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Author Topic: Immigrants Don't Use Dishwashers?
callee
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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This was in the social studies page of today's Globe and Mail. Sounds a little sweeping to me, can anyone verify it? Further, if it is true, why? I can think of several possible explanations, but is there anyone with any first hand knowledge?


quote:
Sign of the immigrant?

"A couple of months ago, in the privacy of his townhouse, Alan Chien made a final break from cultural tradition, a guilt-filled decision he has yet to share with his parents," says The Washington Post. "He used his dishwasher. He knows his parents will not understand. 'They don't believe in it,' says Chien, 35, an engineer who emigrated with his family from Taiwan when he was a toddler. . . . In many immigrant homes, the dishwasher is the last frontier. . . . If they have a dishwasher -- and many do because it is standard equipment in most homes -- it becomes a glorified dish rack, a Tupperware storage cabinet or a snack-food bin. It's never turned on. Officials at appliance companies have noticed: Sears doesn't even highlight the appliances in its ads in Spanish-language media."



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a moment for old friends now estranged, victims of the flux of alliances and changing perceptions. There was something there once, and that something is worth honoring as well. - John Carroll

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Lotta Palaver
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I don't know, but I do know that when we were doing the walk-through for my house and the guy was showing me the dishwasher cut-off switch, he told me a story about how he was called out to check someone's dishwasher because it hadn't worked for several months and it was because the switch was turned off. He said the woman had left the dishes in there the whole time (gross!) and he made a point of making sure I knew that the reason the woman was such a dunce was because she was of a certain ethnic background and that it would be politically incorrect to say anything else about it (already crossed that line, buddy!) I assumed he meant the woman was non-white, and I'm guessing he meant black or hispanic, but I was never really sure. Grrrr! [Mad] That really galled me! When I received my first homeowner survey, I made sure to mention this incident, but I don't know if anything came of it. Since he was intentionally vague, I didn't feel I had enough on him to file a complaint and I figure he'll step in it sometime on his own.

As far as the dishwasher being used for other things, my oven tends to be used for pan storage as I am generally clueless as to how to use the oven and the pans it holds! [Wink] And we won't discuss the science experiment known as my refrigerator! [Eek!]

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BeachLife
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The only blanket statement that works for all immigrants is 'they all come from another country'. Like anything else, they are all individuals and some might have these issues with using a dishwasher while others don't.

I have no doubt that larger numbers of people from third world countries might not use their dishwasher as they see it as wasteful. I'm not what I would descibe as wasteful, but my travels and the friendships I have made around the world have taught me that there are some pretty typical things Americans do which seem very wasteful.

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Troodon
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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My family has been in the US 13 years and we never use our dishwasher - it seems a waste, because if the dishes aren't very dirty, it's easier just to rinse them by hand, and if they are very dirty, the dishwasher won't get them clean anyway. My uncle (he immigrated along with us) uses his dishwasher, but he does a lot of strange things. Recently, he bought a $40,000 SUV.

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Mama Duck
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I've never heard this one before. However, there might be a tiny speck of evidence. First generation immigrants probably can't afford to purchase dishwashers. They don't come standard with older homes that would be more affordable for a family just starting out. I suspect that as they become more financially secure, they use all the modern tools of convenience that everyone else does, including dishwashers.

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There is no interpersonal problem so big that it can't be solved with a suitably large amount of high explosives. ~ Bufungla

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Lizardking
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I do know Koreans have an aversion to leaving fans on at night. They think it'll suffocate them by taking the air out of the room. It's no big jump to think Asians are equally leary of dishwashers.
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Mistletoey Chloe
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I am an immigrant of 18 years' standing, and I now use my dishwasher maybe three times in a fortnight, but before this house, I lived in several different flats equipped with dishwashers, and never used them. I attribute this mostly to living alone, though--by the time the dishwasher is even close enough to being full enough to run, you've run out of dishes and coffee mugs. It does make a dandy place to drain them, though.

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Mama Duck
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Maybe I should qualify my opinion. All the immigrant families I know are from Mexico and in San Antonio that doesn't really count as immigration so much as relocation. And I'll grant you that if there's only one or two of you, the dishwasher can be pretty pointless.

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There is no interpersonal problem so big that it can't be solved with a suitably large amount of high explosives. ~ Bufungla

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I always use my dishwasher even when it's just me at home. But I own and use a lot of dishes. No eating out of the pan over the sink for this guy.

