Dishwasher Wars

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.

the dishwasher wars

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.

Arrow 2

Do you have the dishwasher wars in your household?
Am I alone in this?


Linking up with Essentially Jess and IBOT

43 thoughts on “Dishwasher Wars

  1. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid says:

    Hee hee! You’re lucky. My husband thinks the dishwasher has magical powers because he leaves his dirty things on the top and thinks they are going to magically transport themselves into the machine! That said, I like to mix and match your his and hers dishwasher techniques. Like you, I am definitely a fan of rinsing first but like your husband, I like to leave the door open and let it air dry, I’m also a bit OCD about what I’ll put in there, definitely no china, usually no pots, so I’m a bit of a traditionalist and just stick to cutlery and crockery. As for the pong, I’m with you, don’t wait for the pong, pre-empt it!
    Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid recently posted…Singin’ in the Rain – The Splash Hit MusicalMy Profile

  2. Seana says:

    So not alone! We have six people now using six methods of dishwashing… BUT i tend to let it go mostly as I don’t want to put anyone off using it.

    The one thing I know for sure is that I am the only one who knows about the drain thinggy that catches the crap and only I can clean it. If I ever die, they’ll never know… I must teach them.
    Seana recently posted…Saving Money (And The World) With Mojo PowerMy Profile

    • Robyna says:

      Ah see, if I was a plumber my husband would probably listen to me on that one! I’ll have to let him know that an expert has said I am right.

  3. Vanessa says:

    Haha it has been years since we’ve had a dishwasher but actually we need one (avoids medical flares of skin conditions). Sadly there is no space in our little old rental for one.
    I am a fan of drying by air 🙂 And I also think dishwashers should be able to clean crusty things; they are meant to be a labour saving device, after all.
    Vanessa recently posted…Snow Day? Flood Day.My Profile

  4. Renee Wilson says:

    Oh boy! We certainly do have dishwasher wars in this household. Just like your husband, mine is extremely particular about how it gets stacked. He also rearranges it (making a loud noise that I worry will wake up the kids). He always laughs at me and attempts to educate me on how it ‘should’ be done. I tune out. I get pleasure in seeing him stack the dishwasher 🙂
    Renee Wilson recently posted…Young girls and facing fearMy Profile

  5. Janet says:

    Haha the petrol tank thing sounds just like us. Fortunately we are agreed on the dishwasher, although recently my sister stayed with us for several months and we discovered that what seemed logical to us, was not how everybody does things. I learned this the hard way when I reached into take some cutlery out and got stabbed by a fork – ouch! It even drew blood! You see, hubster and I always put the forks and knives in with the pointy bits DOWN …

    Great post wish I’d thought of it!!!
    Visiting from #teamIBOT x

  6. JF Gibson says:

    I’m having a war with my dishwasher at the moment. It’s new and I hate it. It’s nowhere as good as the last one in our old house. I used to stack it, turn it on and come home and everything would be clean and dry. This one doesn’t wash properly and the dishes are always wet! #firstworldproblems hey!
    JF Gibson recently posted…European Vacation WrapMy Profile

  7. Denise says:

    I must admit I push my dishwasher to its limit sometimes. When I was married my ex-husband used to drive me crazy the way he stacked it. Now I only have myself to blame if it all turns pear shaped 🙂 Visiting from team #ibot

  8. Shari from GoodFoodWeek says:

    My husband doesn’t know that we own a dishwasher – he just leaves plates on the sink for the good fairy to deal with. My Dad has a very strict dishwasher strategy and no one is allowed to go near his dishwasher. I think it is funny when my Mum comes around and goes to help me out and starts washing up plastic kids’ cups and I say ‘Mum, I don’t buy something if it can’t go into the dishwasher, you don’t need to hand wash those’. To which she replies ‘Your Father would have a conniption if he found these in his dishwasher’.
    Shari from GoodFoodWeek recently posted…Recipe: Ling, white bean and kale soupMy Profile

  9. kit@lifethroughthehaze says:

    Sometimes I am certain my husband isn’t aware of the cleaning implements in this house and then stomps around in a very passive aggressive manner that no-one else is using it. Our kids are old enough now that they are involved in the stacking of the dishwasher!
    I repeatedly remind them to rinse this happens in varying degrees. I prefer pots to be washed in the sink and the dishwasher used for plates etc hubby on the other hand will over stack the dishwasher and wonder why half of it comes out needing to go back in!
    The eternal dishwasher wars!
    kit@lifethroughthehaze recently posted…Things I wish …My Profile

  10. Beth at says:

    Doing the dishes by hand is my all-time most hated chore ever so when we moved into our new house, with lovely top-notch dishwasher installed, I was in absolute heaven. Two years on and I still hear angels sing whenever I open the door. My husband refuses to acknowledge it most of the time so it is my job to stack and and unstack but I would rather play Tetris for 20 minutes than wash a single item by hand. He does do both toilets and bathrooms though so I guess I can deal.
    Beth at recently posted…Posh Picks: Wraps and PonchosMy Profile

  11. Tegan says:

    When I lived at home I was in charge of stacking the dishwasher. I had it down to a fine art of tetris. If anything didn’t fit then I had to hand wash it and there was no way I was doing that!

    p.s You are totally the one doing the right thing with the petrol. My parents had to replace their whole tank and fuel line because they let it get empty too often and the gunk filled the lines. It was an expensive lesson!
    Tegan recently posted…It’s OK if you don’t miss your childMy Profile

  12. Michelle says:

    Stacking: Ok I *used to* go off my nut at people who stack my dishwasher, but that’s only because they always did it WRONG. I know they were trying to help but the machine would routinely be run with only a half load in there and wouldn’t always wash properly either, and restacking it would always take twice as long so it wasn’t any wonder I’d get miffed. I’m a bit more relaxed these days. But not really.
    Rinsing: I am against rinsing because it wastes water and our dishwasher does great without it. I do however see red when a plate is left on the bench STILL WITH FOOD ON IT. Scrape it into the bin!! At least that’s one good thing about hubby never stacking it himself; not having to wipe out half a tonne of dripped off food chunks. Yuk.
    Unsuitable items: J is with me on these – cutting knives (high heat blunts them), chopping boards and our nice wine glasses. But I’d be happier if *I* never had to hand wash the glasses since I never use them. I am a peasant and swill beer straight from the bottle, then chuck it in the recycling! Easy peasy.
    And it has to be full before I’ll run it. I will get something into every last bit of space, and if there’s a leftover plate or pot or cup it’ll get scraped off and put aside until that load’s finished, because stuff hand washing, and it’s only for the night. 🙂

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