how do you know when you need two dishwashers?

illinigirlNovember 1, 2013

Finding dishes left over in my sink at the end of the night that aren't fitting in my d/w on a routine basis is starting to make me wonder.....

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Maybe a dish drawer would be enough for the overflow.

I'd guess if you have more than 4 people in your house and cook regularly, you might need more than one.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 6:25PM
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If you have the room go for it. There are only two of us, but if I am cooking a lot, I can run the DW three or four times a day.

My Bosch has a top rack only option that I use quite a bit, that might serve like a dish drawer, but you still have the full DW option.

Do Kosher kitchens need two DW?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 6:29PM
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If you have 3 children, you may need another dishwasher...LOL
Okay so I have 3 kiddos age 3-7 and I could load the dishwasher close to two times a day! Not joking there :( I like to have an empty dishwasher before cooking supper also!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 8:17PM
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I have a family of four and one dishwasher. For our remodel we are strongly considering two. Our two hesitations are:

1. We don't have a great spot for the 2nd one
2. We got teased by the few people we mentioned it to :(

We cook 6 nights a week, make a lot of food from home, husband works from home....we make a lot of dishes! It would be great to have ZERO dishes in the sink at the end of every night.

So, I am in the same boat and I haven't quite decided yet!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 9:56PM
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Rebecca - I wouldn't let #2 stop me. The ones who teased are probably not volunteering to wash dishes for you. It's your kitchen do want makes sense for you. Good luck finding a spot.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:24PM
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Recent model dishwashers require multiple hours to run a cycle--my Kitchenaid is routinely at three hours. If you make enough dishes in one or two meals to fill it up, and don't want to wait for it to be done, two might be appropriate.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:05PM
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Thanks goblue! I wouldn't let that sway my final decision, but I felt a little awkward at the time.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:14PM
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Oh, I just remembered. I was considering one of the three tier dishwashers (with the utensil tray on top) instead of a 2nd dishwasher. I imagine that would give me a little more room for dishes.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:17PM
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If you have to ask, it probably means you need two :)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:39PM
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I wondered and ended up with a dishwasher and a single dishdrawer in my kitchen. I am so grateful for this forum recommending that I go for it. In fact, I could have probably used two. We are not a large family but we cook every single meal and pack lunches etc. Then there is the baking, the prep .. so 2 dishwashers are so very useful. The way DH and I rationalized it that if it is not there that is 20-30 mins doing dishes every day. Time value of money. i would rather have that time to read bedtime stories or chill with a glass of wine and Colbert report.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:57PM
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In a previous home we built I had 2 dishwashers and I sure
appreciated them, we entertained a lot then.

I rationalized it by saying it was cheaper than having a full time maid. :)

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 8:06AM
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We are a family of 4 and I swear I fill the top rack with nothing but CUPS

Even so, we are sticking with one and continuing to train the kids not to get a new cup every time they want a sip of water!

Gone are the days when it wasn't full enough to run it daily. :P

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 8:09AM
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Lol, ctycdm, I think you have something there.

I wish I'd had 2 for the last 10 years, but with children starting to leave home, I've only put one (the same one) in my remodeled kitchen. When it dies, I'll consider drawers so that we aren't waiting for it to fill, and have a place for dirty dishes even if one is washing, or clean and unloaded. I think that, in general, the number and ages of household members should drive this decision. If you have toddlers, get the 2nd one; teens, maybe not.

As for the multiple glasses per day thing, we've used acrylic cups with different colored stripes (each child has a permanent color) with varying degrees of success. We've also used full adhesive sticky notes from time to time (put them on in the morning, stick them to cabinet door when cup goes in dw at night).

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 8:55AM
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Rebecca3142, I have a KitchenAid with the 3rd rack, and while I like it and it is useful, I still need the standard utensil holders on the bottom. My regular flatware has fat handles (well, let's say "they have a nice heft") and won't fit into the tines. I do tend to use the 3rd rack for small flat dishes (like my spoonrest), knives, and the occasional serving utensil.
That's a long way of saying, if you can find room for a 2nd dishwasher, I say go for it! I don't cook that much myself, but every time I have guests I find myself wishing I had another one to stash the cooking dishes in while the other one is running (or not yet emptied).