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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
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Black Belt and Socks
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quote:
I don't know, but I do know that when we were doing the walk-through for my house and the guy was showing me the dishwasher cut-off switch, he told me a story about how he was called out to check someone's dishwasher because it hadn't worked for several months and it was because the switch was turned off.
I can't say I have a lot of experience with dishwashers, but I don't recall seeing one with a cut off switch. Most models I'm familiar with turn on with either a dial or push button, and then run thru a cycle. It will shut off when opened, or by operating some other button thingy, but I don't recall a dishwasher that had to be turned "on" and then started.

And I know lots of folks wash the dishes before placing them into the dishwasher.

BB&S

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"How dare your reality hinder my ability to believe what I want!" Joe Bentley

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Mr. Furious
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Our dishwasher has a cut-off switch. It's right next to the garbage disposal switch. They're both just standard light switch-type things.

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"He's not gonna let me in, I'm Mr. Dirty Mouth!"
- Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko), Boston Legal

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NIffyBiffy
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I dated a Lao guy and the reason his family didn't use the dishwasher was that they thought it wasted water, and they themselves could get their dishes cleaner by handwashing. I had told him that you can't get the water hot enough to really sterilize dishes when you wash by hand.
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Buzzkiller
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Are dishwashers still less common in Europe than in the States? Some friends of ours--an intelligent, upper-middle-class couple who emigrated from England in the 90s--say they had absolutely no experience with dishwashers before moving to the U.S. and renting an apartment equipped with one. (And I don't just mean they had never had one. I didn't have one till I was 28, but I had seen them used in friends' houses and had a general idea of how they were loaded and used.) They like to tell about the first time they used their dishwasher: they loaded the detergent dispenser with liquid dish detergent, and hilarity ensued as mounds of foam escaped from the machine. Since Dawn is clearly marked "Dishwashing Detergent," their mistake really makes sense, doesn't it?

Sociological motivations aside, I imagine that some immigrants shy away from dishwashers because, like my friends, they've simply never been around them.

Incidentally, I fall very decidedly in the "Say yes to dishwashers; say no to germs" camp.

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BrianB
Happy Holly Days


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My mother, who was born in this country, refused to use dishwashers until just a few years ago. She always considered them wasteful and would always tell my siblings and I that we were wasteful and foolish to use them. I've always attributed this to the fact she grew up in poverty. I think now that she is in her 70s she appreciates the convenience. On the other hand I know many immigrants but I don't know any who don't like their dishwashers.
Brian

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Ciara...
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Troodon:
- it seems a waste, because if the dishes aren't very dirty, it's easier just to rinse them by hand, and if they are very dirty, the dishwasher won't get them clean anyway.

That sums it up nicely for me.

My great-aunt and her husband would always wash their dishes by hand, then put them in the dishwasher and wash them a second time. Why not just scrub a little harder and be done with it? Or when my friend complained to me about doing the dishes. Yes, it must've taken her a lot of time and effort to push that little button to start the machine. [Roll Eyes]

quote:
Originally posted by NIffyBiffy:
I had told him that you can't get the water hot enough to really sterilize dishes when you wash by hand.

And yet, people continue to wash by hand and live to tell about it.

Ci "never used a microvawe either" ara

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Rhiandmoi
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I wash dishes in the dishwasher so I don't burn my hands dipping them in the boiling hot water. Water comes out of my tap hot enough to hand wash dishes, but I am not dunking my hands in there.
I know people that wash their dishes by hand and then basically steam them in the dishwasher. Since the dishes are already clean they don't use soap in the dishwasher. They also use a shorter setting than the full wash cycle.
Me, I want to get a dishwasher with a built in grinder and a zillion sprayers so I can but dirty dishes in that have been minimally scraped and that's it.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Mama Duck
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Ok, the dishwasher, I'll give you if you really don't see the need. But what's wrong with the microwave?

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There is no interpersonal problem so big that it can't be solved with a suitably large amount of high explosives. ~ Bufungla

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Ciara...
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Buzzkiller:
Are dishwashers still less common in Europe than in the States?

The great-aunt and the friend I mentioned above are the only ones I can think of that I know have dishwashers in their home. Offices and such usually have them, though.

ETA:
quote:
Originally posted by Mama Duck:
Ok, the dishwasher, I'll give you if you really don't see the need. But what's wrong with the microwave?

Probably not much, I've just never felt compelled to have/use one. I have a stove and an oven that work just fine.

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-Oh, we'd all like to lick the great Superman, Jimmy.

