John Bull, Watching Televisions Washing the Dishes Washing-Up Up Magazine, UK, 1950
Washing dishes has been much simplified. Actually as with washing clothes I have discovered that it has been made specifically complicated and that as a result we would do anything not to wash up.
Initially families needed little crockery and a set of 6 plates would have been sufficient for most. Washing up liquid was soap based and it was a daily ritual in which women cooked a meal and quite often men would help their wives do the drying of the dishes. At that time, some conversation would take place about all kinds of subjects after which the adults would sit in the main sitting room, he with a book, listening to the wireless etc.
Washing up liquid became a detergent and with it harsher on hands. It was effective and to make hands softer when doing the dishes, someone invented rubber gloves to enable the lady of the house not to have to touch the dishes or water or detergent. As television became more popular, and washing up became a chore, someone invented a machine that would do the dishes instead. Good plan, thereby cutting out the gruesome chore of washing up. With it however came the need for electricity, a more intensive chemical product to wash the dishes and more crockery.
I used to use the dishwasher a lot, with 3 children and poor health at one time it was a necessity. One day, the dishwasher got blocked and we were forced to do the washing up. I noticed that using ecover washing up liquid, the need for gloves was superfluent. If it was kind to the environment it was also kind to my hands. I seemed to use less crockery and everything washed ended up in its rightful place in the cupboards, ready for its next use. We timed the amount we spent together doing the dishes and it never amounted to more than 20 mins. The dishwasher at best used to take 139 mins to do the cycle.
You can make up your own mind about how it fits in with your family but as adults we quite like to have a chat over the washing up of dishes and it helps to bring the day to a conclusion. There is no longer a smell of dishes in the dishwasher and I am wondering what all the fuss was about, why did I ever want a dishwasher. Oh yes, for convenience......
Not using the dishwasher has resulted in savings of rubber gloves, dishwashing tablets, electricity and maintenance on dishwasher. Strangely it feels liberating.....