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washing dishes: by hand vs. dishwasher

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14861
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
This is a space where I have personally witnessed a lot of crazy first hand.  And heard about plenty more second hand. 

And, this is an excellent example of of how some of the greenest people succomb to the greenwashing of madison avenue:  "using a dishwasher saves water over washing dishes by hand"

I am about to spell out how this is a load of horse potatoes. 

First, I have another nit to pick:  In the last couple of years, I have seen greenies get their knickers in a twist over water usage.  The panic seems to be about in the manufacture of something, 200 gallons of water is used.  Okay, that calculates out to a certain amount of power that was pumped up out of the ground ....  but the greenies are treating it as if that 200 gallons of water went into the product which will eventually end up in the dump - and at this rate we're gonna run out of water.  If this is anything other than a red herring, I think we need to start a new thread and talk about it. But, I'm quite certain that the water is used and then returned to the water cycle so it is still on the planet and available for reuse. 

There are REAL environmental issues to be concerned about, and too many greenies are wasting their concern over red herrings.

The doing-it-by-hand technique that beats the most eco dish washer under any circumstances is pretty simple:  use a dishpan;  run just a tiny amount of water (quarter cup?) to wash the first thing.  Then use a tiny amount of water to rinse that one thing, with the rinse water running into the dishpan.  As you are on to the fifth thing, you have a bit more soapy water in the bottom of the pan.  So you can start washing bigger things.  By the time you are done washing and rinsing everything, there should be about two quarts of water used.

Eco dishwashers set to eco mode use about 9 gallons of water and usually don't get the dishes clean unless you clean them first. 

Granted, it is possible for a person to wash dishes by hand where they leave the water running and waste lots and lots of water.  I am certainly not advocating that.


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Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
I question to sanitary nature of that scheme. Degerming is a real process and tends to take real amounts of water. Add to that concern the base line energy it takes to keep you running and you may have a more complex situation on your hands. Add to that the fact that you are just one guy, dishes for a family means more dishes. You could just eat off dirty dishes too, but it wouldn't be advisable.
Chuck Freeman


Joined: Apr 13, 2009
Posts: 116
Location: Southcentral Alaska
We have two automatic dishwashers that I know for a fact they save energy (mine). Right after a meal they automatically clear the table and do the dishes. It gets better after that they automatically feed the animals, haul the water from the spring, and bring in the firewood. They can also be programed to Split firewood, weed gardens, you name it. It does take a few years to develop these automatic features, our took about 6 years but it was well worth the wait.


FrontierFreedom
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14861
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Emerson White wrote:
I question to sanitary nature of that scheme. Degerming is a real process and tends to take real amounts of water. Add to that concern the base line energy it takes to keep you running and you may have a more complex situation on your hands. Add to that the fact that you are just one guy, dishes for a family means more dishes. You could just eat off dirty dishes too, but it wouldn't be advisable.


degerming: 

1) when you use a dishwasher and pull stuff out that still has food stuck to it - doesn't that make you wonder about the germs?

2) granted, some dishwashers actually work really well and they do sterilize the dishes.  Of course, they also use a lot more energy and water than the eco washers set for eco mode.  I think if we want to run comparisons here, maybe we should compare two forms of hand washing to three different dishwasher situations.

3) There is argument that actually sterilizing stuff on a daily basis is not good for you.

human calories burned:

4) I suppose we could also work in watts that the dishwasher uses?

just one guy:

5) Who has washed dishes many times for larger groups.  Besides, the dishes still need washing whether it is just one guy, or a family of eight.  And in the end, there is still the choice of using the dishwasher or doing it by hand.

------

So my main point is that there are claims that the machine uses less water.  Do you concede that point?

As long as we are exploring other metrics:

A)  I like to wash dishes by hand because when I am done, the dishes are all done.  I am not burdening my future self to finish loading.  Or to unload.  Nor am I leaving a "to do" for somebody else.

B)  Each piece meets my cleanliness standards. 

C)  It's the way my grandad did it - and I'm always keen on doing things the way my grandad did.

Anybody have any other metrics they care to share?



