No Dishwasher???

CollagePaintJanuary 6, 2012

Gutting a small galley kitchen to make the kitchen DH and I will use for next 30 years. We're retired, no kids, cook and entertain quite a bit. Much of our dishes, glassware, and flatware are not appropriate for a dishwasher. And, reading about dishwasher detergents on the Appliance Forum, it seems dishwashers are useful only for items you don't care much about. Our old dishwasher died about 4 years ago, and we have missed it only occasionally. Are we nuts to eliminate a dishwasher from the new kitchen? We would give the space to a cabinet or really wide sink set-up.

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Can you place a 24" cabinet next to the sink so one can be added easily later? --If you want one, or if you want to sell...

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 9:33PM
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And your point?
Are you asking or telling someone that you're not putting in a DW? [LOL]
Do what you want.

If you sell, you might have to pull out the recommended 18 or 14" cabinet to put one in.

As much as I hate the HGVT shows, no dishwasher would probably be a deal breaker.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Yes, we could-- and would-- have a 24" counter adjacent to the sink. How the kitchen would appeal to a buyer is not a consideration, only whether you all think we might regret our decision if we don't include a dw.

I was not making a point. I was asking a question.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 10:07PM
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I wasn't asking about 24" of counter... A 24" cabinet that you can trade out easily and slide in a dishwasher if you ever want to.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:14PM
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If you have lived without a DW for four years, you should know by now if you really need one. As to whether it would be a resale deal-breaker, it all depends on your market. I know several families that don't have one, by choice. My brother and SIL recently bought a 40yr old house with a re-done kitchen with no DW. They've since done more improvements, but still no DW.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:24PM
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Sorry for misreading your message. The cabinetry will be custom built, so we could design in leeway for removal/replacement. That seems like a good idea-- thanks! Part of our uncertainty is not knowing how or how much our desires and needs will change over time. Of course no one can know that, but when I posted I was wondering whether others had taken this route and then regretted it.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:36PM
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I'll just add a couple of point in favor of a dishwasher. From what I have read, and I think it's fairly common knowledge now, is that 1) a dishwasher uses much less water than handwashing, and 2) it's more hygienic, due to the very hot water.

I haven't had any problem with etching. I don't want anyone here to keel over, but I have even run the Wedgewood china I inherited from my mother in my dishwasher, that's the way she washed it. I've also washed the sterling silver in it (just don't let it touch any stainless steel). I do have fairly soft water and use the Miele tabs. So it works for me.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:41PM
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go get a high end dishwasher-they can "handle" your stuff.
You are consuming extra energy by washing everything by hand.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:47PM
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If you were asking a question, there would have been one!
That's why I asked. You told us about your current life style.

Trailgirl, so do I.
And lived to tell the tale, as well!

I lived without a dishwasher (or kitchen) for 3 years. I used a utility sink in the someday-bathroom when I'd microwave the pasta and tomato sauce I lived on for almost 5 years. (Yes, I ended up with stress fractures from no Vitamin D or protein.)

Anyway, one can do it, but you're the ones who have to decide.

Now, living alone? Since I have a ton of dishes, rinse my dishes, put them in the DW and ever 3-4 weeks run it. Energy savings, convenience, and a good place to let them drip.

BTW. Nice to have your home to yourselves, as far as design!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:51PM
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I think the OP did ask a question: "Are we nuts to eliminate a dishwasher from the new kitchen?"

I would say, you bet. But that's my opinion. If you have lived all this time without one, and aren't pining for one, I think you have your answer. However, I don't think the lack of a DW is a deal-breaker when it comes to buying a house. Would you not buy an otherwise great house (right price, right neighborhood) just because it didn't have a DW?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 12:11AM
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Linelle, you're right and I apologize for missing it.
It was just going on about lifestyle, which made perfect sense to me!

