Author Topic: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.  (Read 5474 times)

TreeLeaf

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So - I grew up washing dishes by hand. As an adult I still wash dishes by hand...we have an old dishwasher, but it's so horrible we don't use it much. I have checked the water pressure, filters, etc. Everything checks out but it just sucks at washing dishes so I often just wash the dishes myself instead of using it. We use the cascade platinum dishwasher tablets and jet dry rinse aid and it still only cleans maybe half the dishes.

I've been getting soft lately, I suppose, and have been dreaming of buying a new dishwasher. We have a large family and I spend a lot of time washing dishes by hand I could spend on something else. I don't hate washing dishes, it's just time consuming and I'm lazy.

Is there a huge difference between an old el cheapo dishwasher and a newer dishwasher in terms of dish washing abilities?

This is the only dishwasher my wife and I have had in our life...do all dishwashers suck?

Should we just keep washing dishes by hand?

If you own a dishwasher, what brand and model do you have?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2022, 03:21:31 PM by curious_george »

NotJen

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Re: The Best Dishwasher:
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2022, 03:21:51 PM »
I've used 3 different dishwashers over the last 23 years, 2 rando ones in apartments and 1 in my new build house - none were particularly fancy, and all have cleaned dishes equally well, according to my memory.  Occasional user error means I sometimes handwash something that didn't come out clean, but I've been overall satisfied with the cleanliness of my dishes.  I use the basic cycle, with store-brand dishwasher packs.

Current apartment has an "Estate" (cheap Whirlpool) brand dishwasher.  My house had a slightly upgraded (from basic builder grade) GE "quiet" version (no problems in the 15 years I owned it).

Mr. Green

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2022, 03:45:27 PM »
New dishwashers are so efficient they only use 3-4 gallons per load. If you can hand wash and use less water that's great. It's a lot better than it used to be though. Most folks probably use more water hand washing these days than a dishwasher will use.

Edit: We have a cheap builder grade Whirlpool and regular cascade powder soap. None of the fancypods or anything. Totally unnecessary. With the exception of really baked on food, all the dishes get clean every time as long as you don't overpack the washer to where water isn't getting to all the places it needs to.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2022, 03:47:37 PM by Mr. Green »

firestarter2018

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2022, 03:55:07 PM »
Yes, new dishwashers are much better than old ones. This isn't true for all appliances, but for dishwashers I think it is. And they're much more efficient in terms of water and energy use.

Given how inexpensive most models are today (in the $500 range for the most part), seems like a pretty good investment if you value getting that time back. If you value your time at $25/hour, you'd pay yourself back in 20 hours!

Our current and previous models have been Bosch, which are a bit more expensive but seem to work really well.

Goldielocks

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2022, 05:19:11 PM »
I started to wash 90% by hand because the frustration with trying to get husband and kids to load / unload dishwasher and not just leave it on top of the full dishwasher counter.... (or empty dishwasher).  UGH.   I usually had more dishes than one load, so hand wash the pots and serving dishes, and realized the work to do the plates and such was only minutely more than to load / unload.

As a single person, it would take too long to get a full load, it started to smell, so I still wash by hand and my dishes are always in their spot in the cupboards now.


GilesMM

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2022, 05:25:47 PM »
We use the dishwasher as a drying rack, mostly, per spouse rules.  I like the machine but I'm not deputized to do a lot in the kitchen.

Cadman

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2022, 06:04:03 PM »
It very much depends on where your priorities lie. If you're concerned about water consumption, newer machines are for you but can take hours to cycle (according to WP, 1.5 to 4 hours is typical) as the gunk blasted off your dishes is recycled again and again. Electrical consumption is greater than the older units due to the extended run time and the need to keep the water hot. This could be a good option if you're in a dry climate and don't mind running the machine overnight. However, this can also promote the "where's that dish, it's not in the cupboard, did you check the dishwasher?" routine.

My wife and I mostly hand wash, but if there's a large load of dishes I occasionally use the dishwasher. It's a 1957 model; dishes are done in 12 minutes, and I roll the drawer open a couple inches to encourage flash-drying. This technique can be problematic if you run a newer machine overnight unless it has an auto pop-open feature (some do). Otherwise, glassware can come out looking milky or spotty as the tepid yarble bath dries onto your dishes. Using Cascade Fryer Boil-Out in lieu of pre-packaged detergents can greatly improve results as well as a rinse agent. In this scenario I can have everything put away right after the meal, something not possible with a modern machine unless I want to work around its schedule.

