We love appliances. They really do make the work so much simpler. And when they work they’re a reliable part of the home’s infrastructure.
But when they don’t, all hell seems to break loose, doesn’t it?
So it was a couple of years ago when our dishwasher started going goofy. There’s just something not quite right about a dishwasher that takes four to six hours to do a regular load of dishes, and sometimes just freezes up and does nothing (so you have to start again).
When ours got to that point, we called in a repairman. It’s true, we could have gone for a replacement, but a couple of hundred dollars and some time vs. a LOT more hundred dollars and endless hours of searching for the perfect model seemed like a fair trade. He fixed it, but pointed out that this particular model (why is it always the particular model we have?) has issues with corrosion in the control panel.
Fast forward to a few months ago. Dishwasher’s busted again. Dang. So now we’re faced with the same issue: do we have it repaired, do we order a new control panel and fix it ourselves, or do we replace it?
The answer, with a new baby, new expenses, and new general exhaustion, was “no.”
No to all of it.
Here’s the thing. Our daughter is 10. There’s no good reason she needs to be taught only to rinse things and put them in a machine. Steve didn’t have a dishwasher growing up [my parents still don’t have one ~ S]. When she goes off on her own, the chances of her having a dishwasher are pretty slim. Probably best if she learns to wash the dishes.
We, too, are perfectly capable of filling a sink and washing the dishes by hand. The pots and pans always needed to be scrubbed by hand anyway — we don’t recall ever using the pot cycle on the machine.
From a practical standpoint, it’s been a dream. It uses far less water and power than the machine. We’re all perfectly capable of doing it. And it takes what…10 minutes? Then everything is put away where it should be and ready for tomorrow.
From a family perspective, dishwashing has become part of our evening ritual. It’s the closure to our meal together, and signals the start of “evening” time. Even the baby gets it: when the dishes are being washed, he’s soon to have a bath and start his bedtime routine (more on this in a future post).
As we’re looking down the tunnel towards building our dream home in the next four or five years, we’re seriously contemplating leaving this one “luxury” out of the plans. It might be good for resale, but who wouldn’t want the extra cupboard space?
And, let’s face it, a good family cleanup is just the medicine we all need in our hectic, tech-driven lives.