Okay. My dogs can lick my dishes cleaner than my dishwasher cleans them! After all that holiday baking and cooking, I ended up washing all of my dishes by hand. And you know what? That’s not a bad idea. I see several problems with dishwashers today:
- One batch takes two hours. TWO HOURS! I don’t know about you, but I usually have more dirty dishes than will fit in one load. Do you leave the rest with crusted-on food? Or, do you rinse them all by hand and wait two hours? (Which by then, you have more dirty dishes and still have dishes sitting on the counter.)
- Every single person I know washes their dishes before they put them in the dishwasher, anyway. What’s the point? Why not get out the drainer and finish the job? Some of my best childhood memories are doing dishes with my family. I used to do impersonations—John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand—and I’d practice while I dried the dishes. We shared our day and our hopes for the future.
- Since they banned phosphates from dishwasher detergent last year, my dishes haven’t “sparkled” again. There’s some sort of buildup left on them. I’ve even tried Lime Away and CLR, but even that hasn't helped.
- I live in a drought state. If I have to wash the dishes by hand, and then wash them in the dishwasher, and then wash them by hand because they didn't come clean, I feel like I’m wasting a lot of precious water. I have trouble with washing items to put in the recycling bin as well. Which resource is the least valuable to waste?
My obsession for not wasting water comes from growing up on a farm. Water was our most precious commodity and came from a well. We washed our clothes by hand and hung them outside, did our dishes by hand, and took our bathes in less than two inches of water (even sharing the same bath water). As with any farm, we always seemed to be fighting about water rights.
I remember one day, a man came around our farm. He asked my father if he had a dishwasher. My dad replied, “Yes. I have a left-handed, belt-driven dish washer.” Of course, that meant my mother. She was left-handed. The man looked confused, rubbed the back of his neck and left. He didn’t get the joke, but my family laughed about it for years.
My mother didn’t mind doing dishes. When she got married, her first set of dishes were heavy paper cups and wooden spoons they’d got from an icecream shop. And my mother-in-law still washes her dishes by hand. She says she loves doing them. LOVES it. Why? Because she grew up during the depression era when even dishes were scarce. She’s thankful for a dish to wash.
Did you include your dishes in your prayers of gratitude this Thanksgiving? Hmmmm. It wasn’t at the top of my list, but I must admit, I am thankful. And I’m thankful for water. Just saying.
Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Comedy, Suspense...and Dogs!
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