The most practical, non-gimmicky models, would be the Kitchenaid KDS-19-21 series produced in the late 70's and into the 80's. They're considered the gold standard by enthusiasts and beat the pants off of just about everything made before or since.





iris lily

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2022, 07:37:09 PM »
We have a dishwasher in this renovated house but it hasn’t been hooked up since we moved in the first week of July. I don’t miss having a dishwasher.

In my tiny condo which has a tiny kitchen, I really debated about spending money on a dishwasher since I knew I wouldn’t use it often if at all. But that old bugaboo about “resale value “stuck in my mind. That is something that I need face punching about, and we need to be faced punching people here!. If I left a room for it in my major kitchen remodel,  it would’ve been good enough.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2022, 08:12:11 PM by iris lily »

sonofsven

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2022, 07:41:11 PM »
Well, the old dishwashers heated up a ton of water and blasted it off the dishes. It was loud, and not very efficient, but it did work. Most of the complaints about increasing efficiency is that they don't clean the dishes as well. I think they do, now, and they are quiet, and efficient. An old dishwasher that didn't wash the dishes well is just a bad appliance.
I wash by hand some, you have to when you cook a lot-- but when I have guests I'm glad I have a dishwasher.
Mine is an Asko, it's pretty old, I guess, I got it in 2009 for a good price. A guy sold the appliances for cash out of his soon to be foreclosed-on home (maybe another similar opportunity is approaching?) I've been able to find parts for it easily.
Bosch is pretty much the leader in DW's, I think? They have a pretty good reputation.


NV Teacher

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2022, 10:26:47 PM »
I put in a new dishwasher when I remodeled 10 years ago.  Have not used it one time.  I despise unloading the damn things.  I also don’t have a clothes dryer.  Haven’t had one for over 30 years.  A couple of drying racks work perfectly fine. 

BikeFanatic

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2022, 02:19:00 AM »
I bought a portable dishwasher maybe 2 months ago, what a time saver. Uses very little water, and cleans well in the quick cycle, 45 minutes. I mostly pre rinse but no need according to the manual.
One of the best purchases, keeps the kitchen less cluttered with dirty dishes and or dishes drying and taking up space. I use cascade liquid detergent and use the minimum amount.
I cook a lot so I have constant dishes to do and this is a time saver I just use it once per day.

ATtiny85

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2022, 05:37:11 AM »
OP, I wonder if more investigation is warranted. Have you tried to isolate just the top, or just the bottom racks? I would maybe smear several bowls with something that should come off with moderate cleaning prowess and array them on just the top. Do a run, see what happens. Repeat with the bottom. There could be something wrong that not easy to see without tossing a go-pro and a flashlight in for a cycle. Dishwshers do a pretty decent job, even one 15 years old.

When I was single I never used the dishwasher. Not a lot of dishes, and not a super high clean requirement for them. A pretty short, barely more than a rinse, cleaning of a cereal bowl or a plate that had a steak on it was all I would do.

Lately we have had two Whirlpools and a Kitchen-Aid (so essentially three Whirlpools...) and they have all done quite well.

FLBiker

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2022, 05:53:42 AM »
DW and I had a dishwasher in our first apartment, which we never used (except as a drying rack).  I didn't own enough dishes to fill it up, so it never seemed worth it.  We bought a house in 2011, and it had an original 1960's kitchen, so no dishwasher.  We moved in 2020 into a house built in 1994, and the previous owners had a bunch of fancy stainless steel appliances that are ~5 years old, including a dishwasher (Whirlpool Gold Series).  When they die, I'll replace them with simpler (less computerized) ones, but for now they're fine.

We use the dishwasher regularly.  As a family of three, we typically run it every two days.  We use some sort of tablet thing, with no extra "rinse" or whatever additives.  We do the normal cycle with no heat dry.  It takes 2:30, and doesn't seem particularly hard on either our water bill or our electric bill.  If it breaks, I *think* we'd replace it, but with something cheaper.  Once our daughter is out of the house, though, I wouldn't be surprised if we stopped using it.   I feel like, with two adults, it takes a long time to fill up a dishwasher.  Plus, I'm very much in the "give something a quick rinse after I use it and stick it in the drying rack" camp.  With children, though, it's nice.  I also think I'm more pro-dishwasher because I work from home -- I can run it and unload it during the day when I want a short break.  If it was yet another thing to cram into a weekday evening, I might like it less.


Treedream

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2022, 06:31:28 AM »
I see some people talk about how little water and electricity these machines currently use, to show that it isn't so bad to use one. Now this is your own consideration to make, but if sustainability is an argument that you weigh in this decision (which these days I think we should) it is not just the electricity and water that are important. The manufacturing and transport of these machines is where a large part of their impact lies.

