Saturday, May 6, 2017

Lies of the Dishwasher Industrial Complex



Frequently I find myself at the home of someone with a dishwasher of the mechanical variety, and I always marvel at the waste and inefficiency paid for by otherwise intelligent humans. Imagine a world in which all cars are two-seaters, and you have to push them out of their parking spot before starting them. Then you'll have some idea of how I see the dishwasher.

Are people so afraid of washing a dish that they are blind to the reality of the dishwasher? If that's the case, why are they washing their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? Why are they also washing any dishes that A) don't fit into the thing and B) aren't dishwasher safe? Even the most paranoid, delusional, "chemtrail"-dodging "truther" should be able to see the truth of it. Instead, they scrub the mac and cheese crust from their Lone Gunmen Commemorative plates as they wonder if their foil hats are dishwasher safe*.

Now, dishwashers in commercial settings make perfect sense. The volume of dishes and the public health demand sterilization, but you aren't washing dishes for that many people in your home, (and if you are you should look into a permit, buster). You just think that you're saving time and effort. You aren't, and you aren't.

Dishwashers, touted by the Don Drapers of the world as labor savers, are more work, more expense, more waste, and more of a pain in the ass than just washing the dishes yourself. Dishwashers, friends, are a con, and an old one.

How old? Patents for dishwashers have been around since the 1800s. I remember my mom's first dishwasher from the '70s. It was one of those rolling bastards that had to be dragged to the sink and hooked up to the faucet. I hated the thing from the start. Many of the dishes didn't fit or weren't fit for the thing. Everything that did fit had to be pre-cleaned, so that food chunks didn't blow all over its innards. If something was too tall, it stopped the spray arm, creating a bigger waste of time and effort.

But wait! There's more! The buildup of soap and mineral deposits from dishwashing is bad for your dishes in the long run. The ingredients in dishwashing detergent that gets your dishes so clean are phosphates which damage ecosystems by encouraging the overgrowth of algae and, while banned in some states, are still available in detergents for sale from online vendors. Oh, and you need still more chemicals in the form of rinse agents to prevent the water from drying in spots.

How do I make my dishes spot-free?

Select one:

1) I buy new dishes.

2) I use paper.

3) I eat off of the table.

4) I dry them.

5) Bananarama.

Now that I've stuck "Cruel Summer" in your head, there are folks, (and dishwasher sales folk) who will tell you that ACHMEINGOTT!THERE'SMICROORGANISMSONTHEMTHARDISHES!!!!

They'll tell you that water of a certain temperature is required to kill all of the microorganisms on your dishes. They're right. It is. Do you, however, need to sterilize your dishes or just to clean and sanitize them?

A few things to consider:

1) If you cooked the food properly those microorganisms are dead. If you didn't, you've likely already eaten them.

2) Even if you rubbed raw food all over the dishes and such, it's the soap that bonds with whatever is on them and carries it away. Sanitizing your dishes, if done properly, with a pair of gloves, soap, and hot water, should be all that you need. Nuking the site from orbit may be the only way to be sure, but sterilization is still overkill. Pricy, wasteful, overkill.

3) Everyone, even you, I assume, has eaten off of dishes not blasted with super hot water. We're still alive for the moment. Sterilizing your dishes in a world where people eat off of cleaned and sanitized dishes every day is like wearing a biohazard suit around the house.

Need a little more oomph for point #2? Fungi grow in those super hot, sterilization machines. Fungi, folks. Black yeasts. Spores are hopping around on your "sanitized" dishware.

To sum up, when you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for a dishwasher you are doing more work, hurting the environment with plastic packaging and phosphates, damaging, and not sterilizing your dishes all for the illusion of saving time and effort. What a great investment!

Lizard people aren't selling you chemtrails, Eugene, but your dishwasher is pure hustle.

My suggestion? Get a good drying rack and some comfortable, machine washable, rubber gloves**, which you likely have already for the stuff that doesn't go into the dishwasher, and get to scrubbing. I'm a huge fan of Simplehuman products. My first Simplehuman dish rack had issues, and they replaced it with no fuss as they have any time I've had a problem with their well-designed products. I use them every day. You can grab one of their fine dish drying racks through the links below.

Believe it or don't, but I truly like washing the dishes most of the time. I zen out. I can be alone with my thoughts. I can, and do, listen to an audiobook or a podcast while I scrub away. There's some great stuff out there. I learn a lot while washing dishes. Give it a try.

* They are, but foil hats are better at receiving shadow government mind control signals than blocking them. Just sayin'.

** I've tried a few brands and have found the Mr. Clean Bliss gloves to be comfortable, durable, and machine washable (when they start getting funky inside). Pick some up or click through below.