Day 4 – Dish pan hands

I own and use a dishwasher.  And that isn’t going to change.  There are many appliances I have opted to go without (clothes dryer, air conditioner, microwave, deep freezer), but I LOVE my dishwasher.  I think a dishwasher is key to a happy marriage as well, but that’s fodder for another post.

However, I’ve recently become aware that we run our dishwasher at least once a day.  That seems excessive for a family of three, especially when one of those three uses teeny tiny dishes.  And I don’t put plastic or wood in the dishwasher, so most of my daughter’s dishes get washed by hand.  In considering ways to reduce the number of loads we do, I’ve decided that the culprit is likely pots, pans, and other over-sized dishes.  These take up the space of a half-dozen plates or bowls, thereby increasing the number of loads.  I genuinely believe that dishwashers are a water efficient way of doing dishes, but perhaps not for larger items.  I’m open to argument on this front.

So today’s resolution is to wash all pots, pans and over-sized items (colander, baking pans, casserole dishes) by hand.  My husband isn’t thrilled with this, and hasn’t yet agreed to play ball, so I may be sudsing up more often than I’d like, but I’ll keep working on that one.  In the meantime, there’s a pile of pots from dinner staring at me…


4 thoughts on “Day 4 – Dish pan hands

  1. After a good laugh to myself, I will abstain from writing any “ball” + “Glen” jokes and just say “get on board, Wepps”. Pots are quick and easy to do – the key is to do them right away, or at least soak them right away. Makes the washing very quick and easy. I’ve actually never even considered putting pots/pans into a dishwasher. And you’re right, more than once a day is excessive. I’ve stopped running mine altogether, and even when I was, it was only once/week.


  2. Ugh….I toy with this, too. We run our dishwasher 3-4 times per week and despite the fact that we’ve recently renovated and purchased a brand new, energy-star rated dishwasher, it still feels excessive. The other problem is that a pot or pan left in the dishwasher, even for a day, often ends up needing to be re-washed because of the damage done in those precious few hours after using the item and not pre-washing it well. Seems like a lot of washing.

    Is there an easy way to compare water consumption washing by hand vs. washing in the dishwasher? And would you use cold or hot water?


  3. Thanks for the comment, Charlotte! I have a friend who specializes in climate change research, and he actually bought a dishwasher because he believed it was more efficient in terms of water usage. He thought that if you washed your dishes in hot water in the sink, then a dishwasher might even be more energy efficient, but I’m not sure I buy that given that a dishwasher runs on super hot water and uses electricity.

    Jay and Charlotte – yup, I’m a soaker too. We soak on cool water ,then wash later in cool water as well. And Jay, I’ll pass your message on to Glen. 🙂


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