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Why you need a second (or even third) dishwasher

second or third dishwasherI only have one dishwasher but I’ve realised I’m seriously behind the times. Several friends who have moved into new houses recently have either inherited or installed two dishwashers and one family I know has THREE. Good grief, the Minted kitchen is looking positively outdated.

Before I rushed off to John Lewis, however, I did stop to think about how much washing up we generate and whether a second machine was justifiable. Team Minted’s dishy is usually on once a day rising to twice in the school holidays and, at peak times such as a Sunday roast for the extended family, it can hit the dizzying heights of three or more cycles in a 24-hour period.

I can see the benefit of having two machines because you don’t have to wait to unpack and restack a single one to get the meal cleaned up; they can run together. Or maybe you could use one for dog bowls (if I had a dog) or heavy usage grills and hob rings, while the glassware could go in the other. I guess it might get to the stage where you never have to put dishes away, just get them fresh from the Miele when you need them. But then how would having all these extra machines increase the running costs?

One wash at 65 degrees per day costs £1.82 a week, says the website GoodtoKnow. Roll that up 52 times and you’re looking at £94.64 every year. Who knew? Getting another machine might not necessarily double those costs if you're spreading a fixed amount of dirty dishes across the two. But I suspect the extra space would encourage me to put additional washing in such as Crocs, extractor fan filters, hairbrushes, Lego, garden tools (yes, really!) and so on.

Of course, some machines are more efficient than others: to the tune of £259 over seven years, says Which? If you’re in the market for a replacement (or maybe a second or third machine?) you should check out their research here which details the running costs of many models on the market now.

An easy way to save with your current arrangements is to run the economy cycle which uses less water and electricity but takes longer to clean the dishes. My three-dishy friend suggests doing this at night (thanks for the tip, SC!) when a) everyone is asleep and b) electricity can be cheaper, depending on what kind of energy contract you are on.

My skinted SMM colleague Charlotte, of course, sneers at such minted extravagance and recommends doing it all by hand. Admittedly this is pretty much free if a little labour-intensive. I however am not ready to make the move to DIY, especially as I’ve just trained the kids to put dirty dishes in the machine. Asking them to handwash could break an already fragile ecosystem for the Minted crockery collection ...

See our SMM guide to saving on energy bills here.


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Sunday, 21 April 2019