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strange_little_girl
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Do you really need to sterilise your dishes. I imagine clean dishes in a cupboard arent exactly ideal bacteria breeding ground. I also read lately that you need to iron your bedsheets to sterilise them. I can see the point if you have dust mite allergies or something but I've not heard many people getting sick from unironed sheets.

I've no idea what percentage of the population has dishwashers here. They're standard in new build and new kitchens but most people I know havent bothered to get them.

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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We have one in our home but they were uncommon here until recent years.

My mother-in-law told me they did a study on TV to see which used more water, waching by hand or by dish washer and the dishwasher was more efficient. I didn't see it but it's hard for me to believe. (I think I use very little water when I wash by hand. And I don't like using the dishwasher.)

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Michael Cole
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Lizardking:
I do know Koreans have an aversion to leaving fans on at night. They think it'll suffocate them by taking the air out of the room. It's no big jump to think Asians are equally leary of dishwashers.

T'was speaking with the sparky across the road from me, and he told me the story of when he installed an air conditioning system for someone. They gave him a call later and told him it was slowing down and making strange noises.

When he got to the house, he found that they couldn't open the door - the owners had kept all windows and doors closed, and the AC had basically pumped in so much air that the house had become pressurised - the AC was starting to fail because it just simply couldn't force any more air into the house.

The owners were not immigrants. Stupidity is not reserved to any culture, class or religion.

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Wizard of Yendor
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Cole:
The owners were not immigrants. Stupidity is not reserved to any culture, class or religion.

Stupidity doesn't, no. But that story actually does fit the stereotype. Immigrants under-utilize technology, white people over use it.
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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Buzzkiller:
Are dishwashers still less common in Europe than in the States? Some friends of ours--an intelligent, upper-middle-class couple who emigrated from England in the 90s--say they had absolutely no experience with dishwashers before moving to the U.S. and renting an apartment equipped with one. (And I don't just mean they had never had one. I didn't have one till I was 28, but I had seen them used in friends' houses and had a general idea of how they were loaded and used.) They like to tell about the first time they used their dishwasher: they loaded the detergent dispenser with liquid dish detergent, and hilarity ensued as mounds of foam escaped from the machine. Since Dawn is clearly marked "Dishwashing Detergent," their mistake really makes sense, doesn't it?

Yes, they're not terribly common over here - my mother has one and has had one for years, but she's the only British person in Britain that I know that has one. She has it for the same reason you cited: germs, ack!! Oh I tell a lie - the shared house my colleague lives in has one too, but there are six people living there so it makes sense.

My sister lives in Germany and got a small dishwasher when she moved to a new flat last Christmas. She hadn't had one in either of the two places she lived before that.

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Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

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VeebleFetzer
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Cole:
quote:
Originally posted by Lizardking:
I do know Koreans have an aversion to leaving fans on at night. They think it'll suffocate them by taking the air out of the room. It's no big jump to think Asians are equally leary of dishwashers.

T'was speaking with the sparky across the road from me, and he told me the story of when he installed an air conditioning system for someone. They gave him a call later and told him it was slowing down and making strange noises.

When he got to the house, he found that they couldn't open the door - the owners had kept all windows and doors closed, and the AC had basically pumped in so much air that the house had become pressurised - the AC was starting to fail because it just simply couldn't force any more air into the house.

So their house was airtight? Were they living in a submarine?

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chocolate-martini
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quote:
Originally posted by Buzzkiller:
Are dishwashers still less common in Europe than in the States?

Of course, not all of our caves are equipped with hot water and electricity and if the river's close we just soak them there

quote:
Originally posted by Buzzkiller:
Sociological motivations aside, I imagine that some immigrants shy away from dishwashers because, like my friends, they've simply never been around them.

That's right! We're slowly getting used to it though, just like the hot running water we have now. Just the buttons are still a little confusing

quote:
Originally posted by Buzzkiller:
Incidentally, I fall very decidedly in the "Say yes to dishwashers; say no to germs" camp.

Yes, yes because without dishwasher we'd all die tomorrow.
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Shadowduck
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I'm the only person I know (in the UK) that has one - I suspect part of the reason is that kitchens here aren't typically installed with utilities / space for one and it's quite a pain in the genitalia to fit one from scratch. I've still done it twice though! Ours is run at least once a day, sometimes twice, due to the number of offspring we have. As far as I'm concerned, some things (child cups with built-in straws; baby bottles, not that we have that problem any more; winemaking airlocks and so on) are virtually impossible to get properly clean without one - plus it's worth it just not to have arguments about who washes up!

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But of course, I could be wrong.

