Hands across the kitchen sink, let the experiment continue

I pledged a week of not using my dishwasher to see if I could deal with the chore of hand washing all of my dishes.  While my sink could have looked like this:
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or maybe more like this orderly mess:
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It looked like this instead:
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Still an orderly mess but comprised of drying clean dishes, utensils, glasses and cookware.  This past week of rest for my Kenmore dishwasher has been surprisingly painless.  In fact, I am going to continue the experiment to explore more about the benefits.

Here are some pros and cons from my first week of hand washing vs using a dishwasher:

Cons

  • Extra time is needed to complete this chore.
  • If dishes are left sitting in the sink or it will be that much more difficult to un-cake the leftovers.
  • Drying dishes may take up needed counter top space.  I acquired a cheap drying rack, sitting on the side of the sink, purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond with a coupon.

Pros

  • You are in full control of the cleanliness of your dishes.
  • Use less electricity, the savings depends on the efficiency of your dishwasher, the Energy Star rating and the settings utilized, air dry or “eco”-mode to name a few.
  • If done correctly, you can use less water (this will be explored more in-depth as the experiment continues).  Treehugger.com did a nice comparison of hand washing vs using a dishwasher.
  • My mindset changed to how I can minimize the number of washable pieces utilized in a single meal.

Everyone’s situation is different, but there are a few more factors pushing me to try this old-new method of cleaning my dishes.  Even when using my dishwasher I have to rinse off my dishes, which is extra water utilized.  Also, I find that my trusty army of plastic Snapware containers rarely dry in the dishwasher so I still must place them out to dry on the counter top anyway.

Overall, I am pleased with the results of hand washing.  The experiment continues into this week as I try and streamline my hand washing techniques and attempt to quantify any real water savings over not using the dishwasher.  Honestly, I don’t really miss the convenience of the dishwasher and who knows, maybe I can turn my dishwasher into a nice dark, cool home for my worm bin.  I have seen it done before.  Speaking of worms, I added a second level to my Worm Factory 360 and the Red Wiggler worms are loving it.

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What are some of your experiences washing your dishes by hand vs using the dishwasher?  Any tips to make the job even easier, please do share with me.

– GreenUp! Guy

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