Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More on dishwashing

I've continued my crusade into the world of washing dishes to gather more information. Last night's discussion with my husband as well as this that I got in my inbox today prompted me to post about it again.

Last night, I got home about 7pm, made dinner and sat down to work on my laptop in the kitchen. Hubby had basketball practice from 6-9pm, so didn't get home until almost 10pm. He called on his way home and I let him know he was the winner of the wonderful opportunity to do the dishes, yeah!! I was tired, cold and busy working. He didn't argue, which was nice. But I guess I get what I ask for.

He did the dishes alright. He filled the sink almost to the brim with water and then turned on the faucet to rinse EVERY SINGLE ITEM. I am not a rinser. We use Seventh Generation dish soap that is non-toxic and not overly bubbly like most standard dish soaps, so I'm not worried about us ingesting the occasional bubble. Our drying rack sits over our second sink, so when I'm all done, I take the sprayer and rinse the whole mess quickly. I also only fill the sink half way, if that. And then he stopped and let all the water out with the pan and skillet left from dinner unwashed. There's no more room in the dish-drainer. He's done. Which means I had to run another sink of water to finish those and a few others that were left undone. I also washed what I dirtied for breakfast, the crockpot and lunches, but would have left those for tonight otherwise. More wasting of water.

Here's some of the article:

Though it doesn't much resemble what's in my own sink, the face-off was based on washing eight six-piece place settings and six serving dishes. If you put all that in your dishwasher, you'd wash the whole kit and caboodle with an average of just six gallons of water. Four if you have an Energy Star machine. That's how efficient dishwashers are, and since it's hot water that's a lot of energy and CO2 emissions saved, too.

The typical faucet, on the other hand, flows at about two gallons per minute, which doesn't give you much time to rinse those 54 items and still beat your dishwasher. In fact, you'd have just 4.4 seconds of running water to rinse each piece (and that assumes you're washing with a soapy sponge instead of a basin of sudsy water). Which means that unless you can be pathologically miserly with your tap water, a dishwasher is the way to go.

In my world, I think I actually use less water to wash than a dishwasher would, especially since we would have a hard time filling it up most days, and I'd still need my pots and pans cleaned daily. I have to believe this, or it will eat me up inside. I'll venture to guess I don't put more than two gallons in the sink to do dishes. Add any rinsing I may do before or after washing, and I think I'd be pushing to use 4 gallons of water. Do I wash 54 items? Probably not, but like I said, I don't think I'd fill the washing machine up completely either.

But what do I do about my man who likes to leave the water practically running while he does the dishes, and by the way, gets it EVERYWHERE!?

I made a couple comments to him while he was washing last night, and probably got him mad, but it needs to be addressed. He said he doesn't care about the earth and tree-hugging and that garbage and doesn't like tasting soap with his food. I'm pretty sure he's making up the part about tasting soap...I never have and don't think there's even much of an opportunity to do so. I kindly reminded him that we also pay for our water, both what we use and what we put in the sewer, so it wasting money as well as water. No response.

What's a woman to do? Never ask for help with the dishes? Try and change a man who doesn't share some of the same beliefs? I've managed to get him to turn the water off while he's brushing his teeth most of the time. I guess it's a step. But this issue just bothers me so much!


  1. *lee sigh* poor Angie! I can see where ur comin from about ur guys dishes being theres only 2 of u! And u probably dont wanna know that my dish washer has setting for small loads and is also called a smart wash either right.. My fight for my dish washer was an up hill battle specially when it came to kevin doing the dishes.. uve heard the stories...... And teaching the guys to stack the dish washer is still a battle for me some days, lol i always find myself goin in after they r done and restackin it! And that whole rinsing after u wash thing it has to b an american thing... cuz id never done it in my life till i came here and the first time i did dishes at the IL's and i got yelled at for lettin them dry with dish soap on em and they all had to b rinsed EVEN tho they were dry... My dish washer is always open for business lol ;)

  2. When we ran out of dishwasher soap, I decided to hand wash. We have a family of 7 - so we do dishes twice a day. (breakfast & lunch dishes are lumped together.) I use a dish tub for the rinse water. I just measured the other day - it's only 3.5 gallons of water total I use for all the dishes. Since hubby is a "wash it off before the dishwasher washes it" guy, I KNOW we are ahead of the game by hand washing. And, much less electricity used too. I think we'll stick to hand washing. Plus, it gives us some family bonding time. LOL

  3. Thanks for the confirmations :) I may try getting a drainer to put next to the sink and fill the second with some rinse water, that may be a good compromise!