Friday, March 8, 2013

The great dishwasher debate

Alternate title: Is your dishwasher hosing your marriage?

Forget infidelity and finances, people. You want to know the real cause of marital discord, at least in the United States? The dishwasher. (And you people thought I was kidding around when I wrote about Dishwasher Nazis.)

According to a national online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Bosch home appliances in June 2012 (though I just heard about it today), more than 40% of U.S. adults fight about loading the dishwasher.

The top five dishwasher-related disagreements (and I quote)?

"1. 61% fight over whether dishes should be pre-rinsed or not. Nearly two thirds of all men and women cited this issue as their leading cause for argument, proving the pre-rinse, rinse debate to be a universal annoyance. The truth is that you should not pre-rinse as the detergent needs to cling to food to avoid scratching your dishes.

[Okay, Bosch, but then explain why when we don't give our plates and glasses a quick rinse -- I'm not talking pre-washing here -- stuck-on food becomes Krazy Glued to my dishes? And don't tell me it's because we have a Miele dishwasher.]

"2. 41% clash about separating dishes or cramming as much as possible to tackle a larger load. Perhaps a case of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, Women (48%) are more likely to fight about doubling together dishes than men (33%).

[Yo, Bosch, don't know if you realize this but there is no water on either Mars or Venus. And if you cram plates covered in food together in the dishwasher, that stuff is never coming off. Though right now the spouse, who is from Queens, is loving this survey and is totally going to give me grief.]

"3. 39% argue over placing sharp knives point down or point up. Out of the group of women who were concerned with this issue, 43% argue about whether knives should be placed point up or down, compared to 34% of males. Using safety as your guide, the final say is to load knives point down for safety, while forks and spoons can be placed either handle up or down. A third rack on the Bosch 800 Plus dishwasher separates utensils to make it safer and easier to clean, load and unload.

[That third rack for utensils has probably saved many knives from being inserted point down into certain parts of the male anatomy. And while the separate utensil rack is a great idea in theory, it does a poor job of getting forks, knives, and spoons clean.]

"4. 34% insist on placing cups on the top rack and plates on the bottom rack while their mate believes it's every dish for themselves. The biggest division in the dishwasher deliberation comes in the form of organization: nearly one third (32%) of all females who fight about loading the dishwasher insist that cups be placed on the top rack and plates on the bottom rack, not mixed. Like any good relationship where each person needs their space, each dish should be separated by a dishwasher's tines. Often, couples can keep the peace by splitting up large loads of dishes into smaller loads. A half load option on Bosch dishwashers tackles smaller loads so dirty dishes don't sit in the dishwasher.

[It is like this survey was conducted in my kitchen. Scary. Again, I direct your attention to this post. I would also like to point out that loading or organizing a dishwasher is about logistics and logic. Ahem.]

"5. 30% debate about placing plastic containers on the top rack to prevent a major plastic meltdown, or placing containers wherever space is available. You may think that loading the dishwasher could smooth over a fight, but your efforts could have the opposite effect if your dishes are ruined in the process. If destroying an entire collection of plastic storage containers has plagued your marriage, Bosch dishwashers feature a concealed flow-through water heating element to prevent plastic containers from dissolving, no matter where they are placed.

[Let me save you people the cost of a divorce attorney or mediator: Never put plastic in the dishwasher. Not only could the plastic melt, but most plastics, even ones deemed "dishwasher safe" give off toxic fumes when heated/run through the dishwasher. Take the less than 30 seconds it requires to wash plastic containers by hand and then let them dry in a drying rack. Problem solved.]

"The survey also revealed that almost four out of ten men who have a dishwasher (38%) admit to finding excuses for getting out of loading the dishwasher altogether. Perhaps a tactic for avoiding the dreaded dishwasher dispute. The most common excuses included deferring the cleanup because they cooked the meal and demand chore equality (16%), blatantly admitting to being too lazy to clean the dishes (12%), and feeling as though they are too busy and their time is too important to be spent loading the dishwasher (10%)."

[They forgot to include "All of the above."]


Anonymous said...

I have a scar on my left thigh from tripping into the dishwasher and slashing myself from the up pointed knives. THEY GO DOWN PEOPLE!!!

Dave S. said...

See here and here for my previous fascistic takes on the subject; my views, which are correct, have not changed appreciably since then. However, I have since read or heard somewhere that cooking (sharp) knives belong either in your hand (food prep) or, having been immediately hand-washed and -dried, in their storage area. That makes a certain amount of sense but I will admit to not following that as strictly as one might think from my previous utterances.

I support a certain amount of pre-rinsing to get TV-commercial-size food bits off of plates etc., but if you go too far down that road you might as well just go all in and hand-wash.

In summary, America is a land of contradictions. Thank you.

John Barker said...

Study is skewed! An additional 22% of idiots who think knives go point up had no fingers and were thus unable to answer the survey.