A battle in “Kitchen Stadium”

So the whole “dead washer” thing got me thinking about other washing… dishwashing.

For some reason, ever since my daughter was a baby, I have felt compelled to wash my kids’ dishes, cups, utensils, etc. by hand. I suppose my logic has to do with the feeling that when I scrub them by hand, I can insure they get really, really clean, and they don’t sit around in a dishwasher, picking up cooties from other stuff.  Yeah, may be ridiculous, but it’s made sense to me for the past 6-1/2 years!

So I set out to see how wasteful that really is.  Lo and behold, in my newest quest of dishwasher vs. hand-washing, I learned a lot.  So, here I am to share this with you too!…

First, and most compelling:  newer dishwashers use only half the energy, one-sixth the water and much less soap, compared to hand-washing.  The cleanliness factory also favors dishwashers (BAH! I’m wrong again!).

Just think about how much water you waste waiting for the right temperature when you’re hand- washing?! I was guilty of that, big time.  And my husband is NOTORIOUS for wandering around the kitchen, doing other things, while water is still running! (… that remains a small (huge) pet peeve of mine, dear husband!)

You can also make your process more eco-friendly by skipping the pre-wash cycle, only running full loads and skipping the heat dry (that ALONE, saves 50% of the energy use!).

I understand that there may be methods of hand-washing that use very small amounts of water.  I also know that, in order to get truly clean items out of the dishwasher, they do need a degree of cleaning and elbow-grease before they reach the dishwasher, but this should be done quickly and immediately, before all of the food gets dried on … (oh yummy! It’s that “cootie factor” I always feared!)

So, SHOCKER!  Appliance wins this battle!  I’m going to give so much hand-washing a break and try to use the appliance exclusively for a while and see how it goes.  “Dishwasher” is one of the ‘Mom titles’ I’m willing to give up.

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12 thoughts on “A battle in “Kitchen Stadium”

  1. Yeah, but don’t you have to run the dishwasher like 6 times a week now? I don’t mind doing the hand washing at all as I have done every night after dinner for years. Emptying the dishwasher sucks worse I think?

    And yes, I do leave the hot water running while I walk around. My parents did that while I was growing up so it’s learned behavior. Blame the K’s!

    Jim “The Husband” Kukrals last blog post..How To Start An Ecommerce Store From Scratch?

  2. Husband/”Trouble-maker”/”Looking-for-kudos-for-doing-dishes-once-a-day”- Umm, NO! It’s actually been about every third day. And aren’t you missing the point?… it’s not a matter of minding/not minding handwashing….it’s an environmental thing. Remember?…Mom goes GREEN!?! Sheesh, honey! And despite the learned behavior, it’s not a good one. Just like your mom telling me about everything she’s recycling, but every time we turn around, for family gatherings, she uses paper plates, bowls, cups, etc. like they’re going out of style!

  3. have you found any good eco dishwasher detergent options out there? I have noticed lately that i can still smell the detergent on my finished clean cups and it makes me wonder if there is a healthier / greener option to the brand i use now?

  4. Jim, …Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim…..oh Jim!!!! Did you try to over sell your diswashing skills and throw your parents under the bus all in the same response???? Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim! You’re on your on dude. Best of Luck!

  5. Heather – I have been using the Seventh Generation brand of dishwasher detergent. They can be found in a lot of major retailers and grocery chains. It has a lemon scent and it seems to being doing a good job in my book! I haven’t noticed any lingering smell, except “clean!” 🙂

    Matt – you said it!!! 🙂

  6. Doreen:

    once again, I am amazed. I have learned something again! I wash all the dishes by hand as I have always thought dishwashers must use gallons of water unnecessarily. Thanks for the info! I am about to enter the world of washing bottles again so this info is very helpful! 🙂 Take care!


    Kimberlys last blog post..Well chuffed!

  7. Kimberly – I was amazed too! Who would have thought, right? But with a new baby soon, you’re going to be doing plenty of bottles, laundry (baby’s AND yours, I’m sure!) and just overall clean-up STUFF! But have fun… babies are the best!

  8. Nearly all automatic dishwasher detergents use chlorine and phosphates. Phosphates are one of the worse causes of environmental pollution (still) and chlorine is very bad for your family’s health (very likely also what you smell).
    Add to that the fact that up until recently Cascade would eat holes in aluminum just by adding water and you may want to think about adding an extra rinse cycle to the stuff you eat off and put in your mouth.
    There is only one patented dishwasher detergent that uses neither chlorine or phosphates and it is also concentrated (less fuel in delivery and saves on the use of plastic).
    Most “environment friendly” products out there really are not if you really learn about the ingredients. Being green has become a sales pitch but not really a way of life with most producers of cleaning products. Those companies now introducing “green products” are still relying on their old polluting products and have not stopped making them. No commitment.

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  9. Mama – You’re welcome! I’m glad you found it helpful and thanks for linking to my post…from Mom Goes Green to Mama Goes Green… let’s keep up the good fight!

  10. Pingback: » Skipping steps in dish washing = lots of conservation - Mom Goes Green

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