Monday, December 10, 2012

The dishwasher chronicles


Jon chose to censor my out-of-order sign.  It originally said: OUT OF ORDER, ASSHOLES. Who is at their best when they have to leave for work in ten minutes and have just discovered that they are going to have to empty the dishwasher--which is absolutely stuffed with dishes--and wash every single thing by hand?  Particularly galling was the fact that Jon and I had had a nasty fight about the dishwasher only the night before, and it seemed like the fact that it was broken was somehow proof that the universe sided with Jon.

I had come home from work to discover that not only was the dishwasher crammed with dirty dishes, the dishes were loaded in such a way that they had no hope of getting clean.  I don't understand how anyone could nest six bowls more tightly than a set of Russian dolls, or sit a mug directly on top of the flat end of a spatula and expect them to get clean.  Jon, on the other hand, says that if the dishes are properly "prepared" before being loaded, you can pack them in as tightly as you want. Because, apparently, coming into contact with actual soap and water is irrelevant.

Anyway, I ran the dishwasher that night and after a while, the motor began making ominous noises, and in the morning, the dishes were definitely not clean, which brings us back to the first paragraph of this entry. Ever since the day I kicked the shit out of my dishwasher, it never dared to show the UO/ER message again.  Now it is malfunctioning in a different way: taking all the food that is stuck to the dishes and flinging it around and redistributing it to other dishes and then baking it all into the glass and china.  Fun!

It's discouraging.  I don't really care about having to wash the dishes by hand, it's the wasted water that bothers me.  I may come across as a frivolous idiot, with all the nonsense I write about martinis and other silly subjects, but I really do care about our water consumption, and selected this dishwasher because it has eco-friendly features.  Washing dishes by hand wastes water.  Rinsing every dish and then running them through the dishwasher wastes even more water.  I'm not particularly interested in dealing with a repairman, especially after the washing machine disaster.  Seamus, bless him, took the dishwasher apart and cleaned a bunch of food and gunk out of it, but it still doesn't work. For now, the temporary solution is to educate the rest of the family on how to wash dishes by hand in a minimal amount of water.  And stock up on hand lotion.




10 comments:

  1. I have an ancient dishwasher that we sometimes have these issues with. It might take us a day or two to get it truly FULL before we run it, which I think calls for a quick rinse before loading for things that I know are going to stick. However, since I live with a Riverkeeper who's been known to say that water conservation is his life, it doesn't always happen to dishes that need it.
    I do what Seamus did - take it apart from time to time and clean it. Sometimes I even pour about half of cup of bleach into the bottom, let it sit for at least a half hour and then run it. It does an amazing job of cleaning it out. I have also found that different detergents leave more gunk behind than others. I use those Finish gelpacs and since switching to them, I have far less problems with gunk building up on my dishes.

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  2. Thanks a lot Becky! I am going to try the bleach trick. It does seem like somehow gunk is preventing the dishwasher from properly rinsing the dishes.

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  3. We are required to turn on ours with the end of a spatula, handle of a baby brush or the business end of a hammer. It makes me wonder if the end is nigh.

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  4. Ugh. I've had to do that too --empty the dishwasher of dirty dishes and wash them by hand. And I don't mind washing dishes by hand either, but I never have enough drying rack space.

    We've been through a couple of dishwashers in far too few years, and the current one has definite quirks. One of its quirks is that often when I close it, it won't properly latch so it won't turn on. I can try, and push, and try, and nothing. Rob walks over, pushes it once, and voila! Drives me nuts.

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  5. I'm convinced men don't know how to load dishwashers on purpose.
    And having a broken one sucks rotten eggs. It's not frivolous to be irritated and want it fixed/replaced.

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  6. Betrayed by my almost-new KitchenAid dishwasher, I washed dishes by hand for over 2 years until we were finally gifted with a used dishwasher. Although I'm glad I have it, I do think that I used less water than the machine does. And way less electricity...

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  7. This reminds me. I need to kick the shit out of my dishwasher.

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  8. I am certain that washing dishes after every single meal (rather than saving up a dishwasher-load) is not only a tremendous waste of time but requires you to KEEP all those dirty dishes somewhere, like in your sink, for a day or more. How gross is this? A well-filled dishwasher not only uses less water overall, it efficiently washes them FOR YOU overnight while you are SLEEPING--a much better use of your time. Turn off the "dry" cycle if it worries you that much and I'll bet your power bill will not be any different than it is when you're handwashing them like a servant.

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  9. i'm a great believer in ......my son...... doing the dishes!!!

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