Still ... they should do what they're comfortable with. If they like more cabinet space? Why not.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 12:55AM
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Christine :)

Although I wouldn't give up my DW without a fight, I probably hand-wash half of my dishes and those that go into the DW have already been rinsed to the nines. I maybe run it once a week and I sure don't want any food particles ripening in there while the dishes wait for a cycle.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 1:07AM
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In the future needs category -- I just returned from spending the day taking my father to the doctor and then getting him checked into the hospital. I have watched him and my mom go through changes -- even my DH. I'll mention the considerations I can think of --

Your cooking and general dish use may increase or decrease, depending on what your schedule was like, will be like, whether you like to cook, have the budget to eat out, have any dietary concerns. Needing or wanting to save money or having dietary restrictions or other physical impairments that make it harder to venture out might increase your cooking or dish use even if doing more cooking would not be something you would chose to do with your retirement time.

With more dishes, you might find you would like to have a DW more. That is even more true if either of you has or develops physical limitations. Standing at the sink washing dishes by hand may become more difficult on feet, knees, backs, even hands and arms. The concern could be drier skin or a dermatitis that isn't an issue now.

Another thing I've noticed is that as eyesight slips, hand washed dishes may not get as clean. The water for hand washed dishes isn't likely to be as hot. That may not be enough to concern you now, but if either of you develops an immuno-deficiency or is under medication that can suppress the immune system, that could become an issue.

We are going to be under growing pressures to be more energy and water efficient. Some of those pressures will likely be higher costs for greater use of power and water. We are seeing scaled water bills here now. A DW uses less water and energy if used properly (not hand washing dishes before you put them in the DW). You have options or a top rack only wash, a rinse and hold cycle (I think mine uses 1-1.5 gal), can get DW drawers (1 or 2). It could save you money and be kinder on the environment.

I lived with a broken DW that was used as a large drying rack while we decided some other choices for the kitchen before deciding what finish to get on the DW. I could live without one, but I probably would pass on a house that has a kitchen without one -- unless it was built so that one could easily be put in. Changes in cabinets can lead to other problems and expenses, so they will scare off buyers. You say that isn't an issue for you now, but are you wealthy enough to be sure it won't be? My cousin blew through the lifetime max on his retirement medical insurance in about 9 months of cancer treatment, leaving them with a lot of unpaid bills. For most of us, there could come a day when being able to easily sell our home at a decent price does matter.

I wouldn't tell you too include a DW if you really don't feel any need for one now. I will tell you that a good DW makes your life easier while a lower end one hardly justifies itself, IMO. If you've never had at least an upper mid-range model, you might be pleasantly surprised. But no matter what your feelings are about having a DW yourself right now, I would strongly recommend having a space to put one with a cabinet that can be easily removed, at least 18" but 24" will give you drawers and other options.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 1:47AM
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My parents (retired) have lived without a d/w basically all their married lives. Even to this day (especially with just the 2 of them), my mother prefers not to use the d/w that is in their newer house. I have to force her to use it when we're all there and 10 people have eaten dinner. She says generally there are so few dishes with just the two of them, that it would take all week to fill it. That may be the same for you.

I'm at the threshold of buying one myself, and I have to say, I've been tempted to use the precious 24" space for something else...but I have 4 small kids, and it's really just more practical to have a d/w. Plus in my case, resale does factor in... Could you put in an 18" d/w and a 6" cabinet? A small one might suit your needs better with the possibility of changing it out in the future.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 7:39AM
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In answer to your question, I can totally understand why you would be happy to continue without a DW and use the valuable space or storage. I feel in your situation it would be a good move to install one. A few reasons, the hygiene factor, re-sale, and who knows if you say needed home care down the road - a cleaner/cook or family member.... they may feel it is an issue n0t having one.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 9:09AM
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On the resale issue: we bought a house in 2007 with no dishwasher and no easy means of putting one in without undertaking a full kitchen redo (no space on plumbed wall, questionable if electric service and current under-sink piping would support it). The real-estate agent pointed out that the kitchen lacked a dishwasher and it never came up as a reason against purchasing when Spouse and I bought the house.

BUT: we've lived dishwasher-less since. And I loathe it. There are only two of us, but I cook 90% of our meals here, and there is always a dishpan full of hot soapy water steeping the last round of dishes or a drainboard with the last-washed round dripping dry. And when we have company there are endless rounds of washing, drying and putting away just to get ready for the next meal.

