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June 2, 2014 8:52 PM   Subscribe

This video of a GoPro in a dishwasher does what it says on the tin. [SLYT]
posted by sparklemotion (77 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Looks sorta like a geoduck.
posted by Small Dollar at 8:56 PM on June 2 [8 favorites]


I've never had a dishwashing machine (or lived in a house that had one), so this might be a stupid question, but, does this actually get your dishes clean? The pressure seems way too low, and the angles too limited, for that to clean anything but the simplest, rinse-and-it's-clean-anyway dishes.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:58 PM on June 2


I found myself wanting to look up the water consumption of dishwasher vs. hand washing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:59 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


The center spray riser is positively pornographic.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:59 PM on June 2 [8 favorites]


Well, that was unexpectedly... explicit
posted by Bwithh at 9:00 PM on June 2 [13 favorites]


I found myself wanting to look up the water consumption of dishwasher vs. hand washing.

It is better for modern high efficiency dishwashers, but probably not for older models. Obviously it is possible to hand wash with more or less water, so individual results may vary.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:02 PM on June 2


That seems like a really crappy dishwasher.

But now I want to stick a GoPro in mine (which is also crappy & ineffective, but for [I think] different reasons.)
posted by ThatSomething at 9:02 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


Jaokim, most dishwashers have settings for "rinse" vs "pots and pans". Older dishwashers you did have to mostly wash them first anyways, but modern ones...yeah, they do a good job.
posted by sio42 at 9:04 PM on June 2


My 13-year-old dishwasher needs replacing but I'm procrastinating because the newer ones take waaaaay longer for sake of "efficiency." Mine has its problems, but getting dishes clean in 45 minutes flat is a benefit I'm not prepared to lose.
posted by cribcage at 9:05 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Also most dishwashers have a second spinny thing for the top rack these days. I feel like everything wasn't quite with the one in the video. Besides the weird machine porn aspect...
posted by sio42 at 9:05 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Where is all the light coming from?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:14 PM on June 2


I was wondering about the light, too. The notes say he has two light sources in there, also.

This is the same dishwasher as I have in my current apartment. It works well enough. The heat of the water and the very abrasive detergent make it effective.
posted by nightwood at 9:17 PM on June 2


OK now somebody do a GoPro inside a refrigerator so we can see what happens when I shut the door.

Then record a tree falling when nobody is around to hear it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:19 PM on June 2 [13 favorites]


Ours is super efficient but takes over two hours for a full cycle. As far as water use, it mostly uses and reuses the same couple of litres of water. Then it drains and rinses with a couple litres of clean water.

We had a countertop washer at one point, and it drained into the sink. We put a plug in the sink to measure how much water it used for a wash and rinse and it wasn't even a sinkful. Less than we used by hand for sure. Ymmv of course.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:19 PM on June 2 [4 favorites]


The center spray riser is positively pornographic.
posted by Dip Flash


I didn't notice...I was checking out that nice rack.
posted by 445supermag at 9:28 PM on June 2 [23 favorites]


That filled a hole in my life I never knew existed. But that was a very cheap dishwasher. Now I want to see a nice Kitchenaid or Bosch.
posted by postel's law at 9:41 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Someone buy me a GoPro and I'll definitely throw it in our awesome silent Braun dishwasher.
posted by odinsdream at 9:45 PM on June 2


sort of eponysterical...

Sparklemotion sounds like dish detergent.
posted by sio42 at 9:46 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]




I remember seeing, years and years ago, a demo washing machine unit at Sears (probably). It was the guts of the dishwasher you would buy from them, only its case was a see-through substance instead of whatever dishwasher outsides are usually made out of. Watching it go was strangely hypnotic, like taking the experience of an automatic car wash and folding the whole thing down into a cube that you can set in your kitchen.
posted by aaronetc at 9:53 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


They should redo the washing machine one with the camera attached to the back wall so that it rotates with the drum. Clothes mysteriously crawling across the drum, defying gravity; water splashing in strange directions...
posted by narain at 10:09 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


They should redo the washing machine one with the camera attached to the back wall so that it rotates with the drum.
Here you are sir. (side wall instead of back, but I trust it'll do)
posted by Popular Ethics at 10:32 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


Yeah, now I want to see a GoPro in a front loading HE washer with a handful of waterproof flashlights and glow sticks.

