Monday, 13 July 2015

At a push of a button

"Just one wish, anything, what would it be?"

Did you take a moment to think about it? If yes, you're out! You are not worthy of that wish, sorry.

That's how I'd imagine, the process of being bestowed a wish from a Genie to be and I have had my wish made up, just in case I came across such opportunity. My wish would be evergreen like that of a Genie but without any baggage or a bottle to keep me imprisoned.

My wish; to be like Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) from Bewitched, an American Sitcom series. To be able to right a wrong with just a twitch of my nose.
Something so right for me now because I am a stay at home, a homemaker, a housewife or whatever it is you find it suitable, to call or label who no longer works for an organisation. But reality bites, I am no Samantha and do not possess her witch powers.

Alas, my quest for trying to magic my way out of household chores did not cease. Thankfully with the advancement of technology, came a wave of change in the way we viewed these menial tasks to help lazy moms like me. Browse through any electric stores and you'd be overwhelmed with the amount of gadgets available to make life a little breezier at a push of a button. So what if I cannot conjure up a spell to turn my messy house into a spick and span home with a twitch of my nose, I've got gadgets for every chore. To know more about these magical gadgets, follow this link to my Recipe page or Review page for my previous reviews which were published in a magazine and sponsored by Philips.

My latest addition is Bosch Dishwasher, 12 place setting. It's a free standing dishwasher which means it works just like a washing machine; acquire it from a store, have it transferred to your home and get it hooked up- the electric point and water input/outlet.
We use a lot of glass bottles to transport juice and blended yogurt to fight off the heat

Ideally, you should place your dishwasher beneath or nearby you current washing sink because you cannot transfer dishes from your dining table, straight into your dishwasher even if it has a rinse or pre-wash function. I personally feel it would be more hygienic if I removed food scraps off my silverware and give it a quick rinse before placing it into the dishwasher. Having a good quality cleaning brush is vital in ensuring your dishes come out sparklingly clean.

The benefits of owning a dishwasher are tremendous. I have reduced my washing time by half and am no longer slogging away in the kitchen at night till 10pm. It takes me about ten minutes to clear food scraps off my plates, brush off any sticky grease from my cutlery, arrange them into the dishwasher and press start. While the dishes are being washed, I get to focus on other matters. It takes about three to three and a half hour for a full wash cycle but it requires no meddling, just like a washing machine.
I no longer have a wet kitchen because whenever I get my tweens to help me with the dishes, the whole kitchen gets wet, an annoyance I just cannot stand. 
Lunch, school snack and dinner dishes, dry and ready to be stored

On a typical day, I run my machine once a day. There are five of us and with 12 place setting, I wash lunch, tea and dinner dishes at one go. I tend to hand wash my breakfast dishes (which are usually just a couple of cereal bowls and mugs) but would leave it to the dishwasher if we had a heavy breakfast. I also tend to wash as much as I can while I am preparing lunch so I will have ample of space for my silverware in the dishwasher.

Two racks dishwasher. The bottom rack can be flattened and used for pots and pans
I don't usually depend on the dishwasher to clean my wok, chopping board (wooden utensils are not allowed in a dishwasher) and earthenware (crockpot) just because they take up too much space. But if I do decide to put all my plates, pots and pans plus cutlery into the dishwasher, then I would need to run it twice;
  • first cycle: for breakfasts, lunch preparation and lunch dishes
  • second cycle: for school snack containers, tea time, dinner preparation and dinner dishes.

The dishes come out dry if you remove them immediately after the cycle is over; rinse, wash, dry. I like this because I can immediately store my clean silverware right into my cupboards and drawers without needing to let them air dry. However, since I like to run my dishwasher at night and am too lazy to transfer the clean dishes late at night, I would leave the door ajar once it completed washing to allow any excess steam or water vapor to flow out so no condensation will take place in the dishwasher and cause my plates to get wet.
The bottom rack has two rows of plate holders. Pictured here; I am only using the front row and the back row flattened to fit my pan but you can raise the plate holder and add more than a dozen large plates.

My verdict, I wish I had a bigger dishwasher because I hate running it twice. I love the 4 wash programs it offers, although the more expensive ones will give you more programs but honestly these 4 programs are quite sufficient. Bear in mind, if you decide to take this particular model, the drying function is only available together with wash at either 50'C or 65'C. No drying for wash at 45'C (function meant if you need your dishes quick as it takes about less than two hours) or for a rinse only cycle.
The programs on my basic dishwasher that gets the job done

I had to make a choice between Bosch, Electrolux, Elba and Fagor. Electrolux offered more functions for the same price as the basic Bosch dishwasher but the good record for after sales service of Bosch was the deal breaker that made us choose Bosch. Unlike the washing machine, they aren't many specialist who could attend to your dishwasher woes. Also the response time with Bosch is about two days from the day complaint is lodged.

Go to big electrical stores so you can see a wide variety of dishwasher and select one that suits your requirement. Some washers come with three racks, removable racks, stand alone functions; dry only, rinse and dry, to name a few.  You can even get a custom built-in ones but these are very pricy.

The machine we bought did not fit under my kitchen sink and it would have cost more to hack my concrete kitchen top just to fit it in. Instead we placed a little further away from my sink but still within reach. Remember, a dishwasher is meant to make things easier so if you place it in a difficult to reach place, it will most probably end up being a white elephant.

When I first received this machine, I was struggling with it and spent more time than I did hand washing my dishes but over time, once I got a hang of it, I am so much more quicker and better at placing my silverware neatly into the dishwasher for optimal space usage. Even my kids are able to work the machine without supervision.

If you feel, your family is too small, you could rinse and store your plates into the dishwasher for the whole day and run it when its full. The door shuts tight, so no need to worry about insects trying to creep into it. I feel this is a better option than keeping your dirty plates piled up in your sink.

Do your homework because there are a number of dishwasher brands available in the market but very few experts who are able to guide you on how to run it optimally. Fear not, with trial and error and a few videos, you would be an expert in no time.
Compare prices of dishwasher detergent and ordinary dish drops (top most tier is for dishwasher)
The only con, you MUST only use dishwasher soap, which are far more expensive than the ordinary dish drops. You would also need to add Rinse Aid to your machine for a cleaner and drier effect.
I am not sure how far this is true, but I have heard from a few dishwasher owners who make their own soap from garbage enzymes for their dishwasher and this cost almost nothing. I have yet to try that out and am waiting for my garbage enzymes to mature.

News Flash (updated 18/8/15)
My garbage enzymes have finally matured and I did my first ever test run using it.
One mug of sieved enzyme could not fit into my soap dispenser so I poured in as much as I could and ran a full cycle at 50'C. The result; dishes were not as sparkly and there was still some grease on my plates but I loved the way my dishwasher smelled, all citrusy.

Two water propeller; for top and lower racks so make sure your large spatulas and ladles don't block their movement

Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts
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  1. I am looking forward to hearing more about these garbage enzymes. :-)