You're using your dishwasher wrong
January 8, 2021 1:53 PM   Subscribe

 
I happened to watch this a few days ago. My older dishwasher has been doing a terrible job with the dishes ever since we acquired it moving into our new home. I applied some of the tips in the video and I'm honestly shocked at how effective my dishwasher has become. It doesn't have a second place for detergent during the pre-wash phase, so I just pour a small amount on the door. The difference has been night and day.
posted by lyam at 2:03 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


I am interested in most of these topics but unwilling to devote a half hour to watch a video on each. I miss the good old days of listicles and bullet points and executive summaries.
posted by PhineasGage at 2:04 PM on January 8 [133 favorites]


To be fair, Alex makes the videos highly entertaining as well as educational.

Just put it on 1.5x speed and enjoy.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 2:07 PM on January 8 [17 favorites]


The videos are interesting and funny and worth watching, but I feel bad about the clickbait in the title so here's the tl;dr of what you're probably doing wrong (assuming you're in North America):

1. You should run the kitchen tap until the hot tap runs hot before turning the dishwasher on
2. You should put detergent in the regular pop-out thing, but also in the prewash tray (or just in the bottom of the dishwasher)

The video explains why, but that's the takeaway.
posted by caek at 2:08 PM on January 8 [61 favorites]


While I agree with you in general Phineas, I came to look at the comments on this post and was unsurprised at the fact that every link was marked as watched. I like this channel and his general demeanor and nerdiness level and puns.

The toaster one was fascinating.
posted by sauril at 2:09 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


Love this YouTube channel-- clearly the best video is Brown - Color is Weird.

THERE IS NO BROWN ON YOUR MONITORS Y'ALL-- IT'S JUST DARK ORANGE!

And yes.. there was no Orange for a long time either... only red... **falls into rabbit hole**
posted by Static Vagabond at 2:10 PM on January 8 [9 favorites]


PhineasGage, super agree. If you click the three dots under the video you can pull up the transcript (which for this video at least is nicely edited). (Also what caek said)
posted by goodbyewaffles at 2:13 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


I applied some of the tips in the video and I'm honestly shocked at how effective my dishwasher has become.

Same. We used to know you couldn't put even slightly-crusty bowls on the bottom rack or there was not a chance they'd come out clean. I started making sure to add the pre-rinse detergent (and only occasionally remember to run the tap), and it's a huge difference. Clean dishes! Most of the time!
posted by uncleozzy at 2:17 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


I'm watching because I've taken my dishwasher apart and fixed it 4 times in 3 years. He gets points for picking one up and putting it on his desk.

(Also on edit I want to add, dishwasher pods were impossible to find near me at the first wave of pandemic panic buying last year.)
posted by Catblack at 2:25 PM on January 8


I was surprised to see that I have the exact same model dishwasher as he used for demo-ing and, yes, mine too has issues with its circuit board.

Some additional recommendations from the channel:
Rice cookers use an elegant solution to know when your rice is done
A very minutiae-focused video on dubbing phone ringing into movies
I was surprised to find that the latter legitimately made me interested in the dubbing of phone sounds. Very good.
posted by spenser at 2:29 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Could someone please give me the dishwasher tips, I tried but couldn't sit through it, although he does seem pretty cool.
posted by waving at 2:32 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


@waving: see here.
posted by caek at 2:39 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Could someone please give me the dishwasher tips, I tried but couldn't sit through it, although he does seem pretty cool.

tl;dw version:
1) Stop using the detergent packs.
2) Use store brand dishwasher detergent (powder or gel, doesn't matter).
3) Fill the main detergent dispenser.
4) Fill the pre-wash dispenser.
5) If you don't have a pre-wash dispenser, just throw a bit of dishwasher detergent into the tub.
6) Hit the ol' start button.
7) Profit!
posted by NoMich at 2:42 PM on January 8 [20 favorites]


Perfect timing, seeing how I just bought another container of dishwasher packs.

Seriously, thanks, and I can get some of the traditional detergent to use in the prewash plus a pack until those are gone.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:44 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


our old old dishwasher had a pre-wash detergent cup but the one in our new place doesn't which is just fucked up. so i always squirt a little liquid on the door. because jesus fuck the first cycle should be full of lye to turn all the loose grease to soap in the hot water to wash all the fats away with the first rinse so the more complex detergents can take care of nastier things.

let me guess that's the ONE WIERD TRICK
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:45 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


I moved in June and this is my first time having a dishwasher in Y-E-A-R-S. Hand washing dishes is my least favorite of all chores, and I have been personally victimized by watching my parents misuse a dishwasher for all those years I had to suffer.

My grievances:
1. They hand-wash every dish before putting it in the dishwasher, to a standard better than most people who only hand wash dishes. They insist on doing this because a dishwasher just can't clean dishes well enough without that effort. See item 2.
2. They don't use the little detergent door, they just sprinkle the detergent over the inside of the tub. It gets washed away in the very first blast!!! I tell them. Your dishes aren't actually getting washed during the wash cycle!!! See item 1.
3. They open it before the dry cycle starts, and have a complex ritual of jiggling the racks over a course of several hours to allow them to drip dry.
4. Because of this, we're not allowed to put the dishes away until the next day because they might have one drop of water remaining, which means you can't put new dishes in the dishwasher when you use them, which wouldn't be allowed anyway because they haven't gone through the blessed pre-wash, see item 1.
5. The sink heaps with dirty dishes at all times.
posted by phunniemee at 2:45 PM on January 8 [64 favorites]


Practical advice in this but I'm curious about what the effect of how you arrange the dishes in the washer when you run it.

Am I crazy for always arranging it or is it arbitrary.
posted by djseafood at 2:47 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


3. They open it before the dry cycle starts, and have a complex ritual of jiggling the racks over a course of several hours to allow them to drip dry.

Laughing my ass over this because I can totally see my parents doing something like that. Lord knows they have enough unintentionally hilarious complex rituals already and everytime they perform one I can see all of the cartoon style question marks floating above my wife's head.
posted by NoMich at 2:55 PM on January 8 [12 favorites]


LOL. I also have the exact same dishwasher that was in the demo at my old apartment. That must have just been the Honda Civic of full size dishwashers for low to mid-range apartments of 2005-2015.

FWIW- The difference between using the pre-wash or using detergent pods without the pre-wash is clear, but I'm not sure I'd call it a jaw-dropping difference. If you do a brief soak and rinse you probably won't notice.

One thing that DID leave me gobsmacked, however, is how little water dishwashers use. My mother is one of many people who basically washes dishes before putting them in the dishwasher and consequently likely uses many more gallons than a single cycle of the dishwasher. In the future I need to remember to be a lot more cavalier about just putting the dishes in, if they aren't clean, just run the dishwasher again!
posted by midmarch snowman at 2:57 PM on January 8 [10 favorites]


Also, homeboy quickly mentioned to make use of the jet dry feature by keeping that reservoir full of the magic blue liquid. That shit really works. To the point that I think we're doing some sort of untold damage to the environment and to ourselves by using it. It might be worth it, though.

Also also, homeboy mentioned that in most cases, the Express Wash setting just removes the 15 minute pre-wash rinse setting. In that case, don't make use of the pre-wash detergent.
posted by NoMich at 2:58 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


I can't get over him lifting that dishwasher. After that I tried but failed to watch until I learned what's wrong with dishwasher packs. Can somebody tell me please?
posted by HotToddy at 2:59 PM on January 8


After that I tried but failed to watch until I learned what's wrong with dishwasher packs. Can somebody tell me please?

Most dishwashers are designed to add detergent twice: once at the start of the cycle when your dishes are grossest, and a second time after the gross cycle has been drained. Dishwasher packs means the gross cycle is running sans detergent.
posted by nathan_teske at 3:01 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Can somebody tell me please?

there's no pre wash dispenser on a pack
posted by phunniemee at 3:01 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


The problem he identifies isn't with washer paks per se, just that you have to fill up the pre-wash detergent somehow, so the pak means you still have to bust out gel / powder to do so, so you may as well just use the gel / powder. I buy bulk paks from Costco so I picked up some gel on the side. After seeing this video have been following his tips (gel in the prewash and preheating the water) with increased success. I think the pre-heat was what ours was missing, being that we're on a tankless heater and it can take a bit for our kitchen sink to get hot.
posted by msbutah at 3:22 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


I've got a fairly new dishwasher and it only has a small area for the detergent and the place for the rinse aid. It's been doing a pretty good job with the dishes. I don't do any rinsing of my dishes before putting them in- I remember reading about how "modern" dishwashers work worse when you rinse stuff and was eager to test it out once I had one myself - and yeah after finding out that there's pretty much no limit for how dirty the dishes can be - the only cleaning I'll do is remove large gunk from plates so that it doesn't end up clogging the drain.

I am quite particular about how things are arranged though. The rest of my family seems to think the dishwasher is magic and if they just dump stuff in it anywhere it'll come out clean so it's become a bit of a thing where I'll end up re-arranging the items in the dishwasher to both make sure that they're reasonably well packed but also to make sure that there's gaps between everything so that the soapy water can actually go in and do it's job.

Dishwashers, washers, and dryers do a lot of menial work with very little need for my involvement so I like to do my part to make sure they do the best job they can while I'm being productive watching TV or reading a comic book.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:31 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


Has anyone implemented the tips in this video while also becoming less ... pedantic about how the dishwasher is arranged? If a warm soap prewash means I can finally stop being a huge pain in the ass to everyone I live with about how things are stacked then it's a big win.
posted by caek at 4:01 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I'm with the parents - that alleged "steam dry" feature is complete BS. I always open the machine and let things air dry for a while.
posted by PhineasGage at 4:13 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Also, those dishwasher packs are more expensive for fewer uses.
posted by lyam at 4:14 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Yes, one of my Mom attributes is arranging things quite specifically, though when I got the dishwasher, I read the instructions and adapted.

He doesn't test or investigate the packs. I kind of assumed(wishfully thought) they are made to dissolve at different times, so you'd have a steady supply of deterg. over the cycles. The door on the detergent holder broke, and neither I or my fixit friend could re-mount it; it's quite fiddly, so I switched to the packs thinking they'd dispense detergent more effectively.

Dishwasher detergent has some bleach and is extremely strong, so I keep some in the laundry area as a nuclear option for stains.
posted by theora55 at 4:15 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


The apartment I'm in has the typical cheapo dishwasher, but I've already been filling both soap containers and it always does a great job. I may start pre-running the hot water though.

As far as "arranging", all I really do is try to make sure that no piece is completely blocking another piece from receiving the jetted water. Other than that I put smaller stuff on the top (along with plastic containers, to keep them further from the drying element at the bottom to avoid melting/warpage) and bigger stuff on the bottom. No big woop.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:17 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Am I the only person who finds that dishwashers usually leave a film of detergent over the dishes, which needs to be rinsed off manually?
posted by acb at 4:28 PM on January 8


ARRGHHHH

He doesn’t actually prove his point. At all. He just shows that the pre-rinse cycle is slightly more effective at washing if it has detergent. The thing is, that’s (presumably) not what the pre-rinse cycle is designed for — it’s for removing large chunks of food, not doing the actual washing.

He then completely skips the actual wash cycle.

The much longer wash cycle that is actually designed to remove the baked on stuff.

If the wash cycle is good enough, none of this actually matters. Pre-heating the water doesn’t matter. Adding detergent to the pre-rinse doesn’t matter. Obviously, if the wash cycle is not good enough, then it does matter… but he never bothered to test that.

So, he didn’t actually test his point. He just showed that the pre-rinse was slightly better at doing the thing it wasn’t designed to do if you add a bit of detergent.

Anecdatum: I moved into a place with a dishwasher and bought Cascade packs on The Wirecutter’s advice despite my skepticism. It always did a great job of cleaning my dishes.
posted by danielparks at 4:29 PM on January 8 [18 favorites]


I tried the Cascade packs and wasn't impressed. I found powder in both receptacles to do a more thorough job on the toughest bits of gunk.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:31 PM on January 8


JFC you people now I sound like a damn user-endorcement commercial
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:32 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


danielparks: It's not a "pre-rinse". It's a "pre-wash" and it requires detergent. It's documented as such on the inside of the door of my dishwasher and in the manual. What he's saying is consistent with the recommendations of the manufacturer, not a superstition that needs thorough testing.
posted by caek at 4:33 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


Mansplainer monetizes how to use a dishwasher.
posted by interogative mood at 4:40 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Maybe it is different where you live, but around where I live dishwashers are only connected to the cold water line and they have their own water heaters as part of the appliance.
posted by McNulty at 4:42 PM on January 8 [18 favorites]


I kind of thought like theora55, that the different things would dissolve at different times, but looking at the box now, it doesn't actually say anything about that. If they really did dissolve at different times, wouldn't the box come out and say it? Do they have the different colours and the PowerBall TM and so on to trick us into thinking it has multiple stages?
posted by RobotHero at 4:43 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Okay, pre-wash, my mistake. I’ve never noticed it in a dishwasher (I’ve used like three).