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Get two full sized DW's that both have half load capability so you can just wash a top rack full if you need to. It takes less water to do that than it does to hand wash them. And you have the full height versatility of being able to handle large objects in either than you won't have with dishdrawers. Dishdrawers are also quite noisy when compared with even a mid range quiet conventional DW. They also have more repair issues.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:44AM
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There's two of us, retired, so we eat three meals a day at home most days. We run a full DW every other day. Our Miele has two flip-down racks on the top rack, so we can add another layer of short glasses and small bowls. The third rack for silverware is a great space-saver. I'm not adverse to hand washing a big bowl or pot and would rather do that than let it hog space in my DW. If we had two more people in the house, I could easily get by with running it once a day.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:54AM
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We entertain frequently, as many as thirty people. We recently purchased a MCM home that that is currently undergoing a complete renovation. Since it has a completely open floor-plan, I wanted to put in two dishwashers to handle the overflow and avoid the sink and counter full of dishes. Due to an HVAC issue(floor duct), I could only have one. I opted to purchase a Miele Professional (commercial) dishwasher. Cycle time is around 20 minutes and will allow us to clean as we go, as it were. I'll report back after I use it a few times and let you know if it was worth the extra expense.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 12:21PM
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If I had dishes left over every night that would drive me crazy.
When my kids were young, I dreamt about having two dishwashers, if only to not have to unload. I would plan to put a "clean" and "dirty" sign on them and let my family find the dishes straight from the dishwasher. So if you have the space, go for it! You'd be saving the price of a cabinet so the net cost is less than you think. I would have put them on both sides of the cleanup sink.

We did put a 2nd dishwasher in our basement kitchenette when we finished the basement, use that about 6 x /year when we have big dinner parties. It IS nice to take the overflow. A 2nd microwave and fridge in that kitchenette get used regularly by the game room and man cave users but have come in very handy for those parties also.

Surprisingly in my older age I have come to enjoy the ten minutes it takes to unload the dishwasher every morning, it's a routine and there is something soothing about unloading clean dishes while chatting to my son while he is getting ready for school, and waiting for the coffee to brew.

Just to give you a picture of how life and needs change with time.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 2:51PM
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If you have two dishwashers, how do you use them? Do you:
A. Fill one and run it, then fill the other?
B. Use one for dishes, and the other for pots and pans?
C. Some other way?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 3:07PM
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Elraes Miller

Single person and would love 2 small 18" or drawers. My single one takes a week to fill up unless company or kids show up. Plus...out of sight, out of mind. I forget sometimes to wash and run out of glasses. Thankful for the option of a pre wash. One large does allow me to put large items in and gather up around the house any too dusty for dusting items.

It has been so long since the kids were small, I can't remember how we dealt with dishes other than each had a turn. I don't remember too many dishes sitting around. We didn't have enough to let this go.

I do remember how many times I expected something to have grown under their bed and desperately wanting a dragon slayer to help kill that stuff. With or without a kid helping.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 3:39PM
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YES to two dishwashers! No question about it, if you have the room then do it. There are only two of us and I love having the 2nd DW not just for overflow, but to put pots&pans and stuff like that in it to dry. Kind of a spendy drying rack, but our sink is in the island and I couldn't bear the thought of dishes drying on the counter or in the sink on the island. Love the dual dws, would do it again in a heartbeat.

Only thing I would do differently is I'd do 2 full sized DWs instead of what I did which was a full sized and the dish drawer. I can't love the drawer dishwashers; they are awkward to load and I when running a full cycle I miss having heated dry.

PS. When my sister redid her kitchen the two DWs was something I recommended really strongly as she's got young kids at home and they always had plastics or other dishes drying in the sink. At first she thought 2 DWs was over the top but then when she thought about it and liked the idea, but couldn't convince her husband. After a week or two of lobbying him (LOL) she finally got him to agree and now, a year or so post-remodel, they both say it's one of the best things they did in their kitchen and can't believe they hesitated over it -- they do not miss having their new sink (they got a super single silgranite) cluttered with air-drying dishes all the time.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 5:11PM
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Still do hand washing. Especially when mass producing cookies, and you need the mixer bowl/beaters in 5 min. Washed about 6 times going thru a 5 lb. bag of flour. Love them home made cookies! Not slice n' bake either.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 6:08PM
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taggie, where is your trash pullout since you have two d/w in your island?

I am thinking I'll have to move the trash out of the island altogether and behind it, near the range. I hate having to lose something to gain an extra d/w..... but like you mentioned, sink front and center in island and the thought of dishes sitting in the sink for any length of time isn't appealing at all. Even for a 'spendy drying rack' to get things off the counters seems reallly worth it. (although I think with our family of 5 we would keep those babies humming with dirties most of the time).

