Dishwasher in India

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, yet finding it difficult to mange 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 one way or the other with the poster shared in social media.

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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.

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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, dishwasher may get damaged if the water contains elevated sodium, calcium, iron or other minerals.

Cost:

  • The 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.

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Benefits:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.*
  3. Saves time: Dish washer saves time as it washes & also dries 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.

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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.

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 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 hollow in both top & bottom and hence difficult to drain 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.

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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.

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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 vessels that are dried up.

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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.

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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.

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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).

Conclusion: 

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. 😊

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79 Comments Add yours

  1. annika says:

    Very interesting post. As an Indian growing up abroad, I never understood the need for maids back home. Here, only very affluent families would have hired help and we certainly weren’t that so I grew up in a home where we (mom, dad, and the kids) took care of all the housework (cooking and cleaning). Present day, though most of my friends have hired help, I just can’t do it. Furthermore, we have a dishwasher but I still prefer to wash my dishes my hand! I guess like your posts suggests, it’s very hard to unlearn a certain way of life!

    1. Megala says:

      So true! We have been relying on maids for every household chores, and it is really difficult to switch to machines.
      I don’t feel comfortable to use wet utensils, and I found the solution in dishwasher. Thus I got motivated to use dishwasher. Otherwise I would have managed with my maid like everyone else. 🙂
      Thanks so much for sharing your account on dish washing here!

  2. I love having a dishwasher but seriously, we still hand wash 90% of the time. Very informative blog Megala!

    1. Megala says:

      You are an amazing woman working with adults with developmental disabilities, growing fruits & vegetables in your garden, cooking for your grand children, a successful blogger, and I really wonder how could you find time for washing your dishes.
      Thanks for the inspiration, Diane! 🙂

      1. My husband does most of them! He always said if I cook he will do dishes. I still do a lot too but I am blessed to have him be so helpful!

      2. Megala says:

        Nice to hear this! 🙂

      3. Thank you for your nice comment Megala!

  3. Very different and informative post from you. Well explained, I never thought to buy a dishwasher as I never considered cleaning vessels are so much difficult ( for me cleaning and mopping house is difficult) this post has created a thought to me of buying a dishwasher if it is user-friendly and time saving can definitely go for it. Now I will definitely check for a dishwasher.

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks Subbashini!
      I suggest you to buy a dishwasher mainly for the quality of cleaning. Also it saves time not by cleaning faster but by drying faster. You may also need to do a manual pre-wash before loading which I don’t think you will find it difficult (because currently you have no issues with hand wash). Eventually you will definitely have the satisfaction of using sparkling clean utensils, so go for a high end dishwasher in the New Year. 🙂

      1. your informations are very useful, I will surely check for it.

  4. I couldn’t live without a dishwasher! 🙂

    1. Megala says:

      Same here! Thanks. 🙂

  5. Rita says:

    Hi Megala, Nice post and lot of time and information collected.
    To me personally, I am not finding it easy as our Indian cooking, we have to clean once before putting in dishwasher. So I find it easier to then clean it with soap myself. But I agree, when I was not well, It was a boon. My husband and my son were able to operate it.😃

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, initially I also felt the same, but later I learnt how to do the pre-wash effortlessly. You may find it easier if you (and your family) stack the utensils inside the dishwasher then & there, or you may soak them in a water tub and load them at the end. But if you keep accumulating the utensils inside the kitchen sink, soon they get dried up, and you will find it exhausting to scrub & then load them.
      Hope this will help to reduce your burden, thank you so much.

  6. Thank you for this Megala…it’s very kind of you to provide such household tips in context to modern times. I don’t think this is the case in India alone. Most Asian countries are more accommodated to washing by hand than using a dishwasher. While dishwashers are quintessential in the West,it’s still somewhat unheard of in Asia. The mentality also plays a part I guess, if I used a dishwasher in my home my mum would dub me as a ‘half-past six housewife and a lazy person. But I do think that dishwashers cut down the amount of work,energy and time so I might get one in the future. The only regrettable thing might be the exercise i might miss out(from washing dishes lol).Don’t fret about the maid part, what you said about them is true. It’s not easy to find a good helper/maid nowadays . Cheers 🙂

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on dish washing! I am so delighted to hear that you find this post useful & relatable.
      Have a great week ahead !

  7. Dreamtemples says:

    Thanks so much for this wonderful post Megala! I was wondering if it could be used in Indian kitchens and did’nt know who to ask. Now I feel more confident about buying it. As for maids, well, you explained it well. If you are lucky , then all is well! If not, …….!!

    1. Megala says:

      Glad that this post has motivated to buy a dishwasher. So go for the best brand and high end model so that you will enjoy the hassle-free dish washing for 15-20 years. 🙂
      Thanks Sheela!

  8. Very informative!!

    1. Megala says:

      I’m so glad, thanks.

  9. Rupali says:

    Just yeasterday I talked to my kamwali maushi (maid, she is serving us for almost 18 years) about my forth coming visit and discussing her availability. After talking to her I felt so relieved. It’s like a blessing hearing her cheerful and optimistic voice 🙂 Strishakti …

    1. Megala says:

      So nice to treat your maid as a family member, you both are really blessed. 🙂
      Thanks so much!

  10. Very informative and helpful post, Megala. A great presentation and yes very useful nowadays in houses.

    1. Megala says:

      Glad you feel so, thank you!

      1. Yes absolutely Megala. Welcome.

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