We're finally renovating the kitchen, and the one thing I'm looking forward to more than anything else - more than a fridge that's not jammed in a closet, more than a range to replace the current one with no working ovens and spotty burners - is a dishwasher. Handwashing is a two-to-three-times-a-day chore that I'm sooooo ready to eliminate.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 9:13AM
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You might look at a single dishdrawer. It's gentle enough for just about anything and fisher & paykel ones do not have a heated dry. Its a little over half of a cabinet.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 9:34AM
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>>>>Would you not buy an otherwise great house (right price, right neighborhood) just because it didn't have a DW?

Some people certainly would. Not everyone buys a house with the intent of immedidately renovating the kitchen - some people want to just move in and live there.

While I generally don't think people who plan to stay in a house for a while should worry too much about resale, this is a case where I think you should give it some consideration - at least to the point of having a place and hookups so a DW can easily be swapped in if you or a future buyer wants one.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Great topic, Collage Paint, and very timely as you'll see below. My husband and I have a small galley kitchen in NYC and we didn't plan to include a dishwasher when we rennovated. We figured we didn't really need it. My 75-year old father convinced us we should to help prevent colds as the dishwasher functions to help sterilize your dishes. Luckily, we listened to him and redid our plans to add an 18" Miele slimline and we love it! We run all our crystal and fine china through it (on the crystal and china setting) and it does a great job. Pretty much the only thing we don't run through it is our chef knives. To the other question about resale value, ironically, my 75-year old father and mother don't have a dishwasher in their house (much to his chagrin) yet they just sold their house this week the same day it went on the market. So, no, it is NOT a dealbreaker to not have one if you go that route. HTH

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 10:17AM
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I will just say that if you do put in a dw, it doesn't have to be high-end to do a good job. Our $450 maytag manages to thoroughly clean everything without ruining anything, using any of the various detergents we've tried (method, cascade, ecover).

I would put in a dw, or at least set up the cabinets so you or a future owner can add one without too much trouble. You never know how circumstances will change.

One last thing...there are only two of us, so we often run the dw when it's not entirely full. Like every other day. Yep. And, many dws have a short rinse cycle, so you can quickly rinse the crud if you don't plan to run it for a few days.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 10:26AM
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My 84 year old mother does not have a dishwasher. When I visit the one thing I hate is that there are always dishes to do and some put upon feeling all around of having to do them. If her husband does them he seems like he wants a medal and if my mom does them while I'm there I feel guilty, so when I visit I feel like I must do all of the dishes or else feel like a bad daughter!!! I don't mind but it's CONSTANT! They are never done, if you use one cup and have a little snack there are dishes again in the sink. It drives me insane. That is the one thing I hate about not having a dishwasher is that there are always dishes in the sink, a dish drainer on the counter or a towel with dishes on it to dry, or if not you have just finished and have to put it all away and get it all back out to do dishes again. Anyway, my whole visit revolves around those darn dishes!!! I have a dishwasher and love it. I would never be without one at any age. I love that I can have my sink empty of dishes because I can just put them in the dishwasher. I don't pre rinse and scrub everything as my dishwasher is very good about cleaning everything well so that I don't have to. I put everything in it from Franciscan China to crock pot to decorative glass items in my house. I just wouldn't have one that you had to practically wash dishes before putting them in there. So if you do get one get a good one, doesn't have to be a really expensive German one. I have a higher up the line though not top o the line Kitchen Aid. We are in water wars with two other states and so that is always a consideration for us, too.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 10:39AM
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If you've never had a good DW, you don't know what you are missing! They use MUCH less water than hand washing dishes, and they are certainly a lot less effort. You just scrape, load, and push a button. Many will now do a half load, so you don't have to wait until you've exhausted all of your clean dishes to run a cycle.

And you say you entertain? Without a DW? I cannot imagine that scenario! I went through one holiday dinner with a broken DW, and I really hated the scullery maid feeling of having to get the dishes washed before everything crusted over all the while my guests were trying to insist that they help and I was trying to steer the back into the family room. With a DW, I simply scrape the plates, and instead of stacking them in the sink, they go directly in the DW and I can run a cycle even while guests linger at the table with coffee and dessert. A good DW is QUIET and it won't interfere with conversation.