Hell, someone should run one through an asphalt or concrete plant with a wireless streaming adapter or eyefi or something.
posted by loquacious at 10:34 PM on June 2


I've never had a dishwashing machine (or lived in a house that had one), so this might be a stupid question, but, does this actually get your dishes clean? The pressure seems way too low, and the angles too limited, for that to clean anything but the simplest, rinse-and-it's-clean-anyway dishes.

I think they do. I think the trick is that they run for a relatively long time, so any stuck food becomes waterlogged and takes less force to remove.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 10:49 PM on June 2


I heard they were shooting a sequel to Prometheus...
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:58 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Back when I was doing appliance work I somehow acquired a clear plastic door for a dishwasher that would have been used for demonstration purposes like aaronetc described. Sadly it was for an ancient GE model and I never had a matching dishwasher in our shop so I never saw it in action. There were a few times where I was tempted to cut a hole in the back of a built in and silicone a window over the hole just to see the thing operate.

And yes dishwasher work pretty good. Even the older models shouldn't have required pre-rinsing in most cases when loaded properly (and most people IME don't load their dishwashers properly). Water is a pretty good solvent for food 'dirt' (especially when hot) and then we add extremely caustic detergent to attack grease to the mix so a relatively gentle flow of water is all that is required.
posted by Mitheral at 11:00 PM on June 2


Just to give an idea of how caustic dish-washing detergent (for machines) is, a number of people use it in their automotive parts washers to clean accumulated crud off old parts.
posted by maxwelton at 11:06 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


I wanted to add I've seen more neat (homemade) video from GoPro cameras than I have from all other sources combined. Yay GoPro.
posted by maxwelton at 11:08 PM on June 2


Our dishwasher looks pretty much like the one in the video, and, yeah, as long as you load it correctly, dishes come out clean.
posted by Bugbread at 11:16 PM on June 2


WILD & WACKY SPINNING ARM HYDRAULIC SPRAYING CLEANING MAN
posted by a halcyon day at 11:27 PM on June 2 [6 favorites]


Here you are sir. (side wall instead of back, but I trust it'll do)

Thanks, that's just as disorienting as I'd hoped! And the high-speed spin cycle? Holy shit. That's what the ending to 2001 should have been.

I love the lone bubble that wanders into frame at 3:00 in. I imagine it as some sort of Wheatley character. "Hey, buddy, are— are you all right? It's gonna be OK, it's gonna— Gwaaah~!"
posted by narain at 11:35 PM on June 2 [4 favorites]


The pressure seems way too low, and the angles too limited, for that to clean anything but the simplest, rinse-and-it's-clean-anyway dishes.

It is indeed fairly amazing how much better a quick spray works against organic remnants when the water is at 60°C+ and loaded with enzymes and alkaline salts roughly equivalent to caustic soda.

That last point is why aluminium pots don't survive well in dishwashers.
posted by flabdablet at 11:58 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Just to give an idea of how caustic dish-washing detergent (for machines) is

An experiment you can try at home is washing a sink full of dishes using a few tablespoons of powdered dishwasher detergent instead of liquid handwashing soap. Use gloves if you try it, though, and don't splash it in your face. The stuff is an order of magnitude more powerful than the rinky-dink lemon liquid you'd normally use in the sink.

I've used it as a cheap alternative to Powdered Brewery Wash (fairly potent commercial cleaner, which itself is a replacement for lye) from time to time and it's almost as good. Only the powder though, the liquid stuff seems to be weak sauce by comparison.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:07 AM on June 3


Watching the video Popular Ethics linked above, I was singing "wash the piggy" to the tune of "Stop The Pigeon".
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:25 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


According to this German study from 2003 a dishwasher uses about 1 kWh of electricity and 16 litres of water for a load. Typically handwashing the same amount of dishes consumes 2.5 kWh and 103 litres.
posted by Harald74 at 1:02 AM on June 3 [10 favorites]


BTW, that nozzle thingy didn't look like it did a very good job. I've only ever seen dishwashers with spinning arms here in Norway, usually two of them. The last time we bought a dishwasher we bought a high-end one, and got one additional arm for the cutlery drawer.