                                  


Joined: Jun 12, 2009
Posts: 175
Location: Suwon, South Korea
There are articles on the web on how to cook food in a dishwasher, which would be a way of stacking functions while your dishes are washed.  By the end of the cycle, your food would be cooked and you'd have clean dishes and silverware to eat it!  Then repeat for the next meal.

Basically, the technique is to seal -- in aluminum foil or an oven bag -- a piece of, say, fish or chicken with some chopped vegetables and herbs on top, then put it in the top rack of the dishwasher.  This is basically the same technique as cooking on top of your car engine manifold while driving (aluminum only there, no plastic).
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
Degerming is not sterilizing.

I concede that you are using less water, I'm still not sure I'd want to eat off those dishes when you are done.
                        


Joined: Jan 28, 2010
Posts: 175
I think doing dishes by hand uses MORE water than washing in a dishwasher.  Most of the water is used rinsing the soap/deterent off the dishes.  Because your hands are in the water you can't get the water as hot as the dishwasher can.  So getting the grease off is problematical.  Also the dish detergent wrecks your hands which can even be painful if you get a detergent rash or your fingernails split down to the quick.

If your dishwasher is clean and functioning properly you should not of food stuck to the dishes.

I especially wish my dishwasher worked when I find that rodents have been running around in my pots and pans.

Also I used to know (all too well) a guy who insisted that I do all the dishes by hand.  This guy would also stand over me watching while I stirred the pots.  I had to cook everything from scratch -- all under his watchful eye.

Finally I figured out this guy was a control freak.

Dishwashers save energy, water, and having a frustrated woman in the house.  So does an automatic clothes washer.  I don't use a dryer -- I hang my clothes outside on the line to dry.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14861
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I dug this footage out and pushed it up on youtube



                        


Joined: Jan 28, 2010
Posts: 175
My dishwasher uses 8 g of water.  And I air dry rather than use the drying cycle.

Apparently there is a wide range of amounts that dishwashers actually do use.
http://www.ask.com/web?q=How+Many+Gallons+of+Water+Does+a+Dishwasher+Use&qsrc=2988&o=15732&l=dir
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
That doesn't look effective to me.  ops:
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14861
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Emerson White wrote:
That doesn't look effective to me.  ops:


Are you referring to the video?

                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Hand vs machine dish-washing. Great question?  But the answer depends on whose hands and whose machine.

We have a brand new, well now 2 month old to us, machine. The old one had a breakdown and we replaced it with a super duper new Bosch.  It will do a load on about 3 gallons of water. It's also large enough to enable the two of us to run it every three days. We have enough dishes to go longer but not enough pots, so we usually do a pot or two by hand during that three day cycle. Let's add a gallon to do that 3. Then because we let it sit for the first 2 days we rinse of the sauce, rice grains, whatever from the plates as they come from the table. Add another gallon. That's 5 gallons over three days, even allowing an extra gallon for general purposes, that's about 2 gallons a day average. One might be able to use less water doing by hand and being frugal, but this sure is convenient. This Bosch meets EPA standards that have not even been put in place yet.

We do dishes by hand at the cabin. I figure we may average 2 gallons a day on them. That's no better than the Bosch.

It uses less electricity than the old machine even though it runs longer. That seems odd but it needs to run longer as it is using so little water sprayed through many more jets than the older washers.

Now with all that said and done how does one balance the cost of development, manufacture and purchase against the convenience of use, low water use, low relatively electrical consumption and high consumer purchase price?

Oh it's also as quiet as a kid getting into mischief. 

                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
I forgot something. It would be very interesting to see two or three trials run. Number one hand washing as demonstrated. Second, a good but more run of the mill, likely to be found in most homes machine. Third the super duper Bosch. Run the same size and same amount of dirty dishes through all three. Then swab the dishes and run cultures. Also run a fourth set of cultures off some plates that have been sitting there in the cupboard for a few days, or a week.  Also devise some test to determine if soap residue is rinsed as complete by the hand method vs the machines.