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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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We used to argue about who had to unload it when it was finished [Wink]

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Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

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Little Pink Pill
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We spend the year between Calif and Hungary, and over the years none of the friends who housesat for us in Hungary ever used the dishwasher, only a few used the drier, and most avoided the microwave. When I asked why, they basically told me that since they grew up without them, it was more of a nuisance to use them than not.

None had any superstitions about my appliances, though most had the house locked up so tight to avoid evil, kidney infection producing drafts that the house was stale and muggy. One also scraped the nonstick off my cookie sheet in a misplaced cleaning frenzy, but that's another issue.

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Ganzfeld
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Cole:
T'was speaking with the sparky across the road from me, and he told me the story of when he installed an air conditioning system for someone. They gave him a call later and told him it was slowing down and making strange noises.

When he got to the house, he found that they couldn't open the door - the owners had kept all windows and doors closed, and the AC had basically pumped in so much air that the house had become pressurised - the AC was starting to fail because it just simply couldn't force any more air into the house.

I hate to do this because it's such a funny story but... Are you sure this is a true story? Most houses have plenty of room for enough air to escape. Even if they didn't it strikes me as quite strange that a ventillation system could make the pressure so high that a door couldn't be opened.
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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by VeebleFetzer:
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Cole:
quote:
Originally posted by Lizardking:
I do know Koreans have an aversion to leaving fans on at night. They think it'll suffocate them by taking the air out of the room. It's no big jump to think Asians are equally leary of dishwashers.

T'was speaking with the sparky across the road from me, and he told me the story of when he installed an air conditioning system for someone. They gave him a call later and told him it was slowing down and making strange noises.

When he got to the house, he found that they couldn't open the door - the owners had kept all windows and doors closed, and the AC had basically pumped in so much air that the house had become pressurised - the AC was starting to fail because it just simply couldn't force any more air into the house.

So their house was airtight? Were they living in a submarine?
Good question. I was not aware that keeping windows/doors open while running the AC was the thing to do. I do it all the time and my house has not have any pressure problems that I am aware of.

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"My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-oh! No...Pluto..."~ Steven Colbert

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Buzzkiller
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chocolate-martini, I'm not sure where all that venom came from, but I re-read my original post and I can't imagine how in the world it could be construed as insulting. I asked an honest question based on information given to me by friends from England. Interesting, both Dark Mavis and Shadowduck confirmed my suspicion--that dishwashers are somewhat less common in Europe than in the U.S.--without taking offense.

This isn't the best analogy in the world, but from movies and TV I have also made the observation that in England, it's not uncommon for one's mail to be placed through a slot in one's front door, though this is something I rarely see in the U. S. (at least the areas where I've lived). There's no value judgment there--it's just an observation I've made about the different ways homes are made all over this big, big planet of ours.

If you have a bit of a geographical chip on your shoulder, I can identify: having grown up and spent most of my days in small, rural communities, I sometimes overreact to any comment I perceive to be even vaguely insulting to country folk, Southerners, etc.

Feel free to contact me if you need to explain why you found my post offensive. Perhaps you can also help me understand how you made the leap from "dishwashers kill germs" to "without dishwashers we'll all die."

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NIffyBiffy
The Red and the Green Stamps


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When I was in High School, I took a cooking class, and the county required us to use the dishwashers. Anything that we put our mouths on, we had to was via dishwasher. Also, comercially, it's the same thing - i suspect the health department has the same type of regulations.

That's my clarification of my earlier post. [Smile]

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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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It's more than not uncommon in Britain Buzz - that's the norm. [Smile]

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Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

Posts: 8528 | From: Nottingham, England | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
lazerus the duck
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by NIffyBiffy:
I had told him that you can't get the water hot enough to really sterilize dishes when you wash by hand.

Nice to see the urban legend put about by dish washer makers is alive and well. Do you accept anything told you by the manufacturing industry?
Find me one case of illnes caused by washing in hot water and I'll drink my dish water.

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All the world's a face, And all the men and women merely acne.

Posts: 673 | From: Glasgow, Scotland | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Towknie
We Three Blings


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Dear wife is from Korea, and fell in love with the dishwasher the first time she saw it. The garbage disposal is the last frontier in our house. Korean homes just have a screen trap over the drain, and collect whatever lands in there into special "wet garbage" bags.

She tried the disposal once -- with a potato. Didn't work out to well for us.

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Towknie: Ryda-certified as wonderful, enlighted, and rational.

Posts: 1011 | From: Frisco, TX | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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