I have always wanted to have a dishwasher in the kitchen. But I didn’t want to have a big clunky thing on wheels in the kitchen. So I did my research and discovered that there are small portable dishwashers that fit perfectly in my kitchen, and they use magnetic racking to hold the dishes in place. They cost about the same as a full-size dishwasher, but are so much more convenient that it is worth it.
I had a real problem getting this set up, though. It took me months of research and trial and error, mainly of the Google kind, until I finally got it working. Some of it was because I was not careful enough when I was reading everything I could find online, some of it was because my house wasn’t completely wired yet, and some of it was because there were several different models available to choose from.
I finally did get my set up going: the portable dishwasher is installed under the counter next to my stove; everything works fine; and I am very happy with my new mobile dishwasher.
If you want to know more about dishwashers, there is a lot of information out there. Some people like them. Some people don’t. And some people have a very different opinion about dishwashers than I do.
One of the things I did learn, though, is that dishwashers are a lot different from the kitchen appliances you think you know.
I had always assumed that you had to put your dishes away when you were done with them, and then wash them at some point in the future. In fact, many good dishwashers can do both jobs at once – they can clean your dishes while they’re drying. It’s kind of like a dishwasher without the dishes – except here the kitchen stays clean all the time.
There are some downsides to having a mobile dishwasher, but I think they’re minor compared with the benefits: no more dirty dishes or dishes piled up in the sink; no more washing dirty dishes by hand; no more using your microwave oven as a hot water heater; and no more storing plates in a cookie tin on top of your refrigerator because it’s easier than washing them.
Mobile dishwashers are a great idea, but they don’t work the way they are supposed to. The actual details of how they work could be interesting, but I’m not going to explain them.
Instead, I’ll just consider whether they work in practice.
It’s hard to give a complete answer because it depends on what you mean by “work.” On the one hand, there is the problem of getting anyone to use it. On the other hand, there is the problem of dishes coming out clean enough that you can reuse them.
I think if you look at each separately, it turns out that either won’t happen.
I’m guessing that most people will not use this thing because there is no human reason for doing so. You can’t take a shower in the dishwasher and then have your dishes done an hour later. You can only do that if you assume that you have some kind of magic power that makes everything clean after an hour. And since no one believes in magic powers, there is no reason for anyone to use this thing or even to buy it unless there is some special situation where you would find it useful.
This is probably not a market failure: nothing about the device doesn’t work perfectly well just sitting there unused in
A dishwasher is a very old idea. People have been putting dishes into water since the first sanitation laws. The key innovation was to make it portable, so that you can bring it with you when you go on vacation, or to the office.
At first dishwashers were bowl-type machines; they would sit on a table and wash plates by dipping them in the water, like an upside down teapot. Dishwashers have come a long way since then. We now have one that not only washes dishes but also cleans your pots and pans, discards food scraps into the garbage disposal, and even washes your kitchen floor at the end of the cycle.
It’s funny how a little thing like this can make such a difference to your life. I hate cleaning my dishes; I love being able to wash them all in one go when I’m away from home. And I especially love not having to clean my floors anymore: I’ve got those suckers going all day long without me having to lift a finger.
There are now dishwashers for every conceivable use: washing pots and pans, washing floors, scrubbing windows and drapes, washing cars and motorcycles and even airplanes, indoor gardening …
The dishwasher also has advantages over hand-washing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good cook and you don’t mind looking at a bunch of dishes for a long time, or if you’re a terrible cook and you want to get your dishes done as quickly as possible. The dishwasher will do its job no matter what.
On the other hand, it’s not exactly easy to live without a dishwasher when the thing is invented. The dishwasher is very useful and has many benefits. But that doesn’t mean we should have had it right away. There are things we can do better with our time than having a dishwasher in our homes.
Although some people think of the dishwasher as a low-tech appliance, it actually has a lot in common with computer technology.
In the mid-19th century, it was a step up from hand washing and hand drying. It could wash anything that would fit into a pot, which included pretty much everything except meat and fish: plates, cups, saucers, bowls, cooking utensils. And it did all this at home, where you had time to scrub carefully between each use.
It also worked well because its parts were easy to clean. The water reservoir was made of glass, far harder than metal or porcelain. The washings were delivered separately to the rinse tank by gravity. The rinse tank was also made of glass; one wrinkle would ruin them all. If you couldn’t find the right kind of glass for your purpose, you could make your own.
The first dishwasher was invented in the US in 1915. It was built by a handsome young inventor named Herbert Johnson, who had a knack for publicity. He got a patent, made lots of money, and then died in a plane crash shortly after the end of the Great War.