Regardless, his assertion hinges on the primary wash cycle not doing a good enough job and he didn’t test that at all.
posted by danielparks at 4:46 PM on January 8


If you put the pack in the bottom of the silverware bin you get some detergent in the prewash and some in the wash.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 4:46 PM on January 8


Maybe it is different where you live, but around where I live dishwashers are only connected to the cold water line and they have their own water heaters as part of the appliance

In the video he says the hot water thing is basically US-only, do you live outside the US? Might be regional inside the US as well though.
posted by thefoxgod at 4:56 PM on January 8


McNulty, same here, and my washing machine is connected to cold water too, in accordance with the operating manual - but I just realised that the reason for this is that as I learned in my childhood there used to be additives in the hot water to prevent scale buildup (the first tea I made tasted really terribly because of this). They were removed with the introduction of PVC pipes and we use hot water for the kettle without issues.

So why not for the other devices? After all, heating water with electricity uses way more energy.
posted by hat_eater at 4:56 PM on January 8


I kind of assumed(wishfully thought) they are made to dissolve at different times

This seems unlikely to me because water temp and prewash time will vary widely by machine, and the packs are not specific to a particular dishwasher brand.
posted by thefoxgod at 4:57 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Regardless, his assertion hinges on the primary wash cycle not doing a good enough job and he didn’t test that at all.

He trusted his audience to understand that more work that gets done during the pre-wash, the less the main wash has to do and will therefore do a better job.

His comments and twitter mentions are full of people letting him know this has completely changed the quality of their dishwashing, and he seems overjoyed with that.

Does anyone remember joy?
posted by grahamparks at 5:01 PM on January 8 [17 favorites]


If you have those packets and want to get the full benefits of a prewash, they still work fine, you can either use two and put one in the prewash basin (or chuck it in) or get some non-packet powder/gel for the prewash and use the packets for the regular wash.
posted by Aleyn at 5:07 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


> He trusted his audience to understand that more work that gets done during the pre-wash, the less the main wash has to do and will therefore do a better job.

That makes intuitive sense, but he does not actually establish that it matters.

If anything, his experiment showed how little difference it makes to use the pre-wash.

That said, if it works for people, then great. My issue is not that people are doing dishes Wrong, it’s that he didn’t actually support his conclusion.
posted by danielparks at 5:09 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


I've never understood dishwashers: you have to wash dishes before putting them in, and then people accumulate dirty dishes in them for hours or days. Gross and kind of pointless, IMO.
posted by signal at 5:15 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


I've never understood dishwashers: you have to wash dishes before putting them in,

omg mom get off my metafilter
posted by phunniemee at 5:24 PM on January 8 [97 favorites]


One thing I do every now and then is put a good shot of citric acid powder in the prewash slot. We have harrrd water so once a week or so helps to descale. The rinse agent is also really quite important for us.

Loading the soap is a bit fussy, but it's way less fussy than prerinsing everything or having to wipe the hard water marks off the glasses after the drying cycle. It's no worse than a washing machine really.
posted by bonehead at 5:32 PM on January 8


Does anyone remember joy?

That's a loaded question in these times.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:45 PM on January 8 [29 favorites]


We love the Technology Connections channel (or, as my spouse insists on referring to it, "paleo-tech guy") and found this episode very interesting.

The problem he identifies isn't with washer paks per se, just that you have to fill up the pre-wash detergent somehow, so the pak means you still have to bust out gel / powder to do so, so you may as well just use the gel / powder.

…but that's the problem?
posted by Lexica at 5:55 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


I was told by a few plumbing/appliance people just put the powdered soap in the dish washer forget the little cups sections in the drop down door. I have been doing that for years and dishes come out fine
posted by robbyrobs at 6:02 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I grew up in a family marked by bitter feuds over whether or not one needed to rinse dishes and how well before putting them in the dishwasher. Fierce territorial claims were staked over where bowls could go, where the custard cups could be placed, when and how it was acceptable to include a coffee cup with a line of milk ringing the inside.

Having a dishwasher now, I am relieved to report that modern dishwashers do not require that the dishes be pre-washed like they once did. I rejoice in every day that I get to use a dishwasher: it means that the dishes will not pile up because in spite of what a lot of people say, washing them by hand is not actually easy for everyone. After much experimenting, my dishes come out clean with powdered detergent and a dash of Lemi-Shine in the detergent cups, although rinsing agents give it that awful “damp hound” smell.
posted by corey flood at 6:08 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


I've never understood dishwashers: you have to wash dishes before putting them in,

What no you don’t. In fact that defeats the purpose and makes your detergent less effective.

and then people accumulate dirty dishes in them for hours or days.

Run it once a day Jesus.

Anyway, I have a Bosch with no prewash thingy, I use packets, and it cleans the hell out of everything.
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:11 PM on January 8 [24 favorites]


Consumer Reports rates the best gels and powders worse at cleaning than the worst pods based on their independent testing, so I'm not sure what the methodology is here.

Skipping around through the video, it seems that his reasoning is "it just doesn't make sense to me" unless I'm missing something?
posted by mikek at 6:22 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


Is this something that I'd need to own a modern kitchen appliance to understand?
posted by octothorpe at 6:24 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Hey, while we're on the topic of dishwashers, remember that guy who tried to logic his roommates out of using a dishwasher they already had? phunniemee remembers. I never forget when a dishwasher injustice is on the line.
posted by phunniemee at 6:25 PM on January 8 [33 favorites]


You're using your dishwasher wrong

If my dishes are ending up clean, I'm not using it wrong.

Consumer Reports rates the best gels and powders worse at cleaning than the worst pods based on their independent testing

We use the pods partly because of this, but mostly because they are a great assistive technology for anyone with limited hand strength (vs the child safety cap on the gel, say). They seem to work fine, even in a mediocre apartment dishwasher.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:48 PM on January 8 [9 favorites]


There are people who think loading a dishwasher is a time for freeform experimentation (my spouse) and people who don't (me) and this will never not be a problem.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:52 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


Ehhh, I use pods. My dishwasher's old. Works fine. Clean dishes every time. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by signsofrain at 6:55 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


I've never understood dishwashers: you have to wash dishes before putting them in,

Whyyyyyy do people think this? Why would anyone design a washing device that was incapable of washing things unless they had already been washed? What kind of sense does that make?

My old roommate jumped up my ass for this all the time despite there never being any evidence of my evil non-pre-washing ways causing any problems whatsoever. It drove me fucking nuts.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:10 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


Anyway, I have a Bosch with no prewash thingy, I use packets, and it cleans the hell out of everything.

Yeah. I also have a Bosch with no prewash cup and it works perfectly. Also, I only use pods.