Personally I hate doing dishes, but I don't have space for a machine, and I am single, so it wouldn't work out with how little dishes I have. I just do it 2/week and get it over with. Most chores aren't fun. For me, i'll probably be allright doing dishes by hand ;-)

chemistk

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2022, 06:45:47 AM »
Our dishwasher is an integral part in our kitchen. We have 3 young kids, who tend to be messy eaters. We run the dishwasher nearly daily. The dishwasher cleans the amount of dishes we use better than we can handwash, with less water. It is also a massive timesaver - the amount and complexity of the dishes we use takes roughly 45 minutes to an hour to clean, dry, and put away. The dishwasher is less than 10 minutes of hands-on time.

Now, we do wash cookware, knives, and oddly shaped things by hand but that's a little bit of a different workstream from plates and bowls.

New dishwashers are definitely much better than old ones. The one I grew up with as a kid was never very good without careful rinsing and careful placement on the racks. We have a mid-level GE dishwasher - nothing special, and when loaded correctly (mainly, dishes aren't blocking each other from the jet-flow) 95% of everything comes out perfectly clean.

Newer models, the ones which take 3-4 hours for a cycle, are fairly clever. Most of them have a turbidity sensor that can keep track of how filthy the water is and adjusts the cycle time accordingly. Ours has a cycle time of a hair under 4 hours on our preferred setting, but often takes closer to 3 hours because it's got some sense of how dirty the water is.


NotJen

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2022, 06:47:38 AM »
I see some people talk about how little water and electricity these machines currently use, to show that it isn't so bad to use one. Now this is your own consideration to make, but if sustainability is an argument that you weigh in this decision (which these days I think we should) it is not just the electricity and water that are important. The manufacturing and transport of these machines is where a large part of their impact lies.

Personally I hate doing dishes, but I don't have space for a machine, and I am single, so it wouldn't work out with how little dishes I have. I just do it 2/week and get it over with. Most chores aren't fun. For me, i'll probably be allright doing dishes by hand ;-)

That is a good consideration.  My dishwashers have all already been in place when I moved in.  At this point in my life, I would probably not add a dishwasher to a space that doesn't already have one (or replace a broken one).

I still found the dishwasher useful when I lived alone - I cook a lot, and could fill it every 4 days or so, never noticed any smells.  I happen to currently have a full set of dishware from when I was married, so I didn't need to wash more frequently than that.


(FYI, just noticed this topic mirrors another one, so I'm not sure if it's meant to be a joke or not?)

Raenia

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2022, 06:48:32 AM »
Our apartment has a dishwasher that we never use anymore (a GE if anyone cares about that).  It just doesn't get the dishes clean unless I prewash them, at which point it doesn't take any extra water to just actually wash them by hand.  So I don't buy the argument that using the machine is saving water.  Obviously washing a dish twice is going to take more water than washing it once.  Maybe more expensive machines don't have this problem, but as we're renting we can't replace it, and I doubt it would be worth the expense and manufacturing/shipping emissions even if we could.

NotJen

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2022, 06:55:46 AM »
Our apartment has a dishwasher that we never use anymore (a GE if anyone cares about that).  It just doesn't get the dishes clean unless I prewash them, at which point it doesn't take any extra water to just actually wash them by hand.  So I don't buy the argument that using the machine is saving water.  Obviously washing a dish twice is going to take more water than washing it once.  Maybe more expensive machines don't have this problem, but as we're renting we can't replace it, and I doubt it would be worth the expense and manufacturing/shipping emissions even if we could.

I have a cheap machine.  I don't rinse dishes.  Just scrape into trash whatever is left on the plate.

chemistk

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2022, 06:57:43 AM »
One thing I forgot to add - for those of you who have trouble with dishwashers not working well, are you adding prewash detergent? Even if yours doesn't have appear to have a specifically labeled container for it, nearly all have a spot. Many (like mine) are a small indentation on the detergent dispenser, but even if it doesn't appear to have one, you can sprinkle some in the bucket before you start the cycle.

Detergent has water conditioners, enzymes, and soaps and most modern dishwashers will have a 10-15 minute prewash cycle to get rid of the larger pieces of food. Using detergent here is very important because it helps solubilize and grease as well as offers the enzymes and detergents to start to soften the more difficult food.

Raenia

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2022, 07:02:27 AM »
Our apartment has a dishwasher that we never use anymore (a GE if anyone cares about that).  It just doesn't get the dishes clean unless I prewash them, at which point it doesn't take any extra water to just actually wash them by hand.  So I don't buy the argument that using the machine is saving water.  Obviously washing a dish twice is going to take more water than washing it once.  Maybe more expensive machines don't have this problem, but as we're renting we can't replace it, and I doubt it would be worth the expense and manufacturing/shipping emissions even if we could.

