Do you have dishwasher wars at your place? Not who is going to stack or unstack the dishwasher, or who didn’t turn it on, or who left dishes out rather than putting them in. That’s amateur stuff.
I’m talking about the subtle nuances of dishwasher use that vary from person to person. The little things, that for some reason, manage to escalate into household civil war. I have a theory that it’s not arguing over money or kids that drives the biggest wedge into a marriage. It’s dishwasher disagreement.
These are a few of our dishwasher wars …
The stacking of the dishwasher. My husband has a very precise method of stacking. It must be adhered to. Any variation to the precise method will result in loud muttering and rearrangement of said dishes until satisfied. Sometimes it feels like his adult version of Tetris.
The rinsing of dishes. I have a realistic idea of what the dishwasher is and is not capable of. My husband has an idealistic view and believes that the dishwasher should manage a range of culinary challenges, including but not limited to: baked-on cheese, hardened cereal, hot chocolate residue and red wine. Of course the issue is that not rinsing those things and placing them in the dish washer actually creates a bigger mess to clean up. But he is resolute that the dish washer SHOULD be capable and therefore he keeps expecting it to, one day, meet his expectations. This may also be an excellent allegory for how we parent.
Putting inappropriate items in the dishwasher. Our combined approach to what goes in the dishwasher is much like our combined approach to what goes in the washing machine. We pay little attention to the “hand wash only” labels. However, I do think wooden items like cutting boards and mixing spoons shouldn’t go in the dish washer. Same for fine china. My husband thinks differently.
Drying Method. When I unstack the dishwasher, I place anything really wet on the drying racks near the sink, wipe the other things and put them away. My husband opens the dish washer door and lets the breeze in for a while as his preferred “drying” method. This also allows him to watch TV whilst “drying” the dishes.
When to use it. If there’s only a few dishes, and the dish washer is empty, I’ll tend to wash up by hand. Particularly if there are pots involved. The pot to surface area ratio within our little dish washer means you end up putting on a load for a couple of pots and a few spoons. My husband, however, is in favour of using devices whenever you can and is a firm believer in using the dishwasher at any given opportunity.
Fullness prior to turning on. There is a fine line when it comes to the dishwasher between waiting until it’s full and avoiding a pong. I’ll tend towards avoiding pong and my husband tends towards waiting until the last minute. In related news, I fill up the car the moment the petrol gauge hits below a quarter. He likes to see how many petrol stations he can pass while the light is on.
Do you have the dishwasher wars in your household?
Am I alone in this?