I do run the water first to make sure it's nice and hot before starting the dish washer because that's what the manual recommends. I keep a couple of 1gal plastic jugs near the sink which I use to collect all the cold water instead of letting it go down the drain. I'll use them to water plants.

Technology Connections is a great channel. Usually his curmudgeoney hangups are quite reasonable and well thought out, but not in this episode.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:11 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


I have always been a pre-washer (because when I didn't=crusty dishes) and I just want you to know that I just now didn't do that, and put the soap in the other little bucket as well as the regular one, and ran the hot water first. I trust Metafilter that much.

If I end up with crusty dishes, you are all to blame and should feel bad.
posted by emjaybee at 7:26 PM on January 8 [27 favorites]


That makes intuitive sense, but he does not actually establish that it matters.

That's because it might, it might not. Some people have perfectly fine results with their dishwashers, the way that they use them, and the dirt that they use it on. Bully for them! But, as Alex does indeed explain right at the start of the video really quite clearly in his pedantic, verbose manner filled with unnecessary verbiage and sub-clauses, there are a lot of people who do not have the degree of success they might expect from their dishwashers, and consequently underuse them or engage in wasteful and avoidable practices like pre-washing dishes.

He doesn't need to establish that it's a problem. A lot of people have issues with dishwashers. He explicitly says that this is something to try if you are in that group.
posted by Dysk at 7:26 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


"Such poisonings fell just 18% between 2015 and 2017, a new study reports. From 2012 to 2017, poison control centers fielded nearly 73,000 calls about poisoning from these pods. That's about one call every 42 minutes, and almost 92% involved kids under 6."
posted by clavdivs at 7:39 PM on January 8


I suspect that the poor results people have experienced from dishwashers have largely been a result of the phosphates being removed from detergents in 2010, and in the 10 years since then both the appliances and the detergents have been better designed to cope with that.
posted by mikek at 7:40 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


Bosch #3 here - I never pre-wash - just a quick scrape of the loose bits before tossing in the dishwasher. Pop in a pod, make sure the rinse aid is topped off, hit “Sanitize” for extra hi-temp wash, run the water until it’s hot, close the door and Bob’s your Uncle.

We only have issues with occasional crusty baked-on food or if my spouse loads the machine like a monster who has never read the manual (despite my repeated admonitions).
posted by Big Al 8000 at 7:49 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I suspect that the poor results people have experienced from dishwashers have largely been a result of the phosphates being removed from detergents in 2010, and in the 10 years since then both the appliances and the detergents have been better designed to cope with that.

It's been my experience since approximately 1987, and continuing, that dishwashers basically suck and you need to knock most of the food off first.

The dishwasher in our house was obviously the cheapest available that the house flipper could find, and in fact they didn't even use hose clamps when they installed it (thankfully the inspector thought to check, because I wouldn't have). I've found that washing the dishes by hand has been pretty necessary.

I will TRY using the extra detergent and see if it helps. Worst case, I will still have to hand-scrub, just after using the dishwasher instead of before.

I've thought about getting a newer dishwasher that does the steam disinfecting thing though, and it still might be worthwhile.
posted by Foosnark at 7:55 PM on January 8


New from Kenmore: "Bob's Your Uncle" premier line of appliances!
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:57 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Our Bosch worked fine. Our Samsung, not so much. Suggestions for interventions are appreciated.
posted by kozad at 8:04 PM on January 8


He gets points for picking one up and putting it on his desk.

I was immediately reminded of the scene in "Goldfinger" (not the movie, but the book) where he meets with all the crime bosses.
He rose and went to the table under the blackboard, lifted up the big ungainly carton and carried it carefully back and placed it on the table in front of him. It seemed to be very heavy.

He sat down and continued, 'While ten of my trained assistants are making preparations for the vault to be opened, stretcher teams will enter the depository and remove to safety as many of the inmates as can be located.' Bond thought he noticed a treacherous purr underlying Goldfinger's next words. 'I am sure you will all agree, gentlemen and madam, that all unnecessary loss of life should be avoided. Thus far, I hope you notice that there have been no casualties with the exception of two employees of the Illinois Central Railroad who have received sore heads.' Goldfinger didn't wait for comment but went on. 'Now,' he reached out and placed his hand on the carton, 'when you, gentlemen, and your associates have needed weapons, other than the conventional small arms, where have you found them? At military establishments, gentlemen. You have purchased submachine guns and other heavy equipment from quartermaster storekeepers at nearby military bases. You have achieved this by the use of pressure, blackmail or money. I have done the same. Only one weapon would be powerful enough to blast open the Bullion Vault at Fort Knox and I obtained one, after much seeking, from a certain allied military base in Germany. It cost me exactly one million dollars. This, gentlemen, is an atomic warhead designed for use with the Corporal Intermediate Range Guided Missile.'
posted by Rash at 8:12 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Technology Connections is one of our absolute favorite YouTube channels at our house. His videos on Christmas tree lights are so much fun!
posted by Flight Hardware, do not touch at 8:16 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


This is the dishwasher video that actually changed my life and brought me joy.

If you have a dishwasher with low performance, and you've never done this maintenance on the sump and grinder/chopper, boy are you in for a surprise!

When I first did this on a dishwasher that had not been maintained, ever, the reefs and moonscape of hard water under the filter were truly impressive. The chopper turned out to be bent and blunted and had to be replaced.

Running this maintenance every six months or so on our new dishwasher has brought huge improvements.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 8:19 PM on January 8 [12 favorites]


Also recommended -- his explanation (and re-creation) of the earliest, pre-electronic form of television.
posted by Rash at 8:20 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I've never understood dishwashers: you have to wash dishes before putting them in, and then people accumulate dirty dishes in them for hours or days.

I agree, and I use mine only as a drying rack, since I prefer washing the dishes by hand. (It's true! A very satisfying chore.) I hate the noise they make (especially when it's coming from the unit next door), and I'm annoyed with my various landlords who install this unwanted appliance and then charge me a higher rent.
posted by Rash at 8:35 PM on January 8


I love our inexpensive Whirlpool dishwasher.
posted by djseafood at 9:28 PM on January 8


I was once a hand-washer like you. I grew up in a house with a dishwasher that worked for maybe 3-4 years and didn't for the other decade, so washing by hand was always the norm. Every apartment I lived in either didn't have one at all or had one that was so crappy we washed everything by hand anyway. This past spring we bought our first home and decided to replace the appliances before moving in. This was it - my chance had finally come!

Bosch got great reviews but we didn't have a ton of money to spend so we went with their least expensive model, the Ascenta. Turns out, that dishwasher is my favorite thing in this whole house. It cleans absolutely everything, no matter how dirty it is going in.

