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Old 12-28-2006, 08:37 AM   #1
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Dishwasher: is it a worthwhile investment?

Over the next year or so we will be designing/remodelling/building a new kitchen in our new flat.(the existing one is really a disaster, we will strip down everything and start from the scratch. Actually it goes for the entire flat!!)
Cris is insisting on installing a dishwashing machine in the kitchen, he thinks of this for my sake, knowing how much I "adore" washing up.

However, truth to be told from my own experience with dishwashers, I never found them very helpful or time/effort saving. After all you need to pre-rinse everything before loading, the worst bit, scrubbing off the stickies and greasies needs to be done by hand anyway because the machine can't handle them, then the stuff remain wet inside so you have to dry them yourself, or leave the door open for a few hours and risk having your shin turning black and blue while tripping over it. My last impression with dishwashers was from about 7 years ago, when one of my flatmates decided to use it on a whim, the dishwasher decided to overflow and turned the whole kitchen floor into a sudsy swamp. Now you can get the picture how fondly I think of this particular appliance.

It is true that I only used ones already installed in rented houses/apartment complexes, and I suspect they had been already abused and/or the machines were not of good quality. Then during the 7 years I haven't even gone near them, it is possible that the technology have been improved. Cris wants one with an industrial strength, (he is not a sort to settle with anything less than what he looks for) and he swears with a good machine, all my worries would come to nothing.

It is not that I don't trust his words, however for someone who never had a very good experience with dishwashers what he says sounds like a fairy tale. And since he wants to get the machine mainly for my sake, I wouldn't want him to spend money on something that I would find not liking in the end and not utilizing. So, I would like some second opinion from the folks who are accustomed to using the dishwashers, and see how they can be helpful or not. Will it be a good investment that would make your life somewhat easier, or things hasn't been changed at all from the days I battled with the stuff? Any input will be greatly appreciated!
TIA!!

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Old 12-28-2006, 08:48 AM   #2
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Briefly...We would not be without one...Never had any major problems.
They do of course wear out...over several years and have to be replaced.
What a great time saver in the kitchen! The temparture of the water is very hot...giving you clean and sterile dishes. I do not know what brands you have available but buy a well respected brand in your area.
My suggestion: Buy it!!!
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:50 AM   #3
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There is very little pre-rinsing needed now. They do incredibly good jobs. They dry dishes just fine.
You might not need the very top of the line, but don't shortchange yourself or you will come up with one that has all the things you list above. I have not really ever had most of those problems even in very old washers.
Get one with a stainless interior.
Get one with adjustable top racks for tall wine glasses, etc.
The GE Profile series is excellent. For Europeans I imagine the Miele and Bosch are your good choices and they are popular in the US also among professionals I have seen post about them
They are also very energy and water conservative
Convenience of putting dishes out of sight for future washing?
I wouldn't be without a DW.
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:51 AM   #4
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Take Chris's word for it. Dishwashers do what he says they will do. They are a lot more powerful than you give them credit for. My guess is that the ones you used in the rentals were old and not very good.

My dishwasher is a pretty low end one, but it still does a great job. Pre-washing plates is not necessary. I do rinse or scrape off the big bits, but I know people who do not even do that. No need to take a sponge to anything. Just run it under some running water and throw it in the washer.

Most dishwashers have a drying cycle as well, with the option of turning it off as it uses more energy.

Personally I would not want to be without one as I hate washing dishes. I have lived in places that had them and places that did not and I have to say that I could not wait to move when i was in places that did not have one.
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:52 AM   #5
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I wouldn't even consider doing without one - or even buying a place that didn't have one.
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:53 AM   #6
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if u took away my dishwasher...i would never cook again. everything would be take out on paper plates!!
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:22 AM   #7
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Whoa... holy smokes!! Now you guys make me feel like a bushman out of a jungle!! I guess I had been particularly unfortunate with dishwashers until now... anyhow you guys got me much more convinced about it About the quality of the dishwasher we will get, I have no doubt for it, as I said Cris is a determined guy when it comes to attaining what he wants, he doesn't settle for anything less and for whatever the purchase he makes he spends hours, often days researching over the internet and looking around shops all over Rome to make the ideal choice.

Now I am kinda looking forward to trying out our new beast and see what it can do as soon as we get one!
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:31 AM   #8
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lol about the bushman. i'm sure there's some guy in a loincloth who's b1tching to his wife in clicks and pops about doing the dishes right now somewhere.

rinse, elephant, rinse!

urm, just be careful if you put any cookware in it. in fact, i recommend washing any pots and pans by hand. we have destroyed several non-stick pieces by putting them in the dishwasher. the non-stick surface actually wears off. i'm not sure about stainless steel, but if you like your pots and pans, treat them with respect. no machines.

of course, you know about cast iron.

most glassware, stemware, and plates are ok to put in it, but always check to see if they're labelled "dishwasher safe". some will safe "top shelf dishwasher only".

good luck with you're new helper.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:36 AM   #9
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Like bucky, I would be careful about putting cookware in it. Dishwashers are not always gentle. Also glass can become etched after a while. I think a dishwasher is perfect for plates and silverware and cooking utensils. Like anything, you just have to understand how to use the tool properly.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:43 AM   #10
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I grew up with dishwashers, and hated them. I would always wash the stuff by hand because thats what I had to do before I washed them in the dishwasher anyways...

