so I could be finished sooner. My grandmother has a dishwasher in her house that she doesn't use. She feels the same way I do about having to rinse them first. For the first three years she thought the thing didn't work, until she found the switch to turn it on lol. She also works at a place that does home warranties. We are always so amazed at the people that call in saying they haven't had clean dishes in two weeks or more because their dishwasher is broken. I mean, have you forgotten how to wash dishes altogether? So, what's your preference Mylot? Do you wash your dishes by hand, or do you prefer the dishwasher? Which is better and why?
11 people like this
47 responses
• United States
23 Mar 08
When I moved to Miami I had a dishwasher. I was so happy to have one too. I went out an bought the gels and stuff. I used it and found it was a waste of time and money. I had that one for three years in my apt. I live here where we have no dish washer in NY. I am fine without one. The dish washing is not hard to do. I wash the dishes as I go when cooking. Then after I eat if I don't feel to wash them. Washing by hand is better for me.
4 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 08
That is the best way to do it. Wash the dishes as you cook. Its actually a necessity for me to do things that way, because it takes my mind off the food long enough to get done. If I didn't have something to do while I was waiting, I would end up rushing the food. The only problem is after everyone has eaten. I always make fresh dishwater when I am done, and let everyone know that they are to wash their own dishes after they eat. But they never do, so I end up washing dishes again when I am finished. Maybe one day they will give me a break.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Mar 08
I like this idea of the washing dishes helping to keep your mind off the food. :) I usually wash the pans and stuff as I cook so there isn't alot to do afterwards.
@leloo2 (114)
• Romania
23 Mar 08
i don't have a dishwasher but it's not o problem for me to wash the dishes by hand
4 people like this
@reejane (294)
• Philippines
24 Mar 08
Same here. I'm used to cleaning up the dishes using the sink that it never occured to me of getting a dishwasher. I prefer to do this chore over doing the laundry...hehehe.
• United States
24 Mar 08
I am the same way. I'd rather wash my dishes by hand instead of the dishwasher. I have to rinse or scrape everything off of it anyway, why not go ahead and wash them? But I don't know if I agree if washing dishes is better than washing clothes. I like the clothes better because its less hands on, at least during the washing and drying. Then once they are done I can watch TV while folding the clothes lol.
@pinay81 (1538)
• Philippines
23 Mar 08
i dont have dishwasher im only using my hand to wash and its not a problem to me i enjoy washing dishes
4 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 08
Not only is it not a problem for me, its preferable. This way I know that the dishes are clean. There is nothing worse than sitting down to eat and finding old food stuck to a plate. This doesn't happen as often when you wash by hand, but it still does when you have someone lazy washing the dishes lol.
@uath13 (8204)
• United States
24 Mar 08
You need a good dog, they're a great prewash. Then put them into the dishwasher.
3 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 08
Eww uath!!! I know that they would be clean by the time they came out, and I have heard that dog's mouths are cleaner than humans, but just the thought of the dog having licked the plate clean beforehand would just gross me out!!!
@uath13 (8204)
• United States
24 Mar 08
Makes me think of something. John went to visit his 90 year old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of Georgia. After spending a great evening chatting the night away,John's grandfather prepared breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. However, John noticed a film like substance on his plate, and questioned his grandfather asking, "Are these plates clean?" His grandfather replied, "They're as clean as cold water can get them. Just you go ahead and finish your meal, Sonny!" For lunch the old man made hamburgers. Again, John was concerned about the plates as his appeared to have tiny specks around the edge that looked like dried egg and asked, "Are you sure these plates are clean?" Without looking up the old man said, "I told you before ,Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them. Now don't you fret, I don't want to hear another word about it!" Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town and as he was leaving, his grandfather's dog started to growl, and wouldn't let him pass. John yelled and said, "Grandfather, your dog won't let me get to my car" Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV, the old man shouted... "COLDWATER, GO LAY DOWN!!!!" Meet Coldwater.....................
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
I've heard that joke on MyLot before, only that time there were two dog named soap and water. Still doesn't set right with me uath, eww!!!
@miller1978 (1104)
• United States
23 Mar 08
I don't have a dishwasher and never have. At times I wish I did with a family of 7 but other days I'm glad I do them by hand. My mom has one and uses hers on a regular basis since she has 4 of my kids 5 days a week. She's had one ever since I moved out and for the longest time it was just her and my sister.
3 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 08
You should have her look at her gas & electric and water bills the billing cycle before and the billing cycle after she got the dishwasher. See how much her bill jumped after she got it. Then she will see if it was really worth it.