I've left dried-on-egg-yolk covered plates in there for two days and had them come out spotless. This week our water heater went out so I was worried about running it without hot water - didn't make the slightest difference, everything still came out perfect. It takes a single detergent pod, doesn't leave a film on glass (I do add Jetdry once a month), and is nearly silent when it's running.

Long story short, I am in love with my dishwasher, it is a miracle of modern convenience, and there is hope out there for you all!
posted by platinum at 9:42 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


If you look through the comments on these videos, you can find multiple comments from me that basically just say: "This is great!"
posted by JHarris at 10:01 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Dishwashers are pretty sensitive to water quality so experience with the exact same unit and products can vary quite a bit depending on the water.

All dishwashers have elements to heat the water. Most will heat wash water to an appropriate temperature before engaging the timer (the machine will still spray the water around it just won't count down the cycle). Eco modes usually disable the pre-wash water heater. So while running the hot water at your sink may make a difference not everyone will see a difference. Also not all homes are plumbed such that running the tap heats the D/W water. My house for example is plumbed straight off the tank for the D/W and clothes washer but the rest of the house goes though a tempering valve first and there is only about 30cm of line in common.

If your dishwasher is leaving soap residue on the dishes there are a few possibilities:
  • You have very hard water
  • You are using too much detergent
  • Your dishwasher's draining system is partially plugged or the pump system isn't working correctly and consequently it isn't pumping out correctly. If you are handy you can check the drain hose pretty easy on a lot of newer D/W visually
If you are using powdered detergent only buy as much as you can use in a short period IE: not much more than you can use in a couple months. Powdered detergents oxidize or something from moisture in the air and the older the detergent the poorer they perform. This is likely why Consumer Reports found gels to work better in general. Also you want to buy a popular brand from a store that gets a lot of product turn over. No sense buying detergent every six weeks if the store only gets a shipment every six months. This applies to powdered laundry soap as well. Powered laundry soap can be tested by putting a table spoon or so in the palm of your hand and making a paste with a little water. The detergent should get warm to uncomfortably hot. If it doesn't the detergent has lost much of it's effectiveness. Don't do this with D/W detergent as it is crazy alkaline and there is a potential for a chemical burn.

If you have minerals in your water Rinse Aid will make a large difference to how clean your dishes look/feel.
posted by Mitheral at 10:09 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Man, do I miss my dishwasher.

There should be dish laundromats. I would love to be able to pack up my dishes a couple of times a week and run them through a coin-operated industrial-strength dishwasher instead of hand-scrubbing a sink full of them every day.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:35 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


I have a very new Bosch. The best thing I will say about it is that it is so quiet that a red light comes out the bottom so you can tell it is on, and that it dries plastic better than my old cheapie Whirlpool. As for cleaning, especially without pre-rinsing? Eh, it's ok.

Also that 'run your sink to heat the water' is exactly what every shady tech will tell you is wrong with your broken-ass dishwasher and then scurry out the door, even if the door is falling off the hinges.
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:00 PM on January 8


I have a Bosch, and live in an area where there's no hard water issue and we hook up dishwashers to the cold inlet.

I started throwing some extra powder outside the compartment after I saw this video; I'm not 100% convinced that it makes a difference, but I've never found my dishwasher experience particularly unsatisfactory before.

To dry, I open the door (after the entire cycle has ended, obviously) to let the hot steam escape, and then lean it closed again without fully shutting it. Seems to work OK. Sometimes I spin the spinny arms to get the residual water out so that it doesn't drip on my dishes later when I take them out.

I also discovered this channel thanks to the toaster video; it was fascinating. I do watch it sped up, though.
posted by confluency at 11:50 PM on January 8


Is this a US thing? I have used dishwashers across half a dozen countries with just dishwasher tablets and white vinegar in the rinse section and it's worked.
posted by Megami at 5:01 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Is this a US thing? I have used dishwashers across half a dozen countries with just dishwasher tablets and white vinegar in the rinse section and it's worked.

Yeah, we had a coup attempt in our nation's capital a few days ago* so we're beanplating dishwashers to help us work through it all.


*With a new one probably hitting on January 20.
posted by NoMich at 5:23 AM on January 9 [10 favorites]


Those who say “my roommate is such a jerk about pre-washing and how the dishwasher is arranged but everything always comes out clean!” are going to find that when they move out their still crusty but “clean” dishes were being dealt with by their roommate the whole time.
posted by raccoon409 at 7:01 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Our dishwasher is an old cheap thing that came with the flat, and everything comes out totally clean with no pre-rinsing or extra detergent or anything. With the exception of the lemon squeezer because apparently dried on lemon gunk is just too hard.

The interior is terribly designed though because none of our plates fit in well, often requiring them to be loaded with a big gap in between so they aren't touching, so yes I have The System for optimum loading.
posted by stillnocturnal at 7:11 AM on January 9


I grew up in a household with an old dishwasher that left caked on food residue on absolutely everything and my parents actually sent me to CBT therapy over it as they viewed not wanting to eat off crusty plates as a sign of possible OCD.

I can't really blame them for making that assumption as I do have other psychiatric problems but I stopped having compulsive plate cleaning issues the second I moved out and got away from that awful dishwasher.
posted by zymil at 7:41 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


I have a Bosch that I got for free, probably because the detergent dispenser doesn't dispense. This has encouraged me to see if I can fix that.
Also considering watching some more of his videos. He annoys me greatly, but (mostly) that's because he reminds me so much of another annoying person from my past.
Perhaps if I turn down the audio and watch the CC? Probably still bad as he physically looks like the aforementioned person as well as sounding like him.
Too bad, because I think he has a lot of good information. Maybe someone could do covers of his videos.
posted by MtDewd at 8:01 AM on January 9


I've never owned a dishwasher and probably never will, but when I visit my parents* it seems like they spend almost as much time...

- scraping food off things before putting them in the dishwasher
- loading and unloading it
- handwashing things that can't fit in there and/or can't be cleaned by their dishwasher

...as I do just washing the dishes. YMMV, I don't think their dishwasher is very old, but it seems like some people in this thread have more effective models than they do.

* or, you know, used to visit
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:11 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


We had to move on short notice with a baby and what we found was a place with no dishwasher and inadequate counterspace for a dishrack. Also no garbage disposal and bears just waiting for food trash.

The solution to all of these problems was a dishwasher that hooked up to the kitchen sink. It was less than 200 usd and the only model I could find. It had a serious grinder and never clogged the sink. The top was butcher block and if you put the baby carrier on it vibrated and steamed and made mysterious noises!

It also got dishes really clean but so what.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 8:54 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


This thread's befuddling. Dishwashers that are noisy? Dishwashers that clean worse than hand-washing? I don't judge the state of automobiles by someone's 25-year-old clunker. Not sure why you think modern dishwashers are anything close to what you've experienced.

