How many times does the average american wash dishes?

I've wondered about this ever since I had kids. On a good day, we wash the dishes twice a day (by dishwasher). Sometimes we I wash them three times a day. I was floored when my neighbors told me they only wash dishes maybe twice a week. They are a young married couple without any kids and eat out for most of their meals.

But what about an average family of 4? Are we washing dishes too much? Are we normal? Any insights would be greatly appreciated. :)

11 comments:

Reagan said...

Hi Angela!
I am not a family of four, so I can't help you on that regard, but we have a small dishwasher (It's just me and my husband) and we wash them 2X a week at most. Since I know that you try to be as environmentally friendly (which i LOVE about your blog), here's some ideas: we get a couple of glasses per week for each of us and rinse one out after we use it. Then we put it to the side, so that if we are thirsty later, we can grab it. After about three days, we repeat. We've never gotten sick from using them a few times! We also "rinse off" dishes, cups, utensils that only were used to serve dry food or water or something, with warm water. I don't know, it just never seems that the dishes accumulate this way. I know that I do not have children, so it may be unrealistic to compare, but maybe if you could try rinsing off sets of dishes and re-use them throughout the week, you could reduce your dependency on the dishwasher. I hope that this helps!!

Steph @ AnnoyinglyDomestic said...

Hey, whatever it takes to keep the kitchen clean. In our house, it's me, my husband, and two six year olds. Usually, I the dishes are done once, but honestly, it should be twice with the amount of cooking we do (mostly The Man). Twice could easily be cut down to once, but I loathe washing dishes by hand. I admit, I'm really bad about the kitchen. I'll clean other things and fold laundry just to keep from tackling the kitchen. It's the one area of cleaning that is like nails to a chalkboard.

shelly said...

We are a family of 4. We run our dishwasher about 1 time per day. Sometimes two if I don't was the pans by hand. We eat almost all of our meals at home maybe out to eat 1 meal a week at most. If I am doing canning I may run it twice a day.

Jessica-MomForHim said...

We are a family of 6 and we usually run the dishwasher once a day. We wash our pans by hand and we use the same cups all day by rinsing them and leaving them on the counter (everyone has a different cup, so no germ-sharing). Really it could be done 1 1/2 times a day because there are sometimes a few dinner dishes left in the sink that didn't fit, but I don't want to run a half-full dishwasher (what a waste!).

Angela said...

Thanks for the input! It looks like I haven't been doing a very good job in the dishwasher department. We do reuse our glasses and some plates, BUT I put all of our pans and big cooking bowls in the dishwasher. And cutting boards. They take up most of the space and if I pulled them out and washed them by hand (oh what's a lazy girl to do!!) then I could probably run the dishwasher once a day or less.

I'm inspired! And I'm willing to give it a shot. Thanks for the advice, keep the great comments coming!

It's so great to learn new things...just when you think you have it all figured out you learn some things you never knew you never knew (yes...that's from Pocahontas)

jengd said...

It's 3 of us and right now, we all eat lunch out of the house (though often involving containers from home) but rarely eat out otherwise. I run the dishwasher once or twice a week- almost always Sunday after I'm done cooking for the week. We do large pots/pans/containers by hand and usually cutting boards by hand through the week since we use them daily.

Emelie said...

I cannot imagine running the diswasher twice a week! We are a family of 5 + a brother in law who lives with us but doesn't eat at home more than once a day. I know sometimes we are lazy about reusing cups, but I regularly run the dshwasher twice a day. Sometimes I only do it once and then have to do it twce the next day because there are so many dishes.

Julie L. said...

Family of four (though one is a baby who is only using bottles right now). We wash the dishes in between once a day and once every two days. Once in a while there will times where we will go three days. We don't wash the pots and pans in there though.

Anonymous said...

At least once a day for us. Family of 5.
If you let them sit longer, the kitchen looks messy and things can get smelly.

Brandette L said...

It is just my husband and I and we have 2 kitties. Since we don't have children yet, I run the dishwasher probably 2 times a week. I cook most nights, but I hand wash all of our pots and pans and glassware. Everything else (plates, bowls, utensils, silverware, plastic cups, cat bowls, pyrex dishes, strainer, tupperwares) go into the dishwasher.

Tara said...

I have a rule of only running the dishwasher every other day. We are a family of 4. A few months ago, I started a journey of reducing our utility bills. I found that if I washed my pots/pans,cutting boards and other big dishes by hand, I could avoid running the dishwasher every day. I was not a fan of washing dishes by hand. But, after a few months, I don't even think about it. And it (along with some other cost cutting measures) has helped reduce our water and electric bills. I recently blogged about what things we've done to reduce our utility bills.

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

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