• United States
23 Mar 08
Well, from what I have read so far, most do their dishes by hand, so I don't feel so badly, because I do mine by hand also. When remodeling our kitchen, my husband asked if I wanted a dishwasher installed and I declined. It would take up too much cabinet space and I probably would have ended up washing by hand anyhow. I am not one that leaves the water run. I fill up one side of the sink with soapy water, wash the dishes..placing the soapy ones in the other sink until it is full then rinse them all at the same time. I like putting having my dishes back in the cupboard after a meal and not having to come back and unload a dishwasher later, making the job longer in my eyes. Or waiting until the next day to unload. I don't think washing dishes is much of a chore if you wash after every meal. I don't mind it one bit..I would rather wash dishes than cook...ewwww..lol
2 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 08
I much prefer a dishwasher. We cook a lot and end up with lots of dishes, so time-wise and counter-space-wise, it's definitely a smart decision for us.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Mar 08
Yes, I guess it depends on the family and circumstances. I cook a meal every evening and it seems like I am constantly cooking on the weekends. Except in the summertime, I normally cook outside with the grill at least 3 days out of the week and just make some sort of salad as a side, which cuts down on cleaning the messy cookware. I can't wait! lol
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Mar 08
That is exactly my point Saigon. If its supposed to be making the job easier, why do I have to go back and re-clean the dishes that still have stuff on them? I'd rather just get them clean the first time and not worry about them again. That is a good idea to save water. Just wait until you have a sink full of the soapy dishes, then rinse them all at once. That does make a lot of sense. It also reminds me of a joke we played on my grandmother one Thanksgiving. At her old job she always ended up working on the holidays, so she would do most of the cooking the night before, and leave the rest of the family to finish that day. This thanksgiving she kept calling the house to make sure that everything was running smoothly, as if my mom and the rest of us didn't know what to do. She got on everyone's nerves. The last call she made before she got off was that she didn't want to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes. When she said that, I thought to myself I got her. So I washed all the dishes that had been used, then placed every last one back in the sink. When she got home and got settled, she went into the kitchen to make her plate. Of course when she saw the sink she yelled, "I thought I said I didn't want to come home to a sink full of dishes!!!" I replied, "You said you didn't want a sink of dirty dishes, those are clean]!!!" We all rolled after that one.
24 Mar 08
I would not be without my dishwasher I certainly could not go back to washing dishes by hand. I have had a dishwasher for about 20 years now and I love it
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
What is so much better about having the dishwasher? You still have to either scrape or rinse the excess food off before you put the dishes in. Then with the added cost on the gas and electric bill and the water bill, I really don't see how it could be better than just washing them by hand.
26 Mar 08
I just prefer to use my dishwasher than wash up by hand but I can see your point of view
1 person likes this
@alexsis (2149)
• United States
24 Mar 08
We don't have a dishwasher. But I do like to wash dishes in the sink. I feel that they come out cleaner when you wash them by hand in the sink. My sister has a dishwasher in her apartment and thats what she uses to wash her dishes. I told her that only lazy people use a dishwasher to wash their dishes, all she did was laugh. I agree with you. That is wasting electricity and maybe extra water.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
You know that being lazy can end up in doing a job twice, right? Maybe that is what you should tell your sister the next time she is re-washing a dish because it didn't come all the way clean in her "miraculous" dishwasher lol.
@srhelmer (7034)
• Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
24 Mar 08
I haven't been able to afford a dishwasher so my wife and I still take turns washing them by hand. And, to be honest, the last time we had a dishwasher, it didn't do that great of a job.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
Yes, there is nothing more frustrating then getting a supposed to be clean dish and finding stuck-on whatever on the side. Eww.
@palonghorn (5483)
• United States
24 Mar 08
Since there is only two of us, I don't mind washing the dishes by hand. We live in an older home, built way before dishwashers, so it's not an option here, however, I would like to have one because of the convienence, since I work long hours and sometimes a lot of overtime hours, it would be nice to not have to wash dishes by hand. However, it's not really that big of a deal since my s/o helps out, he does the dishes about half the time so I don't have too.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
Don't you think that having a dishwasher would be a waste since there are only the two of you? There can't be that many dishes between you two, even when you do cook.
@mishastar (738)
• United States
24 Mar 08
I do dishes by hand because my dishwasher at home needs to be replaced. I just find it quicker and it does not waste to much water and energy.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
Maybe your dishwasher being broke is a blessing in disguise. Now you know how much easier, quicker and cheaper it is to just wash the dishes by hand.
• United States
24 Mar 08
I'd pick both! I dont mind washing dishes by hand but when you have pots and pans and really messy dishes or you just dont have time, it'd be nice to throw them in the dishwasher
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
It would be nice if you could just throw them in and be fine. But knowing you have to scrape and rinse before you even put those dishes in the washer, its not saving time, its taking up more.
