She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Frugal Living ~ Back to Handwashing Dishes

I don't know about this one, friends, but I am going to give a try. It has only been 2 years since I've had the ultimate pleasure of having a dishwasher. Believe me, I have so enjoyed it. I feel like a queen when I can just put those dishes in the tray and let "someone" wash them for me. I love the time it saves me as well.

However, as a single income family, I am really trying to do whatever I can to make our money stretch a little further these days. Things like consolidating trips to town and handmaking my own laundry soap (which I enjoy immensely). And one late night as I sat listening to my dishwater running water endlessly, I thought "I wonder how much money I could save if I washed them by hand?"

Well I have decided to give it a try. But first I had to entice myself to meet the challenge so I bought myself these darling oh so feminine pink rubber gloves that came with a flower dish scrubber from Gooseberry Patch (on clearance of course) and even hung a hummingbird feeder outside the window. Now I am ready to go!

Guess I'll know in a month or two if the results are worth the effort. In the meantime, I'll be wearing my fancy gloves, a pretty apron and dancing around the kitchen with the hummingbirds to the tune of clanking dishes!



Anne Fannie said...

Lea, you are so brave!

Michelle said...

Let me know how it goes...washing dishes is one of my least favorite things to do, but I have been thinking of doing many of the things you mentioned to be more frugal, and save money!


Cora from Nelia's Primitive Place said...

Here is some information about dishwashers: Most use about 6 gallons of water total. They heat the water to about 160 degrees. If you pre rinsed your dishes first before putting them in the dishwasher, it would add up to more water usage. Not sure about the electrical usage used in a cycle, but could be found by looking up your model of dishwasher. You would have to do a test as to how much water you actually use by washing your dishes by hand, how much dishsoap you use as compared to what you put in the dishwasher, etc. According to most reports out there, the dishwasher wins the tests, hands down.

All that said, I wash my dishes by hand, even though I have a dishwasher.


Pam said...

I love those gloves!!!
Lea, do post if there are any savings to handwashing. We have not had an automatic dishwasher since we moved into this house...21 years ago! I've often wondered if it would make much difference one way or the other.
Have a wonderful Wednesday-

Deb said...

Lea, I know how the prices are rising on just about everything these days. I'm listening to my dishwasher right now. I did use clear contact paper to cover the vents downstairs because we only go down there when company is over. Let us know how much savings we would get by hand washing the dishes. Deb

Linda said...

Hi Leah!

I absolutely HATE dishwashers! Not that I love doing dishes by hand, but they're such a waste of......... everything! ;)

When on holiday in Ireland we had one in the home we rented.. and first I was all like 'yey, I can't wait to try that!'

But first.. it's a waste of space. It's one less cupboard in the kitchen.

Then a waste of water.. I can't believe how much water goes through that thing in just one cycle!

Electricity.. obvious!

And a waste of TIME! wow! I have never spent two hours doing dishes by hand, yet that is the amount of time it takes for the dishwasher to run a cycle.. and he didn't even get everything properly cleaned yet.. I still had to do stuff like baking tins by hand! (uhmm.. yeah.. even when on holiday I bake stuff.. *lol*)

So from me, I vote: Never! hahaha.. let me do it by hand.... ;)

greetings from the netherlands!

This Country Girl said...


I'm really interested to see if it saves. Please let us know if you can tell any difference!

At least you're going to be washing dishes in style! Those pink gloves are so pretty!

~ Tammy

Toni said...

Good for you Lea!!I`ve been hand washing our dishes for about a year now.Let me share with you an idea I have to make it a little easier.If you have more dishes than you need,try putting some away.Only keep enough dishes and silverware for a meal,that way you won`t have them piling up.Keep us updated on how it is going!!

Julie said...

Oh! I just looooooooove those gloves! I didn't know they were on clearance!!!
Wonder if they could be made at home? Would you mind taking a picture of the inside, where they attached the ruffle to the glove?

Primgal55 said...

What great gloves! I too have reports that say the diswasher wins and since the new ones don't require rinsing, they use less water than the old models. And if you don't use the dry cycle and let them air dry that saves even more - that's what I have been doing. It shortens the cycle too. I hope your method does save you though and I'll be eager to see how it goes! Please keep us informed!

hugs, Linda

Cathy said...

Ok, I was with you 100% on the homemade laundry soap--I'm loving using it, but I gotta draw the line at handwashing dishes. Oh I do not like washing dishes--but I sure do like the fun gloves. Maybe I could wear a pair while loading the dishwasher. LOL!

Cathy :)

YD's a little bit of everything place said...

I have not used a dishwasher for years! When we moved to our current apartment a few years ago there was a dishwasher. I tried to use it a few times but it really didn't work well and then water started leaking out of it so I stopped using it. My husband removed it and asked if I would like a new one and I said no.

Katy said...

LOL....when we moved in here..i MADE chris take the dishwasher out...cuz i like to do it myself...ROFL. is that weird. It isn't so much that i enjoy doing the's more that I just like being less techie with stuff...know what i mean? I think doing the dishes is a blessing. Maybe that sounds stupid...but to's a way I serve my family and I don't mind it! Best of luck with it Lea! :)

LINDA said...

We used to have a dishwasher and I used it to store my Tupperware in!LOL~ I do prefer to wash dishes by hand but I have a quirk. I refuse to fill a sink with water. I soap up my sponge or brush( I use a brush also), then scrub as many dishes as I can to the other sink. I wash everything, then rinse everything under running water. I can't abide sitting in a tub with all my parts in the water with dirty feet, either. WEIRD, I know. Anyway, then everything is as 'sterile' as I can get it. I only do dishes once a day but then there is just the two of us. Mike doesn't like paper plates and I guess I'm not that crazy about them, though I do use them for the grandkids when they are here for extended periods. And, I've started using the foam dish soap and it lasts longer. I use less soap and less water this way. I heartily approve of learning/relearning how to be more frugal.

I think your DH would be pleasantly surprised to come home and find you dancing around the kitchen with your apron and gloves on..........

Melissa said...

Hi...I know some may disagree but I actually was doing some research of my own and "they" (whoever they are?) say that it is actually cheaper to use your dishwasher than to wash by hand. It is more energy efficient and you are actually saving on water because if you fill your sink up and sometimes have to refill when it becomes filthy water you are using more water than you ever would using your dishwasher. Just thought I'd pass this around. :) I am so going to try your laundry detergent recipe. Thanks!

Granny's Closet said...

hi there! I want to let you know, that the best hand dishwasher can not bet the dishwasher in using less engery, as long as you have the heat/dry cycle off. I did lots of research when we were at .52 cents a kilowatt. I did not think it was true, but...the one thing you can really do to save on high electric bills is invest in a hot water heat timer. It really makes a difference. We are going to continue to use ours even with the lower rates now up here in Juneau since we seen what a difference it makes. More later--on a vacation in Michigan.

Vintage Linen Treasures said...

I love the gloves! They MIGHT even make washing dishes by hand a little more fun. And watching hummingbirds while you do it will definately be worth it!
Patricia :o)