My husband and I have a recurring “discussion” (I wouldn’t classify it as an argument or even disagreement, really) about proper dishwasher use. When we first had a dishwasher installed over two years ago now, I did a lot of research. These wonder appliances clean better and more efficiently than even the most frugal hand washer, my sources told me.
So I wrote all about greening your dishwasher. It turns out that using a dishwasher is only more efficient than hand washing if you avoid extra rinse cycles and the heat dry options. Further, if you rinse dishes in the sink before placing them in the dishwasher, you probably won’t see any water savings. That’s right: Don’t rinse your dishes! (Sadly, I did not see any water savings after one year of dishwasher use. Read all about it in this startling post: Do dishwashers save water? Hmmmm.)
But let’s get back to our debate. My husband sets certain items aside for hand washing, such as bowls, pots, and some cups. He would rather hand wash the same cup five times than to fill the dishwasher with five different cups. Some bowls and pots are large, so he’ll hand wash them to make room for a greater number of smaller items in the dishwasher.
Rebuttal: My way is thinking is that if using the dishwasher is more efficient than hand washing, and if rinsing dishes partly contributes to water-waste in the kitchen, then it’s always better to use the dishwasher. I maintain that it’s more efficient to fill the dishwasher with more cups and big bowls and run it more often than to run fewer loads in addition to hand washing select dishes. Also, please note that my way is also the least amount of work.
I would run some sort of test to settle this once and for all, but I’m not sure how. If anyone has any brilliant insight into this dilemma, let me know! In the meantime, I’ll continue to stick bowls in the dishwasher, and Andy can keep on hand washing whatever he wants.