You ought to mentally consider the tiny little urban kitchens that do their best to cram in a DW into their space whether they cook or not. A DW is pretty much considered a necessity by most of the population. Even though there are older homes that will sell readily without one, you will never find a new home without one. Eliminating one in a remodel would be considered extremely odd by most of the population. If your home isn't one of the charming older ones where it would be optional, or one of the tiny apartments where it's not physically possible, then it would be considered a major liability to the desirability of the home.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 10:48AM
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I feel a dishwasher is simply a fact of life for most people today. There are only 2 of us but everything goes in the dishwasher. We wash very little by hand and want to keep things low maintenance.

A compromise might be an 18" wide dishwasher that takes up less cabinet space (there are a surprising number of models in this size at multiple price points) or, if budget permits, a single dish drawer.

Everyone has their ways in the kitchen and what works for me may not work for you. Understood. But I have to say yes, not having some sort of dishwasher in this day and age, is a little nuts. But many of us are LOL.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 11:24AM
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My MIL had a very small kitchen so she put in an 18" dishwasher, and loved it. Even if I didn't use the DW all the time, I would still miss not having one at all.

I'm not sure what kind of dishes you can't put in the DW...except for older fancy dishes?? Is that what you use all the time? I think the newer dishwashers do a great job. I do not, however, use DW detergent that has any lemon in it...when I purchased my stainless flatware it was recommended that that type not be used since it supposedly pits the stainless. I've had my stainless set for about 6 years and it still looks great.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 11:33AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I recently renovated the kitchen. During the second load after re-attaching the DW hoses, the heating element burned out. Right before the holidays, with three family dinners scheduled (up to 24 people in attendance).

I've done some online research, but haven't been to see any models IRL. I REALLY miss my DW! I have a large farm sink, which hides a lot of dirty dishes, and what I've been doing is washing and rinsing by hand, then draining in the DW. I'm dragging my feet--I have decision fatigue, and I'm trying to decide whether it would be better to replace the element or get a new unit.

Having no DW wouldn't keep me from purchasing a house--I grew up in a house without one, where my sisters and I were the DWs. ;) BUT, I'd be hoping that there was an easy fix--a space beside the sink, where a DW could be inserted.

And, I think I'm more accepting of quirks and inconveniences than the average buyer would be.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 12:47PM
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You are "Gutting a small galley kitchen". It's a gut job. A gut remodel. So, you know you can find room for a DW. It's "a small galley kitchen". Hey, wonderful, it's small. Define this. What is small? 75 square feet? Or double that? Or half that? It's "to make the kitchen DH and I will use for next 30 years." No kidding. Fantastic. So, umm, do you want to do it right?

" We're retired, no kids, cook and entertain quite a bit. Much of our dishes, glassware, and flatware are not appropriate for a dishwasher" = whatever that means. I have no idea! Good for you, if you entertain often and wash up everything by hand. Flatware of any kind can be dishwasher cleaned. But you can hand wash some flatware yourself if you wish to deselect some of the items. But dishware and glassware... please explain why it would not be appropriate for a dishwasher.

Compared to a 24" wide dishwasher an 18"w can hold just as many plates, unless the plates are shaped too much like bowls. Anyone can buy new plates if that is a big obstacle. A single 24" dish-drawer can hold a lot too. It's 15" tall. Or 18" tall.

In any case, it's all a getting used to it kind of thing. How to pack things into it. A learning curve. And a few who post about DW detergent are a small small number compared to the millions who do not post about any problem with detergent of anything else.

