Technology should do at least one of the following:
1) Enable us to do something quicker (where it is significantly better to do it quicker)
2) Enable us to do something we couldn’t do without it (where being able to do those things is significantly useful)
3) Enable us to do something better (where the increase in quality is significant and useful)
4) Produce other unique effects (that can’t be achieved (better) via other ways)

Before applying this to dishwashers, we need to eliminate confounding variables.

We almost certainly:
1) Use excessive plates, cutlery, cups. Whether we could simply use our hands, or don’t reuse perfectly good plates/cutlery/cups.
2) Let food harden on plates, don’t finish our food, leave plates messy, etc.
3) Own and use regularly way too many plates, cups, knives, etc. It is much more efficient to own less and use less. And reuse more.

Now, after eliminating these confounding variables and bad habits, how useful are dishwashers REALLY?

1) Do they enable us to clean cutlery/plates/cups quicker? Not really. If you wash something straight after using it, and only use it when you need to, and maybe reuse it once or twice, keeping everything clean is quick and continuous. There would literally NEVER be any dirty dishes anywhere. And it would very likely take the same amount or less time than using a dishwasher.

2) Do they enable us to do things that we can’t do without them? Nope.

3) Do they clean plates/cups/etc better than hand-washing? Only if you let food harden and don’t clean the plates well.

4) Do they do other various things that we can’t get without them, or is harder to get without them. Nope.

These categories may not be exhaustive, but you see how it goes.

Oh, and not using a dishwasher probably saves water and electricity, and money. And space. And your house looks nicer without the chance of dirty dishes being anywhere. And its a good habit to clean things after you use them (see further reading).

So, sell your dishwasher and 90% of your cups and plates and cutlery (maybe keep a few extras for guests, but know that what you THINK is a good minimum is probably a little to high. Maybe a lot too high). Then, start applying this process to all other technology you use. Have fun 🙂

Further reading:

Why not to use a dishwasher


6 thoughts on “Dishwashers

  1. I totally agree about the dishwasher! I thought I couldn’t manage without one and had one installed (and now I can’t get rid of it since it actually belongs to the apartment I rent), but it turns out that after simplifying and getting rid of excess kitchen wear, it would be so much quicker and cleaner to just do the dishes by hand. I’m thinking I might start doing the dishes by hand again and just use the dishwasher as a place for it all to dry off….

    • From my experience, my aversion to washing by hand came from when we didn’t use a dishwasher, but only washed dishes after each meal. One person had to wash four to five times as much as they used, and we weren’t trying to use less cutlery and plates and cups. Extra things would also pile up between meals. But washing by hand doesn’t have to be anything like that 🙂

      Great idea to make use of the dishwasher that you can’t get rid of in a creative way!

    • Thanks Joanna! 🙂

      So do I follow the four steps for it, or must I wait for more nominations, or what?

      The eleventh question you answered mentioned people telling you what they’re doing to better the environment. Here are the things I am focusing on: buying and owning less, therefore using less and throwing away less; especially giving away all the clothes I don’t need and don’t wear; I’ve become vegan because it’s healthier, and because producing meat rather than vegetables costs something like 7 times more space (thus 7 times more food could be produced if meat production was swapped to vegetable production); I try to never ever throw away any food (50% of food in America is thrown away, or something ridiculous like that).

      • Apparently if you’re ‘nominated’ it means you have got the award (weird I know), so you’re free to follow the four steps now! 🙂
        I’ve been considering going vegetarian but I’m not sure I’d be able to manage it – definitely going to try and cut down on how much meat I eat though. I definitely agree with buying and owning less, I’m really trying hard to think more about what I buy and it’s saving me a lot of money too!

      • Okay, hmm, even though it doesn’t fit the way I’ve set up my posts, I guess I will make a new post for it.

        There are so many tasty vegan things that I really don’t miss meat at all anymore. I used to think being vegetarian would be really hard, but as soon as I made an iron-willed commitment, it became fun and easy.

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