Adventures in Adulthood: The Dishwasher is YOU

So, as I’m settling into my new apartment, I’m beginning to come to terms with a major factor of my new place: there is no dishwasher. Ok, there is no electronic machine that washes the dishes. There is a dishwasher- me (insert “I told you so”-type comment from my parents here).


When I was doing dishes for the third time today (I got entirely too fancy with my scrambled eggs at breakfast), I was wincing away and wondering if dishes actually do get cleaned with a sponge and some magical, mysterious frothy liquid. It’s green for heaven’s sake! How can a green liquid sanitize my dishes?! Of course, then I remembered that dishwashing machines are relatively new inventions, only entering people’s homes in the middle of the 20th century. Heck, people have been hand washing their dishes/trenchers/meat spears for millenia, and have been totally fine, right? Right. Well…mostly. These are the same people who died of influenza in droves and got diptheria and things like that. Generally, whenever you’re reading about how depressingly low life expectancies were historically, one of the biggest explanations is always poor sanitation. Sanitation…as in clean dishes- ack! Makes me want to boil my sponge (do people do that? Can you even do that? Does it kill the germs? I’ve heard of people throwing things into the dishwasher to sanitize them…but of course I don’t have one of those. People of the universe, advise me! How do I know that my dishes are clean?).


After my historically-driven panic over the cleanliness of my dishes (dear friends and family, please don’t be afraid to visit- I promise I’m putting some serious elbow grease into scrubbing those suckers), it occurred to me that I should be thankful I know how to do dishes at all. Who knows- maybe in the future there will only be dishwashing machine ans people won’t know how to handwash things. I can totally imagine fictional-future-me standing in front of the sink waving around plates and spoons looking completely bewildered. (Or maybe washing is intuitive? Although, I’ve recently discovered that fewer of these sorts of things are intuitive than I thought…or maybe I just have a sub-par intuition?)


Just a final question (putting it out the the universe here): will your dishes still get clean if you wash them with cold water? I know the machines use steamy hot water, but they also don’t have hands to burn, either. With all my vigorous scrubbing, it isn’t pleasant to use really hot water for too long (secondary question: can you be boiled alive? Accidentally? Could I accidentally boil my hands like a chicken cutlet?). I do prefer using cold water (especially with the weather starting to get warm), but I also don’t want to sacrifice one iota of potential cleanliness.


One thought on “Adventures in Adulthood: The Dishwasher is YOU

  1. Oh boy…I haven’t had a dishwasher since I left home for college, and I’m still alive, having eaten off of probably hundreds, maybe thousands of dishes I’ve washed myself with only a sponge and some soap.

    Pro tip: you can sanitize a sponge by popping it in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

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