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:

or maybe more like this orderly mess:

It looked like this instead:
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:


  • 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.


  • 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.


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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