Sep 4, 2018

What I Learned From a Week Without my Dishwasher

A couple of weeks ago, we discovered a leak in our garbage disposal and I had to go a week without using the dishwasher. That meant a week of washing all of my dishes by hand, which I didn't love, but was enlightening. Here's what I learned:

What I Learned from a Week Without my Dishwasher | Chief Family Officer

You can get by with a lot fewer dishes if you clear the sink after every meal. We could have used the same four plates, glasses and forks all week (and maybe we did, but I wasn't really keeping track). If I were starting over in a kitchen without a dishwasher, I would opt for fewer dishes, glasses and utensils, so I could save the space for more gadgets and appliances.

Muscle memory is a real and powerful thing. Like a lot of kitchens, my sink is divided into two distinct basins. My garbage disposal is in the left-hand sink, and I'm in the habit of rinsing dishes off on that side. When I mentioned to my husband that I kept forgetting I'm not supposed to use the left sink, he came up with the brilliant idea of putting the bottle of dish soap right next to the garbage disposal hole. That visual cue saved me all week, because I kept moving my hands to the left but the bottle would get in my way and remind me to get my hands out of there.

You go through a lot more dish soap when you hand wash everything. I know this seems obvious, but I hand wash a fair number of dishes every day anyway, because I won't put things like plastics and certain utensils into the dishwasher. Maybe I shouldn't have been, but I was surprised by how much more dish soap I used during the week.

My best hand-moisturizer tip still works: Rub lotion into your hands, then wear rubber gloves while washing the dishes. The dryness will really abate if you do this consistently.

Amazon's Expert Installation worked out well. My husband ordered a new garbage disposal from Amazon and added on "Expert Replacement Installation." (See this page, for example - the expert installation is just an option under the product info.) We didn't have to call a plumber and were able to pick a time that was convenient for us, and the cost seemed comparable, since our old plumber (who went out of business) used to charge $80 per hour. This was the first time we used one of Amazon's home services, and it went so well that I'm sure we'll consider using it again in the future.

Not surprisingly, I love my dishwasher. I didn't hate washing all of the dishes by hand, but I'm sure happy I don't have to anymore!

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