Dishwashing Woes…and Friday Links

June 22, 2012

Old Glory Cottage Dishes

Something happened in our kitchen about a week ago that I’m not very happy about. Our dishwasher quit — and I don’t mean my husband. I called our go-to appliance repair guy who told me that our model had been recalled for safety reasons. Problems with electrical fires, or something insignificant like that. Apparently we were supposed to “shut the fuse off to the dishwasher immediately” two years ago.

Just like everything else in our house, fixing the dishwasher is a Herculean task. First, the Maytag people won’t repair it because it has the wrong kind of pipe in the back; until that’s replaced by a plumber, Maytag won’t budge. So, we’re going to choose the rebate option which covers about 30% of the cost of a new dishwasher. (I say, if you sell me a dishwasher that can send my house up in flames, shouldn’t you replace the entire thing, free of charge?)

This all sounds simple enough, but apparently our dishwasher is installed improperly. The space for it is too narrow so there isn’t room for a brace on one side, which means the counter rests on the top of the appliance and that’s a big no-no. Apparently, many repair men won’t install a dishwasher that way — we have to first get a carpenter to come in, tear up the counter, cut back some of the lower cupboard, and who knows what else. Since we’re planning to have a contractor come in the fall and rip up our kitchen floors to fix a leak that no one can seem to handle, we figure it’s more cost effective to handle the dishwasher issue then.

So it’s back to hand washing the dishes, which I haven’t done since 1908.

I like dishwashers — they prevent build up in the sink, and they clean dishes way better than me… as I’m reminded every time B pulls a glass out of the cupboard and notices stuff like dried shredded carrot stuck to the rim. It’s completely unfair that he never seems to leave gunk on the dishes. Which is why the real answer to our problem here should probably begin with the letter “B,” don’t you think?  I’ll have to share that with him tonight.

Clearly I am not my mother’s daughter on this one. She never had a dishwasher — even with 10 children. She preferred doing dishes by hand — and still does. In fact, she likes washing dishes. When I was young, she’d assign me bath and bed times with the little ones so she could escape to the kitchen for a few relative moments of quiet with the dirty dishes. She found it therapeutic. Plus, she was fussy about how she liked them done.

So it looks like we’re forced to be slower about our dishes right now. Which is no doubt good for me. But I have a feeling I’m not going to miss it one bit when modern convenience comes to live with us again.

On that note, I have to go attack the mound of dirty plates and cups in our sink before my day gets crazy. We’re preparing for a fun party with friends tomorrow and I have a million things to do — I look forward to sharing more details with you next week. In the meantime, here are a few items I found around the web that you might enjoy:

Have a slow weekend and I’ll see you back here on Monday!
Image by Carol of Old Glory Cottage


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1 SarahD June 22, 2012 at 11:03 am

Like your mother, my father hand-washed all our family’s dishes by choice, and still does. We had a dishwasher, but he refused to let anyone use it.

You would think that all this exposure would have turned me into a good hand-dishwasher, but no, it did not. I have a severe dislike of washing dishes in a sink full of water (the dirty water skeeves me out, I don’t like baths for the same reason) so I have to wash them individually under the faucet. This was how I operated for the two years my family was without a dishwasher (with small kids, no less), and it drove my husband crazy. I had to ban him from the kitchen while I washed up because I couldn’t handle the heckling and making HIM do the dishes was not really an option. Thank goodness we now have a dishwasher. I still get the comments from my husband about how I should just start washing things “like normal people”, but since I don’t have to wash as many things, there are fewer opportunities for him to needle me.


2 BECKY June 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Well… ours is mostly an expensive rinser :), I pre-wash by hand very thoroughly. BUT if I were you, I’d make an immediate investment in paper plates and plastic cutlery!

I actually might anyway, as my outdoor time has jumped, and I just don’t have as much time to spend on chores while the kids play in the other room – its almost all outside time these days!

Good luck to you!


3 Alexandra June 23, 2012 at 9:04 am

Ugh I hear you. This apartment (I’ve lived here for 18 months) is actually the first place I’ve lived as an adult where I have a dishwasher. I saw the dishwasher on my initial walk-through and did a double-take, wondering who bothered to install such a thing; and for a long time I just used it as cookware storage – never turned it on. I think I knew that as soon as I used it once, I’d never go back. And then one day I did a lot of cooking and thought, “Hm, I really should just use the dishwasher for all these dishes,” and that was it. Now I get grouchy washing anything more than a coffee mug by hand. Dishwashers really are pretty much the best things in the world. I hope yours gets sorted out soon!


4 Jimmy June 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

It’s worth looking into buying a used one from Habitat Restore. I shop the one in Gaithersburg, and they usually have a bunch of used washers available for around 40 bucks a piece. That’s forty. I didn’t leave out a number when typing that.

Here’s a link for the ones in Maryland. Looks like there are two in Baltimore:

The store says they test all their appliances to make sure they work before selling them, so they should be good to go. Since you are replacing a washer instead of installing one for the first time, it shouldn’t be too bad hooking it up.

These Restores are great ways to buy furniture and cool building materials on the cheap, while giving your money to a good cause.


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