Does a Dishwasher Help With the Housework?

Washing dishes is perhaps one of the most loathed tasks in any household. Scrubbing relentlessly at bits of dried- and baked-on food isn’t the most glamorous job ever, and with people stuck for time a lot, dishwashers have become increasingly popular. But does a dishwasher save you as much time and effort as we’ve been assuming all this time?

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Take into account how washing dishes works; you scrape all the food off and rinse the dishes, then stick them on the side to wait until you can find or make the time to give them a proper hot-water scrub. At that stage, it’s a matter of seconds to run the rough side of a sponge over their surface and stick them in a draining board, after which all they need is a quick going-over with a tea towel before they can easily be slotted back into the cupboard. When you consider it that way, doing the dishes doesn’t actually take a very long time, provided you take a second or two after tea and during cooking to pre-rinse every dish you’re finished with.

When you think of things that way, a dishwasher is a no-brainer; why spend hundreds of pounds on the purchase, maintenance, and running of a dishwashing machine? Not only the original outlay should be considered but also the electricity used and the higher cost of dishwasher tablets versus plain old Fairy.

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However, imagine a more realistic dishwashing routine. You put the dishes near the sink in a haphazard pattern and let them dry out and get all crusty while you get on with the important things. By the time you get around to doing them the food is practically cemented on and requires half an hour’s worth of vigorous scrubbing, and you inevitably end up with a pan or two sitting in the sink or on the counter to soak, leaving your kitchen looking just as untidy as it did before you started.

If that’s closer to the bone then buying a dishwasher may well be worth it to you in terms of time saved. Simply load it up with your breakfast dishes in the morning instead of depositing them on the side and set it going; when you get home you’ll find them clean and ready to be put away or used again. Do the same in the evening and your kitchen will remain tidy at all times.