The dishwasher war – the new battle of the sexes



His story: “A guy walks up to the stack of dishwashers with all the seriousness of a submariner loading nuclear weapons into missile bays”

I never thought I had much in common with Akshata Murthy – aka Ms. Sunak, the glamorous fashion designer, venture capitalist and daughter of India’s sixth richest man.

However, it turns out we’re both overwhelmed by husbands who are dishwasher control freaks. Like the Chancellor, Guy is convinced that he is a master of stacking, a genius of top-rack maximization, captain of the cutlery basket.

Frequently he nudges me to the side, as I push in another cup, pull it out and rearrange things to “optimize dishwasher performance.” As if he had read the manual …

Like most male drivers who consistently overestimate their skills – despite statistics repeatedly showing that women are much safer behind the wheel – Guy, like Rishi and countless other husbands across the country, is sure his way is logical and that my technique is irrational, random and ineffective.

He approaches dishwasher stacking with all the seriousness of a submariner loading nuclear weapons into missile bays. His dedication would be commendable if it weren’t so laughable, as he’s not exactly very good at it.

Although he deludes himself about efficiency, lavishness is the word that most easily comes to mind. Unlike Rishi, he’s a stranger to the concept of economics.

It’ll take the entire lower rack with three pans, which it’s too inactive to hand wash, then hit ‘go’, leaving me wincing at the waste of electricity and water as I refuse to put it up. ‘to every nook and the nook has been filled. (I just don’t accept his argument that his lane is greener – how is that possible?)

This caused endless rows. Now, rather than bickering, I just wait until he leaves the room, pull out the pots and pans, and start over. I wonder if Ms. Sunak does the same, and also allows herself to roll her eyes like she does?

Guy is also ridiculously optimistic about what our old Bosch may face, putting on pasta encrusted pans and coffee-stained mugs that have been sitting in his office for weeks, and expecting the magic to happen.

This is not the case. Somehow it’s never there for disappointing results and affects the amazement to learn that I had to hand wash everything again.

Granted, my cram-it-in approach has its downsides in the form of a few broken glasses. But I’d rather lose the weird cup than put on a half load.

On one point, however, we are united. Much to the disgust and horror of our friends, we both allow our two dogs to do the “pre-rinse” – lick dirty dishes when they are stacked in the dishwasher. No technological innovation will ever be as effective as the tongue of a Labrador.

Dos and don’ts of washing dishes

By Helen Chandler-Wilde


When it comes to dishwashers, the biggest division in households is whether or not to pre-rinse a load. Rosie Clarke, product training manager at dishwasher manufacturer Miele, is adamant: if your appliance has automatic adjustment, don’t worry. “Most modern dishwashers have some form of sensor washing, which determines how dirty the dishes are,” she says. “But scrape off the food fragments – pieces of pasta, seeds, and pieces of bone – before loading.”


Some insist on washing glassware by hand in case it becomes cloudy. While it might be safe for something special, for everyday things it doesn’t have to be, as long as you’re using the right settings, Clarke explains. “Often glasses become cloudy if the salt and rinse aid settings are not suited to the hardness of the local water. »Arrange them, edge down, in the top drawer, with cups and bowls underneath – and don’t touch them, as this can shatter the glass.


The plates should be placed in the front slots of the lower basket, facing inward and not outward: “That way the whole load will receive a much better water flow,” says Clarke.

Sharp knives

Never, ever put them face up in the cutlery basket on the bottom drawer, Clarke says, for safety reasons. The best practice is to lay them horizontally on the top drawer; placing long bread knives in the cutlery basket could prevent the spray arm from rotating, preventing everything from being washed properly.


Place them horizontally in the top drawer or across cups and bowls. “A ladle over a few plates should be okay, because you’ll have enough cascading water,” says Clarke. “But it depends on the model: not all dishwashers are created equal. “


For best results, choose a dishwasher that has a cutlery drawer instead of a basket. “The tray allows you to separate each item: when they touch each other, they don’t wash off properly, or you get oxidation, in the form of dark silver spots,” says Clarke.

Pots and pans

Nice to go in the main body if you use a decent detergent, says Clarke. And make sure you haven’t loaded anything so big that it could clog the rotating spray arm. Be sure to check pot labels to make sure they’re dishwasher safe, explains Clarke, “With some nonstick products, the rinse aid can form a layer, so look for the label. “


Avoid liquid and gel tablets “like the plague,” explains Clarke. “They are enclosed in a thick coating, which takes a while to decompose,” she says. “Loose powder or quick-dissolving tablets are best. “



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