Having a Dishwasher… Is it Really Too Much To Ask?

You know, I don’t like to complain.  At least not out loud.  Okay… at least not often.  But things have gotten bad around here so I feel like I have to speak up.  See this pile sitting in my teeny, tiny kitchen?

Yep, that pile greets me every day.  It doesn’t matter what I cook for dinner or how often I clean dishes as I go, I still have that Same. Exact. Pile. (notice the emphasis)

Having a pile of unwashed dishes isn’t in itself a bad thing.  It’s only bad if you have no way to wash them.  In fact, it used to not bother me at all but that was before I started cooking and before I actually had a lot of dirty dishes.  It was also before having a baby who generates a new dirty bottle every three hours.  (A baby whom I wouldn’t give up for all the dishwashers in the world, by the way.)

But these dishes don’t wash themselves which means that the task falls to me (even though the CPA graciously helps when he’s home).  Part of the “charm ” of living in an older home is the absence of modern appliances such as a dishwasher.  Most of the houses around here just don’t have them as they were mostly built in the 1930s.  Come to think of it, I guess I should count myself fortunate that we at least have running water.  But really – if you have running water, is it that much of a leap to think you could have a dishwasher too?

I guess it is.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a pile of dishes to wash…

So that I can find at least some small measure of comfort, I want to ask if you have a dishwasher at home (I’m hoping that there are others of us out there also sporting the pruned-hand look).  Do you wash all the dishes or do you share the responsibility?


Lisa - September 28, 2010 - 7:35 pm

I also live in an older home and am lucky enough to have a dishwasher. I can’t imagine not having one! We just moved from a very modern apartment and my big adjustment is not having a garbage disposal in the sink. My husband *sometimes* helps with the dishes but a majority of the time I end up doing them because I can’t stand having dirty dishes in the sink or on the counters – it’s bad enough WITH a dishwasher I really hate to think what our kitchen would look like without one!

Jessica @ One Shiny Star - September 28, 2010 - 7:37 pm

We do not have a dishwasher in out house, and our kitchen is the size of the average bathroom… well… it’s how it feels any way. I absolutely hate dishes. So before I got married I addressed this topic with my husband-to-be and said “I’ll cook, and clean anything else – but I really hate the dishes.” and he said “That’s fine I’ll do them.” And he has been true to his word. In his parents’ home he did the dishes most often, and so it wasn’t a big step for him. He has been particularly sweet lately though, with me being in school. Today i came home to a clean kitchen, a clean dining/living room, he had vacuumed, AND baked some of the cookie dough I made the other day.

I’m a tad bit spoiled right now. But I am oh-so-thankful for everything my dishwasher does for me. :)
.-= Jessica @ One Shiny Star´s last blog ..Lists =-.

Jessica - September 28, 2010 - 7:39 pm

We do not have a dishwasher. We will be installing one this winter. I’m so over washing dishes. :)

Julia - September 28, 2010 - 7:48 pm

Single and live alone, therefore all of the dishes belong to me. I have a dishwasher, but I find it very impractical to use: by the time I fill it up, everything has gotten crusty, so I have to pre-wash. And if I’m going to pre-wash, I might as well spend an extra 15 seconds on each dish and be done with it.

But my kitchen is cluttered with dirty dishes right now. *sigh* Just I’d better buckle down and do them.

admin - September 28, 2010 - 7:52 pm

I’m not the only one! I don’t know if I should be happy for me or sad for each of you! :)

Jodie - September 28, 2010 - 7:58 pm

I have a dishwasher (4 kids…i might drown in dishes otherwise!)…but i still wash by hand every day. Otherwise I’d have to run the dishwasher every night, and since I hate to empty it, I wash by hand for a day or two to cut back on the emptying! Plus we have a well, and septic, so I am careful about water usage. I wash dishes about 3x day. Sometimes up to 5. So even with a dishwasher….they don’t go away!!!
.-= Jodie´s last blog ..Needs- Needs- Needs =-.

