How to Use a Dishwasher (and not just as storage space)

For almost a year, we did not really use our dishwasher… we didn’t use it for washing our glasses, dishes, pots, pans, and utensils. In stereotypical Asian fashion, we used it as drying rack for dishes and other kitchen utensils.

Don’t know some Asian stereotypes? Read this article from Buzzfeed:

And watch this video, too:


I don’t remember our reasoning at home why we didn’t use it.

  • We probably wanted to conserve water and electricity.
  • We didn’t really know how to use it.
  • We’ve always washed dishes and kitchen utensils manually and old habits die hard, especially when you move from the Philippines to America.

image credit: Mack Male via Flickr

So, in the summer and even in the winter, we would wash the dishes with sponge and dishwashing liquid. In the winter, my hands felt like they would freeze because it was just too cold! In the summer, it wasn’t much of a problem because we were used to washing dishes manually in the Philippines.

One day, probably because I tired, or I just got curious how the dishwasher works, my wife and I agreed to try using it. But we did one big mistake. We put dish-washing liquid on the small nook meant for the dishwasher pacs.

A few minutes later, we heard the dishwasher working. And soapy bubbles started flooding our kitchen floor. We stopped the dishwasher and had to clean up all the bubbles on the floor, laughing at the silliness of it. I mean, we could have watched YouTube and researched how it worked.

The next day, we went to Kroger and bought some dishwasher pacs, the specially packaged dishwasher powdered detergents. We learned that this is how to use a dishwasher:

Rinse and remove any food particles in glasses, utensils, and dishes.

You just can’t put a used dish with food particles inside the dishwasher because it will make everything else dirty. So you’ll also need a sponge, and a scrubber, to wash away those food particles.

I don’t remember seeing a dish wand in Manila, but it is very useful here.

Use your dishwasher once a day, at night, if possible to conserve some water and electricity.

This is what we do. After washing away food particles, we put used dishes on the dishwasher and turn it on at night right before we go to sleep. That way, we only use it once a day. Sometimes we turn on the heated dry feature, but more often we don’t. They will dry off anyway.

If we had too many used dishes, pots, and pans, we wash some of them manually so the dishwasher is not too full.

I wish we started doing this long ago! It saves so much time for us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *