Thursday, September 23, 2010

Frugal Friday, Using Less Technology - the "Dish" Washer

If you are interested you may read about experiment one here and experiment two here.

I had this idea that for this week's experiment I would start washing dishes by hand.  I came to this conclusion after I had to rewash a few things that I got from my "clean" dishwasher.  It made me start thinking.  I really hate unloading the dishwasher.  I don't know why but I would almost rather clean the toilet than unload the dishwasher.  I wondered if it would be bad to just go ahead and run some soapy water before our  meal and then have everyone throw their dirty dishes in the sink.  And then just wash the dishes, dry them and put them away immediately.

Now I also thought this might be a great way to get the kids to help.  My daughter loves to "wash" dishes which really means she just loves to play in the water.  So I recruited her to help me rinse the dishes.  I thought that this might be a way to let them help me and that way I am not the only one in the kitchen for 15-20 minutes after every meal cleaning everything up.  If we all pitched in together the kids would learn another homemaking skill and I would get to talk to them and we would be working together to get something done.

One of my favorite memories that I have of my great-grandma (who we all called "Mammie") was washing dishes with her.  She was very thorough and she had me wash them and then she dried them and if I handed her a dish that wasn't quite clean she would hand it back to me and show me what I did wrong and have me redo it.  But that was one of my best memories of her because we got to talk while we did it.

Sometimes I really do think technology just makes us work harder to avoid work.  I feel like I pre-wash the dishes to put them in the dishwasher anyway.  Then I run the dishwasher and I NEVER use the heated dry so I end up having to dry them half the time and then I have to put away a ton of dishes and it seems to take forever.

I have been washing dishes as we use them with the kids helping and I have actually enjoyed doing them.  Stop looking so shocked.  I will say that my most hated chore used to be washing dishes but I have grown up since then.

Seriously, after I already started this experiment I read one of my new favorite blogs and she had posted this on "Washing Dishes By Hand".  It was exactly what I was thinking so it just solidified my reason for doing what I was doing.

Hey maybe I encouraged you to try it - and then again maybe I didn't but it is something to think about right?

Also, I am still using my old school stove top coffee maker - and I love it still.  And I have been still mowing the grass with the "reel" mower but we still have not had rain so there has been nothing much to mow lately.

I will say that I have used the dishwasher twice this week.  I had one crazy day and the dishes piled up on me.  I also need to be better at drying them immediately and putting them away right away.  We shall see if I keep this up or not.  Honestly, before this experiment I ran my dishwasher about twice a day (you know I like to cook).  And I know there are differing views on whether or not a dishwasher is more energy efficient than doing dishes by hand.  I will say that I am just thankful for running water most of the time.

For more frugal ideas, please visit Life as a Mom.


  1. I'm going to go read that other article in a minute, but I wanted to pipe in here.

    We stopped using our dishwasher about 2 months ago. At the same time as we stopped used it, I boxed up the majority of our plates, glasses, cups, and silverware. I hated that there was always a pile on the sink and, like you, detested the fact that I had to PRE-WASH before the dishwasher cycle anyway and then oftentimes RE-WASH afterwards!

    Our system has worked so so well. I am just loving it. The only downside is that when we have company, I have to go into the garage and get out some extra glasses, etc. But that's really a small price to pay.

  2. If you lived next door I would totally come over and empty your dishwasher if you would come clean our toilet. Totally.

  3. I love it! We have a portable dishwasher that I was sure I HAD to have 2 kids ago...I mean how could I ever keep up with all the dishes? As much as I hate to admit it, I really do think it is more trouble than it is worth, what with the pre and re-washing.

    I may just start using it as a giant dish drainer (lol;)


  4. For a while our dishwasher was broken and I couldn't use it. During this time, it got moldy and stating smelling. I ma kind of indifferent to the hand wash/dishwasher debate, but I did want to tell you to be careful about the washer getting nasty after sitting a while.... the human washer, not the electric one.


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