Still doesn't do a better job than out old near-indestructible Siemens, though.
posted by Harald74 at 1:05 AM on June 3


Up until three years ago, dishwasher detergents had phosphates in them. Most people have noticed that their dishwashers don't perform as well any more and that's the reason. It was killing fish and ruining the environment. Of course, if you don't care, you can be like this lady in an NPR article who's adding TSP to her detergent to get clean dishes. Special snowflake jackass.

Back on topic, modern high efficiency dishwashers are amazing. Mine uses eight gallons of water per wash, is so quiet that I can have it turn on in the middle of the night and not be awakened by the noise. As far as putting cookware in it, I handwash all my pots and pans, as well as my treasured knives and cleavers. I was taught that they would never get cleaned properly if I didn't do them by hand. Old habits die hard.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 1:06 AM on June 3 [5 favorites]


As a kid my main chore was loading and unloading the dishwasher after dinner. I grew to detest loading and unloading the dishwasher. Since then, I've generally lived in places--namely cheap apartments--that didn't have dishwashers. Now I live in Japan, where dishwashers are a lot smaller and less common.

But I still don't like them. I wash dishes by hand, and I think it doesn't really take all that much more time, depending on how big your family is. Ours is three people; any more than that and I might change my mind.

Dishwashers also suck a LOT of electricity, second only to clothes dryers as the most expensive appliance in your house.
posted by zardoz at 1:40 AM on June 3


So hey, how do you load your dishwasher properly? Anyone?
posted by Sleeper at 1:42 AM on June 3


According to this German study from 2003 a dishwasher uses about 1 kWh of electricity and 16 litres of water for a load. Typically handwashing the same amount of dishes consumes 2.5 kWh and 103 litres.

103 litres?? I'm curious to know the method used, because I know from MeFi it's one of those things where people go "wait, you [RINSE/DON'T RINSE] your plates???", so I can see 103l if you're near-constantly running the tap for rinsing, but not if you just fill the bowl with hot water and barely use any more than that.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:55 AM on June 3


Wow, from the NPR article Purposeful Grimace linked to: "I'm angry at the people who decided that phosphate was growing algae. I'm not sure that I believe that," Wright adds.
posted by Pendragon at 2:22 AM on June 3


Depends entirely where the phosphate goes.

If you discharge it to sewer as most people do, then it will end up going through some kind of sewage treatment plant before being discharged into some waterway, or into the sea. Sewage treatment plants are generally pretty good at rendering sewage less biologically dangerous but don't do much for dissolved salts like phosphates except maybe diluting them some; so phosphate in your sewage will certainly end up food for some water-borne plant somewhere, most likely algae.

If you discharge it to mulch basins in your backyard, the phosphate gets held pretty tightly by your topsoil and just makes your local plants grow thick and lush; virtually none of it will go anywhere else. But really the only way you'd get away with that is if you were adding phosphate to your hand-wash dishwashing liquid, and even then if it was TSP you might run into trouble with sodium accumulation.

Using a mixture of ordinary commercial dishwasher powder and TSP in your dishwasher and running its drain outlet into your backyard would dump enough salt into the topsoil to kill both it and anything growing in it pretty damn quick.
posted by flabdablet at 3:44 AM on June 3


I liked the part where the water squirted all over.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:05 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]


I sometimes feel like a stranger in a strange land with dishwashers, in that washing dishes is, for me, one of those zen rituals that makes me feel at home in the world and happy. I enjoyed doing them as a child, just listening to the radio and turning a sink full of chaos and corruption into neat rows of plates and bowls drying in the rack, and I enjoy it now, whether it's my nightly winding-down ritual or being the good guest at a family gathering.

I tell people about how I enjoy washing dishes and most get goggle-eyed. Enjoying chores is perverse and wrong, apparently, and even loading and unloading their magical machine is a terrible, terrible burden.

But, but, but, what about efficiency?

Life is not a Toyota assembly line. It's okay that there are rough edges and inefficiencies. Besides, those claims of the inefficiency of hand washing presume the kind of washing in which one just lets the water run nonstop. Use a two-bowl, or a single and a basin, and the numbers change.