My current dishwasher (bought 2 years ago) is so quiet that I cannot tell if it's on unless there are literally no other sounds in the kitchen.
posted by explosion at 9:14 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


Ok well, I unloaded the dishwasher and everything was clean, including dishes that had grease, dried chocolate ice cream, and dried up wet cat food on them.

My faith in Metafilter advice remains strong, and you can all relax now.
posted by emjaybee at 9:21 AM on January 9 [29 favorites]


omg mom get off my metafilter
No.
posted by Mom at 9:38 AM on January 9 [46 favorites]


I just want a detailed diagram of the optimal arrangement of dishes for my specific model in the manual. I’m sick of the guessing game.
posted by Selena777 at 9:56 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I've definitely encountered a range of dishwasher capabilities and user attitudes from "you have to wash every dish first for real" to "this piece of shit dishwasher didn't get off all the burned-on cheese from the casserole dish on the first pass (but everything else is spotless)."

My 15-yo Maytag pretty much just requires that you not leave actual large chunks of food congealed onto the dish, and performs best with powdered detergent in both door receptacles.

And yes, how you arrange the dishes matters to some extent. At the very least everything needs to be angled down, so that the goddamn detergent-filled water can actually drain and the residue can be rinsed out. I have my own way of putting things in there that I think is probably best, but beyond that as long as the above common-sense guideline is followed I've decided to pick my battles.
posted by aspersioncast at 10:23 AM on January 9


We have a Bosch. We use pods (Cascade; Bosch recommends Finish tabs but I found they didn't rinse as clean) and don't add extra detergent. We scrape off solids but don't pre-rinse anything. We do use rinse aid, but I did a bit of trial and error to adjust the rinse aid setting since it seemed to consume that very quickly, and the dishes come just as clean and dry with the setting a step off the default, reducing that consumption a bit. It doesn't matter if we've run hot water beforehand because it has a heater integrated into the pump and achieves whatever temperature it wants that way. We run the normal cycle with no special options.

In other words, we use our dishwasher exactly as designed, and it is rare for anything to come out of it less than spotless.
posted by fedward at 10:26 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


emjaybee, I am so happy for you 🤍💚💙
posted by phunniemee at 10:31 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


This might get fighty but do y’all put utensils in the basket business end up or down? Also do you put like with like or randomize them and sort when putting them away?
posted by sjswitzer at 11:37 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Anti-sorted for both type and endedness, to minimize perfect nesting (which impedes water flow & cleaning).

I dislike having the pointy ends up, but clean is most important.
posted by clew at 11:44 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


This might get fighty but do y’all put utensils in the basket business end up or down? Also do you put like with like or randomize them and sort when putting them away?

I mix them up (up/down, and different types of utensils together) with the goal of not having them nest tightly against each other. From helping other people load their dishwashers I have learned that people have really strongly held beliefs about this but it all seems to work ok.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:47 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Forks and spoons go business end up, but knives point down for obvious reasons. We make no attempt to sort them as they go in. They usually don't end up nesting enough for it to matter, but we're also using the optional separator flap that goes over the top of the silverware basket and has openings that fit one utensil each.
posted by fedward at 11:47 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Our dishwasher has a utensil basket that is a bunch of slots you have to put the handle ends down in for forks and spoons or point down for knives, so each piece is actually held apart from the others. It's a pretty new dishwasher (under 5 years), it's so quiet that I often don't know it's running (unlike the one that it replaced, which would dominate the entire space with its noise), and it's SO MUCH BETTER at getting dishes clean than the old one;

The difference is that the run time for a cycle of regular dishwashing is like 3h30m. I was a bit shocked at that, compared to the old machine which was like maybe 45 minutes. But hey, it works so well and doesn't seem to be using more electricity, so yay!
posted by hippybear at 11:47 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I just drop a large handful of utensils over the basket and hope everything works out. Why does everyone works so hard at making this hard?

(Except small pointy knives - I make sure those are point down for safety.)

Our new dishwasher (freestanding GE model) is very quiet and the 48 minute cycle does a great job and is soooo much faster than our old dishwasher. I'm sorry everyone's parents were weirdos about dishwashers and gave you trauma. After living without one for many years, I feel like it improves the quality of my life significantly.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 11:48 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


In my various travels and living situations, I’ve found that just about every household has its own dish-washing rituals. It’s an amazingly personal, idiosyncratic thing that people strangely feel very passionate about. I learned long ago to defer to whatever the house rules are, even when I disagree with them.

My own ritual involves hand washing most of the time. I have a sink with two basins. The left basin has a garbage disposal. The right basin has a plastic tub with soapy water. When I have finished with a dish, I give it a quick rinse in the left side of the sink (food bits go through the disposal) and then put the dish in the soapy water tub. There they sit until I get around to hand washing.

Generally, the hand washing occurs when I’m making tea. After filling the kettle and waiting for the water to boil, I take the opportunity to wash a few dishes by hand. Because they’ve been soaking in the soapy water tub, it’s usually a breeze. Similarly, once the kettle is a-boil and I pour the water over the teabag, there are a few more minutes of waiting for it to steep, so I can finish up the dishes. Or, do something else in the kitchen that’s needed.

Since I have a few cups of tea each day, this pretty much ensures that the dishes don’t pile up. It’s established a good habit that “making a cup of tea” also means doing some chores in the kitchen for a few minutes.

In the rare case that dishes do pile up (sometimes during a work-week), then I may need to run a load in the dishwasher. So my general rules for filling the dishwasher:

1. No dish makes contact with any other dish. This is to minimize blockage of the water jets and also to reduce the possibility of dish chipping when the water jet slams one dish against the other.

2. The dirty side of the dish, and generally the concave side of the dish, should face toward the centerline of the rack, rather than facing toward the side. This is to maximize exposure to the water jets.

3. Plates should be stacked in a row. This intuitively maximizes space usage.

4. Plastic items that are “dishwasher safe” should still be placed in the upper rack, farthest from the heating element, with no tension on their sides from any rack prongs. This is because even heat-resistant plastics can be somewhat deformed by heat, particularly when they are wedged against a rack prong.

5. Silverware should be loaded with the handle pointed down, and distributed evenly throughout the silverware bin. This maximizes exposure of the dirty ends to the water jets. The exception to this is sharp knives, which should always be loaded with the blade down, as a safety precaution, because it’s easy to not spot a knife blade when looking from above and reaching into the silverware to unload it.

