Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Dishwasher Decision

How do you feel about dishwashers?

My eldest sister has a dishwasher but won't use it because she thinks it uses too much water and it's just as easy to wash dishes by hand. 

My other sister had a dishwasher, but had her husband remove it because she thought it used too much water and because she wanted more cabinet space. 

My mom, who has never had a dishwasher, says she'd sure as heck use it if she did!

Our dishwasher hasn't been slowly dying for about a year.  Personally, I've been arguing with myself over whether a new dishwasher is a valid need or just a want.  It's definitely something I want, but I see the cost as OMG! That's a whole extra payment on the van.  Shane wants it, too (or really, he wants it for me), but he sees the cost as No big deal, that's only x number of days of pay.  I guess it's all in the perception. 

Ultimately, I've decided that Mom knows best, that my sisters are crazy (just kidding), and that I'm sure I'd rather be doing something other than washing dishes by hand.

So, now that the decision has been made, Shane and I will buy a new dishwasher very soon.  Next week to be exact.   There are lots of reasons to buy between April 19 and 25.

  • Our state (Missouri) is having a Tax-Free Holiday on certain appliance purchases.*
  • The manufacturer is offering a mail-in rebate for $30.
  • The state of Missouri, as part of a federal incentive, is offering potential rebates on dishwashers and other appliances during the same week as the tax holiday. **
  • An employee at the store where we'll be making the purchase told me there may be an sale for an additional 10% off during the same week.***
We know which brand and model we want and that Lowe's has the best price.  Now here's some news:  We're going to have it installed instead of Shane installing it himself.  I know, I can hardly belief it myself.  Between his job, the garden work and him helping his mom move from her temporary residence to a more permanent one in the next couple of weeks, he just doesn't think he'll have time.

While I know that my friend Janelle was very displeased with Lowe's service contractors, we've had good experiences with installations and warranty work from Lowe's in the past, so we're willing to let them do this installation for us again.

The only negative I see in buying next week is that if a lot of people take advantage of these incentives, it could take a little while for our installation to be scheduled.  I've waited a year; what's a few more days?  As usual, I'll post a picture or two once it's here and installed.

*Can't buy during the tax-free holiday?  By having the retailer install the dishwasher, the taxes on the dishwasher will be waived anyway because the State of Missouri considers it a permanent home improvement and won't collect tax on it.  This was something I did not know before yesterday, and it applies to such appliances as built-in dishwashers, built-in microwaves, water heaters, furnaces and air conditioners.

**According to the state's website, $5.6 will be available to Missouri consumers, all on a first come-first serve basis.  This is state-wide on all eligible appliances.  So, while there is a potential for us to save $75 on this purchase, the rebate is not guaranteed.

***An employee at a different Lowe's store said that he had not heard of this sale yet, but that employees often don't know about such sales ahead of time.  It won't keep us from making the purchase, but it sure would be nice to save an additional $45.


McVal said...

Congrats! I don't think we could go very long at all without a dishwasher! We have gone 2 weeks in the past, but it was awful! When I can spend 5 minutes and get it all done rather than make it a 30 minute ordeal... We use a lot of dishes with 6 people in the house and we like to cook... So pots and pans all the time.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

I wish my dishwasher would go out. It's so noisy, always has been, I didn't buy a very good insulated one. That was 17 years ago.

But next week we are going to Lowe's for a new whirlpool washing machine. the clutch on mine went out about 4 weeks ago, it's been limping along.

Have fun shopping.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

I probably won't have a dishwasher in my next home and I'm really going to miss it. It was a lifesaver with babies in the house.

slugmama said...

I say it's a win/win situation.....saving money and getting the machine.

I've read studies where they say dishwashers save money b/c they use less water than handwashing. They also save time and time is money, right?lol But then again, they do increase your electricity bill. They need to invent a solar dishwasher, don't they?

Just don't buy it from Home 'Despot'...gawd, how I hate that place....and with good reason!lol

Annie Jones said...

McVal: The cooking was the decider, I think. I barely have enough counter space as it is, without having dishes air drying all over it. And although I might wash by hand, I refuse to dry them.

OBQ: I hate trying to keep appliances limping along. I think the washing machine is the worst, too.