I had one, just once, while temporarily stationed in Atlanta. I had a nice little apartment near where Margaret Mitchell was run down by a taxi, and a washer-dryer and a dishwasher and a kitchen five times the size of my own, and I decided to throw myself into consumerist modernity with the dishwasher.

The first night, I was unaware that you don't use Joy in a dishwasher, and returned from grocery shopping to find a six-inch carpet of foam throughout my entire apartment. Worked that detail out, but eventually found that, unless I ran the dishwasher mostly empty, I'd run out of dishes long before I could capitalize on the supposed efficiency of the machine, so it became just a glorified drying rack with a lot of bending over involved.

I did not miss it when I returned, happily, to my home in Maryland.
posted by sonascope at 4:24 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


It is better for modern high efficiency dishwashers, but probably not for older models.

As far back as I can remember - into the '70s at least - the claim has been that hand-washing uses more water & energy than machine washing. Sources included places like Consumer Reports.

There are people who don't rinse dishes they've hand-washed? If I were dining at their house, I hope they'd let me know that. I don't like the idea of eating soap residue.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:25 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Enjoying chores is perverse and wrong, apparently, and even loading and unloading their magical machine is a terrible, terrible burden.

Of course it is! So it's perfectly clear that the only rational thing to do is install two dishwashers and shuttle your dishes between them.
posted by flabdablet at 5:11 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


I don't like the idea of eating soap residue.

Yet if you don't know, you'd never notice. Which suggests it is almost entirely psychological. If there is soap residue on the plates after hand washing then you are using WAY too much soap. Especially if they are towel dried.

I can see rinsing stuff if you are air drying it, but if you are towel drying after a few minutes of standing I suspect the soap residue is negligible.
posted by Brockles at 5:27 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Hi, all. GE Appliances employee here.

I'm not really seeing why this video is getting so much attention on the 'Net, but then, I see these sorts of videos all the time during product training, so YMMV I guess.

If you want to see the wash action in a more modern dishwasher (I don't think it's our brand; plus the one in the GoPro video has to be either ten years old or a really low-end model), check out this video from our Marketing Team (warning: generic cool jazz soundtrack). Oh, and this one, too.
posted by magstheaxe at 5:28 AM on June 3 [11 favorites]


I liked at the end when the nozzle came back for a brief encore.
posted by Legomancer at 5:28 AM on June 3


Regarding the correct way to load a dishwasher, there's the right way, the wrong way, and the Dad way. The Dad way involves loading dishes and plates so that the eating surfaces face inward towards the spray jets in sort of a theatre-in-the-round configuration. Cups and glasses go in the top rack facing down to facilitate drainage. Keep plastic items away from the heating elements and ensure that light items are placed so that they don't get flipped and fill with rinse water. Spoons may be placed facing up in the cutlery basket. Forks and knives may NOT!
posted by Standeck at 5:30 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]


So is the day way the right way or the wrong way? What's the wrong way?
posted by Brockles at 5:38 AM on June 3


Regarding the correct way to load a dishwasher, there's the right way, the wrong way, and the Dad way. The Dad way involves loading dishes and plates so that the eating surfaces face inward towards the spray jets in sort of a theatre-in-the-round configuration. Cups and glasses go in the top rack facing down to facilitate drainage. Keep plastic items away from the heating elements and ensure that light items are placed so that they don't get flipped and fill with rinse water. Spoons may be placed facing up in the cutlery basket. Forks and knives may NOT!
posted by Standeck at 8:30 AM on June 3


I've posted this before, but I'll reiterate it here. Ideally, your dishwasher should be loaded like this. Obviously, you're going to have variance in the dishes, pots, and pans you load, but you should still strive to make your load look something like this or this or this.

Dishwashers get dishes clean not just because of the soap, but because of the spray action. As one engineer over on our dishwasher team told me, "It’s all about the spray. Think the spray. BE the spray."

Anyway, load all your dirty dishes so that they’re separated and facing the center. That's going to maximize the dirty dishes exposure to spray. Ideally, the plates should be in the lower rack, facing center. Glasses go in the upper rack, between, not over, the tine. Use the top rack for plastic and delicate items. Bowls go in the upper rack, too.

Knives go in point silverware basket point down. Other flatware should alternate (some handles up and some handles down). Mix spoons, forks, and knives so they don’t stick together and block the spray.

