Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Dishwasher Destroyed My Alan Turing Mug

Look how the dishwasher destroyed my Alan Turing mug.

I never grew up in a house with a working dishwasher. It was forever broken, either leaking or smelling like burning rubber. It permanently hogged space in some nook of the kitchen, but we simply learned to overlook it, forget it was there, as if it were a squatter who moves into an abandoned building and no one wants to bother evicting him because really, what the harm in just letting bygones be bygones?

We have a dishwasher now, and it's the only appliance that actually survived when we moved into this apartment in May. (The oven was DOA, and the fridge blew up in July.)

I hate the dishwasher.

Why? It doesn't wash dishes.

At first I tried using it as a mechanism that might get my dishes clean. I rinsed the plates and spoons day after day, and by the end of day three, squirted some dishwashing soap into the little compartment and let her rip.

What I got was crusty curds of food and smears of egg yolk stuck on the underside of plates, glasses with a thin layer of citrus pulp cemented to the inside walls, mugs still stained with coffee, and spoons slick with the dog's saliva (we let her lick the spoon when we scoop out her food).

So now I scrub all my dishes just a little bit with a brush and warm soapy water before loading them into the dishwasher. Now about 15 percent of them come out dirty.

The little compartment that holds the soap doesn't always pop open, so sometimes when I open the dishwasher to unload it, I find all the soap sitting there, waiting to be let loose on some dirty dishes! Alas, it has missed its chance. Then I'll grab my trusty dish washing brush and a cup of water and clean that thing by hand, too.

The dishwasher has also destroyed by Alan Turing mug (above). It's a cheap mug, I'm sure, but the colors never bled until May, when we moved in and started using the dishwasher.


Coffee-stained mug: You can remove stains with baking soda and a damp paper towel.

How to Get Coffee or Tea Stains Off Mugs
Tip: To get coffee stains off mugs, which I'm sure you have, too, if you wash your cups in a dishwasher, line them up on the counter and grab a damp paper towel. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda into your first mug, and use the paper towel to give it a quick scrub. The baking soda will stick to the paper towel, so just move on to the next mug and repeat. Rinse your cups thoroughly in warm water (or you'll see white gritty streaks of residual baking soda) and let dry.

3 comments:

No Radio said...

Growing up with a dishwasher just meant I learned to half-ass wash every dish. Which is still pretty much how I wash dishes in my post-dishwasher life.

Hillary said...

I have a friend whose family uses the dishwasher for storing flatware and dinnerware. I was visiting one time and we were making tea. I was opening all their cabinets looking for mugs when I realized not only were they not in a cupboard, but there was no space for them that I could tell. She told me everything was in their dishwasher. They unhooked and turned off all the water/electricity and just use it as storage.

Jill E. Duffy said...

Two follow-ups: First, Hillary, I used to babysit for a family who used their oven as a snack drawer. It was full of cookies, chips, and bags of sliced bread. They mustn't have cooked ever (that's right, I used the word "mustn't").

Second, I should have mentioned why I have an Alan Turing mug. Many readers may have guessed it's because I'm an extreme nerd, which is half of the truth, but really, I got it while working for the Association for Computing Machinery, for whom Turing is a patron saint (tongue in cheek).

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