I have a cheap machine.  I don't rinse dishes.  Just scrape into trash whatever is left on the plate.

I scrape bits into the trash before they even get to the sink, but still have problems with things coming out oily or with a film on them.  And yes, I checked that I was using the right amount of detergent and use the 'rinse agent.'  Doesn't help.

If I have to use prewash detergent as well, then now I have to buy 3 cleaning products instead of 1, just to get back to baseline of what I can do faster in the sink?  Definitely not worth it.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2022, 07:07:46 AM »
I spent the first half of my adult life without a dishwasher.  My last 2 houses and my recent apartments came with a dishwasher.  Even though I live alone now, I like having a dishwasher.  It is definitely easier and tidier to pop the (cleaned-off) dishes in the dishwasher and run it when it is full, as opposed to doing a full washing up after every meal because otherwise the kitchen is messy.  I still wash pots and pans and knives by hand, but that is nothing compared to plates and bowls and mugs and glasses.

I had 2 time periods where I was renting an auxiliary apartment (cheap one) while living in a house.  I really noticed the change in kitchen routine.

NotJen

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2022, 07:26:07 AM »
Our apartment has a dishwasher that we never use anymore (a GE if anyone cares about that).  It just doesn't get the dishes clean unless I prewash them, at which point it doesn't take any extra water to just actually wash them by hand.  So I don't buy the argument that using the machine is saving water.  Obviously washing a dish twice is going to take more water than washing it once.  Maybe more expensive machines don't have this problem, but as we're renting we can't replace it, and I doubt it would be worth the expense and manufacturing/shipping emissions even if we could.

I have a cheap machine.  I don't rinse dishes.  Just scrape into trash whatever is left on the plate.

I scrape bits into the trash before they even get to the sink, but still have problems with things coming out oily or with a film on them.  And yes, I checked that I was using the right amount of detergent and use the 'rinse agent.'  Doesn't help.

If I have to use prewash detergent as well, then now I have to buy 3 cleaning products instead of 1, just to get back to baseline of what I can do faster in the sink?  Definitely not worth it.

I've never encountered this, and I only use 1 cleaning product.  Sounds like you have a dud?  I wouldn't use it either in your case.

Morning Glory

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2022, 07:57:35 AM »
Our apartment has a dishwasher that we never use anymore (a GE if anyone cares about that).  It just doesn't get the dishes clean unless I prewash them, at which point it doesn't take any extra water to just actually wash them by hand.  So I don't buy the argument that using the machine is saving water.  Obviously washing a dish twice is going to take more water than washing it once.  Maybe more expensive machines don't have this problem, but as we're renting we can't replace it, and I doubt it would be worth the expense and manufacturing/shipping emissions even if we could.

I have a cheap machine.  I don't rinse dishes.  Just scrape into trash whatever is left on the plate.

I scrape bits into the trash before they even get to the sink, but still have problems with things coming out oily or with a film on them.  And yes, I checked that I was using the right amount of detergent and use the 'rinse agent.'  Doesn't help.

If I have to use prewash detergent as well, then now I have to buy 3 cleaning products instead of 1, just to get back to baseline of what I can do faster in the sink?  Definitely not worth it.

I've never encountered this, and I only use 1 cleaning product.  Sounds like you have a dud?  I wouldn't use it either in your case.

Some dishwashers have a trap underneath that can harbor nasty stuff abd needs to be cleaned periodically. I had a Bosch that was like that once. Might be worth investigating.  The maytag/whirlpool/Kenmore models with the grinder are much better in my opinion, for ease of maintenance and use.

I would much rather go without a clothes dryer than a dishwasher. 

jim555

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2022, 08:14:56 AM »
Takes me no time to rinse off a dish and wash it.  Spendypants nonsense.

Sugaree

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2022, 08:25:23 AM »
My dishwasher saves my sanity, so it's worth it to me.  That being said, my current machine is one that I bought from the scratch and dent section of the big blue box store for 50% off due to the big ass dent in the front of it.  The one that it replaced was one that was given to us by a neighbor when she replaced all of her black appliances with stainless.  It sat in the backyard under a tarp for two years before we installed it and used it for two years before it gave up the ghost.  The one that it replaced was the one that was in the house when we moved in.

FINate

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2022, 08:58:03 AM »
We have a GE dishwasher. It's useful, not a gimmick. Our family does 1-2 loads/day, the dishes come out clean, and it's a huge time saver. I don't care if it takes 2-3 hours to run. We load the morning dishes and if it's more than about 1/2 full we run it and it finishes when I don't care. Then we run another load after dinner, which finishes sometime overnight.

