07 October 2009

Use dishwasher's "delay" function for clean dishes in the morning

DishwasherStacey's simple dishwashing hack:

I'm not sure if this is a hack, but it sure has made my life a lot easier since I've discovered it. Quite often I would wake up to a dishwasher full of DIRTY dishes that I had intended to run after the kids had their baths and were in bed for the evening. This never happens now that I have discovered my dishwasher's delay function. After supper I get the dishwasher all ready to run, set it to delay 2 or 4 hours and press start. The dishwasher doesn't interfere with bath time, and you can always add those last minute dishes before bed, and still wake up with clean dishes.

Anything's can be good hack if it makes your parenting life easier. I have a delay function on my dishwasher and never thought to use it.

Related: Load (and unload) the dishwasher's silverware basket on the counter where it's out of the toddler's reach

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We don't like to run our dishwasher (or clothes dryer) while we're away from home or asleep. Those things have been known to catch fire.

My dishwasher "hack" is a simple rule to end the question of "Are these clean or dirty?".

I don't like to run the dishwasher unless it's full. So my wife and I both load it over a day or two until there's enough in there to justify running it. But then when you look in there you might not know if they are clean or dirty.

So now, as soon as I empty the dishwasher I put detergent in and close the little hatch - even if I don't have any dishes to put in there yet. Then we can load it until it's full.

After we run it the door is in the popped open position. So we know they are clean. If I don't empty it for a day or two (it happens, don't judge me ;) I'll know they're clean because the little hatch is still in the open position.

*If the detergent door is open the dishes are clean. If it's closed they're dirty.* It's a rule we live by.

I'm definitely going to make sure the next dishwasher I buy has a delay button too though.

I used to set my dishwasher to run delayed, until the smoke alarm woke us up in the middle of the night. The wires inside the dishwasher were burning1 Now granted, this isn't an every day occurance, but please make sure if you are going to run major appliances unattended that you check your smoke alarm batteries regularly! Our smoke alarms saved us!

Also, be careful if you have a heating element in your dishwasher. I remember a few times the plastic parts to sippy cup lids fell down and burnt on the heating element. Our new dishwasher doesn't have a delay option or a heating element, and I don't miss either.

My son goes to bed a couple of hours before me, so I could see how you could run it delayed, but still safely while people are awake to monitor it. I don't use the delay function on mine because it would go through the extra pots & pans cycle, which is overkill and wasteful. We have a deal, when both parents are home, that one does the bedtime routine, the other cleans up, starts the dishes if needed, etc. It works well for us. Also, we turned off the heated dry setting on our dishwasher and found that it works just as well, but we don't have to worry about melting plastic. Less scary, more green, and just as good!

This also works great for laundry. Our washer has a delay cycle. I put a load in before I go to bed, set 8 hours and they are ready to move to the dryer in the morning.

We bought a new dishwasher for our house last year, just to get the delay function. That is about all we use. I will check if my washer and dryer have one.

I rarely use the delay option on our dishwasher, for two reasons:

1--If I use the delay cycle, it automatically goes through the heaviest wash cycle. I generally use "light wash," and things come out fine,

2--I also try to catch it as soon as it hits the "dry" cycle. This saves energy, and it's less harsh on my dishes, especially the plastic ones.

I have to pay attention, but I know that the whole process takes about an hour, and since we usually have enough to fill it up after dinner, I run the dishwasher at night, and the kids can empty it after breakfast the next morning.

This is a great idea. I too have run into this problem because I don't want to run out of hot water for the kids baths, etc., and then forget to turn the dishwasher on. Now if only they would find a way for someone to automatically empty the dishwasher, we would all be set! :)

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