I personally don't think there are going to be any significant numbers of bacteria found on the freshly washed and dried dishes, either hand or machine. I do wonder about the soap rinse.  As Paul stated some folks are too concerned, overly concerned, on bacteria counts. I despise all those anti-bacterial hand soaps as for normal use they are not necessary. Some say they may be doing actual harm, contributing to development of "super bugs". I'm all for my surgeon following a strict hygiene routine before operating on me, but they are overkill for everyday use. That's just my opinion, yours may differ.

                        


Joined: Jan 28, 2010
Posts: 175
I think overkill by household anti-bacterial products is more than just anybody's opinion -- it is growing new anti-bacterial resistant viruses that can make us all really sick.

                                  


Joined: Jun 12, 2009
Posts: 175
Location: Suwon, South Korea
I don't doubt the dangers of anti-bacterial products in the long run, but I have read that one of the main sources of harmful bacteria in the kitchen is the sponge/pot scrubber/dish washing pad that gets used and used and then sits on the counter day after day never fully drying out and building colonies of bacteria. 

I would bet that most people don't throw them out until they start to stink or decompose. 

By using anti-bacterial dish washing liquid, though, I've noticed that these products stay fresh-smelling at least, a lot longer.  So, if you're going to wash dishes in the sink with regular soaps, it seems wise to at least replace those things (ie, the pads) often.
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
Gah! Killing bacteria and simply removing them are different stories. degerming is simply washing the germs off.

The problem with antibacterial soap is that the bacteriocidal agents tend to stick around, and present themselves to all sorts of bacteria to select for resistance. The problem is that they wont work when we need them, not that the bacteria that they lead to will be any worse for us. Often times these resistant strains are less harmful than the non-resistant strains, or would be rather if not for the fact that we cannot kill them with modern chemical means. If you are in a world where you can;t get your hands on Vancomycin it is better to get Vancomycin resistant Staph. than susceptible Staph. because the latter grows faster unless Vancomycin is around.
                        


Joined: Jan 28, 2010
Posts: 175
Emerson:  Aren't the staph bacteria killed at the temperatures of the dishwasher  (dishwasher machine)  not the dishwasher washing by hand?
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
Maybe, but Staph. was just a "for instance". Most of us carry it with us wherever we go, most of the time it isn't a problem.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
A moist sponge in the microwave for two minutes will eliminate 99% of bacteria. From the USDA. Cheap enough, no chemicals or anti bacterial agents.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14861
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
A crazy thing. 

Sometimes I upload a video and I think "this is truly fascinating stuff, it's gonna go viral and get 100,000 views in 24 hours." I buzz out and tell everybody I can think of.  It will get a thousand views and three comments. 

Other times I upload the video and then that it is of interest to a small group, so I really don't push it.  And it gets 100 views and 1 comment in 24 hours.

I thought this video would be of the latter group.  I didn't really push it.  In 12 hours it was over 200 views, so then I sorta spread the word a little and now it is over 600. 

Apparently, how one washes dishes is of great interest to folks.





paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14861
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I feel like I have accomplished something.

Two days ago, my life was riddled with folks insisting that any dishwasher used less water than washing dishes by hand and, to them, it was absolute fact that would never change.

And now, while there are folks that have other reasons why they use one or the other, nobody is making this goofy claim.

Progress!
                        


Joined: Jan 28, 2010
Posts: 175
Some dishwashers are engineered so that they use less water.  Other dishwashers use more.  I like my bosch.
                                  


Joined: Jun 12, 2009
Posts: 175
Location: Suwon, South Korea
paul wheaton wrote:
I am about to spell out how this is a load of horse potatoes.   


This is an invasive species, native or not, and, like air potatoes, should never be introduced, unmonitored, into an ecosystem.


One thing that hasn't been considered in this discussion is that dishes need to be rinsed off before putting them in the dishwasher.  Indeed, I would guess that most people do this.  The water used for this must also be considered for an accurate comparison.  Nonetheless the rinsing would also enhance the performance of the machine eliminating the caked-on food particles mentioned earlier.

Also, no one has mentioned the experiential aspect of manual dish washing.  I, for one, find washing dishes by hand to be a kind of therapeutic ablution, within reason, that is rather satisfying when completed.  It can also be a kind of welcome, unifying division of labor in families when, for instance, one partner cooks and the other washes the dishes.  Does a dishwasher enhance the quality of our lives or detract from it?

