Lady Brin

The Science of washing dishes?

20 posts in this topic

To the scientific Forum minds, I came across the following on weather.com:

You can lower your monthly energy bill and blah, blah, blah - contribute to a cleaner environment without making major changes or buying expensive energy-saving gadgets. Simple changes, and thought given to energy reduction, will make a significant difference.

Dishwashing

If washing dishes by hand, fill one basin with warm soapy water and the other with cold rinse water. This saves much more water than leaving the cold water running for rinsing. If you're using the dishwasher, pre-rinse dishes with cold water. Be sure machine is full, but not overloaded.

Turn off automatic air-dry switch, and let dishes dry by air. If your machine doesn't have an air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open a bit so the dishes will dry faster.

If a small load, avoid using "Rinse-Hold". This uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time it's used.

Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer's recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (115 degrees).

I'd rather die than give up my dishwasher, but I thought the above bolded was interesting. I've never heard of rinsing dishes in cold water; I wouldn't *feel* like I was killing all the germs. My pediatrician recommended we purchase a dishwasher in 1963 to reduce colds, flu, mold, etc. Since Daddy already had 3 dishwashers, he refused to buy one, so his wife went to work long enough to purchase a Kitchen Aid (in that brown color that was popular at the time - what was it called?) that rolled on wheels. You could roll to the table, then roll it back and hook it up to the sink. It required no pre-rinsing and small scraps of food would even be disposed of. They still have the same dishwasher - and it works.

What is the science behind dish washing? Am I being overly germ conscious? I'm suspicious that weather.com wants to kill off the population by using cold water. B)

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I have a glass, dish, bowl, and set of silverware that I keep in a drying rack next to my sink. Every time I use them, I rinse 'em off and put 'em back, and when I feel like it every so often I scrub 'em with soap. I almost never use hot water on 'em. I almost never get sick, certainly not from that.

I'm suspicious that weather.com wants to kill off the population by using cold water. B)

I stopped using weather.com when one of their "meteorologists" said that "climate change deniers" should have their meteorology "license" (or whatever) revoked. I use AccuWeather.com now.

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I use an old-fashioned Rubbermaid dishpan that I usually always keep filled with a litte HOT water and equally old-fashioned Palmolive dishwashing liquid. Throughout the day, whenever I dirty a dish, etc., I simply rinse it out out and place it in the dishpan where I let it soak. At the end of the day or whenever the dishpan becomes full, I simply wash out the collected dishes right in the dishpan, rinse them with plenty of HOT water on the free side of the sink and set them to dry in a dishrack. I then repeat the cycle.

Voila!

Of course, the dishwasher is de rigeuer when I have a significant number of items to wash.

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What is the science behind dish washing? Am I being overly germ conscious? I'm suspicious that weather.com wants to kill off the population by using cold water. B)
Yes. They do.

I wash my dishes by hand. As a single person on and off for years, I always found it to be overkill to run the dishwasher and I work fast. I don't pre-soak the dishes as V does, unless they're really accreted with hardened food. And, because I can't leave a dirty dish dirty for long, not much has a chance to set, the occasional pot or pan excepted.

I use hot water for both washing and rinsing, not to kill germs, but to facilitate rinsing. Even the best detergents are much more soluble and rinsable in hot water. Water is a great solvent, but solubility increases with temperature. There are a few exceptions, such as the emulsifying milk and egg products, but I generally don't accomodate them, because the mechanical action of a safe scrubbing sponge and the lifting action of a good detergent (Dawn's great) makes short work of either.

I've had family and friends, on a few occasions, argue with me that the dishwasher would be much faster, but I'm usually draining or drying the last glass or dish by the time they've assembled their best argument. And, even when it does take time, I find it meditative. I've actually been to tedious parties where I've snuck into the kitchen to wash some glassware. B) It gives me an excuse to get away, I can polish them to a nice glow, and people who really wanted to talk to me found me there, away from the maelstrom.

But I'm not opposed to the use of a dishwasher. Many fine people use them. I've used them myself... but I didn't inhale.

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Dishwashing isn't much of a problem. I eat out a lot and use paper plates and plastic forks and spoons. B)

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If washing dishes by hand, fill one basin with warm soapy water and the other with cold rinse water. This saves much more water than leaving the cold water running for rinsing.

What is the science behind dish washing? Am I being overly germ conscious? I'm suspicious that weather.com wants to kill off the population by using cold water. B)

I think they say to use cold dish water in order to save energy by not using the hot water heater as much. I think it's impractical to use cold water for rinsing not only because hot water might kill residual germs, but also I've found that dishes seem to dry faster when I rinse them in very hot water. I'm not sure why, though. Wish I had a dishwasher!

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Dishwashing isn't much of a problem. I eat out a lot and use paper plates and plastic forks and spoons. B)

B)

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...I've found that dishes seem to dry faster when I rinse them in very hot water. I'm not sure why, though.
Hot water evaporates more quickly; closer to the gaseous state (water vapour). Yes, much better, especially for glassware, where, the hotter the water, the fewer the spots when you wipe them off.
Wish I had a dishwasher!
post-47-1213149844.jpg There, you should have a dishwasher, now.

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Wish I had a dishwasher!
post-47-1213149844.jpg There, you should have a dishwasher, now.