Why change your habits when you can keep doing what works for you? If you are waiting to be convinced to come back to DW Land, you have a number of good arguments in this post and above it.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 1:14PM
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Sophie Wheeler

if you like to hand wash dishes, then just get a DW to serve as your hidden drying rack like Mamagoose and for washing holiday overflow. I personally despise washing dishes. It goes back to the fact that it was a punishment chore during childhood and I would really rather use every clean dish in my house than stand at the sink and wash and dry the dirty ones.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 1:40PM
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I don't know, in my household almost none of my tableware (dishes, silver, drinking vessels) can go in a DW. Nor can a good deal of my cooking tackle (knives, wooden boards & bowls, wood-handled utensils, cast-iron pots, many baking items). So that leaves just my enameled cast-iron, the SS pots, pyrex double-boiler, glass and stainless steel mixing bowls, pyrex baking dishes and measurers, etc. It's a rare day when I would have a full-load of DW-able stuff and the idea of storing stuff for a day or two to accumulate a full-load kind of skeeves me out. Not to mention I think I'd wind up snatching out a waiting item and hand-washing it because I needed it before the load had filled up. I don't have that many duplicates of things like measuring cups, saucepans and the like.

I keep thinking I should want a DW, 'cause it appears so essential for everybody else. And back in the day when I had kitchen staff, they certainly would have revolted if I hadn't supplied one. But I can't get too enthused about DWs in my new kitchen plan.

As others have suggested, I think the OP should consider installing the necessary plumbing and electrical arrangements, and perhaps plan on having a 24" or 18" cab in the likely position, but leave it for the next owners to deal with. I think the idea that a house sale would fall through three decades from now (or even next month) over the physical absence of a in situ DW (providing it could be installed if required), is silly.

Hand washing, even a lot of stuff, is not very onerous work. I almost never dry anything, though, as I prefer to let things air dry. Even a big party (12 or even up to 24 to dine, which is the limit of my largest set of flatware, or 50 for drinks) doesn't generate all that much extra stuff, though you do have to process that kind of a job in stages, if only because you run out of drainer space.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 6:12PM
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We lived without a DW for 26 years. I love having one now, but I still hand wash wine glasses, knives, anything wooden, and all pots. I only run the machine a couple times a week.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 7:22PM
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I am curious to know what dishes cannot go into a dishwasher.

We put all our fine china, knives, cutlery into the dishwasher with no detriment.

A dishwasher is a must in modern living, same as heating, cooling, clothes washer, hot water heater and other appliances.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 7:52PM
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I also wonder about so many things that cannot go in a dishwasher, especially with the ability to have different cycles and customize settings.

Anyway, I don't think you have to have one, but I do think it unwise to not have the ability to install one easily. Cabinet space next to the sink is the main thing since water and drain will then tap off your sink.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 8:04PM
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Well, my gold-rimmed dishes shouldn't go in, but I can't honestly swear they've never been washed that way. :)

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 8:05PM
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We have been putting gold rimmed dishes in a dishwasher for years. Perhaps the miniscule amount of gold that is used for the rims has washed off but I can't tell.

I think its another old wives tale about 'fine' china , knives etc not going in the dishwasher... :)

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 8:25PM
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Ditto. I have washed silver gold and china under gentle temperatures and gotten great results.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 8:36PM
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Well, actually the china manufacturer says don't do it, in this case.

And for the really good dishes (Herend), I just wouldn't chance it at all.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 8:37PM
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I don't know about modern stuff (made after the invention of DW).

We don't own any modern sets of dishes, glasses or flatware; none of our stuff can be put in the DW because it is very fragile and old (19th c), some of it is gold trimmed; the flatware is sterling or coin silver. I have read that some modern sterling can be washed in a DW, but I wouldn't want to take any chances with 150 year old silver or sterling-bladed knives, some of which have bone or Mother of Pearl handles.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 8:49PM
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My grandfather was a jeweler. The company also sold china. He had my grandma was her fine china and all their silver in the dishwasher except the tableknives. Theirs were silverplate and he said there was a small chance the glue could be affected by the heat. We were also taught not to pack the dishwasher too tightly so things could not bang into each other.

They entertained regularly, and those dishes were washed in the dishwasher (always a KitchenAid) for about 60 years until my grandma died. They still looked beautiful. Same with the silver.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 9:47PM
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Not to be argumentative, but I wouldn't want anyone to confuse 20th c plate and china with 19th c tablewares. These are not the same thing, and must be treated differently.