Janice - September 28, 2010 - 8:13 pm

For the first six years of our marriage, we didn’t have a dishwasher and I did ALL of the dishes. But I didn’t care because he was doing other very helpful things.
.-= Janice´s last blog ..What a difference a few years makes =-.

joy - September 28, 2010 - 8:17 pm

We have a dishwasher but I grew up in a home that never had one. I usually hand wash about half my dishes and put the other half in the dishwasher. I only run the dishwasher when it is full, which is about every 4-5 days. I wash things like all the baby bottles, bowls and utensils. All the plastic stuff I hand wash as well such as the tupperware, etc. I’m sure I would save money if I just put everything in the dishwasher since hand washing does take up more water. I guess I like feeling how clean things are because sometimes the dishwasher is not enough. I do empathize with you though seeing the amount of stuff you have to wash.

Natasha - September 28, 2010 - 8:27 pm

The whole time I was growing up we didn’t have a dishwasher. My parents had an agreement- my mom cooked and my dad did the dishes. It seemed to work out for them…
.-= Natasha´s last blog ..Milky math question =-.

Jessika - September 28, 2010 - 9:44 pm

We don’t have a dishwasher, and I completely agree– I WOULD LOVE ONE. Is there any way to incorporate one into your current kitchen? We didn’t think it possible, but our friends recently put one in their small kitchen. Maybe with some sort of period cover so it’s hidden? Alternatively, I also knew someone with one of those portable dishwashers. It was a bit of a PAIN to hook up water and put the dump water part in the drain, but maybe there are better models?
.-= Jessika´s last blog ..The trip =-.

Jessika - September 28, 2010 - 9:47 pm

PS: Do you have the drying pan under the drying rack that EMPTIES into the sink? Mine used to just be a typical pan, with edges. Then I got one that has a flat section. Now, it drains itself, so it never has a chance to get gunky or overflow.
.-= Jessika´s last blog ..The trip =-.

Natalia - September 28, 2010 - 10:13 pm

We have a dishwasher. But it didn’t work very well when we first moved in so I had to resort to using my husband as a dishwasher (http://mertinso.com/2010/05/my-dishwasher/). Now that we have a new dishwasher, he still does a lot of the dishes by hand just bc the glasses look shinier when they’re done that way. Either way, it sure is nice just to have the option.

Jaz - September 29, 2010 - 1:42 am

I live with my boyfriend in a small flat. We don’t have a dishwasher. One of us cooks and the other washes up. I have stipulated though that if ever our little family extends to 3 or more, I’d want a dishwasher. It’s just 15-20 minutes out of each day that could be spent doing other things, being together etc. For two people alone though, I don’t think the environmental and electrical costs are worth it. :)

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is - September 29, 2010 - 3:33 am

I feel your pain! Before we bought our hour, we did NOT have a dishwasher. We do a lot of cooking and it just killed me. A dishwasher was actually the number one thing I wanted to have when we bought our house! Now we have one and seriously run it almost everyday… oops.
.-= Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog ..Eat What You Love =-.

admin - September 29, 2010 - 4:25 am

Jodie – I can only imagine how many dishes one would have with four kids! I think you need TWO dishwashers!

Jessika – we looked into incorporating one into our house when we bought it, but it’s just too small of a room, we need all the space for the basics like holding pots and stuff. :(

Jaz – good point, it really does take so much time that you could be spending with the family.

Jessica – I know how much cooking you do so I can only imagine how many dishes that leaves you with! Glad you finally got your dishwasher!

Heather (Heather's Dish) - September 29, 2010 - 5:44 am

so we have a dishwasher, and somehow along the way i apparently took over the washing of all dishes as well. how did that happen?!
.-= Heather (Heather’s Dish)´s last blog ..Snow =-.

Casper - September 29, 2010 - 5:47 am

I currently have a dish washer. I have lived without one before and I didn’t enjoy it one bit. I love to cook from scratch and that usually makes a lot of dishes! However, I still have a lot of pans, knives, dishes that I won’t put in the dishwasher because it isn’t good for them. I usually put off washing those as long as possible. My husband is pretty good about helping out with dishes. Dishwasher is on my must have list now.
.-= Casper´s last blog ..Beauty =-.

