The Great Dishwasher Detabe

22 Oct

Earlier this week I came across a very interesting column by Craig Wilson in USA Today. In his column, Wilson discussed marriage, sharing housework, and loading dishwashers. All three topics are, of course, deeply intertwined.

Specifically, Wilson cites a study from the folks at Bosch, a high-end dishwasher company, which found that 40% of couples fight over how to load the dishwasher.

I found that statistic very interesting. For starters, I don’t understand the concept of arguing over how to load the dishwasher. Seems to me, the simple answer is, “You don’t like the way I do it, do it yourself.” Problem solved.

But that aside, I agree that every dishwasher presents infinite options when it comes to loading.  Do you put the small plates with the large ones, or next to the bowls? Which way do you face the bowls? When should an item go on the top rack instead of the bottom? Where do the long utensils go when they don’t fit in the silverware caddy?

There are so many potentially wrong decisions that I don’t even try to help load the dishwasher at a friend’s home, and I don’t want people to help me with mine.

What I really liked about Wilson’s column, though, was how he touched on my two biggest dishwasher pet peeves: 1) do you place silverware face down or face up, and 2) do you have to pre-rinse the dishes?

To me, both answers are clear.

1) Face down, obviously. If you put spoons and forks in the caddy face up, you have to touch the goop on them as you do. Put knives in face up and you risk impaling yourself when you reach in to add that last fork from dessert.

2) Don’t rinse. That’s just redundant, like vacuuming the house before the cleaning lady comes.

I wish Wilson’s column had gone one step further and found studies showing the actual percentage of people who put their silverware face down (the right way) or face up (the wrong way).

And don’t even get me started on toilet paper.


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