Keep your really big dishes/pots/pans at the sides and back, so that they don’t hog all the water and detergent and keep it from reaching the other dishes. This will also keep them from blocking the detergent door. If some of your dishes have baked-on food, set them in the rack facedown and toward the sprayer in the bottom rack so they can get blasted clean by the spray.

The most common dishwasher-loading mistakes are (1) blocking one of the arm sprays with a tall item on the lower rack, and (2) nesting the dishes (the water has to be able to get to the dirty spots). Your number one rule should be: don’t load anything, in any way, that could block the spray. If you have any doubt about how to load something into a dishwasher, ask yourself, "does loading it this way serve the spray?"

Think the spray. BE THE SPRAY.
posted by magstheaxe at 5:45 AM on June 3 [26 favorites]


Ideally, your dishwasher should be loaded like this.

So completely logically, then. That's a relief. I've only had a dishwasher for the last 3 years (I'm 42) so I wondered alternately if there was something I was missing or if it really wasn't as hard as it looked. It should be blindingly obvious to any sentient being that if water can't get to something it can't clean it. It'd be like washing your hands with gloves on.
posted by Brockles at 5:52 AM on June 3


That video completely confused my (easily confused) cat Ingrid. It had her digging through the pillows on the couch, looking for where the water sounds were coming from. I suppose this means she misses her electric water fountain, but I told her she can get a new one as soon as she convinces the other cat to stop bathing in it, which results in a constantly clogged filter and a lazy cat who's always dirty because she's stopped giving herself lickbaths.

Now do a GoPro in a crematorium. Or a coffin.
posted by item at 6:01 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


Item, that was an eerie odd interesting view into your world.
posted by trif at 6:08 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


Then reading through my comment history should both shock and delight you.
posted by item at 6:18 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Until they make one you can swallow - you'll have to use this to see your body digesting food. Yum! It isn't in HD, and it is only a few frames at a time - so a Go Pro (pardon the pun) small enough to go that route could be very interesting.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:19 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


. . . What's the wrong way?
posted by Brockles at 7:38 AM on June 3


Anything that isn't the right way? Or as magstheaxe said, "Think the spray, BE the spray!" Try to offset plates so they have unobstructed access to the lovely cleansing shower. My dishwasher has rotating arms and I place bowls facing opposite directions on opposite sides of the rack so that each will receive the full benefit on the eating surface as the arm rotates past.
posted by Standeck at 6:54 AM on June 3


your dishwasher should be loaded like this.

That dishwasher was loaded in 1957.

One of my biggest gripes about dishwasher racks is that they're engineered to wash June Cleaver's dishes, and have no relation to how people actually eat in the twenty-first century. Those standard IKEA tumblers that every person under the age of forty has owned at some time don't actually fit on the top rack without putting them over the tines. There's no obvious way to put in more than a couple of bowls. And don't get me started on chopsticks. You're screwed if you want to wash chopsticks. And yet every dishwasher rack I've ever seen is designed to have places to put twelve dinner plates, and teacups, and saucers, like your primary use case is Sunday dinner in Levittown.

In a better automated washing world you'd be able to get alternate racks for your dishwasher. Or better yet they'd be standardized so when you got a set of plates, you could get a rack that holds everything properly from the same vendor.
posted by phooky at 7:12 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]


Back on topic, modern high efficiency dishwashers are amazing.

Attention all personnel: everyone posting in this thread about how great their dishwasher is must also post brand and model number.

This directive is effective immediately.
posted by aramaic at 7:15 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


That dishwasher was loaded in 1957.

Which is why I posted alternate photos. :)

One of my biggest gripes about dishwasher racks is that they're engineered to wash June Cleaver's dishes, and have no relation to how people actually eat in the twenty-first century. Those standard IKEA tumblers that every person under the age of forty has owned at some time don't actually fit on the top rack without putting them over the tines. There's no obvious way to put in more than a couple of bowls. And don't get me started on chopsticks. You're screwed if you want to wash chopsticks. And yet every dishwasher rack I've ever seen is designed to have places to put twelve dinner plates, and teacups, and saucers, like your primary use case is Sunday dinner in Levittown.

