We all love food. It’s a universal truth. The only thing we don’t love, however, is having to do the dishes after creating an epic Ramen Burrito. Thankfully for most of us, a dishwasher is a solid option for the hand-washing impaired. Other than stacking dirty dishes and cups into your washer and pushing a few buttons, do you really know much about your dishwashing unit?
We dug around a few places like BBC, a UMICH study, a recent survey by Cascade, HuffPo and Scientific American and found a few nifty things about your dishwashing companion. Here are some fun and fascinating tidbits that will make you take a second look at your dishwasher.
1. Dishwashers were invented in 1887 by a rich lady thanks to her servants always chipping her fine China.
The first reliable, hand-powered, dishwasher was invented by Josephine Cochrane in 1887. Cochrane, who never washed dishes herself apparently invented the dishwasher because her servants were constantly chipping her fine china. Cochrane went on to produce dishwashers with her own company, which later became KitchenAid. (Source: ForgottenNewsMakers)
2. The first dishwashers were hand-operated, wire compartments that held the dishes while they were sprayed with hot soapy water
Since it wasn’t fully automatic, operators had to work a hand crank to get the dishes clean. Makes you appreciate the tech we have now, amiright? (Source: UMICH)
3. Gonna do it tomorrow: 79% of people surveyed by Cascade rerun the dishwasher just to avoid unloading it.
Because why do today what you can do tomorrow? While a huge waste of water, we’re sure more than plenty of you have tried this once or twice in their lives. Things pile up, plans happen and you kinda just don’t want to unload that washer.
4. While invented in 1887, it wasn’t until 1950 that the dishwasher was sold to the general public.
Cochrane’s invention worked perfectly fine, but it was initially only purchased by hotels and large restaurants. It wasn’t made available to the mass population until more than 60 years later.
5. This is what a counter-top dishwasher looked like back-in-the-day:
Kind of makes you appreciate that extra countertop space, right? Mini wine rack. (Source: BBC)
6. Using the dishwasher saves more water than hand washing.
Hand washing your dishes consumes an average of 27 gallons of water per cycle. Compared to the 4.25 gallons for a dishwasher at today’s ESTAR level, that’s a huge difference. Just use dope detergent. (Source: Scientific American)
7. THAT PREWASH THO: 96% of people spend an HOUR each week pre-washing.
8. Most people don’t realize that dishwashers have a garbage disposal.
Pro Tip: Run your sink’s garbage disposal right before running your dishwasher. It will wash away any garbage caught in the disposal that could enter the dishwasher and block the drain line. (Source: Lifehacker)
9. DON’T PREWASH
Pre-washing can waste upwards of 20 gallons of water per cycle. Just scrape off the food and let your dishwasher do the work for you. You’ll actually get cleaner dishes this way because the detergent has something to grab on to.
10. DO IT AGAIN: 42% of people have reloaded the dishwasher because they didn’t like the way it was done.
Think of it as a game of Tetris. You’d wanna get the most out of your dishwasher space in the most efficient way possible. Otherwise, you’d have to do it again anyways. (Source: Cascade)
11. They make dishwashers with TWO drawers so you can do loads independently of each other.
Didn’t even realize something like this existed — but the smaller drawer allows you to wash smaller loads completely independently of the bigger, top-bunk brother. Came highly recommended by a Huffington Post Executive Editor friend of ours who will rename nameless. Available on Amazon.
12. Place items facing downward when loading the dishwasher. Allows dirty water to properly drain.
Feels like this should be common sense, but you’d be surprised. (Source: Cascade)
13. Not just a one-trick pony, people. Your dishwasher can wash so much more than dishes.
Dishwashable items include potatoes, baseball caps, tooth brushes, lunch boxes and even flip flops. Though you maybe want to keep that last one separate from everything else. Or at least use plenty of soap. (Source: HuffPo)
Because, knowledge is power!