5 March 2013
From the dodgy habit of leaning plates together to the scandal of ‘shadowing’ – where bowls are placed over one other – a CHOICE survey has opened the lid on Australian dishwashing habits and discovered a raft of dirty problems and sticky issues.
“No two households are similar when it comes to packing their dishwashers – everybody does it differently. While some are incredibly precise in their packing, for many it’s a case of slapping the dishes in and expecting the dishwasher to clean properly,” says CHOICE whitegoods expert, Matthew Steen.
As part of a four-year study, nearly 3,000 CHOICE members have provided data on how they stack their dishwashers, including 100 people who have provided revelatory photographs of their actual load, which in one instance showed a family packing Lego blocks.
Coincidentally, CHOICE’s research into dishwashing packing is occurring at the same time as the Swiss-based International Electrotechnical Commission is piloting a new draft standard on how to pack dishwashers for testing. Dishwashers were traditionally tested using a 12 place setting with 132 items. There are now more likely to be fewer items but with a much wider variety.
“The way Australians are packing has changed over many years – people are now putting in large serving dishes, steel pots and pans, plastic bowls and serving utensils, and we need to include these in our standard for testing performance. Curiously, Australians are also more likely than Europeans to have deep bowls, which reflects the influence of Asian culture on our cooking,” said Mr Steen.
CHOICE’s top tips include:
Avoid ‘shadowing ‘ where bowls and large items are placed over each other.
No need to rinse dirty dishes - just scrape and go, and save water.
Remember that plastic dries much slower than traditional crockery in a dishwasher.
Avoid putting in large plates and oven cookware that take up space.