6. Smaller bowls go in the upper rack and canted slightly, as opposed to lying flat. This is so the rinse water can drain easier off of the bottom instead of drying and leaving a hard water residue on them that builds up into a chalky mess. (We have really hard water here in Phoenix.) Similar “canting” is also needed for some other dishes that may have a dimpled bottom, such as some drinking glasses.
posted by darkstar at 11:50 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Except small pointy knives

Which I've always heard shouldn't go in the dishwasher at all, since the harsh washing action dulls the edges over time. Also anything wooden or partially wooden (or bamboo) should be excluded and washed by hand, to keep the wood from drying out and splitting.

Just adding a couple more beans to the pot...
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:03 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


After living without one for many years, I feel like it improves the quality of my life significantly.

Same here, absolutely. Washing dishes by hand is one of my most hated and procrastinated chores. As long into old age as my economic status allows, I will continue to refuse to live without a dishwasher.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:06 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Utensils sorted, business end up. Sharp knives don't go in the dishwasher, since it's a new set of knives and specifically said to hand wash, dry, and put them back away immediately.

Also that way they don't lurk in the sink for someone to be unpleasantly surprised by.
posted by Foosnark at 12:34 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Fun schtick, but this guy has two advantages that he only mentions in passing: first, his dishwasher has a grinder and a sump pump at the bottom, instead of a series of filters, a setup that, for inexplicable reasons, has become much more common in the N. American appliance market. And then second, he doesn't have hard water.

As someone unfortunate enough to have a "modern" (7 year old) filter style dishwasher purchased without the realization that every dishwasher I'd ever used previously had a tiny garbage disposal at the bottom, and who resides in an area with exceptionally hard water, I no longer have the cavalier attitude of just putting things in my dishwasher and expecting them to get clean. Instead, every 3-5 months I have to open up the dishwasher, remove all the fucking jet arms, and rinse out the mineral clogs from the jets. And then for added grossness, remove all the filters, soak them in hot soapy water at least 5 times, and scrub off the horrible food sludge residue. And yes, we do use a rinse aide designed for hard water. It reduced the film build-up, but not the need for filter cleaning.

Last month after repeating this cycle again I grabbed some Trisodium Phosphate and put it under the sink so we could test whether putting that in the pre-rinse detergent dispenser would help any. Results are TBD, but we're never ever buying a filter model dishwasher again.
posted by deludingmyself at 12:53 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Agreed emphatically on the point (heh) made above about knives generally not going into the dishwasher. Quality knives should be hand washed and hand dried. Knives with wooden handles, especially so.

However, I do have a couple of cheapo little paring-type knives with plastic handles that I’ll use for slicing open food packets or something similarly utilitarian. I almost always end up hand washing them, too. But if dishes pile up, I don’t mind if they go into the dishwasher (blade down).
posted by darkstar at 1:27 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Fun schtick, but this guy has two advantages that he only mentions in passing: first, his dishwasher has a grinder and a sump pump at the bottom, instead of a series of filters, a setup that, for inexplicable reasons, has become much more common in the N. American appliance market. And then second, he doesn't have hard water.

The Bosch 300 series (lowest end) has a model with a water softener built it, but for some inexplicable reason it's not available on their higher-end models, so you can basically choose a water softener or a heat dryer, but not both.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:40 PM on January 9


...I legit don't think I've ever seen dishwasher detergent even sold in normal shops in Poland (though you can get it online apparently). It's always been tabs and pods since the first dishwashers showed up in the early 90s. The only liquids sold are rinse aid and dishwasher-cleaner.

In my experience the secret to a good dishwasher is just not to buy anything that isn't Bosch/Siemens (same factory, two different brand plates get slapped on at the end). My parents used the same one for 16 years until the kitchen renovation people killed it by bad disassembly. Mine is 10 years old and fingers crossed, has another decade or more in it.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 1:46 PM on January 9


When I finally got a dishwasher in my apartment after 20+years, one of my colleagues told me that from now on, I would feel grateful every single day. She was right.
Since it is a rental apartment, it's the cheapest model IKEA had, IKEA appliances are normally Whirlpool. And since I'm in Europe, it connects to the cold water line. We have very hard water, so it needs to be cleaned for gunk every now and then, but it works fine, and is very quiet. We scrape off large parts, fill the machine, run and are grateful.
At the family farm, we have a Miele, the queen of appliances. Really. It's a clean machine. There, the water is soft, and maintenance is even easier.
There are many things to say about how these compare, but I'll stick to the main issue from the video: they are built to use with the pods and they work perfectly with them. I use Finish, because that's what the instructions say, but TBH sometimes I just buy the cheapest pods in the store and they are fine too.

And then something else, which he may have mentioned, but I only got halfway into the video, and no-one here on the thread has mentioned it: a guy who installed one of the machines told me to always use the "auto" setting, and not the "eco" setting, unless I needed the high heat "extra clean" setting for sterilizing jars or something. It turns out that at least here in Europe, the "eco" setting is an industry standard that all manufacturers need to comply with, even if they can actually make a faster, safer program with less water and electricity use. So instead they make the "auto" setting, where they optimize the cycle. After trying it out on both machines, I can confirm that both "auto" settings are faster, use less energy and less water and clean as well.
posted by mumimor at 2:53 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


The best thing about our Bosch is the cutlery tray at the top means we don't have to argue about handle down or up.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:09 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Don't wash your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. This is not just fussy, it's wrong. The detergent is designed to knock particles of food off your dishes. If it doesn't have any of those, it will knock the printed designs off your pint glasses and make your glassware go cloudy.
posted by bink at 3:41 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


With my last purchase, I started avoiding dishwashers with the heated dry feature; the previous appliance failed to turn off the heating element one night and melted every plastic item within, superheating what would not melt. I'm grateful it didn't burn down the house.
posted by detachd at 4:29 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Life changing post. I’m trying not to think about the hundreds of hours I lost to unnecessary dish rinsing prior to loading.

My environmentally conscious hippy card deserves to be ripped to pieces for all the water I’ve wasted through the years.
posted by mundo at 5:29 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


In fact that [pre-washing] ... makes your detergent less effective.

I've seen other people say that and it baffles me. Should I be trying to get my dishes even dirtier so the dishwasher will clean them better?
posted by straight at 7:13 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


I have two dishwashers, at the end of each arm, the control center is above my neck.
posted by Oyéah at 7:21 PM on January 9




I have two dishwashers, at the end of each arm, the control center is above my neck.

I'm picturing you having awesome biceps and able to easily squat 800 pounds.
posted by JackFlash at 7:32 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I started throwing the pods on the floor of the dishwasher. I pre-rinse when the food is dried on. We have pretty hard water. I'll add Lemi shine (citric acid) or vinegar. We have a filter, but it pops out easily and I'll rinse it it in the sink. Our previous cheap machine had a cutter that would get clogged up all the time. Taking things apart to fix that was a big hassle.