In a better automated washing world you'd be able to get alternate racks for your dishwasher. Or better yet they'd be standardized so when you got a set of plates, you could get a rack that holds everything properly from the same vendor.
posted by phooky at 10:12 AM on June 3


Sounds like you have an older model, or at least haven't shopped for a dishwasher for a while.

Because I can tell you, the folks I know over on our Dishwasher Team have been acutely aware--for ages!--of how the shape and size of modern dishes has changed over the years. They're bigger (14" diameter dinner plate versus the 10" size from a few years back), deeper, and wider (especially coffee mugs, and tumblers ). And don't get them started on pots, pans, and small appliances with dishwasher-friendly parts....

Anyway, those changes have forced us to redesign our dishwasher racks pretty dramatically (note: rack configuration shown not offered on all GE models--yet!). Many of our models have racks that you can adjust up and down, multi-position tines, fold-down tines, angled tines, and more (note: rack system shown in video not available on all GE models--yet!). Currently, the bulk of our dishwasher line can hold up to sixteen "standard" place settings, which would equate to probably twelve or fourteen of what I think of aa the "Crate & Barrel" place settings.

phooky, if you go dishwasher shopping anytime soon, don't be afraid to take a tumbler and/or a plate with you to see if it'll fit comfortably in the model you're interested in. Any salesperson worth his/her salt won't have a problem with you sticking it in the rack for a test.

(And mods, I hope I'm not breaking any rules posting about dishwashers as a GE Appliances employee. It's just that this topic is relevant to my skill set, at least as far as GE brands are concerned).
posted by magstheaxe at 7:45 AM on June 3 [6 favorites]


We just got a small-size Bosch, and let me tell you, the dish tines are so close together you can't imagine things will get clean, but THEY DO. It's like fucking magic.

And we never pre-rinse. (Which is antithetical to what I was taught as a child.) That eliminates the water-savings you get from letting the machine do its job.
posted by RedEmma at 7:45 AM on June 3


Attention all personnel: everyone posting in this thread about how great their dishwasher is must also post brand and model number.

This directive is effective immediately.
posted by aramaic at 10:15 AM on June 3


Here you go--the GDF540HGDWW.


And we never pre-rinse. (Which is antithetical to what I was taught as a child.) That eliminates the water-savings you get from letting the machine do its job.
posted by RedEmma at 10:45 AM on June 3


Older dishwashers (pre-1990) were notorious for not getting the job done. Any dishwasher made since 1990? You shouldn't have to rinse the dishes before putting them in.

(I came to this site to avoid work. Now I'm on here talking about work. Jiminy Christmas....)
posted by magstheaxe at 7:50 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


Is anyone else kind of weirded out by the fact that this household seems to only own the cheapest possible, possibly stolen from a cafeteria or Chinese restaurant plates and cups? No? Just find-the-perfect-8 oz-glass and tiny-Japanese-rice bowl obsessed me? OK then.
posted by maryr at 7:56 AM on June 3


This talk about how to stack a dishwasher reminds me of the Michael Leunig cartoon from many moons ago about Dishibana, the ancient Japanese art of dishwasher stacking.

(I have a copy in a book somewhere at home, but there doesn't seem to be a copy anywhere on the web which I can share right now, so you'll just have to imagine.)
posted by illongruci at 8:20 AM on June 3


Because I can tell you, the folks I know over on our Dishwasher Team have been acutely aware--for ages!--of how the shape and size of modern dishes has changed over the years.

Thanks for this response. I'm glad they're following along, but at the same time the trends they're tracking (bigger plates?) aren't the trends I and my cohort have been experiencing (eating more rice-based dishes out of bowls). Buying a new machine to fit our plate usage isn't really feasible; I'd much rather have the option of getting an alternate rack for the existing machine.

(I'm moving in a few weeks to a place with a washing machine, which will be the first time in two decades I've had a washing machine at home. It's possible my view will change dramatically then.)
posted by phooky at 8:21 AM on June 3


You're screwed if you want to wash chopsticks.

I went dishwasher shopping with some friends recently, and quite a few of the models had little fold-down baskets on the front or side of the top rack. Long, flat racks, which actually flipped down on top of where tumblers and short glasses might go. I think they might be designed for knives, but one of my friends immediately pointed it out as the perfect place to wash chopsticks.

