I had to laugh because this is the response I frequently get. When our friend Tom was cooking for us, he looked around my kitchen and told Travis that as a good husband he needed to get me a dishwasher. I promptly said no I’m good. He looked at me shocked and teased me saying I must be out of my mind. Later we got back on the topic and I teased him back about him wanting a place where he could cut the power line and no longer have to deal with the outside world. I told him that’s the kind of house I’m working towards too and a dishwasher was one less thing I’d have to learn how to do without.

A dishwasher is nice for an occasional break while we are on vacation, but I really wouldn’t want one for everyday use. Yeah, they are convenient and somewhat effective. I just don’t consider them worth it. I have more cabinet space with not having one. And as far as modern conveniences go, you can’t miss what you’ve never gotten used to. I don’t have to worry about it breaking. When I got to thinking about it, there are several other benefits to not having one.

Water waste. I have been trying to do better on conserving water and reusing what water can be. I don’t know how much water the standard dishwasher uses, but it must work similar to an automatic car wash that sprays, soaps, and sprays again to rinse. That is a lot of water. It’s not even taking into consideration the dishes that had to be rinsed before they were loaded into the dishwasher. Or the items that must be hand washed anyway. With hand washing the dishes, I draw two sink basins of water: one with soapy water, one with rinse water. I have even taken to putting a plastic water basin in one of my sink basins for the rinse water so I can easily reuse it for such things as watering plants.

Effectiveness. Spraying water is not the most effective way to clean dishes. Dishwashers can’t see that they missed a spot and rewash the item quickly before moving on. I can insure my dishes are clean while I am hand washing them. Rubbing with a washrag gets them clean quickly. I just have to make sure I’m paying attention to if I’ve missed a spot!

Conservation of work. Hand washing dishes makes me think before I dirty a bunch of dishes. If I am going to have to wash them, do I really need that many. Does the plate with just a few toast crumbs on it really need to go in the dirty stack? Wouldn’t it be okay to brush them off and leave it for my sandwich at lunch? I think things through more because the more I dirty up the more time it will take me to clean up. I think people would be a lot less willing in general to make messes if they themselves were the ones required to clean the messes up.

Of course, dishwashers are handy. Hand washing requires time to devote to a completely hands-on task. A dishwasher can be loaded and turned on, then left and not thought of again until the dishes are needed. They also now come with a sanitizing setting that is especially helpful for baby bottles and things of that nature. I certainly can’t blame folks for not wanting to have to deal with hand washing dishes. It’s just what I prefer to do to be a little more self-sufficient.

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