A modern dishwasher is more water and energy efficient than hand washing. And a dishwasher is also more sanitary because the machine can heat the water to 140-145 whereas this would burn your hands if hand washing. A lot of folks have a hard time accepting this because, for whatever reason, hand washing seems more virtuous.

But this only applies to newer dishwashers. If you have an ancient one you're better off hand washing, or upgrading to something more efficient.

The number one reason dishes don't get clean in a dishwasher is improper loading. Don't load dishes too close together, leave a little bit of a gap between stuff, even if this means you don't get as much into a load. Frugal types sometimes overload thinking that this saves money, but instead results in a bunch unclean dishes.

GreenQueen

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2022, 09:00:32 AM »
We bought a Bosch when we bought our house. I was also a dishwasher skeptic.

Holy moley, it is amazing. And they say NOT to rinse the plates - the soap clings to the bits. We use it a lot for everything and it is just incredible. No regrets and more efficient than hand-washing.

We cook and bake 95% of our meals and have two young kids and frequent visitors, so it gets a workout.

ChickenStash

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2022, 09:26:50 AM »
I have a Kenmore dishwasher that's probably 15 years old or so. The previous owners installed it so I'm guessing on the age. Kenmore is a Sears re-brand so I'm not sure who actually made it.

It works great. I'm single and don't accumulate dishes at a high rate so I just give things a quick scrape and then shove them in the machine until I get enough for a load (or run out of something :) ). This usually means things get a little crusted up. It has no trouble getting them clean. It's also easy to load properly and laid out well so everything can get blasted.

A point that is often overlooked is what detergent is being used. They are not all created equal. There have been quite a few regulations over the years to remove certain chemicals and not everyone has figured out how (or bothered) to reformulate their product to work well. I found the Finish Quantum brand to be rated well by the folks that are into that sort of thing and it performs well in my dishwasher. Just some (dried up, stuck-on) food for thought.

kite

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2022, 11:39:52 AM »
It's supposed to save water.

However

We wash things by hand that shouldn't go in the dishwasher or don't fit in the dishwasher. You can only know you are using less water with a dishwasher if you measure. For our household of 2, we didn't. Skillet, knives, cutting board & silpat must get done by hand, even with a dishwasher. The plates, bowls, cups & utensils are incidental, not an 'extra' 20 gallons of water.  The thing that does use lots and lots of water is washing vegetables. What I get from the garden or local farmers' market takes lots of rinsing. It's less water & labor intensive to stick with frozen, but then there is the plastic bag that frozen veggies come in.

This is the sort of experience that makes me question lots of expert advice. Because we measured and came up with a different result for our situation. Ours died in the 2008 economic implosion that left us suddenly with no income. We took a harsh look at all expenses ala Amy Dacyczyn.  Water wasters were things like leaks between tank & bowl on the toilet that came with the house, toilets that used 5 gallons to flush; high flow shower-head and long showers.  We got rid of those wasters in a recent remodel, although I do have a gripe about elongated bowls on a low-flow toilet (IYKYK).
 
The dishwasher, window-unit A/C & microwave conked out in 2008. In normal circumstances, we could absorb these kinds of under $400 replacement expenses within a paycheck. But we paused because it meant taking money out of savings when the market was down for something that wasn't essential. And we had a perfect before & after scenario. Rather than buy, we decided to exercise the last part of "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without" and see how we fared.
We learned:  we don't use less water with a DW.  An electric kettle boils faster than a microwave or stovetop and pour-over coffee is better than a coffeemaker & cheaper than those pod-things. With shade trees and window fans, we could live without AC when we work outside the home.

In the interest of full transparency, our upcoming kitchen remodel will include a DW.  I'm a lot older now, have arthritis in my hands and I'm trying to make things more accessible for aging in place. That will mean a dishwasher.

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2022, 01:28:07 PM »
One thing I forgot to add - for those of you who have trouble with dishwashers not working well, are you adding prewash detergent? Even if yours doesn't have appear to have a specifically labeled container for it, nearly all have a spot. Many (like mine) are a small indentation on the detergent dispenser, but even if it doesn't appear to have one, you can sprinkle some in the bucket before you start the cycle.

Detergent has water conditioners, enzymes, and soaps and most modern dishwashers will have a 10-15 minute prewash cycle to get rid of the larger pieces of food. Using detergent here is very important because it helps solubilize and grease as well as offers the enzymes and detergents to start to soften the more difficult food.
Seconding this. Prewash detergent is not a different product you buy - it's a different place in the dishwasher door for the same detergent you already use. If yours doesn't have that compartment you could literally just shake a little onto the door itself or into the main compartment.