CJ: Then again, if you leave the dishes sitting, there won't be anyone to complain about it.

Sluggy: LOL...I thought I was the only one who called it Home Despot, although I do still shop there sometimes, especially for garden things.

This new dishwasher is supposed to use an average of $23 a year in electricity according to it's Energy Star sticker. That's not bad, and besides, I'm already in the habit of turning it off and opening it up when it gets to the dry cycle.

Tug said...

I've never used one, even though I've had them. If I cooked as much as you do, though, I'm pretty sure it would get some use!

Cathy said...

Good for you for making a decision that feels right to you. We have a dishwasher, but stopped using it about six months ago. The kids and I felt like putting the dishes away was a pain, we didn't like when it was full and dishes sat out waiting to go in and lots of the dishes had to be rewashed anyhow. Instead we decided we liked a two person team doing the dishes/pans used in cooking. One person washes while the other dries. It goes quickly. Also, we each have a set of dishes that are different from each others and we are each responsible for washing our own plates/bowls/etc and if we don't, we know who didn't. Plus, since we each only have two of everything, we end up having to wash it soon if we want to eat off clean dishes. But, whatever works for each of us is the right move. Enjoy your dishwasher.

SonyaAnn said...

I think that it is a good investment. And I will probably be having the same argument with myself here pretty quick. Ours really isn't getting anything clean so what is the point. I'm going to take it apart and see if I can't really screw it up! And the dryer quit. So stay away from us!

Doug Robertson said...

After many many years of using a dishwasher and wondering how in the world anyone ever got along with one, I haven't used one in the past several years. I wouldn't use one now if I had it, but I probably would if I still was raising a family. Now that it's just me, it's easier doing it by hand. But at least your buying one couldn't have come at a better time, good luck!

Annie Jones said...

Tug and Doug: There are a lot of things I would do differently if I were single. For starters, I wouldn't have cable. I probably wouldn't use the dishwasher, either.

Cathy: I've heard of arrangements like yours, where everyone has their own dishes and takes care of themselves. I don't know if I could get that to work in our family or not. Shane does help though. He usually puts away the leftovers and clears the table while I either load the dishwasher or start hand-washing dishes in the sink.

SonyaAnn: I tore into ours a little, have tired different detergent, rinse aids, vinegar rinses, different loading patterns, etc. It all seems to working, but whatever is on the top rack doesn't get clean. Also, the racks are rusting through on the bottom. I think it's time to put it out of my misery. :)

Sheila said...

I too need a new dishwasher. This one was put in when the house was built in 1988. Most days, it gets things clean but some days nothing seems to be clean. It is definitely on its way out. I just can't make myself spend that much money though. I'll have to do some research to see which one has the best ratings and price.

Lisa B. said...

Annie if I had to cook three meals a day and had more than just the three of us here I would do a plan kind of like Cathy's. Everyone would have their own colors and be responsible for putting those into the dishwasher. I would be responsible for mine and all utensils used for cooking. Right before bed I would run the dishwasher. (I like to run it at night with the dryer option turned off) Next morning I unload the dishwasher so it's empty and ready to go for the day.

BUT it's just the three of us, so I do it all. ;)

What dishwasher are you planning on buying?

Annie Jones said...

Sheila and Lisa: We are getting this Frigidaire model. We didn't want to spend an outrageous amount, but to get a moderately quiet model it seems you need to spend at least $400. Our other requirements were nylon coated racks that don't rust through (at least not quickly) and that it be white to match our other appliances. I like that the controls are on the top of the door instead of in front and also that the racks and baskets are all adjustable and/or removable.

BTW, Lisa, in the summer I set the dishwasher delay to start about 2 in the morning (with dryer turned off) so that in runs during off-peak hours. In the winter, I turn it on as soon as I get up and when it gets to the dry cycle, I turn it off and open it up to let the heat and humidity out into the house.

Sheila said...

Nice dishwasher. I'll have to look to see if Lowe's has it in stock next time I go. All my appliances are white too---except for the old dishwasher--it is black and stands out like a sore thumb!!This one is so loud that the first time I used it, I thought it was dying! No such luck--over 4 years later and it is still going!!!