Also one of the Korean brands (LG, probably) had a third rack, above the normal top rack, which seemed designed for small flat stuff. It was pretty clever although I question how clean heavily-soiled stuff would get up there.

A lot of people I know who use nicer wood or bamboo chopsticks don't dishwash them anyway, and wouldn't, because they think they'd get ruined and because they're so easy to just quickly rinse off in the sink anyway. (The exception being Korean-style metal chopsticks which are basically indestructible.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:34 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


When my 75 year old dishwasher gets cranky I lick her neck, stick my tongue in her ear, kiss her and tell her I am still the luckiest guy in the word.
Guarantees lots of fun.
posted by notreally at 9:54 AM on June 3


I dunno about this "older dishwasher doesn't get dishes clean" stuff. I have an ancient portable dishwasher, which by the wood paneling and golden harvest color, I'm guessing is from the mid-70s (my kitchen is small and I needed an 18" dishwasher, and this one was $40, compared to beaucoup bucks for a new 18" model).

Anyway, I don't pre-rinse anything, ever, and I only live with one other person so we fill the dishwasher only every couple of days, giving plenty of time for food to dry onto plates and whatnot. I'd say it gets 95% of the dishes clean on the first run-through. I just check the dishes when I go to put them away and if they don't look clean, I leave them in for a second run-through.

I know newer machines get pretty much 100% of dishes clean 100% of the time, but 95% ain't bad and it's a hell of a lot more convenient than doing them all by hand.
posted by zug at 10:08 AM on June 3


Dishwashers also suck a LOT of electricity, second only to clothes dryers as the most expensive appliance in your house.

Not so. You can look at it terms of electricity only, in which case the dryer and stove use more electricity, the fridge a little more, and the washer about the same. Or you can look at total energy used for hot water and electricity, in which case the dishwasher uses more than the washer and fridge (assuming you wash generally with cool or cold water), but still less than the stove and dryer. Showers and baths are quite energy intensive as well.

Dishwasher are very efficient and it is quite hard to beat them hand washing. YMMV based on use patterns.
posted by ssg at 10:13 AM on June 3


You're screwed if you want to wash chopsticks.

Our Bosch (model #[lastyearatlowes]) washes some chopsticks every load, upright. These are not heirlooms, but are a cut above the throwaway ones that you get with takeout. The fat ends do not fall through the silver basket, and they emerge clean and whole.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:16 AM on June 3


My parents have a dishwasher. My father will fight to the death for his right to wash dishes by hand. He washes the dishes in the relationship. My mother will probably be the one that kills him for not using the dishwasher.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:27 AM on June 3


Either my coworkers are idiots (possibly I have seen other evidence of this) or there's something about not being at your own house that makes you lackadaisical about filling dishwashers. All I know is the dishwasher in the kitchen at work is always loaded really terribly, with people putting plates and bowls FACING THE SIDES (which I don't even), and coffee mugs on the bottom rack and whatnot. It's infuriating, though not enough for me to touch other people's dirty dishes and fix it.
posted by misskaz at 11:04 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I recorded a video with a GoPro in my garbage disposal, but I'm still piecing it together.
posted by orme at 11:16 AM on June 3 [7 favorites]


Older dishwashers (pre-1990) were notorious for not getting the job done. Any dishwasher made since 1990? You shouldn't have to rinse the dishes before putting them in.

My current dishwasher (a very recent GE) is the first dishwasher I've ever had that doesn't require rinsing. It doesn't even have an automatic rinse cycle (though I would usually rinse by hand). But I've had at least 6 other dishwashers in various apartments over the last ten years, none more than a few years old at the time, and every single one required pre-rinsing until you couldn't feel food particles or the dishes wouldn't come clean.

I agree with the dire rack situation though. This current GE is probably the worst I've had for loading cups and bowls, and I don't like that there are slots in the basket for each individual piece of flatware instead of an open basket.
posted by stopgap at 2:10 PM on June 3


Well, Timmy, when a dishwasher loves some dishes very much...
posted by Rock Steady at 6:34 PM on June 4


Miele had for some years a patent for a cutlery tray, which I think has been appearing in other brands as well now. It works quite well for regular cutlery, and I would imagine for chopsticks too.
posted by Harald74 at 11:21 PM on June 4


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