Keep in mind that that doesn't work unless the reader has a matter transporter receiver.

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...I've found that dishes seem to dry faster when I rinse them in very hot water. I'm not sure why, though.
Hot water evaporates more quickly; closer to the gaseous state (water vapour). Yes, much better, especially for glassware, where, the hotter the water, the fewer the spots when you wipe them off.
Wish I had a dishwasher!
post-47-1213149844.jpg There, you should have a dishwasher, now.

I wouldn't mind an autoclave, an institutional one - I can't fit my pots inside my countertop version. Oh, wait, I guess that uses too much energy for weather.com. And I use far greater volumes of room temperature water than any dishwasher, man or machine, to apply the zero scrubbing, time-saving approach with ortho-phthalaldehyde, but using it means I don't inhale, either...

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Wish I had a dishwasher!
post-47-1213149844.jpg There, you should have a dishwasher, now.

Keep in mind that that doesn't work unless the reader has a matter transporter receiver.

You mean like a garage?

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I wouldn't mind an autoclave, an institutional one - I can't fit my pots inside my countertop version. Oh, wait, I guess that uses too much energy for weather.com. And I use far greater volumes of room temperature water than any dishwasher, man or machine, to apply the zero scrubbing, time-saving approach with ortho-phthalaldehyde, but using it means I don't inhale, either...

You clean your dishes with this? Doesn't it stain things dark gray? (skin, clothing, anything with protein on it)

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To the scientific Forum minds, I came across the following on weather.com:
You can lower your monthly energy bill and blah, blah, blah - contribute to a cleaner environment without making major changes or buying expensive energy-saving gadgets. Simple changes, and thought given to energy reduction, will make a significant difference.

Dishwashing

If washing dishes by hand, fill one basin with warm soapy water and the other with cold rinse water. This saves much more water than leaving the cold water running for rinsing. If you're using the dishwasher, pre-rinse dishes with cold water. Be sure machine is full, but not overloaded.

Turn off automatic air-dry switch, and let dishes dry by air. If your machine doesn't have an air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open a bit so the dishes will dry faster.

If a small load, avoid using "Rinse-Hold". This uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time it's used.

Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer's recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (115 degrees).

I'd rather die than give up my dishwasher, but I thought the above bolded was interesting. I've never heard of rinsing dishes in cold water; I wouldn't *feel* like I was killing all the germs. My pediatrician recommended we purchase a dishwasher in 1963 to reduce colds, flu, mold, etc. Since Daddy already had 3 dishwashers, he refused to buy one, so his wife went to work long enough to purchase a Kitchen Aid (in that brown color that was popular at the time - what was it called?) that rolled on wheels. You could roll to the table, then roll it back and hook it up to the sink. It required no pre-rinsing and small scraps of food would even be disposed of. They still have the same dishwasher - and it works.

What is the science behind dish washing? Am I being overly germ conscious? I'm suspicious that weather.com wants to kill off the population by using cold water.

The reason why dishes are always so untouchably hot immediately at the end of a wash cycle is to be 100% certain kill any germs. Dishwasher manufacturers are keen to avoid lawsuits along the line of "Dear little golden haired Amelia caught e-coli after eating off a plate from one of YOUR dishwashers, therefore give me a zillion dollars"

It's slightly overkill, but as environmentalists are always telling us, the "precuationary principle" applies B)

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Why do you despise it?

Because it ruins a great manicure.

Actually . . . I have a problem with excessive and sometimes painful hand, nail and cuticle dryness that requires a lot of special attention and manicuring. I understand that prolonged exposure to hot water can dry things out even more.

So . . . in addition to the old-fashioned dishpan and Palmolive (remember Madge?), I admit to using Playtex gloves whenever I need to wash dishes. But that's not all: I always rinse my hands and apply hand lotion before putting on the gloves (Williams-Sonoma's Meyer Lemon variety seems particularly good for this). I've found that while the gloves insulate the skin from direct contact with the hot water, the otherwise indirect heat in combination with the lotion helps to give my hands and cuticles a little moisturizing treatment while I do the dishes.

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Wish I had a dishwasher!
post-47-1213149844.jpg There, you should have a dishwasher, now.

Keep in mind that that doesn't work unless the reader has a matter transporter receiver.

....I wish I had a matter transporter receiver! ::looks around at the sky:: B)

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No way do I wash dishes by hand! I just rinse off the large pieces of food and into the dishwasher it goes. The dishes come out sparkling clean. I have enough plates to last until the washer is full. I don't use the heated dry cycle to save energy costs. Air drying is fine. I don't worry about germs too much. As long as everything is dry and clean, germs can't survive without water.

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Why do you despise it?

Because it ruins a great manicure.

With small jobs, I use the sponge on 'supply Handel'. The dish detergent is contained in the handle. This way one never touches the water. Rinse the plate, run the sponge over it, then rinse again. Saves water too because the sink is not filled.

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You clean your dishes with this? Doesn't it stain things dark gray? (skin, clothing, anything with protein on it)

It's a yellowish gray for any proteinaceous matter if one doesn't wear gloves, yes, but I do. It takes a lot less time with my different cooking "experiments" that could otherwise mean lots of scrubbing and sponges, and you can reuse as well, up to 14 days from first usage.

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