This can go too far, of course.  Elsewhere on this board, someone once mentioned how the washing machine, even more than the birth control pill, is what has liberated women most in the modern world.  But, then, washing clothes by hand usually takes much more time and effort than doing the dishes.

If I didn't have to shave each morning, I think I would miss it.  Maybe it affirms my masculinity or adulthood or something.  I would guess that most women, most of the time, get something out of brushing their hair, doing their nails, or putting on make up each day. 

And then there is the matter of what we do with the time freed up by a dishwasher.  If it is wasted, then I'm not sure what would be gained.
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1777
    
    9
Ha!  Will the controversies never end.....

Looks like your method Paul really saves water, and I bet heats the house much less too. 

I use my dishwasher just for plates, bowls, glasses and silverware, but all else is washed by hand several times a day.  I pre-wash a lot of the stuff that goes into the dishwasher so it is not a saving me any water.  However, it offers something I love and so I'll always have one even if it isn't hooked up to water.  You see it hides the dishes!  And frees up my sinks and counters - bonus!

I love the idea of using one for drying the dishes - fabulous!

As for germs - not a problem, all this time and I've never had a germ related issue.  I also fall into the camp that believes in mild exposure offers long term resilience.  I am more concerned about soap residue, rather err on the side of germs than soap/chemical residue, but that's just me.  Microwave, what microwave - got rid of mine, then heard it's also good for hiding things 

I think if you have company/help washing by hand can be loads of fun.  A real bonding experience.

charles c. johnson


Joined: Dec 02, 2009
Posts: 369
im not sure why the fuss over germs. paul seems to be using clean water to rinse of the dishes and the rinse water to wash more .

also germ don't live on dry things once the dishes air dry they  are germ free
would you hnestly stack your plates wet

germ/ mold need food and water to live paul washed off the food and dried the water

so unless you forget to was your hands before you put them away it's cool
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 4432
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
165
Jami McBride wrote:
  However, it offers something I love and so I'll always have one even if it isn't hooked up to water.   You see it hides the dishes!  And frees up my sinks and counters - bonus!


I thought that was what the oven was for?     Though I might be wrong.  I never was very good at this housekeeping thing...


What is a Mother Tree ?
                        


Joined: May 26, 2010
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
don miller; MountainDon wrote:
I forgot something. It would be very interesting to see two or three trials run. Number one hand washing as demonstrated. Second, a good but more run of the mill, likely to be found in most homes machine. Third the super duper Bosch. Run the same size and same amount of dirty dishes through all three. Then swab the dishes and run cultures. Also run a fourth set of cultures off some plates that have been sitting there in the cupboard for a few days, or a week.  Also devise some test to determine if soap residue is rinsed as complete by the hand method vs the machines.

I personally don't think there are going to be any significant numbers of bacteria found on the freshly washed and dried dishes, either hand or machine. I do wonder about the soap rinse.  As Paul stated some folks are too concerned, overly concerned, on bacteria counts. I despise all those anti-bacterial hand soaps as for normal use they are not necessary. Some say they may be doing actual harm, contributing to development of "super bugs". I'm all for my surgeon following a strict hygiene routine before operating on me, but they are overkill for everyday use. That's just my opinion, yours may differ.




This is exactly the sort of thing you should submit to "Mythbusters"!
Dave Miller


Joined: Jun 08, 2009
Posts: 394
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
    
    9
Another aspect of dishwashers that I have always wondered about - sometimes the dishwasher knocks over a glass or water bottle (especially the water bottles), leaving semi-soapy water in it, or a bit of residue if the water evaporates.  When emptying the dishwasher, the rest of my household just does a quick rinse-out of this gook then puts the glass/bottle away.  I must admit that I am hesitant to use those items, especially the water bottles that have fallen over.  Does anyone know about the health impact of consuming small amounts of dishwasher soap?
                          


Joined: Jun 29, 2010
Posts: 79
Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
We wash dishes by hand, much like the method that Paul describes.  About bacteria - there are good ones and bad ones.  Trying to eliminate all bacteria is foolish as we depend on the good ones for our life.  A healthy human has more bacteria in their gut than they have brain cells.  But the point that's not being addressed here is that water is not the only resource issue.  It takes power to run a dishwasher, not to mention the embodied energy that the unit requires in its manufacture and shipping.  Living in an off-grid home with a rainwater cistern for water, a dishwasher wouldn't meet our criteria for either water use or power consumption.  I've reached the point in my life where I ask myself, "Is it reasonable to have all humans on the planet ___________?" (fill in the blank with the question of the day)  I no longer feel comfortable, much less justified, with more than my fair share.
Larisa
Rob Alexander


Joined: Apr 13, 2009
Posts: 50
Location: Hakuba, Japan
2 cents.

Washing and sterilizing are 2 different processes.
For everyday life, washing is the far more important process.
You can heat sterilize a dirty plate and it will still be dirty, but if you wash (and rinse and dry) it properly the sterilizing process is basically unnecessary.

Damp sponges and towels are a breeding place for bacteria.
Make sure they dry on a rack, not on a flat surface.
Do a little experiment, saturate a sponge with water and then hold it up keeping it horizontal. Very little water comes out. Tip it so one end is lower than the other, water starts coming out. Turn it on its side and tip it so one corner is lower than any other point. The water really flows out.
This is how you should store your sponge. The draining rack attached to the inside of the sink in Paul's video is the perfect place for sponges, but don't mash everything in so they don't get contact with the air.

Suds are useful.
Obviously the majority of the cleaning process is mechanical, all the suds in the world wont clean a dirty saucepan unless you are scrubbing it, but a good foam is better at assisting the cleaning process than a weak soapy water solution.

Hot water washes better and plates air dry faster after rinsing in hot water, but the hot/cold argument is controversial, and I leave it up to your personal preferences as to what works best in your situation.

I would like to propose a method of washing dishes for your consideration.
No sinks filled with water.
Scrape off the majority of crud before starting the washing process (best done immediately after use, add a little water to soak really dirty stuff if necessary).
Put dirtier items (ie. pots and plates) into the empty sink to receive rinse water later.
Apply a small amount of detergent directly to a clean damp sponge.
Squishy squishy until it is sudsy.
Start washing from the cleanest items, ie. water glasses (No running water yet)
When the cleaner items are all sudsy and washed, rinse them so that the rinsing water is collecting in the dirtier items waiting in the bottom of the sink.
Now progress through the remaining items from the cleanest to the dirtiest to give the dirtiest more time to soak in the sudsy water.

Benefits.
A small amount of detergent is applied in a concentrated form , allowing it to work better than being diluted in a sink full of water, and suds carry away dirt when they are rinsed off.
Cleaner items are not dirtied by dipping them in communal wash water.
Soapy water is reused in dirtier items in a concentration which is still stronger than being diluted in the sink.

With a good dish rack, leaving most dishes to air dry overnight would probably be fine, and it shortens the time required for the job.

I hope it appeals.

"The greatest learning takes place in dialogue between people - learning is a social process and not just an intellectual event"
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1777
    
    9
This does appeal to me Rob. 

Many times I just lightly rinse the chunks of food off a pot or pan after it's use and then put soap on my scrub sponge and clean it directly.  But next time I have a bunch of dishes I'm going to prep them using your rinse-over method - I love the logic of it.
                                  


Joined: Jun 12, 2009
Posts: 175
Location: Suwon, South Korea
Let's not forget that dogs are great for cleaning off food from dishes before washing. 
Rob Alexander


Joined: Apr 13, 2009
Posts: 50
Location: Hakuba, Japan
Definitely bruc33ef, but what were they cleaning off before the dishes
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
I use a dishwasher.

I do not always have the gumption to wash dishes.

If I leave them until I feel up to it, my girlfriend tends to do them. Her method is to just let the water run. She has flatly refused to change this, and my attitude on the topic sometimes offends her.