The single most effective thing I have done is use the soak/rinse setting. I run it at night, because it takes about eight hours, but it cleans everything.
posted by mecran01 at 12:22 AM on January 10


Also that way they don't lurk in the sink for someone to be unpleasantly surprised by.

One of our house rules is that knives in the sink are a showstopper and everyone's mellow WILL be harshed if a sharp ends up in the sink.

So, I have to deal with the butter knives set to the side, but I'd rather false positives than false negatives.
posted by mikelieman at 2:37 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Another Bosch user here (Serie 6), it has no prewash and we buy tablets from Lidl. Edinburgh has very soft water and it almost always deals with whatever we chuck into it, very rarely things have to stay in for a second go. We bought some Pyrex baking trays a while back and they are as nonstick as anything I have ever seen. Only minor gripe is that it sometimes leaves drops of water on pans and in the base indents of cups or mugs, I've now realised by looking at the handbook online that it has a setting for hotter rinse water which is supposed to minimise this, I may give it a go.
posted by epo at 9:42 AM on January 10


It's so great seeing everyone enthuse over Technology Connections! I've subscribed. His bits on how cathode ray tubes work, and the greatness of Sony Trinitron, are also worth watching.
posted by JHarris at 10:27 AM on January 10


100+ comments and no one has mentioned how a dog is one of the best prewash devices there is?
posted by TedW at 1:30 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Nope, because I know where that tongue's been.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:54 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


That’s why it’s just a PRE wash.
posted by TedW at 3:11 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


One of my primary reasons for getting a dog was the prewash. I have never regretted.
posted by mumimor at 4:22 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Is there an equivalent of toxoplasmosis that alters the behavior of dog owners?
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:40 PM on January 10


Another Bosch owner here. We’ve had ours for 2-3 years. We use pods, keep the rinse aid filled, and it works fantastically. It’s very rare that it misses anything. And it’s so damn quiet.
posted by azpenguin at 5:36 PM on January 10


Is there an equivalent of toxoplasmosis that alters the behavior of dog owners?

Hookworms?

I can still vividly remember having dinner at some people's house when I was a kid and right after dinner they gave the plates to the dog to lick, and then basically rinsed them lightly and put them in the dish drainer. I don't recall any soap being involved. I love dogs, but that is a step too far even for me.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:09 PM on January 10


I've seen other people say that and it baffles me. Should I be trying to get my dishes
even dirtier so the dishwasher will clean them better?


I wish they would sell this kind of magic soap for handwashing. Why do I have to scrub under my nails with a file or a toothpick if I've done some yardwork?
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:22 AM on January 11




I wish they would sell this kind of magic soap for handwashing. Why do I have to scrub under my nails with a file or a toothpick if I've done some yardwork?

Literally, because alkaline and enzymatic detergents would dissolve the skin off our hands and not stop with the dead skin, I think. (Does digging your nails into a bar of soap before you start gardening not work for you?)
posted by clew at 9:53 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


My dishwasher works fine. I'm a pre-rinser to get all the big chunkys off because in my lifetime I have had many opportunities to clean out nasty drain screens of various systems. I would prefer to avoid that in my own house.

What I would like is, instead of single-wash pods, a detergent feed tank I could just top off once in a while. The machine could take however much detergent it needed however many times it thinks is best. My clothes washer is like that. Maybe dishwashing detergent is necessarily too viscous for that to be practical, I don't know.
posted by ctmf at 5:29 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I really love Technology Connections.

The episodes on various video disc technologies, cooling systems and the color brown are all really good.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:06 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


This has been a game-changer. I'm finally getting what I expect from my dishwasher - clean dishes, with practically no effort on my part.
posted by bunderful at 8:34 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Literally, because alkaline and enzymatic detergents would dissolve the skin off our hands and not stop with the dead skin, I think.

Maybe if I left them on my hands for several hours (maybe days?), but you can get dishwashing soap on your hands and not be eaten to the bone. I mean, come on.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:46 AM on January 12


As far as I can tell (there's no simple direct citation possible without access to paywalls), dishwashing machine powder has a pH above 12, designed to make a washing solution pH of around 9-10. Household bleach has a pH of around 10. So yeah, undiluted dishwasher detergent is nasty stuff but as long as your hands are dry it shouldn't do a whole lot to you. (Dish soap -- the stuff you use in a sink -- is an entirely different thing and has a pH of 8 at most.)

Regardless, you're unlikely to sit around and watch nasty alkaline shit dissolve your flesh. It will hurt and look terrible and you will be energetically trying to make it stop, I'm guessing.
posted by ardgedee at 10:33 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


It won't take all the grunge off before it takes off an uncomfortable amount of skin, is the thing. That slimy dissolved feeling is fine once in a while, really adds up with repeated use -- laundresses suffered a lot in the day.
posted by clew at 1:52 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Lately, as a side effect of my habit of letting the dog lick the dishes, he has begun stealing the forks from the counter. This is new. And it is problematic, because I can't find them. I suspect he is digging them down so they can mature, because he finds they lack flavor.
posted by mumimor at 5:09 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


I was today years old when I learned what that second little compartment in the detergent dispenser was for.

No, it never occurred to me to actually look CLOSELY at it. Ever.

Now I know! And now I feel kinda stupid for missing that all these years.
posted by Archer25 at 4:16 PM on January 15


I will say one thing re the phosphate detergents.

My husband works at Trader Joe's, so we used TJ dishwasher stuff for a long time.

My dishwasher is VERY MUCH like the one in the video. When I would pull the screen at the bottom off to check the sump below it, it was ALWAYS REALLY NASTY down there. Just... slimy and dirty-looking and gross. And I'd always have to reach into the bit on the other side of where it grinds up food and pull out dog hair that got caught down there.

Then my sis died in Sept. I collected a lot of the consumables from her place: lotions, soaps, coffee filters, etc. She had some dishwasher pods, so I started using them.

The area under that round screen thing is MUCH cleaner now. There's less dog hair. It's really noticeable. I attribute it to the higher phosphate content of the pods. I'll probably stay with a less environmentally friendly detergent in the future, though maybe not pods after watching this video. And I'll use the pre-wash slot. I swear to doG I always thought it was just some extra you could throw in if you wanted to.
posted by Archer25 at 12:06 AM on January 16


This has encouraged me to see if I can fix that.
And so I did fix it. And no parts were needed, so pretty good for a free dishwasher.
I also tried out the suggestions from the video and got really nice dishes with less work.
posted by MtDewd at 10:13 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


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