December 27, 2006

You might be wondering why I asked him that...

Having a friend for a visit means we get to explain the eccentricities we take for granted.

The first time I visited my in-laws I was surprised to find out that the dishwasher was never used. Not even after a big dinner when it would have been filled to capacity. I found out since that hardly any Korean women use the dishwasher. The common belief is that it just doesn’t get the dishes clean enough.

Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m not a particularly clean person. Organized, sure, but as my Dad always said, “We don’t believe in the germ theory anyway.” Dishwasher clean is fine for me. However, when it's just the two of us, it's easier and faster to just hand wash and dry the dishes Asian style. On the other hand, when we make a big meal with lots of prep dishes, it's easier to fill up the dishwasher and run it.

A common question in our house is, “Honey, is the dishwasher white or Asian today?”

9 comments:

Inkling said...

Wow! Guess the Koreans would enjoy my dishwasher-less house. And all this time I've been feeling like my dishes get less than sanitized, because I can't get handwashed dishes in the same extra-hot sterilzing water provided by the dishwasher.

Love the question about what ethnicity your dishwasher is each day... =)

Rachel said...

I've never understood what Koreans have against dishwashers. Thanks for clarifying that. :)

Robin J. said...

My inlaws don't use the dishwasher either. I figured it had more to do with the availablity of females in the house than the idea that dishwashers aren't clean enough. Every once in a while I mutter to my husband (Korean) under my breath that I'm NOT washing the dishes but rather loading the dishwasher. He just smiles and dares me.

At our house, the dishwasher is always white!

bg's Little Sis said...

Our dishwasher is white too, and always full it seems since we had kids, I used to actually hand wash when it was just my husband and I as well, too funny I bet your visitors get a kick out of the question.

Snickollet said...

That explains why my in-laws use the dishwasher as a fancy drying rack for the dishes that they hand wash!

You learn something new every day.

Beloved said...

That's so funny.

I don't know about Korean Americans, but in Korea dishwashing does not involve a sinkful of hot, sudsy water. Instead, you soap up the dishes in one side of the sink and pile them up in the other. When you're done soaping, you rinse all the dishes at once. My mother-in-law even uses a clean dish rag to rinse--to make sure all the soap is completely off of the dishes. I picked up this way of washing dishes in Korea and I love it. I used to hate when the sinkful of water got cold and nasty and had icky stuff floating in it; this way, there's none of that!

OTRgirl said...

That's interesting, beloved! That's how I do the dishes, but I had no idea it was the Korean method. The sinkful of soapy water always seemed to get nasty so I didn't like to use that method.

No wonder my MIL looks approving when I wash dishes...

the reverend mommy said...

This was funny.
We use the dishwasher as some kind of fancy china cabinet or storage unit. The dishes are always in it...

Mama Nabi said...

Hee hee, I thought of myself - I love doing dishes by hand and will claim that I do a better job than the dishwasher! Hm, didn't know I was being such a Korean. :-D