That said, if you buy a really good model and cook for more than a couple people on a regular basis then they can be worth the investment. Checking out some of the $500 units that my relatives have definetly reinforces the notion that "you get what you pay for" as far as I'm concerned. They are hunks of junk. But the industrial style washers we use in the lab at work do a fantastic job. Unfortunately they fetch about $2000 for a little under-the-counter unit.

I'm so used to doing dishes that I just do 'em as I cook. Sautee mushrooms, dump in bowl, wash pan, wipe with shoulder-towel, etc. It takes less than 15sec to wash something you have just cooked in/ate off from. When I have people over I tell them to wash their own dishes. I figure the food/cooking is free, they can help out a bit too...
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:44 AM   #11
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YES, YES, You will not be sorry!!

I was about 45 years old when I got my first dishmachine and I do not know how I operated "before DW". For me, they save time, time and more time. They get dishes very clean with minimal pre-rinsing. And water conservation is an issue at my house. My machine does the whole shebang with 7 gallons of water, which is less, I think, than what I could do with hand washing. If possible, run the machine in the evening and crack the door to air dry just before you retire, to save the shins. I run at least one load of dishes each day, two loads a day if I am in the kitchen cooking/baking, and occassionally three loads a day when we have overnight guests.

I truely say a prayer of thanks as I unload each load of clean dishes, to the effect of being grateful that here is yet another load of dishes that I did not have to wash by hand. The milking equipment takes up 25% of the machine space and I wash countless quart canning jars, so I generate a lot of stuff that goes in the dishmachine.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:50 AM   #12
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I was without my dishwasher once, when I was waiting for my new one to arrive...I felt like Scarlet O'Hara. With my fist to the sky, I swore I'd never be without a dishwasher again.

I usually wash my pots and pans as I go along but never hesitate to put them in the DW if I have room.

I wash the 'good' china in it but I always hand wash the crystal.

edited: I turn off my hot dry also. I let mine air dry to save energy.
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:16 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for more inputs!! (inpuuut, inpuuuut... oh no I am not #5, so please don't disassemble me!! )

Thanks Bucky for the info about non stick cookware, that is good to know... as you mentioned I would also take care of our wine glasses and cast iron ware personally as well.
Water consumption is also a good point, 7 gallons for 1 whole load is quite amazing!

For a couple of extreme foodies count for much more than average daily consumption of 2 people very often and I am sure, provided the machine is functional, would save me a lot of work. I am a wash as I go kind of person, too, but as my hands are too sensitive for detergents I must use rubber gloves to do the washing, having to putting them on and off while doing other things at the same time complicates the matter a bit more.

I am going to take notes of all the suggestions for our up coming quest for the perfect dishwasher!
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:44 AM   #14
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Modern washers have food grinders in them to pulverize food bits so they can be washed down the drain. So you don't have to clean the plates at all.

There is an ad on TV here where a woman makes and frosts an angel food cake then dumps the whole thing into the dishwasher - plate, cake and frosting. Of course, the only thing left in the machine when she opens it is a shiny clean plate.
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Old 12-28-2006, 11:04 AM   #15
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Another thing for your list - buy a quiet dw. Some barely hum now.
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Old 12-28-2006, 11:08 AM   #16
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I didn't have a dishwasher in college and got by ok. Now that I own a home and cook constantly, I can't imagine being without a dishwasher. We have a newer model (2002) and really don't have trouble with dishes coming out dirty, etc.
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Old 12-28-2006, 11:11 AM   #17
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The dishwasher I want (but will not be getting because of cost) is actually split into two. You can basically skip putting the dishes away in the cabinets this way. One clean one side and then as you dirty the dishes you move them to the other side (actually it is top and bottom). One part always remains clean while the other is always dirty. When you fill up the dirty side then you run the wash and the sides switch.
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Old 12-28-2006, 11:14 AM   #18
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That is so funny GB. My dream was to have 2 dishwashers instead of cabinets. Back and forth...a great idea. This was back in the late 80s.
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Old 12-28-2006, 11:19 AM   #19
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Here is a picture in case anyone wants to see.
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Old 12-28-2006, 11:25 AM   #20
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I just emailed that link to Cris at work... he's gonna like that!!
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