@lucy02 (5017)
• United States
24 Mar 08
I still use the sink. I don't usually have that many dishes and I'm just use to it. Plus I don't work fork over the money for a dishwasher. On a funny note, I was at church one night after we had given a girl a shower and I was cleaning up. People kept telling me to use the dishwasher so I said okay after a lady showed me how to work it. Unfortunately I didn't know that there was a special detergent to use with dishwashers. I put regular dish detergent in. We were there all evening cleaning up bubbles. I was so embarrassed.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
I've always wondered if you could put regular dish detergent in a dishwasher, thought that people could come out cheaper that way. Now I know it may be cheaper, but its even more work once you have to clean up all the bubbles. I wouldn't have been embarrassed if I were you. I am the silly one, so we just would have ended up having a bubble fight lol!
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
24 Mar 08
I always use a dishwasher, but i am like you. I wash the dishes by hand before putting them into the dishwasher. I hate it when someone else puts their dishes in the dishwasher and doesn't wash them off. Then when I go to empty the dishwasher there is food grunge on the dish! That totally grosses me out. It probably would be easier for me tojust wash the dishes by hand, but then i would have to dry them. I hate drying dishes.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
Why dry dishes? I just set mine in the dishrack for them to dry by air. I don't mind the waterspots, as long as there isn't any food stuck on the plate as well. Also, when you dry the dishes by hand, you end up leaving lint on the dishes as well, and who wants to eat lint?
@raijin (10373)
• Philippines
24 Mar 08
I have used a dishwasher, at work. It really does help, but sometimes some dishes or plates were not cleaned as it is by hands. If you happen to be washing more than ten plates a day, then it's best to use dishwashers. Just like what most restaurants prefer to use nowadays, since they need this to easily perform their tasks and provide good service. We're still using the sink now, we find it easy and practical. We don't have enough budget to pay for extra electrical and water bills, so we have to stick onto it and use gloves along with dishrags and sponges..
• United States
25 Mar 08
I don't bother with gloves, that's what lotion is for afterwards lol. Besides, soaking my hands in the dishwater gives me an excellent chance to work on my nails and cuticles afterwards!!!
@bam001 (941)
• United States
23 Mar 08
I only use the dishwasher...and just for the record, I don't rinse the dishes first. Whatever can't be brushed out with a spoon or paper towel into the garbage can goes into the dishwasher. My dishwasher is old, but it cleans wonderfully and is still in great running condition.
• United States
25 Mar 08
I am glad that you have such a good dishwasher, but on the other hand, don't you think the time you spend brushing and scraping before you put them in the dishwasher, you could already have the dishes clean?
• United States
23 Mar 08
I had a dishwasher in one house that I lived in and I tried it once jsut to see how it worked, I prerinsed everything and some of the dishes still came out with stuff stuck to them so I had to wash by hand and I still do. Does not take that long.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
Sometimes we have to learn the hard way. But you see now that it really isn't worth it to use the dishwasher.
@cjsmom (1423)
• United States
23 Mar 08
Believe it or not I still wash by hand. I have a dishwasher but it doesn't work and hubby keeps saying he'll get it going but hasn't as of yet. I truly don't mind washing by hand but I fear that they don't get as clean as a diswasher can get them.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 08
Trust and believe you are getting them cleaner than the dishwasher. When you wash dishes by hand, you get to see everything that is on the dish, and can get it off specifically. In a dishwasher, you may have the sterilizing effect, but some of the food still ends up being stuck on the dishes, because they are not being scrubbed individually. You end up having to go back and wash the dishes by hand anyway, so be glad you are eliminating the middle man by washing them yourself.
@kezabelle (2984)
23 Mar 08
I wash all mine in the sink, we dont have room for a dishwasher but even if we did I really dont see the point in it, id have to rinse them anyway so while im rinsing it takes just a minute or so longer to run soapy water and wash them. Its how they were always washed when I lived at home so its not really something I ever have seen the need for
2 people like this
• United States
23 Mar 08
I would prefer to have a dishwasher just because I'm a single mom and always on the go, I really dont have time to do dishes like that everyday. I do it anyways but I think if I had a dishwasher it would save me sometime!
2 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 08
That is the theory behind dishwashers. But if you look closely, you are adding a step to your day, not making it easier. You have to make sure all the food that is stuck on is scraped off so the dishes will come clean in the wash. And even then it still may not all come off, so you end up washing them by hand anyway. I just feel that is too much of a hassle. Plus the added cost in electricity, water, and special cleaning agents for the dishwasher just isn't worth it.