Older sterling and coin silver cutlery (especially as I noted with bone or MOP handles) can never be fully immersed and must always be washed by hand. Even items made entirely of sterling or coin can be permanently etched by the abrasive, alkaline detergents, softeners and rinsing aids that modern DWs require.

As far as delicate antique china, particularly with gold trim, it can likewise be harmed by the detergents and temps in a DW. Not to mention the possible risk due to the strength of the washing action and temps.

I know that some DW have special cycles for crystal and fine china, but I doubt they have combination cycles than can tackle Victorian Limoges and my crusted-on roasting pan in the same cycle. And running multiple, not entirely full cycles, would eliminate any energy advantage of a DW.

Modern high quality china (made by some manufacturers) can take a DW. I have a fish service that I was given as a wedding present in the late 70's. It is Limoges and it is machine-washable.

I plan to test my need for a DW before committing to my new plan. I have a high-end Euro DW that I bought as part of a suite of appliances a few years ago. It's been sitting in heated storage for years, so I'll drag it out and set it up and try using it. Perhaps I'll love the DW scrubbing of my All-clad and making my pyrex squeaky-clean so much that I'll decide to buy some tableware to go in the DW. Buying new dishes is always fun!


    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 10:36PM
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There are a few things we don't put in the dw and a few that just wouldn't fit, but the majority of our stuff does go in and I'd never go without long term.

Of course, anyone can wash dishes by hand, but it puts a beating on your skin, despite what the commercials say, and I hate the smell of rubber gloves after they are removed. I smell it on my hands for hours. Also, if any detergent actually did not dry out my skin, I'd worry it is not cleaning my dishes enough.

My first thought was the same as lascatx, in that when you age, your needs will change. My mother is terminal and my father will be left behind. The last thing either of them now, or him later, will want to worry about is hand washing dishes. Their eyesight is not ideal nor their hands as steady. I am thinking soapy water with shaky hands is not a good mix. I'd worry that things won't get clean enough with failing eyesight. It is also an issue about standing in one place for long as it can be hard on the back, legs, feet, etc...

I think you are the perfect candidate for a dish drawer, or 2. It is higher up so easier to load and unload and if you use 1, then you would run it more often than a full size dw. Having the second one below it would be for when you are entertaining or have not gotten around to emptying the first one.
It is more efficient to have them for the environment and for your bills.
If you ever get to the point of needing help around the house, it would be a kindness on those who take care of the dishes.
I am not a prima donna about a lot of conveniences and don't have to have the latest and greatest, but a dw is a major asset to my life. I'd also consider getting a Roomba for any seniors because that is self sufficient and will also make your life easier, esp. as you age. It can be programmed to go to work at a certain time and it puts itself away when it is done or the battery needs charging. It is easier on the back then vacuuming or sweeping, which I now have to do much less often and yet our floors are still clean.
I know there are people who don't have a micro, but I'd never do without one. I use it a lot during meal prep for little tasks or for leftovers.
A food processor can be important as you age. My mil and mother were both given one 2 years ago by us and both love them. Neither had ever owned one and did not see the need, but once they each had it, it turned into a daily use item.

FWIW - I don't use a coffee maker, my stand mixer is collecting dust in the bsmt and we didn't get a prep sink. I chose the things that gave us the best bang for the buck and for the size they took up. One can cook with camping equipment if needed and we lived without a kitchen for months and used our bsmt bathroom's pedestal sink and shower for washing dishes. I would not call that ideal. Just going without a dw is not as bad, but if you do it for the next 30 years instead of a few miserable months, it may be worse, lol..... No one will force you to use the dw if you don't want to. If you get a dish drawer and use it for storage, no one will arrest you. The key would be it is in when the rest is being done, which is easier and cheaper, and will be there for when you decide you want to use that, whether only for parties or for years from now. I do think that at some point, you will be glad you got it and will find you use it. Our new dw is better than the old one, so I use it more often and don't have to pre-scrub or rewash anything. It is quiet and quick. I most often use the quick wash feature unless something is caked on. We run ours probably 3 times a week at most.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 11:24PM
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I inherited my mom's good china. She only used it about 6 to 12 times a year and always put it in the dishwasher even though it has a gold rim. I can tell which pieces where used more and which less because some of them are much more faded, especially the rims. I think it shouldn't have gone in the dishwasher.