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 7:50PM
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iIllinigirl, our trash is at the end of the island beside the second dw at the fridge side. Really like having it there because it's easy to use both from my prep area and from the snacking area (fridge/pantry). That is, since it's on the perimeter, DH uses it without coming into my prep and cooking area. Functionally it works really well for us. Is your island long enough to put trash beside the dw? If so, I'd recommend doing that.

Couple visuals for you. The second one shows a wider shot so you can see it in context. I just realized that when I took the pic that we hadn't quite closed the trash (oops) -- real life context it seems!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 8:23PM
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I love my 2 full DWs.
90% of the time, the left one is the main DW and the right one is my drying rack (so that my countertop can stay clear and clean).
Love having the 2nd DW when we have parties so at the end of the night, both are loaded, running, and the kitchen is cleaned up from the festivities.

We're a family of 4, w/ 9 and 7yr olds.

2 DWs were one of my favorites in the reno design.

go for it.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 8:30PM
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thanks taggie,
The island is 10 feet long but the cabs are under 9 feet because I have seating on two sides. so if I put the trash on the island I'd have to give up the drawer bank that I wanted to have eating and prep utensils in. And since I'm planning on prepping at the island I really wanted prep utensils to be right there.

lots of thinking to do. going back and giving other layouts another look.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 8:32PM
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also, if I have two d/w's flanking the one and only sink, then by definition I am prepping over one of the dishwashers. I do this all the time now in my current house but generally this is seen as a big no-no on GW.

Would it be terrible to have the dishwashers back to back, one in the island, and one behind it on the range wall?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 8:45PM
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I think it's probably more of a 'no-no' to prep over a dw if the dw is the only one in the kitchen and there is easily a different and better spot for it. The other argument I have heard is that your stomach might stick into the handle (??!) but I've never understood that one myself. Maybe possibly for morbidly obese people who'd have difficultly stirring a pot on a rangetop as well, but in real life as I'm sure you know it's totally fine. :)

And no I don't think back to back dws would be terrible. Wouldn't be my preference because I spend a lot more time putting drippy stuff into a dishwasher than I spend getting a prep utensil from behind me on the range wall. But with a family of 5 and two dws running a lot of the time, there might be an advantage to having both dws outside of your prep zone and both the the cleanup side of the sink.

I guess that's a long winded way of saying I don't think there's a best way to do it. Like you say, you just need to really think through how you and your family will use the kitchen space and design what works best for you. Good luck with your new kitchen, I'm sure it will turn out great however you decide.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:03PM
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It sounds like 2 dishwashers would be great for your family (or 1 dishwasher and 1 dish drawer). I agree that you should base it on what kind of dirty dishes you generate in your house and the frequency with which you wish to run the dishwasher. In my house, dirty dishes get stacked up because both of us get too busy (or sometimes lazy) to empty the clean dishes out of the dishwasher. So I would not consider us a good candidate for a second dishwasher. In your house it sounds like you're already diligent about emptying/filling and you simply cannot fit all of your dishes in just one. I think the more people and more time those people are home eating has a tendency to generate more dishes. I would definitely post some layout questions to get some help on where exactly to place the extra dishwasher or dish drawer. Since several people here have that kind of set up, they should be able to help you find a good place in your new layout.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 2:58PM
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If space is marginal, give some thought to dish drawers. I've got the tall Fisher Paykel double drawer and love it. Washes great etc, but it shines when I'm cooking for a crowd.
We had 16 people over last week. While prepping and cooking, I would fill one drawer (which btw holds much more than 1/2 of a dishwasher) and start it on the fast cycle which is 53 minutes. About the time that drawer was done, I'd have gotten the second drawer about full and could use the bowls etc from the top drawer while the next load was running..
When the crowd came, I used the same method during the evening. Loaded up more than 30 glasses at one point and ran a drawer. Unloaded them and had them ready for more drinks before anybody even missed them and meanwhile the bottom drawer had gotten started on the 18 soup bowls and they were clean and ready for dessert before it was time.
Very flexible machine!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 8:21PM
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When your DH lets you. :/

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:58PM
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^^^ of all the comments made about my 2 DWs, most of the men find that decision brilliant. My male friends (or husbands of my gfs) wish they had 2 DWs in their house.

My DH and male friends love:
- the 2 DWs and
- the Advantium speedcooker.
They wonder what life was like BEFORE having those items. :)
screw the marble countertop (he would have been happy w/ laminate) or the soft-close drawers, etc, but don't mess w/ his Advantium/DWs. :)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 8:13AM
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