No. of Recommendations: 2
No, it takes far longer to load a dishwasher properly than it does to drop dishes in a sink.

That's a head-scratcher for me. It takes me virtually the same amount of time to place a dish or cup in the sink as it does to put it in the dishwasher. After all, open door/slide rack takes literally, what..one second? I've used the machine often enough to know where the stuff needs to go. Cups get plopped in one area, bowls stack in another, dishes fit in their pre-determined slots, large bowls fit best in one particular area, etc. Once you know your machine & your dishes, there's not much thought needed to put stuff in there.

It takes less than 20 minutes to do dinner dishes (including cookware and serving pieces) for 10 people that way.

I can guar-un-tee you there's no way it takes me 20 minutes to load a dishwasher after a meal for 10! Scraping dishes is required for both methods, so that's a wash <cough>. And I don't pre-rinse. It all goes in the machine filthy. It takes time to run the water for handwashing & to place the dishes in the sink or on the counter so you don't break items either.

Then they get dried with a different towel

No time spent to dry dishwasher dishes. I let them air-dry.

The dishwasher takes at least 30 minutes just to cycle, and you still have to add in loading, drying, and unloading time, plus putting things back in for another cycle that didn't get cleaned. Lipstick on glasses, for instance, or the disgusting cycle of dishes that came out filthier than when they went in, because "the water softener ran out of pellets".

But while the dishwasher is running, one is free to do other things. I don't use a drying cycle. I open the door at the end & let the steam out. The dishes are hot enough from the sani-rinse cycle that they off-steam and dry almost immediately (other than plastics). And while that's happening, I'm free to do other things, again. The fact that a full wash and drying time might take 2 hours is a non sequitor. You're not chained to the machine, after all. Plus, I tend to run the machine after the dinner dishes whenever I can time it that way. After I open the door to let the steam out, I just let them sit to dry the rest of the way until the morning and put them away then. That gives the plastics time to dry.

Both methods require putting dishes away, so no difference between "unloading" a machine and putting away dishes from the counter. My machine is right below the cabinet where all the dishes and cups go and next to the pan cabinet & silverware drawer. I can pretty much stand in one spot to put all the everyday things away, other than casserole pans.

But in any case, most dishwashers are next to sinks, so there's often not much difference to walk around the kitchen put away dishes from the sink counter vs from the machine. I actually find it easier in some ways. I can quickly grab multiple dinner plates, for example, since they're stacked in alignment. Harder to do with counter-stacked dishes on a towel that are arranged more randomly. Maybe about the same if you used a dish rack. But I can't stack a dishwasher-full of dishes in one dish-rack.

If you have a machine that isn't getting lipstick or other grunge off the dishes, the problem is your machine, your detergent or your water temperature, not the actual process of using a dishwasher. That's the first I ever heard of lipstick being an issue? Even my MIL's entry-to-mid-level Kenmore does a fab job on dishes, with just a basic Cascade-type powdered detergent and vinegar for a rinse agent. Dried-on oatmeal, spaghetti sauce, bean-encrusted soup bowls, coffee-stained cups, baked-on crud on broiler pans - it all comes off. Spotless & sparkling. It's very rare to have an item need additional washing. Last year she did start having an issue with cloudy/dirty dishes, but it turned out to be the cheap, "dollar-store" type powder she'd bought. When I had her switch, it went away.

The water softener only needs pellets added every couple of months, so running out is not a daily occurrence that impacts everyday dishwashing. And one should keep the softener maintained for the health of the overall plumbing system, as well as for dishes, drinking, showering, laundry and the like. It's not a chore/expense who's only time-cost is allocated to the dishes.

And you shouldn't put the fancy china or the plated flatware in the dishwasher, so those have to be washed by hand, too.

That I do agree with. We don't use those everyday though, so the dishwasher still does the brunt of the work.

I tend to do the large pots & pans by hand also, unless perhaps they're really cruddy. I can fit so many more individual items in the space that one large pot takes. It takes more time to hand wash many small, individual items than it does to clean out a big pot.

Eons ago I used to be a hand-washer for just the two of us, but I far prefer an empty, clean sink to washing & drying dishes 3x/day. That leaves the sink available for other chores. Plus I feed our pets a raw-food diet. I like having the option of the sani-rinse on the dishwasher, rather than rinsing plates in used rinse-water that's only clean for the first dish. When I do hand-wash, I rinse individually. If I hand-washed everything, I'd use more water than the machine does.

There are pros and cons to both methods, but I don't think the time argument is one of them.

Friends of ours have a machine they only use for parties because they don't generate enough dishes over several days to run the machine before the dishes would start to smell. But they are away from home for many meals. I could see the same applying for a single person as well.

Laura
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