It's a pretty set but I almost never use it because I know it shouldn't go in the dishwasher.

I also inherited some nice sterling and my husband insists on washing it by hand though I tell him it can go in the dishwasher.

I love my dishwasher. My husband's parents didn't have one when I first meet him and I hated all the dishwashing at their house! It was such a pain.

She had never had a dishwasher and didn't want one but when they moved to a house that had one she loved it. She said she had never known what she was missing.

Do what you want but I can't imagine not having one.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 11:29PM
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I have a good deal of older china and crystal and it goes in the dishwasher on the china/crystal cycle which is a warm-water cycle.

My gold-rimmed plates (some late 19th c) do go in. I use 1/4 the normal amount of detergent on those loads. My DW doesn't have heated drying so the glazes aren't affected nor is the gold.

Agree with liriodendron that bone and mother-of-pearl handles are no-nos.

As for 19th majolica, if anyone is using those as tableware I do hope you'll stop. Those are non-food-safe lead-based low-fire glazes.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 9:28AM
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OP here. Thanks for all the helpful responses. Still no decision, but leaning toward building in a cabinet that could be removed easily in the future while installing a large double-bowl sink with built-in drain/prep board now.

Explanations for some of my statements: size of "small galley kitchen" is 7.5 x 10'

re. Things that aren't appropriate for a dishwasher. Handmade ceramic dishes by experimental artists. Antique dishes. Fine quality modern glassware. Antique sterling silver flatware. Any dishware with gold or silver details. Good cooking knives. And, according to postings in the Appliance Forum, cooking pots that you don't want to become pitted by enzymatic DW detergents.

Several people have commented that they have had no problems putting some of the materials listed above in their DW. How often have they been run through with success? Etching of glass and pitting of metal is a gradual process: by the time you see it, you have lost the piece.

Originally, DH and I assumed that we would install a DW even though we had run ours only about once every 10 days. Reading all the information on the Appliance Forum, I decided that we would not want to live with the constraints described for the European-type DWs. Also have friends who are unhappy with new Bosches and Mieles. We considered dish drawers, but there were postings that they aren't so reliable. So I settled on a KitchenAid for the heating option and flexibility in loading and apparently fewer detergent-related problems. We intended to get the 60 model (same machine as top-of-the-line 70, but 3 dB louder). Then I discovered all the discussion on the Appliance Forum about DW detergents. Looking at the intended purchase in the store (3 times), it seems so flimsy and plasticy, perhaps because we are shopping for ovens now too. Put all of the above together and I thought maybe we needed to step back and reassess the assumption that we would get a DW.

I appreciate all the observations/thoughts about aging and DWs. Am definitely mulling those. Re. selling house. No, we are not wealthy and cannot foresee the future, but will not leave this house unless there is absolutely no other option. Again, thanks for all your thoughtful responses. They will help us reach a decision.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 11:25AM
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And, according to postings in the Appliance Forum, cooking pots that you don't want to become pitted by enzymatic DW detergents.

Well, while I agree with most of your list (and I don't mind hand washing the good china--I like to handle it or I wouldn't have it), I've been dishwashing my stainless pots and pans for thirty years and they still look almost like new.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 11:57AM
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I'm going to be blunt...please forgive...but it sounds like you will be in this house until you pass or are so ill you will need to go to a nursing either case you're not going to care if the house has a DW for resale! So go with your gut...if you really don't want one and don't think you would ever use it, even down the road, then skip it and configure the cabinets how you want. However, if there is the slightest doubt, do what others have suggested and put in a 24" cab next to the sink. Also, consider the fact that anyone buying your house in 20 or 30 years will probably want to remodel the kitchen anyway. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 2:26PM
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I know those on the appliance side are very knowledgeable, but they can also over-think things too. I have a late model Bosch and love it. I use the Eco friendly brand dw detergent that Walmart sells with no issues (Palmolive?). I am sure there are plenty of other good dws and detergents. Our old dw was a junker so I get complaining about poor performance, but the new one is a whole 'nother animal.

