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[Jul. 29th, 2015|05:00 pm]

We apparently use our dishwasher WAY more than the average American household. When we moved to California, we lived on the Presidio (Golden Gate National Park) and we were told the dishwasher was far more efficient in water use than hand washing and to use it instead of washing by hand. Our current dishwasher is designed to be especially stingy with water.

Yet, even growing up, i recall our family making at least daily use of the dishwasher. So, i'm curious --

LJ poll coming soon

[User Picture]From: weofodthignen
2015-07-30 09:49 am (UTC)
Reading in reverse order as usual, I've already done the poll and responded there ... but further to the water issue, I wonder whether the experts factor in the pre-dishwasher rinsage that everybody seems to do? Personally I didn't grow up with a dishwasher and have never really trusted them to get things clean, and observing that tradition was a factor; it also makes me dubious of the water savings. Maybe most people don't do that pre-wash?
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2015-07-30 01:47 pm (UTC)
It's hard to say. I grew up doing it, but our new one explicitly said don't: it's design includes a way to deal with stuff missed from scraping. I know that most of the time i am very pleased with the results. Christine rinses though. We disagree on whether the few times things come out not clean whether it was failure to pretreat (her argument) or over crowding so that the jets can't do their job (my argument).

The one thing i find ineffective is removal of coffee and tea stains on some stoneware, and the grey silverware marks on some stoneware. I'm not entirely sure it's the washer's problem but the dishes.

I agree, though, if you're essentially going to wash them before using it: why bother? In the professional kitchens i've seen, you need to wash the dishes and then the "dishwasher" jets with sterilizingly hot rinse water.
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[User Picture]From: annie_r
2015-07-30 03:25 pm (UTC)
With coffee and tea stains, some of it has to do with the hardness of the water, and some of it has to do with the detergent. I started buying some more expensive dishwasher stuff that comes in little packets, and it did a much better job on stains than the cheap store brand powder.

The silverware marks on stoneware I have to scrub out with a bit of cleanser sometimes (I use mugs to beat eggs.) Part of the stoneware thing has to do with the quality of the stoneware itself. I think a lot of cheaply-made mugs are slightly underfired, and tend to hold more stains (and also get hotter to the touch in the microwave, a tell-tale sign.)

I try to rinse the dishes briefly, just to get lumps of food off, but that's it.
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[User Picture]From: weofodthignen
2015-07-30 07:17 pm (UTC)
In my experience you either have to fill it with water immediately to prevent the food particles from setting, or wash with elbow grease to get them off, both of which are using so much water you might as well hand wash if that's the main concern (as opposed to the sterilizing factor of the higher water temperature in the dishwasher). When I worked a dishwashing line, my station was in fact prewash - blasting the food particles off - and the dishwasher cycle included sterilizer powder as well as dishwasher powder.

Observing the movement to diverting "grey water" from the kitchen sink to irrigate the back yard, I'm thinking dishwashers must be separately piped to the drains in these cases, while our dishwasher is the kind you wheel over to the sink and hook up; I understand you have to use special biodegradeable detergents for the grey water systems, and I doubt dishwasher detergents come in that variant? I personally only use original Dawn, because nothing else gets grease totally off, and I wouldn't want that in my garden. But since I wasn't aware dishwashers like yours existed - low water use, but doesn't require pre-washing - diverting grey water to the yard was the water conservation method that had piqued my interest.
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