In a recent episode of Fresh Off The Boat, Evan goes over to a white friend’s home for a family lunch, and is shocked to learn that the real use of a dishwasher is not to be used as a drying rack, but to actually wash dishes!
When I posted this video clip on Facebook, this really resonated with a lot of my Asian American friends – since most of us could relate – some of the comments I received:
While growing up, our family never used the dishwasher – it was considered wasteful. Additionally, as Jessica in Fresh Off the Boat, I think considered being lazy using a machine to wash dishes. But what is really more efficient – a dishwasher or hand washing dishes? According to this analysis:
“These numbers indicate that it’s possible to be more efficient when hand-washing, but it’s pretty tough. Can you successfully wash and rinse a soiled dinner plate in just over a cup of water? If you can keep the water use low, equal to an efficient machine, you’ll require less energy, but doing an entire load of dishes in 4 gallons of water is roughly equivalent to doing them all in the same amount of water you use in 96 seconds of showering (using a showerhead that emits 2.5 gallons per minute).
So, as long as you don’t often run your dishwasher when it’s only half full of dirty dishes, or unless you are very miserly with your water use (or have an old, inefficient dishwasher), the automatic dishwasher is likely to be more efficient. That is to say, it’s possible to use less water and energy by hand washing your dishes, but it’s not easy. Of course, if you do it just right, it might just be a wash.”
As an adult, I definitely use the dishwasher whenever I can – usually saving up enough dishes for the dishwasher to be full. It’s just easier and saves time.