Vicky - September 29, 2010 - 6:03 am

We used to have a tiny kitchen and no dishwasher. Now we have a big kitchen and a dishwasher. Bottom line: I still have to do all the dishes! In fact, I’m starting to think that the more area and appliances one has the more dishes seem to appear. The funniest thing is when my husband tells me out of the blue that he’s done the dishes- I’ll go and ‘check the situation’ and all he’s done is load the dishwasher and turn it on. The counter is still dirty, the table is still not wiped, the pots are on the stove, but I will still say “Thanks babe, great job!”. That gets him into a really good mood. I’ve learned that as long as I make dinner and clean dishes that he’ll take care of everything else around the house!

lou - September 29, 2010 - 6:05 am

Did you say the CPA helps when he is home….I AM SOOOOOO JEALOUS. Besides not having a dishwasher, I have a very lazy husband. Our family of three is having twins in January and I have decided for the first few months to resort to paper plates and if that doesnt work….I think I need to find a new husband ;)

Sabrina - September 29, 2010 - 6:43 am

I have a dishwasher and love it but there always seems to be a sink full of things that can’t go in it! (plastics, certain pans, etc.) So I am STILL doing dishes all the time. :-)

Jana - September 29, 2010 - 7:25 am

I pretty much do all the house work around here. My husband works long hours, so he doesn’t do much helping out.
.-= Jana´s last blog ..Weight Loss Wednesday =-.

Sara - September 29, 2010 - 7:48 am

The commenter above who doesn’t like emptying the dishwasher–are you crazy!? I would MUCH rather have to load and empty a dishwasher than have to wash all the dishes by hand. Which is what we do, because we too are dishwasher-less. Maybe this is one of those grass is always greener things, I don’t know. My husband does about 93% of the dishes, which is wonderful and something I appreciate immensely. However, I do occasionally have to perform quality control. He’ll wash the part of the plate that the food was on, but not the bottom, so I pull it out of the drying rack and the bottom is all greasy. I don’t understand that one at all, but no matter how many times I bug him about it, a few things always seem to slip by. Ultimately though, I am so hugely appreciative of the fact that he does them at all!
.-= Sara´s last blog ..Chocolate souffle =-.

Jenny - September 29, 2010 - 8:04 am

I feel your pain. I also live in an older house and lack kitchen space and a dishwasher. Plus on top of it all I have a five week old and I am constantly doing dishes and washing bottles. I think my hands hate me and I have never gone through so much dish soap before!

Nicole - September 29, 2010 - 8:36 am

I do have a dishwasher, but I also wash at least 1 sink full of handwash dishes a day too. Depending on how much cooking/baking I do, I can have TONS of dishes to handwash. I enjoy cooking but it does involve a lot more dishes!
.-= Nicole´s last blog ..QUESTION =-.

Renee - September 29, 2010 - 9:59 am

Ug – I hate washing dishes and the task falls on me. We don’t have a dishwasher, and no place to put one either. My husband does.not.wash.a.dish. Thankfully, he picks up the slack in other areas such as laundry. I guess it’s a fair trade.

Amy - September 29, 2010 - 10:19 am

I would so help you with dishes if you lived in Dallas! We have a dishwasher in our apartment, but my husband and I differ on our preference of hand wash over dish-wash. I prefer to handwash so as to not fill up the dishwasher after two days. If the dishwasher is full of clean dishes and there are dishes in the sink to wash, I will hand wash the dirty dishes and THEN empty the dishwasher to everything is clean(at least for an hour or so before one of us needs a drink of water). My husband will load up the dishwasher with anything and everything that is dirty. Once he put a good skillet in there and I freaked. I prefer to have kitchen duty so I can do it my way. :)

admin - September 29, 2010 - 10:26 am

Jana – I’m with you there. My husband works long hours too so even though he offers, I feel bad asking him to do the dishes (except on the weekend and then he’s free game).

You guys also bring up a good point – some dishes have to be done by hand so they’re not ruined. I need to learn which dishes fall into that category because I would probably wash all of them without knowing any better.

And Amy – thanks for offering to help. If I lived in Dallas, I’d probably take you up on it! :)

Mindee@ourfrontdoor - September 29, 2010 - 10:57 am

We went without for about 9 months a couple of years ago. We have a LOT of dishes of course, but also a lot of hands to wash them. It wasn’t my favorite thing in the whole world, but better than not having a washer/dryer. :)
.-= Mindee@ourfrontdoor´s last blog ..What We Are Learning This Week =-.

