Why Dishwashing by Hand Can be a Fun Choice

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The following is a post from LifeasMOM contributor, Prerna:

Washing the dishes by hand has been my favorite part of housekeeping. When I got married, my mother-in-law thought I was crazy sicne each night I would happily and enthusiastically jump at the chance of doing the dishes. Yes, that’s how much I love playing with soapy water!

Here are five of my favorite reasons to savor the experience that is…dishwashing.

Dishwashing Gives You Time to Reflect

You know, there is something deeply meditative about the whole process. The quiet, the peace and the fact that you’re cleaning something gives you a chance to reflect, think and introspect. Even if you’re washing dishes in the middle of a real racket, you can easily shut yourself off and just focus on scrubbing, soaping and rinsing.

Saving the Planet.. One Plate at a Time

Most importantly, washing dishes by hand is green and eco-friendly. It allows you to save tons of energy and water without much effort. It is an easy way to go green while saving yourself some money as well.

Bonding Over the Kitchen Sink

I love washing dishes especially when my toddler and husband give my company. They stand around talking and playing while I join in sometimes with songs and rhymes. I’m happy I’m passing this love for dishwashing to my daughter in a way that’s fun and enjoyable.

Catch Up on Reading or Music

I admit, I got this idea from Kat of Inspired to Action. Earlier my dishwashing time was more of reflection or fun time. Now I like listening to an audiobook or some good music while doing my favorite chore. So, if you have an audiobook you want to read, get out your iPhone or MP3 player and head to the kitchen sink.

A Chance to Indulge and Exercise

While dishwashing on regular days is fun as it is, washing a sink full of dishes during the holidays or after a big party can seem well, exhausting. In this case, I motivate myself with a reward. Anything. Even, an extra large serving of that gooey chocolate cake left over from the dinner last night.

And if it’s the calories you’re looking to burn, well, my friend, dishwashing will make you very happy. According to Fitday, half an hour of washing dishes by hand can help you burn 160 calories as compared to the 105 calories that loading the dishwasher will burn. So, get washing!

Do you do your dishes by hand?

How do your make it more of fun and less of a chore?

— Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in parenting with love, being postively productive, and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her simple tips and easy-to-do ideas at The Mom Writes or follow her on Twitter.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. I do them by hand, but I honestly have always looked at it as something that has to get done. Today, I’m going to purpose to make it enjoyable! Thanks so much for this 🙂

  2. Yes, I wash dishes by hand. I have a brand-new, never used dishwasher. I feel that it’s faster and easier and better to do so.

  3. Jeanne says

    I enjoy handwashing dishes, too. But you should know that it’s generally accepted to NOT be the environmentally-friendly option.

    • @Jeanne,
      Thanks for the link to the article. It does throw up some interesting points. Will definitely be looking at more sources and info on this. Thanks again!

      • Kelly says

        @Prerna, That study was sponsored by a dishwasher company and only compares one model only available in Europe to hand-washing. Read it with a grain of salt. That being said, there aren’t many reliable studies done on this subject. For arguments sake, let’s say they use the same amount of energy/water. What about factoring in the resources to make a dishwasher? What about the fact that they need replaced-again furthering the resources used for production? In the end, hand washing has to win out in the environmentally friendly competition.

  4. I dont not own a dishwasher and there would actually not be enough room in my small kitchen for one(even if I had space I doubt if Id want one)

  5. Debbie says

    I enjoy the warm, soapy water, too, and the simple pleasure of a stack of clean dishes. I listen to music and look out the window in front of the sink. I agree, it gives you a little time to think.

  6. I have started to wash dishes by hand (most of the time) recently. It can be relaxing and is actually fun when my husband and I do it together. 🙂

  7. anushka says

    Nice article Prerna! My husband and I enjoy doing the dishes. The days when he cooks, I do the dishes and vice versa. We both agree that its a Meditative experience… and a great stress buster 🙂

  8. Stacia Jahnke says

    We don’t have a dishwasher so we do ours by hand but I don’t do them!! Doing dishes is one of those household chores I just don’t like. So my husband made a schedule and him and our 2 teenage sons have scheduled days that they wash the dishes. It’s awesome!! p.s. My husband does listen to music when he’s doing the washing!! 🙂

  9. I have been hand washing for a year and half since my dishwasher took a crapper for the third time in 6 months:-( However, the skin on my hands are on strike:-(

  10. Lynette says

    We don’t have enough dishes to run a full load of dishes in the dishwasher every day. If we saved all those plates by stacking them in the washer – we wouldn’t have anything to eat on for dinner! So we hand wash everything – usually if it’s just a quick job I don’t mind, but yes – lots of dishes after a party can be exhausting! Like the idea of listening to an audio book. In my house, after dinner – Hubby takes on the dishes while I do bath time. He always asks me to turn on some music and we all dance around while going about our chores (the girls dry and put away!) I know he enjoys the time with our two girls talking and answering questions from them (when not listening to the music).
    It is a reflective period of time, I’ve just never realized it! Thanks for making me aware of it!
    We are now teaching out oldest to do the dishes, and hope to eventually phase her in as doing them all the time – until than, we (hubby and I) will share the job with her.

  11. Diana says

    Dishes are probably my least favorite chore. But the way I get the motivation to do them is to remember how much more I dislike the feeling of coming out to dirty dishes the next morning 😉

    Also, I love having an after-dinner cup of tea (my reward, I guess!). I get the kettle going (on medium heat so it takes awhile) and attempt to have all the dishes done before it whistles. Then I can make my tea and sit down 🙂

  12. Some of the best conversations I had with my MIL were over the kitchen sink washing dishes after a big family dinner. We lost her about 18 months ago, and I miss my dishwashing partner.

  13. We just got a new dishwasher but the last few weeks before it arrived I was washing a lot by hand since the old one wasn’t working so well. I did enjoy it for that time but not sure if I’d want to do it forever!

  14. I despise doing the dishes, and now that I stay home all day and cook 3 meals at home there are always dirty dishes, and in a small kitchen that means theres no room for anything. I’m going to try to retrain my brain to think of it as more of a fun chore as opposed to hating it the whole time. If I leave them alone (which I’ve done way too many times) they don’t do themselves.

  15. promises says

    Washing dishes by hand is definitely not my favorite thing to do. I try to get it done as quickly as I can – but I have to agree with you that it is a time where I can reflect and think about the day or what is on the agenda for the next day.

  16. Stephanie says

    I have a dishwasher but I always wash my dishes by hand. I have discovered that it is the perfect way to have a little me time. You see, I have a 10 month old and my husband obviously has to keep an eye on the little one when I am washing dishes. He is happy to do it, but I love having this me time!

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