I always used to just put detergent in the little sealed compartment, until recently, assuming that "prewash" section was for a different product I didn't want to buy, but it's actually to make a portion of the regular detergent available during the prewash cycle, before that hatch flips open. My dishes went from "pretty clean most of the time" to "spotless every time" with that change using just one product. @Raenia

Edited to add: I too have a builder-grade Whirlpool which works fine.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2022, 02:59:52 PM by eyesonthehorizon »

turketron

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2022, 02:01:16 PM »
yep, my spouse and I both WFH and have a kid now so we run a load about every day or two. It uses far less water than hand-washing, and loading it definitely takes less time as well. Sure, it takes a couple hours to run, but I can spend that time doing whatever else I want, and in the rare case where I need something cleaned sooner I can hand-wash that item.

We have a pretty run-of-the-mill Kenmore that's about 10 years old that runs great. We did notice an improvement using ours after we switched from detergent pods to powder and started filling the pre-wash as well- we have extremely hard water, so this has made a big difference for us.

This video is a super interesting (to me, at least!) look into how modern dishwashers work, how to use them most effectively, and the benefits/drawbacks of pods vs. other kinds of detergent.

JupiterGreen

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2022, 08:55:46 AM »
We have one that came with the house, we used to use it a little but it was hard for us to fill. I think it still works, we never use it now. It only takes a minute to hand wash and since we prefer most of the surfaces in our home to be clean and clear on the regular we tend to do our dishes and don't let them pile up to any degree. But I think this is going to depend on the number of people in your house and if they are prone to doing their own dishes or would rather put them in the dishwasher. There may be a sterilization concern that dishwashers tackle better than hand washing and dishwasher can be better for the environment if run full. I've also heard people with babies need them for sterilizing bottles. I probably wouldn't buy one knowing how infrequently our gets used, but that's just our experience. YMMV

use2betrix

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2022, 11:16:26 AM »
Didn’t read each reply, but found the thread title comical with the other similar threads..

That aside, my wife does most all the cooking and dishes. She’s OCD about dishes (and cleaning floor). She uses the dishwasher primarily as a drying rack. She’ll run it maybe once a week on certain occasions.

When I was single, I was the same. I’d rather do the little extra work to clean them by hand than to put them dirty in the washer.

index

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2022, 12:33:22 PM »
Dishwashers use far less water and actually use less energy when compared to handwashing. Handwashing uses about 20 gallons of water - it takes 2.44 watts to heat 1 gallon/1F. @ 120 degrees assuming your incoming water is entering the house at 55F it takes about 3.2 KW to heat the water to wash your dishes. Say you use mildly hot water 108F and only use 10 gallons when washing dishes it still takes 1.3kW of heat plus the energy associated with the distribution an cleaning of the water. Dishwashers use 600W to 2.4kW per cycle with the average dishwasher using 1.17kW.

If your dishwasher is not getting dishes clean it is likely a dirty filter. YouTube how to clean your model's filter!

 


charis

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2022, 12:53:21 PM »
If the gimmick is not murdering my family, then yes it is.  We have two young children, two full time jobs, a full schedule of activities, and we cook almost every day.  Well worth my time and sanity.  We did not have one until our first child was born in our late 20s.

roomtempmayo

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2022, 12:54:18 PM »
This is the only dishwasher my wife and I have had in our life...do all dishwashers suck?

We had a rental once where the dishwasher "didn't work."  A round of Glisten Dishwasher Magic (a cleaner to flush out the machine) and it worked perfectly.  Dishwashers can get clogged up with all sorts of crud.  Try one of the cleaning products before concluding the machine is junk.

nereo

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2022, 01:07:00 PM »
I see some people talk about how little water and electricity these machines currently use, to show that it isn't so bad to use one. Now this is your own consideration to make, but if sustainability is an argument that you weigh in this decision (which these days I think we should) it is not just the electricity and water that are important. The manufacturing and transport of these machines is where a large part of their impact lies.

Personally I hate doing dishes, but I don't have space for a machine, and I am single, so it wouldn't work out with how little dishes I have. I just do it 2/week and get it over with. Most chores aren't fun. For me, i'll probably be allright doing dishes by hand ;-)

What you are describing is a “lifecycle analysis” and it’s certainly wise to consider the complete impact when comparing several options. Thankfully, these have been done, and a few have already been linked in this thread. With standard (i.e. ‘average’) use, a dishwasher has a drastically lower overall footprint than hand washing dishes, even when you consider the embodied energy to produce the dishwasher itself, largely because each load uses a fraction of the water, a fraction of the energy needed to heat the water and a lot less soap. However, the devil is in the details. If extra frugal with resources while handwashing (i.e. using a foot pedal and rinse bowl with cold(er) water) the differences evaporate rather quickly. It’s also less of an issue if you are in an area with abundant fresh water and cheap electricity.

tawyer

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2022, 02:05:41 PM »
Some interesting points in this thread, mixed in with a liberal amount of bullshit.

