I like to take long walks first thing in the morning. (Biggie and his diabetes do too, but that’s another post.) When Joe can’t join me, I put an AirPod into my left ear and listen to podcasts while I walk, and I’m usually going to listen to Revisionist History. Malcolm Gladwell is my favorite unknown-to-me-personally person, and I can’t think of a better way to start the day than with an injection of new information presented so passionately and completely, straight into my brain. Was I surprised when I listened to an episode last week from Season 6 when Mr. Gladwell began talking about how we do our laundry. Laundry, Malcolm?
It’s titled “Laundry Done Right.” He does a deep dive into how we wash our clothes, what detergents we choose to use, and actually visits the Procter and Gamble facility in Ohio to interview a research and development head! If I say any more about this, I will bore you. Listen to the episode yourself; Mr. Gladwell will help you see that the choices we make about doing mundane household chores are more important than we may have considered.
I already wash my clothes in cold water, using Tide pods that I buy in bulk refill packs from Costco. (When I began working outside the home, my days of making my own laundry detergent ended. This is actually a good thing; modern washing detergent is better for the environment, plus it’s engineered to clean best in cold water.) What got to me, though, was the information on dishwasher detergent. I didn’t know/didn’t believe you are not supposed to rinse your dishes before you load them into the dishwasher.
I have a chronic problem with getting dishes done. I save them in the sink, rinse them in bulk, and load them into the dishwasher at the end of the day. Walking through the kitchen and seeing the pile makes me sad. I actually gauge my daily cooking on how many dirty dishes I will create. Sometimes <gasp> I leave them in the sink overnight because I just don’t want to face the mess.
I can’t say yet that I don’t still have a chronic problem with getting dishes done, but for the last week I have put my dishes directly into the dishwasher, first scraping off the scraps into my Lomi. (My Lomi! A gift from my husband and kids for Mother’s Day! I love it!) I put in a magic dishwashing detergent pod and run the load at night. My sink is empty every morning when I wake, and the dishes are clean. It works! The chemistry works! I’ve saved gallons of water and energy, my hands are in better shape, and my kitchen is tidier. I’m seriously in awe. My smoothie cup from breakfast with dried leftover fruity protein mix on its sides? Sticky oatmeal bowl? Tomato sauce or runny egg yolk plates? All sparkling clean. I’m sold; no more rinsing my dishes before washing. Try it yourself!
One note: check your dishwasher’s tolerance to cleaning un-rinsed dishes. My dishwasher has a removable filter that HAS to be rinsed every week or so in order for it to maintain its high standard of cleaning. Some dishwashers don’t need this maintenance. See which kind you have. If your dishwasher is stinky and the dishes have noticeable debris stuck to the sides, check and clean the filter. If your dishwasher is really old, I look forward to the day you will be able to upgrade to newer dishwashing technology. It will make a meaningful difference in your life!