Living without a dishwasher

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The sink and counter after a weekend of un-washed dishes

We had all of three days to find our new home this past November (no pressure). At the end of the weekend, sitting in Cracker Barrel we talked through our options and chose on our little 750 sq. ft. yellow rented home in Corning.

Jump forward to the week of Thanksgiving. As we started reacquainting ourselves with our new home, I asked Luke “um . . . where is the dishwasher?”. The answer: there is no dishwasher or garbage disposal! I guess it isn’t a huge surprise after seeing so many apartments and houses in a short weekend that we forgot that detail.

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So for the past five months I have learned to live without a dishwasher. At first Luke and I would wash the dishes together after a meal, giving us some time to talk. But then Luke’s work training ended and he wasn’t getting home at 4:30-5pm everynight. So both the cooking and dishwashing responsibilities were turned  over to me.

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Most days I am left in a cycle of : washing last night’s dishes, any dishes from Luke’s lunches or mine, any cutting boards etc. used to prep. dinner, and then I  decide whether to clean up the dinner dishes or leave them for the next day. This can equal to 3 loads of dishes! (Although Luke does notices (about once a week) when I need a break from the scrubbing and soapy hands.)

But I dread Mondays the most. Because often I  choose to take the weekend off and just rinse the dishes, leaving leaving them in the sink for the next week.

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Monday load

Because of this, I think differently about what defines a dirty dish: utensils, cups, or bowls may be used more than once  (if they are rinsed out) before being washed. And as much as I love making wonderful desserts and complicated sticky, saucy dishes, I do not like the mess that awaits afterward (neither are Luke or myself clean cooks/bakers).

One great help is my dish soap. I have already dry-skin and found that 2/3 loads of dishes a day was causing my skin to crack so I changed over to Palmolive soft touch and even then I need hand lotion.

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Even though I do not like doing so many dishes and digging out old food from the sink drain I realize this is merely an inconvenience. With some perspective I remember that many families of the world do not have dishwashers, garbage disposals, or even enough plates and utensils to let them pile up for a few days. I should be grateful I have a washing machine and dryer or clean water to drink, cook, and clean with.

So although we will probably double check for a dishwasher/garbage disposal for the next place we live, I will for now be grateful for clean water, hand lotion, my dish soap, and my dish rack.

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a rare picture of the dish rack “empty”

Do you have any complaints(tasks) that with some perspective could merely be inconveniences?

5 thoughts on “Living without a dishwasher

  1. niecie says:

    My BF doesn’t have a dishwasher in his apartment either. But even though we do at my house, my mom is particular about what can be put in the dishwasher and what can’t. Chef knives-no. Her mug-no. New glasses (because the dishwasher etches them)-no. So I’ve gotten used to those big old lady yellow rubber dish gloves and zoning out while I do dishes. It’s not that bad!

  2. Aunt Mel says:

    I totally feel ya girl. The first place that Rick and I had in Spokane did not have a dishwasher. My outlook on dishes is like my outlook on all things I really don’t like: I have developed a working relationship with those things. Rick and I purchased a “portable” dishwasher from Lowes for about $299. Ours came with a chopping block on top. When we moved into this house, we took the chopping block off and installed it into the counter. Of course, you have to have some place to put it when its not washing dishes and its not a tiny appliance. Technically, you do have a dishwasher. His name is Luke. 🙂

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