I hand washed for years, and now have a dishwasher. I'd rather have a dishwasher, even this crappy one that came with the house. With the dishwasher, dishes just don't tend to build up: the activation energy is just that bit lower.

Water use. Most people I know hand wash with continually flowing water. This is a disingenuous starting point for a water consumption analysis against a dishwasher, many of which recycle the water they use. Better for hand-washing is to use a 2-3 tubs, scout style. This gets hand-washing down from ~20 gallons to ~2 gallons. I know this because I measured it.

Temperature. The high temperature water used by dishwashers can be used for hand washing dishes by wearing washing-up gloves.

So, for the cost of a few dish tubs and washing up gloves (~$20) you're getting pretty close to dishwasher water use and temperatures. Any difference is really "in the noise".

I'm paying for the convenience of a cupboard for dirty dishes that keeps my countertops clearer throughout the day. I'll probably replace with a Bosch/Sebo/Miele model in the future: other households in my family have these brands and they are quiet, efficient, and reliable.

turketron

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2022, 02:09:52 PM »
Temperature. The high temperature water used by dishwashers can be used for hand washing dishes by wearing washing-up gloves.

Except then I have to set my hot water heater unnecessarily high, certainly higher than needed for any other function, solely for washing dishes.  Whereas the dishwasher heats its water to a higher temp on its own.

bill1827

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2022, 02:11:23 PM »
Dishwashers use far less water and actually use less energy when compared to handwashing. Handwashing uses about 20 gallons of water - it takes 2.44 watts to heat 1 gallon/1F. @ 120 degrees assuming your incoming water is entering the house at 55F it takes about 3.2 KW to heat the water to wash your dishes. Say you use mildly hot water 108F and only use 10 gallons when washing dishes it still takes 1.3kW of heat plus the energy associated with the distribution an cleaning of the water. Dishwashers use 600W to 2.4kW per cycle with the average dishwasher using 1.17kW.

How on earth do you manage to use 20 gallons of water! Measured our sink and it holds 30 litres if filled to the brim. Generally don't fill it more than 2/3 when washing up, so 20 litres or 5 US gallons, and usually less than that. We heat water to 45C (from about 6C at the moment) so that's 0.91kWhr to heat the water. The consumption of an equivalent to our dishwasher on a similar program to the one that we use is 15litres of water and 1.05kWhr.

Conclusion; there is very little difference between water and energy use between a dishwasher and hand washing.

nereo

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2022, 02:43:48 PM »
To point out the obvious… most people don’t hand wash a dishwasher’s worth of dishes at one time, using one set of tubs. For the ‘typical’ user it’s multiple meals worth. Of course if your household is an edge case your resource use will be different (as will time saved).  Likewise, water use will be drastically different if you are cleaning under Running water, with a foot pedal or in a bowl or tub.

Water at the tap (residential) should not exceed 120°F (~49°c). That isn’t sufficient for sterilization or food service industry, which may or may not be important to you. Most dishwasher heat the wash cycle water to about 150° and the rinse cycle can be 180-190°.


index

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2022, 02:47:47 PM »
Dishwashers use far less water and actually use less energy when compared to handwashing. Handwashing uses about 20 gallons of water - it takes 2.44 watts to heat 1 gallon/1F. @ 120 degrees assuming your incoming water is entering the house at 55F it takes about 3.2 KW to heat the water to wash your dishes. Say you use mildly hot water 108F and only use 10 gallons when washing dishes it still takes 1.3kW of heat plus the energy associated with the distribution an cleaning of the water. Dishwashers use 600W to 2.4kW per cycle with the average dishwasher using 1.17kW.

How on earth do you manage to use 20 gallons of water! Measured our sink and it holds 30 litres if filled to the brim. Generally don't fill it more than 2/3 when washing up, so 20 litres or 5 US gallons, and usually less than that. We heat water to 45C (from about 6C at the moment) so that's 0.91kWhr to heat the water. The consumption of an equivalent to our dishwasher on a similar program to the one that we use is 15litres of water and 1.05kWhr.

Conclusion; there is very little difference between water and energy use between a dishwasher and hand washing.

20 gal is the average the internet gives to wash an equivalent dishwasher load full of dishes by hand. Lots of people continuously run the sink when washing dishes. I fill the sink like you, but I would have to dump and refill the sink when washing the equivalent of a large load of dishes because the water gets so murky. So I am probably on the 8 to 10 gal. end of the spectrum. 

