For centuries Indians have been enjoying the luxury of employing a battery of domestic helps like cook, house maid, driver, gardener, etc. Nowadays people prefer to avail the services of Uber than appointing a cook or driver, but finding it difficult to mange their daily chores without the support of house maids. On the other hand house maids have been increasingly lackadaisical about their works in recent times. Some, especially the urbanites, may identify their maids in some way or the other with the poster shared in social media.
There is always a choice if we are ready to adapt ourselves to a new lifestyle. Nevertheless I am not against employing a house maid, I find this as one of the best opportunities to empower an illiterate woman, support her children’s education, and improve the quality of life of less privileged family. However it is better to cast off the dependence on maids as over-reliant is likely to cause them distress as well. We can comfortably use machines for daily chores so that vessels inside the kitchen sink or clothes dumped into the laundry basket need not remain dirty until the arrival of maid. Besides we may employ house maids for other chores that are not of high priority like mopping floors or cleaning wall tiles, window grills, etc. Eventually this will make all our lives easy & stress free.
For reasons unknown dishwasher has not yet penetrated even into the homes of most of the upper-middle class people in India. They prefer to pay exorbitant salary to house maids rather than buying a dishwasher as the crux of the matter may be a lack of adaptability. Here I like to share the pros and cons of using dishwasher in India as I have been using this over 7 years.
Installation: It is similar to the installation of washing machine. We need to have a piped water connection preferably with river water. If you are using ground water you need to cross-check before buying the machine whether it is suitable for dish washer, it may get damaged if the water contains elevated levels of sodium, calcium, iron or other minerals.
- Cost of dish washer may be ranging between ₹30,000 and ₹130,000 approximately.
- We may either use all-in-one detergent pods (₹35 for each wash cycle) or a combo of detergent, rinse aid & salt (approx.₹7-10 per wash cycle), so the cost of detergent may be between ₹200 and ₹1000 per month, you may refer these prices here.
- Saves water: It requires less water than cleaning vessels under running water as water is sprayed with great force inside the dishwasher. Hence it is ideally suitable for drought-hit places in India.
- Hygienic: Vessels are cleaned by spraying hot water (at 45 to 90º C) at high pressure. So we can also sterilize feeding bottles, water bottles, and other infants & toddlers’ utensils.*
- Saves time: Dish washer saves time as it washes & also dries up the vessels during every wash cycle.
* If you are sterilizing infant’s utensils, you can avoid using detergents and skip the drying process as well to eliminate the residue of detergents (if any). As a safety measure I have been using detergents minimally and you may check out the contents of detergents shown below for your perusal.
What type of utensils can be washed in dishwasher?
We can load glassware, porcelain, melamine, stainless steel vessels, or any article including plastic labeled as dishwasher safe. Also articles that are difficult to clean manually like SS strainers, water bottles, oil can, pressure regulator used in a pressure cooker, etc., can be cleaned easily by dishwasher.
Items You Should Never Wash in the Dishwasher:
Since the detergent used in dishwasher is very powerful & effective and the water temperature is 40ºC or above, we should avoid loading articles that can not withstand the heat & strong detergent. So it is better to avoid delicate silverware, copperware, brassware, aluminum/ hard anodized/ nonstick cookware, earthenware, plasticware, woodenware, or any cookware with wooden handle. Also it is better to avoid loading mixer jar (as it is shallow in both top & bottom and hence difficult to drain off the water completely), hand-painted fancy articles (the paint may melt due to heat and stain the machine), expensive glass articles that are too fragile, etc.
How to use dishwasher:
Firstly we need to add detergent before every wash cycle, but rinse-aid & salt can be added only when their indicators turned on.
It is preferred to wipe off the food particles in the vessels or soak them before loading inside the dishwasher. Since the detergent pods are meant for powerful and effective cleaning, it may not require to scrub the vessels before loading (I use these pods when I feel lazy), but if you are using milder detergent powder (I prefer to use them daily) you may have to scrub and stack the vessels. In either case we should not load the soiled vessels that are dried up.
If we understand how dishwasher works, we would be able to make use of the dishwasher efficiently. Generally there are 4 wash cycles viz., gentle wash, quick wash, normal wash & heavy wash, each with varied water temperature, water pressure (jet speed), and the number of washes/ rinses, so we can select the right cycle according to the load.
Since water pressure is higher when sprayed by lower spray arm than the upper arm, we can stack highly soiled utensils in the bottom wire rack and slightly soiled vessels & light weight articles (like plastic lid) in the top rack. We need to stack vessels enabling the water to drain easily, so large deep vessels may be kept upside down in the bottom rack and bowls, cups, plates and cutlery stacked in the racks as shown below.
It is easier if we stack the vessels inside the dishwasher after every meal, and you can either run the machine after every meal (I follow this when I have guests at home), or at the end of a day (normally I prefer this).
I recommend dishwasher to newly married girls as they are less addicted to the services of house maids. Dish washer may not help to cut down the cost of cleaning but the quality of cleaning is certainly unparalleled to hand wash. Besides it gives the sense of freedom and fulfillment. I would be happier if I could find an efficient eco-friendly detergent suitable for my dishwasher. 😊