Skip to Content

Hand Washing Dishes and Unexpected Consequences

Never in my life have I been a fan of hand washing dishes. I always just preferred to toss them in the dishwasher and let it run. Even then, doing dishes has always been my least favorite part of my cleaning routine.

Well, recently that came to an abrupt halt. You see, my house has hard water, which turns basically anything it sets in orange color. Now, this has happened to my dishwasher, and no matter how I clean it, the color comes back and it affects my dishes.

Yes, we have a whole home filter that is supposed to take care of this, but at the moment it is not working properly so my husband is looking to fix that.

Because of the hard water, whenever the dishes would come out of the dishwasher, they had soap scum built upon them and they just weren’t clean.

So, for now, I have to settle for hand washing dishes. It has been a month of hand washing, and honestly so many unexpected things have come out of it, that I don’t know if I even want to use my dishwasher again.

Unexpected things that happened when I started hand washing dishes

The Unexpected Consequences of Hand Washing Dishes

As I mentioned before, I always hated doing the dishes. I hated rinsing them, loading the dishwasher, unloading the dishwasher, and then after it all was said and done, the dishes weren’t even really clean! Despite the annoyance of the dishwasher, I was none too thrilled when it was decided we would be hand washing our dishes for a while.

In my head, I knew what this meant. It meant dishes piling up in the sink, never feeling clean, and me doing all of the work. Begrudgingly, I went along with this plan, not that I had much of a choice in the matter.

Surprisingly, after about a week I started to notice subtle changes and even started enjoying hand washing dishes (strange right). After a month was over, I think I may not really use my dishwasher anymore!

Dishes Felt Cleaner

Okay, so I always was under the impression that dishes weren’t clean unless they went through the dishwasher. I recently came to the realization that the opposite is actually the truth.

My dishes felt and looked much cleaner after hand washing than when they would come out of the dishwasher. Maybe this had to do with my hard water issue, but seriously they look better being hand washed.

I also think it has to do with me scrubbing them better as well since dishwashers can’t scrub they can only shoot hot water at the dishes.

The Sink Was Empty More Often

So I always tried to be good about not letting dishes pile up in my sink. Unfortunately, this did not always work out for me. For a while, it would get to where I had two loads worth (almost) of dishes in my sink.

Now since I have been hand washing dishes, I have a tendency to do them right away to prevent them from piling up.  Personally, I think that has something to do with the fact that I know I can’t just throw them in the dishwasher, so I go ahead and get them out of my way.

Since I am washing the dishes right away, the sink is usually rather clean and empty now!

My Husband Helps Out More

Okay, so I really have no explanation for this one, but I will take it. My husband has always been, let’s say not the best, about doing the dishes. He would put them all in the sink, but that was the extent of it.

I really have no idea what changed, but he has been helping wash and put away dishes now since we have been hand washing. I wish I knew why this happened, but I am not going to complain! He even wiped down the counters the other day!

I Am More Conscious About What I Use

Even though I have grown to enjoy hand washing dishes a bit more, I still don’t want to be doing more than I have to. Because of this, I feel that I am more aware of the dishes I am using.

Instead of using different spatulas or spoons as I would have, I now simply wash the one I am using and use it for everything. This makes for less cleanup at the end of the meal.

Lower Electric Bill

So this is probably my favorite unexpected consequence of them all. My electric bill dropped during the month we only were hand washing dishes.  It is summer in Florida, and we haven’t done anything else differently so by process of elimination it has to be from not running our dishwasher.

The bill going down does make sense if you think about it. My dishwasher on a heavy setting seemed to run for hours washing and drying at high temps. Even on the normal or light setting, it would take MUCH longer than it would take me to hand wash.

By not using the dishwasher my hot water heater is not running as much and we are not using as much electricity! We are on a well, so we do not pay for water. I would wager though that those on city water would save a great deal by hand washing dishes too.

Teaching Kids Good Habits

As I have mentioned before, my daughter does a number of age-appropriate chores. Lately, I have had her help me wash the dishes, and she actually loves it! It is much more fun to help wash when there are bubbles and suds than it is to just load a dishwasher.

She is having fun and learning good habits at the same time! I have even started teaching her that she doesn’t need a new cup for every drink or a new one for everything on her plate. She now gets to see that she has to wash what she uses, so she is much more sparing lately.

Will I Go Back To The Dishwasher?

It is hard to say right now if I will go back to using my dishwasher. At the moment, no. We have yet to fix our filter (that junk isn’t cheap), so for now we will continue to hand wash all of the dishes.

There is a chance I will use the dishwasher for some things, like washing kids’ bath toys, but I have no real urge to use it for dishes right now.


So I need to know, do you hand wash your dishes or do you use a dishwasher? Let me know down below!

No dishwasher for a whole month! See what happened!





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Saturday 13th of February 2021

Interesting approach, shaming people for using their dishwasher.


Sunday 14th of February 2021

Not really sure how my personal experiences can be considered shaming people who use a dishwasher, but okay


Tuesday 30th of October 2018

We just completed an entire kitchen remodel and opted NOT to put in a dishwasher. Have had one in the last three houses and never used it. We put in a 24” cabinet by the sink and hookups are there if we ever change our minds. For now, I would rather have the cabinet space!


Tuesday 30th of October 2018

I love that! I think when we redo our kitchen we may do the same!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.