post off: dishwasher or hand wash?


Dishes are my business. Really. I feel like they are ALL I DO sometimes. And at work, where I do the bulk of them, I have to manually wash everything with the “three sink system”, an effective, albeit labor-intensive method. Thankfully, we had the budget to put in a dishwasher when we bought our house two years ago. It helps to alleviate my day to day dish workload immensely, and I can’t even imagine a time where I lived without one, though I did for many years. I know people, though, who own dishwashers and don’t use them, preferring to hand wash everything. As crazy as that sounds to me, there are obviously two schools of thought on this one. So where do you stand? Do you scrub it up with good old-fashioned elbow grease, or do you let technology do the work? — Megan B.

photo courtesy of flickr user Avrene.

From our partners

I hand wash pots and pans. Dishwasher for pretty much everything else. I could definitely live without a dishwasher, however. But w/o a dishwasher, it’s important that everyone in the household wash his/her own dishes, so no one has to do a sinkful by hand!!

I am an off-and-on hand dishwasher. I have a dishwasher and use it because I have a tendency to dirty a lot of equipment when I cook, which I enjoy immensely. My fiance’ and I enjoy handwashing the dishes together AND emptying the dishwasher. Its a timesaver, but I don’t think its always an energysaver because I feel the need to empty it as soon as its finished its business….I DO, however, enjoy the occasionally Zen time handwashing silver and glassware. Its instant gratification…

I do have a dishwasher and the boyfriend is constantly asking me why I don’t use it, but as a single girl living alone it would take me 2 weeks to make a full load and by then I wouldn’t have any silverware left. I do use it as a drying rack though.

also, my d/w kind of sucks and I usually have to run a sponge over my dirty stuff before I put them in to insure they get fully clean. I figured I may as well just wash ’em by hand if I have to put that effort in.

We’ll have one in our new joint abode and I definitely see my hand-washing days coming to a halt because I cook a lot more when he’s home with me.

We have a dishwasher and I use it most of the time. I do most pots and pans by hand though and all the special barware glasses. For those of you who have one and don’t use it, make sure you run a cycle at least once or twice a month. When my folks finally got one, my mother never used it. In a couple of years the tubes had rotted away (too dry) and they had a very expensive disaster to fix. My dad went bananas! Water everywhere on Thanksgiving day, a houseful of guests, and the plumber :)


We use our dishwasher a lot because we eat in a lot, but I only wash dishes I don’t care about in the dishwasher. Glasses get etched over time, and dishes fade. Plus dishwasher soap leaves a film on glasses which messes with the flavor beer, wine, etc.

My husband insists on basically hand washing our dirty dishes until they are spotless and THEN putting them in the dishwasher. I tell him the work he is doing is redundant because the dishwasher will get them clean, but he disagrees. He insists the machine won’t get off the stuck on stuff. It’s an ongoing battle!


I use the dishwasher because it uses less energy and water than hand washing. Gotta love when the eco choice is also the lazy choice! :)

After years of living with a dishwasher, I’m in a condo with a tiny kitchen and none. I wash dishes by hand and absolutely HATE it. I can’t seem to bring myself to do them when its only a few dirty, so they pile up. Then I have a huge mess to clean up.

I don’t have a dishwasher and I want one SO BAD. I sometimes pay my little sister to do my dishes. I abhor doing dishes.

dishwasher is my lifesaver! we are a family of 3 and eat most meals at home. i load and unload just about every day and wash all pots and pans by hand. i couldn’t live without a dishwasher, no way, no day.


Definitely hand wash. They get cleaner that way.
Beautiful home design, on a modest budget

I put everything into the dishwasher, including my everyday set of Russel Wright Iroquois Casual china and my Calphalon pots and pans. The dishes aren’t the least bit crazed and the pots and pans are 16 years old and still going strong.

Technology all the way! I HATE dishes!


we don’t have a dishwasher. i love doing the dishes at the end of the night or beginning of my morning, when the coffee or tea is on the stove. it is such a methodical thing that i never mind doing. it is a little sense of accomplishment too, turning chaos into order. granted, we don’t have kids, so there is not an obscene amount, but i definitely like washing by hand


I’m looking to buy a portable 24″ dishwasher and I’m wondering if in the long term it’s worth the hassle… because the reviews I’ve found are all enthusiastic but it’s mostly a few weeks after the purchase… I’ wondering if it’s something I’m going to regret buying in the long run…

I really hate doing the dishes :)