It is possible to have too much info and get analysis paralysis. If the dws of today were so awful as some describe, then why would 99.9% of new kitchens have them? I think that if they were all so bad, then the public would take to the streets with torches and the CEOs of the mfring companies would not be safe leaving their homes!

I'd take it with a grain of salt when the people start getting too technical. If there were a lot of consumer complaints against one brand or type, then I'd listen, but the regulars over there sometimes debate minutia and you need to check out and use common sense.... (ducking).

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 2:41PM
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I think the best advise is to plan a cabinet next to the sink that can be replaced with a DW should you ever decide to buy one. Why take up space in a small galley kitchen with something you don't want now, but might want in the future?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 3:04PM
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I've posted on a number of the AF threads, particularly about the detergents and results. They are long, sometimes technical; sometimes not and easy to misread because they can be mind-numbing. They appear, unfortunately, to have left an impression with the OP both about Euro style dishwashers and about detergents that I don't feel is at all accurate. It's too bad really. I've had 2 Mieles and have tested 5+ detergents and have never had cookware pit, gold wear off or any problems at all. My issues with glassware were the result of our water softener not being properly calibrated. After that, nada. And the makers of Riedel, some of the world's finest crystal glassware actually endorse the DW. So perhaps TMI over there because some of us are wonky was unfortunately misleading.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 4:00PM
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'If you have lived without a DW for four years, you should know by now if you really need one'

not necessarily. Things can change and they can change quickly. I've lived w/o a dw for 20 + yrs now. Didn't even want one for most of 15 of those yrs. The last 10 or so tho I've more often wished I did have one. In 2000 I fell and broke my kneecap. Getting up/down was very painful, as was standing on it. If I could manage to get to the kitchen to fix something to eat, I sure didn't need the additional stress on my leg to be doing dishes.

Same with what came after that - I was disabled. For about 8 yrs I was barely awake - sleeping 16-20 hrs a day (usually closer to the 20). When I was awake and able to do anything - doing dishes wasn't on the list of priorities. I know my situation seems extreme but many can be that. Even if one of you breaks a leg (or arm) the other will take on additional chores and 'nurse' duties.

I've used paper plates and plastic utensils for many yrs now - still have to wash any cooking items or storage containers. Even that is overwhelming. I pretty much quit cooking anything - sticking to pnb sandwiches, deli turkey, salads, frozen meals, take out and leftovers from my sister. It's just easier. When I do 'cook' anything (even just a small meatloaf) it takes days to get all the dishes done up.

I am sooo looking forward to a dw in the 'new' place - even if I'll only need to run it a few times a wk. That'll save me so much work, standing, mess on the counter/in the sink.

You never know when something will happen to you or your dh. I'd at least have the plumbing/electrical put in for the future. I've also read the questionable reviews on ddrawers and others - it's a chance I'll have to take. Enough to scare me away from the drawers but not a full dw.

my sister has a mid level dw and she says it works fine for the 2 of them. She's always had a dw and is one who couldn't live w/o one. Many of the reviews on the higher end dws aren't very good either.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 4:55PM
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Echoing desertsteph's post above, yes things change.

My mother, bless her heart, never used a dishwasher and never wanted one. No problem at all; it was her choice as she was always chief cook and bottle washer. But when she passed away unexpectedly and before her time it was difficult on my father. He wasn't helpless by any stretch, but with kidney disease and therefore on special diet where almost everything he ate he had to make himself fresh re. sodium and other restrictions, it was a lot of dishwashing for him when he wasn't all that strong to begin with.

He put ended up getting one of those portable dishwashers and it made a real difference to him. Then after a year or so he had the kitchen cabinets redone to put a built-in in.

My advice -- just get the dishwasher. You don't have to use it now.. Or maybe it can function as an expensive drying rack for you. But it can't hurt you to have it sitting there, and should circumstances change then one day you might be truly thankful for it.

Good luck whatever you decide.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 5:29PM
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I'm no technical expert and maybe this is a question for the appliance forum, but if a dishwasher is seldom used could it be problematic......could hoses become brittle and cause leaks, etc? Just wondering....

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 6:07PM
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