If we want to look at the power used for water supply, distribution, and treatment:

chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/water-company-energy-use.pdf

It looks like a drop in the bucket at an average of 2.3w/gallon.

It looks like a dishwasher saves the average person water and energy. A water conscious person can probably break even or come out slightly ahead. The breakeven is 6-9 gallons of water depending on the incoming water temperature and dishwashing temp.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2022, 03:10:12 PM »
Didn’t read each reply, but found the thread title comical with the other similar threads..


I posted the other 2 threads first, I guess I should have copyrighted my titles.    ;-)

nereo

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2022, 03:16:05 PM »
Didn’t read each reply, but found the thread title comical with the other similar threads..


I posted the other 2 threads first, I guess I should have copyrighted my titles.    ;-)
I’m glad someone else noticed that too!

TreeLeaf

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2022, 03:50:42 PM »
Didn’t read each reply, but found the thread title comical with the other similar threads..


I posted the other 2 threads first, I guess I should have copyrighted my titles.    ;-)
I’m glad someone else noticed that too!

Lol - yes. RetiredAt63 had better titles than I could think of so I changed this thread to match their titles. :)

It was sort of a hidden joke but I also genuinely liked those titles more than my own.

Thank you for the replies everyone!
« Last Edit: December 15, 2022, 12:17:25 PM by curious_george »

K_in_the_kitchen

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2022, 03:58:37 PM »
I don't think there is a great answer for this one.  Most of us know that people don't need dishwashers.  There are environmental costs to manufacturing them, and most people will have to replace them several times over their lives.  But in our home they do save time, and we don't have to look at dirty dishes waiting to be washed.  DH and I both detest seeing dirty dishes, so without a dishwasher we are both washing dishes all day.  That isn't all that bad when it is just the two of us, but when everyone is home it gets frustrating.  My college kid said this morning that aside from people and dogs, the dishwasher is one of the five best things about being home on break.  He is in a campus house that doesn't have a dishwasher.  He does let the dishes pile up all day before washing them.

Over the past three decades we have had and not had dishwashers, including when a dishwasher died and we didn't replace it for a couple of years.  The teens hand washing dishes during that time broke so many that we decided to replace it.  I've also noticed several people in my family wash dishes by hand with the water running.  I doubt these things offset the cost of buying a dishwasher, however.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2022, 04:06:01 PM »
We have 8 people in our household and run the dishwasher at least once a day. Even with that there's still a fair amount of handwashing for pots and pans and some odds and ends. Fortunately, our kids are now old enough to take over some of that. In college I never had a dishwasher and it sucked. Even with just 1-2 people it added up quickly since we cooked almost everything at home.

We have a dishwasher at our office but it's just my wife and I eating lunch there so maybe a few utensils and a plate or bowl. We've never used it the dishwasher so I'm not sure if it even works. We only rent part of the building so the kitchen area was made to handle probably 10-15 employees.

tawyer

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2022, 06:07:06 PM »
Temperature. The high temperature water used by dishwashers can be used for hand washing dishes by wearing washing-up gloves.

Except then I have to set my hot water heater unnecessarily high, certainly higher than needed for any other function, solely for washing dishes.  Whereas the dishwasher heats its water to a higher temp on its own.
Moot point with tankless water heaters at point of service and mixing faucets.

onward19

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #48 on: December 13, 2022, 08:45:28 PM »
*]I love my dishwasher.
*Dishwashers will suck if a) they are cheap b) worn out c) you have hard water
*The dishwasher we had when we moved into this house was over 20 years old. It sounded like a jet airplane and probably used 10 gallons of water, but it washed those dishes spotless. Old isn't necessarily bad for getting your dishes clean
*Buy quality - like Bosch or Meine(?)
*Don't bother with the cheap brands, they promise quiet but will just get louder and louder every month
*Don't bother buying a dishwasher unless you have soft water
*You can use water softener products in the dishwasher, like Lemi-shine, but they can't compete with hard water especially if it's really hard, and they get expensive
*Dishwashers are very efficient for people who don't use much for plastic. If you use a lot of plastic containers, cups, etc, you'll be washing a lot by hand anyway
We use glass for everything other than place settings, so only wash the pots, the pans, and the plastic lids for the glass containers


bill1827

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Re: Dishwashers - do you use one? Useful? Just a gimmick? Opinions please.
« Reply #49 on: December 14, 2022, 02:42:55 AM »
Over here dishwashers usually have a water softener built in, there's a salt dispenser which has to be filled. Hard water isn't an issue.

Cheap appliances can be perfectly OK. We inherited a bottom of the range Beko (cheap Turkish manufacturer), and it works fine and is quiet.