I don't turn on the tap at all when pre-cleaning the dishes on their way into the dishwasher. Because it's a stand-alone unit, I intend to use the greywater for irrigation from now on; I just got soap nuts today, the usual powdered stuff would be very bad for soil, and so it wasn't an option before.

My machine seems to use about 4 gallons per cycle in eco mode. Doing the same number of dishes by hand, I'd use about two gallons, because I tend to rinse thoroughly. I only would use a quart at a time, but the machine holds four dish drainers worth of dishes.

As to de-germing: soap and other surfactants tend to de-nature the membranes of single-celled organisms, lysing them open. As long as there is no food stuck on, and they have been soaped up and then dried, dishes should be be pretty sanitary.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
our kitchen sink is a LONG way from our hot water heater..so every time someone rinses or washes a dish or glass in our sink it has to heat all the water through the pipe to the sink..thus wasting more than a gallon of water just to get it hot (of course that can be saved and reused elsewhere but isn't likely going to be).

my husband has a closed head injury and won't remember to do that.

we bought an expensive super energy  efficient Bosh dishwasher that heats its own water, so it doesn't need a lot of hot water, it uses very little water, very little detergent and we use so few dishes we only have to wash them every 3 or 4 days or more..we don't rinse them as this dishwasher has a garbage disposal built in, so we only scrape off any large pieces and toss them in.

we don't use the power dry..so it only runs long enough to wash the dishes..and if we have a lightly  soiled load we can wash them on an express cycle that runs very short .

we saw a great reduction in our energy use when we installed this diswhasher 1 1/2 years ago and it has consistantly saved us $

we have managed to reduce our electric usage in the past year by 2/3 by  using energy saving methods..year around


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Lisa Paulson


Joined: Apr 17, 2010
Posts: 252
Washing dishes by hand  serves my families needs most efficiently 10 minutes a day, and during that time I often wipe down inner areas of the fridge, stove, the counters, kitchen table ,wash appliances, wash walls, wash the floor with the soapy water.  It is a reasonably thoughtless process so i can organize thoughts of what else I want to do next, or organize my day .  I have a grey water system that diverts the water to the garden area.  Improvement would be a hot water system that heats on demand.
                                


Joined: Apr 25, 2010
Posts: 2
I know that I use more water when I wash dishes by hand, than when I use the dishwasher.

Further I can run the thing in the wee hours when the general energy demand is low.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Alice44 wrote:Further I can run the thing in the wee hours when the general energy demand is low.


Same here. I try to run it when the electricity from the Altamont pass wind farm would otherwise have to be exported to LA.
Erik Green


Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 50
Location: California
by hand

I've found dishwashers don't work for me.

I never would draw a tub full of water.  That is not sanitary and is outdated to a time when people didn't have running hot water.

I have a 2 1/2 gallon point of use electric water heater directly under the kitchen sink faucet and have a single handle moen kitchen sink faucet with retractible hose.  The water heater is set at 135 degrees, is 120 volt, and has a switch at the counter so I can turn it off when not needed or at home.

When I'm done using a dish, I rinse under a slow stream of hot water.  If the food doesn't come off easily, I fill the item with water and set aside to soak.  THIS takes care of 90 percent of 'washing'.  I wash dishes one to two times perday.  This way it only takes like 5 minutes.  What ever I can do to keep it from being a chore, the more likely I am to do it.  I use rubber gloves and hang them to dry in attached clothes pins under the sink, that way they dry.

I have dish soap in a pump dispenser.  I use a small celulose sponge.
Erik Green


Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 50
Location: California
I only run the water at low flow rates and use it sparingly.  I use the sponge with just a drop of soap.  This is much more concentrated that diluted in a dishpan.  Soap up the item, turn on hot water at a low flow, and rinse.  Then put the item in dishrack to dry.  Repeat. 

When done, wash counters and appliances, then rinse sponge and set on a raised rack to dry.  If warm out, move the dishrack outside to dry keeping the humidity outside and allowing the sun to sanitize the dishes. 

I doubt I use more than 4 gallons.  I don't have to listen to a dishwasher, or smell it, or deal with dirty, film covered dishes.  I don't have to use special detergent for it and everything always comes clean by hand.  It is therapeutic for me.
 
 
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