My mom had an obsession with how the dishwasher was loaded. I remember many an evening where my mom would get after my dad, sister or I about how the dishwasher was loaded. So I learned at a pretty early age the importance of loading a dishwasher. Similar items (e.g. glasses, plates, bowls, etc.) are grouped together and are loaded in the correct area; things need to have a little bit of space; and the correct amount of detergent goes in with the correct setting. This ensures things are chipped plus — just as important — things come clean.
Over the years, we’ve had many people stay with us, and they are sometimes kind enough to do a load of dishes or two while they stay. And I’ve noticed how *few* people are disciplined in their dishwasher loading. For example, glasses are stacked on top of each other (how can they possibly come clean)? Plates, cups, bowls and other items are randomly thrown in, so there might be four glasses leaned over, with a bowl tossed between them, then a plate, then two cups put in sideways, then a glass, etc. It is amazing 🙂
The biggest thing to me is the cleanliness. A dishwasher works by soapy water running up and through various items, then rinsing out that soapy water with clean water. This happens when the spinners spin and there is an unblocked area for the water to run through, so when a glass is stacked on top of another glass, or a cup is put in sideways, or a bowl is crammed in next to a plate, they can’t possibly come clean. I think many people think when they put in a dish, the dirt just magically evaporates 🙂
On a related note, laundry is like that, too. There are items that are washed in dark, some in light, some in hot water and some in cold. So four loads (plus handwashing). Some items go in the dryer, some are hung flat to dry, and some are hung on hangers with the top button buttoned (to retain shape). I’m amazed at how many people just throw the clothes in and turn on the machine, then throw all the clothes in the drier. Unfortunately, I’ve lost a few clothes over the years by a kind person throwing a light item in with dark, washing it on warm and putting it in the drier (I lost an expensive pair of pants that way just last year). Again, my mom was obsessed about laundry, but stopped doing our laundry when I was around 10, so I learned at an early age the importance of reading tags and separating items.
Because I know I am particular about that, I have generally done the dishes and the laundry in our house, and it can be challenging for me to delegate. I’ll delegate the fixing of a faucet or the cooking of a dinner no problem (which I hate doing and honestly am not very good at) – but the dishes and the laundry are my territory!
Anyway, I am spending this morning cleaning up the dishes after a person was kind enough to clean the dishes for us yesterday 🙂