Washing And Drying By Hand

Our dishwasher conked out during the height of the Christmas baking season, when dirty pots and pans, greasy cookie sheets and mixing bowls, and chocolate covered spoons and spatulas were piled high in the sink.  We knew it was cooked when we heard that vague, disquieting grinding sound that signals the death knell of every piece of modern machinery.

A repairman came, took a look, and said we could spend hundreds of dollars repairing an aging machine or we could buy a new one.  Hmmm — tough choice!  Dishwashers apparently have the most rugged job in the household appliance world, because in the years we’ve lived in this house we’ve now blown out three dishwashers, and no other major appliance is even close.

IMG_2241Of course, we’ll buy a new dishwasher — what American house could be sold without one these days? — but first we’ll do some careful research to assess which brand is most likely to stand up against the relentless pounding that occurs in the Webner household.

In the meantime, we’ve rediscovered there’s something calming about washing and drying the dishes by hand.  You stop the drain, squirt some dishwashing fluid into the sink, turn on the hot water, and let the steam and suds rise as you stare out the window, like Elliott in E.T.  When the soapy water reaches the point where it covers all the dishes, you begin to scrub and scour and rinse and set.  The motions become mechanical, and you fall into the dishwashing zone of consciousness.  Before you know it, the dishes in the sink are gone and have been transferred to the drying rack on the counter.

Then you fetch a dishcloth and begin drying, using the familiar circular motion that would delight Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid,and carefully put the dishes back in the cupboards and the utensils in their drawers.  When you’re done, you scrub down the sink until it gleams and towel off the countertops until they are spic and span.  Hey, the kitchen looks pretty good!

As I said, we’ll be buying a new dishwasher — but for now doing the dishes by hand really isn’t that bad.  In fact, you could argue that washing up by hand every now and then is good for the soul.

3 thoughts on “Washing And Drying By Hand

  1. Dear Cousins-

    My ancient Maytag dishwasher died last summer. I consulted Consumer Reports to find a replacement. I found Bosch to be one of the highest rated (and more expensive than Maytag). I bought one. It is very quiet. It does use considerably less water. BUT, it doesn’t clean my dishes as thoroughly as the Maytag….. I’m not unhappy with it, but I’m not completely satisfied either. Good luck!


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