Amy - September 29, 2010 - 11:00 am

I lived dishwasher-free for 26 years, until I moved in with my husband and got married. This may sound crazy, but sometimes I still like to wash the dishes myself. But, I do love my dishwasher. Are there some drawers in the kitchen that could be removed and then replaced with a dishwasher?

Erin - September 29, 2010 - 12:58 pm

We didn’t have a dishwasher until we moved here. I count myself blessed every time I pile all our dirty dishes in it. Good luck, dream big, and maybe one day you’ll have a dishwasher, too. :)
.-= Erin´s last blog ..distracted is my middle name =-.

The Wife of Odie - September 29, 2010 - 3:18 pm

i LOVE having a dishwasher. come move in with me and we can share :)

erin - September 29, 2010 - 9:15 pm

Just before Brian and I got married, I moved in with him and MIL to save a little money. MIL did not have a dishwasher. It sucked.

She recently updated her kitchen, but did not gut it. Her home is approximately the same vintage as yours, and has shallower counters than are standard today. It was quite a challenge to find a dishwasher to fit in the space she had for it, but she was able to. However, she rarely uses it. Huh????
.-= erin´s last blog ..busy like a bee =-.

Anjana - September 29, 2010 - 11:57 pm

I am using IFB Dishwasher could I wash bottle. In India this is one of the best dishwasher.

the domestic fringe - September 30, 2010 - 12:10 pm

I don’t have a dishwasher either. I totally feel your pain. Part of my problem is that I have a gigantic antique porcelain sink that is like two feet deep on one side and like a foot deep on the other side. I can literally pile every single dish, pot, and pan I own into that sink. Washing dishes is a terrible thing.
.-= the domestic fringe´s last blog ..Homeschooling – The Good- The Bad- &amp The Ugly – Part 2 =-.

Kelly S - September 30, 2010 - 8:44 pm

when we complained as kids about not having a dishwasher, my dad would say “oh yes we do – we have a ten-finger model”. Drove us nuts!

Isabelle - October 1, 2010 - 11:50 pm

my hubby and I both grew up in families without dishwashers, but I knew life with a dishwasher from my exchange year in Arkansas. When I started to work out of town and only returned on the weekends, I simply went out an bought one, because I no longer could stand coming home Friday night and being greeted by the dishes left from Sunday’s cooking (hubby was working very long hours and doing school). And when we found out that dishwashers are more ecological than washing by hand (amount of water spent!!!!) I also had Hubby’s blessing. And yes, I stuck everything into the dishwasher except for very good glasses and handpainted china.Go get one and experience the look of a nice and tidy kitchen greeting you in the morning and time saved in your and your CPA’s life.

Stacey - October 3, 2010 - 7:51 am

Funny, I have been feeling guilty because I run my dishwasher twice every day! It’s the bottle issue- in order to make sure I have enough clean bottles both at home and for daycare, I run the dishwsher before I leave for work (with all the bottles we used from bedtime – morning) and again before I go to bed (with all of the bottles used at daycare). Up until a month ago, the baby was only using Playtex bottles with latex nipples (had to be washed by hand)- but once he started teething I switched him to Dr. Brown’s with silicone nipples because of the risk of choking on small bits of latex. Washing all of the bottles by hand, twice a day, wasn’t much fun- I feel your pain.

Katey - October 5, 2010 - 7:40 pm

We have a dishwasher but we don’t use it. It is much easier to just hand wash the dishes.

Mariya - October 6, 2010 - 7:42 am

A little off topic, but I see you have a teething ring in your clean stack of bottles. When did Henry figure out what to do with it and that it helps with teething? My little one still sticks as many fingers in her mouth as she can and whines.

Michelle@myldsmissionary - April 15, 2011 - 3:45 pm

I am in college right now and the dishwasher that is provided in my apartment is a piece of junk. For some reason (one that is and may forever be a mystery to me)my dishwasher smells like a sewer. So of course I wash the dishes by hand to avoid the awful rank the exudes from our “complimentary” household appliance. Since, however, the only dishes I am doing are my own, it’s really not that big of a deal, but when you’re taking on multiple peoples’ dirty dishware it’s quite the hassle!

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