Friday, June 29, 2018

16: the Dishwasher Anniversary


I like to keep with tradition in gift-giving where I can, but it's not always clear-cut, as with anniversary year traditions. It depends on whom you ask, I guess, but there doesn't seem to be agreement on an official gift to celebrate sixteen years of marriage, which the Bear and I celebrated at the end of May. I looked around the internet a little bit, and while most recommendations follow suit with the chart above, listing individual years through fifteen and every five years thereafter, there are some sources that say the sixteenth anniversary is to be commemorated with a gift of wax. I'm not even sure what that would entail - candles? Crayons? Batik cloth? A set of dummies in our likenesses, a la Madame Tussaud?

We did not gift one another with objects of wax. We did, however, buy ourselves a new dishwasher (apparently, we missed the appliance-gift boat on our fourth anniversary if we go by the chart, but we didn't live here then, and anyway, we had a new baby and had just started living on one income; we weren't buying anything nice). A new dishwasher is hardly romantic, but our old one was on its last leg. It wasn't really old, just very, very cheap. The previous owner of our house installed it just before he put the house on the market; it was only three months old when we moved in. But it was junky, even by our frugal standards. In the nine years we owned it, we'd replaced both racks (one of them twice) along with the motor. We'd also experienced several issues with the electronic control panel. Just before our anniversary, the heating element gave out. We're great believers in fixing things until we can't (my 2006 car is still going strong, and the Bear drove a 1999 until 2016), but in the case of the dishwasher, we had irrefutable proof that it was no longer worth it: the original receipt. We'd already spent more fixing and replacing than he'd spent buying it new. Enough was enough.

Please settle in for some dishwasher blather, fair reader...



The new dishwasher is made by Kenmore. I've been very satisfied with the Kenmore washer and dryer I've had since 2007, so was overjoyed to see that Consumer Reports listed a Kenmore dishwasher as one of their Best Buys. My only hesitation with buying a Kenmore is that we no longer have a Sears Parts Center in New Mexico, but parts can always be ordered online or by phone. In fact, I needed to order a longer drainage hose for the new dishwasher the same day it was delivered; the drain is on the opposite side from where it was on the old dishwasher, and we needed to run a long hose all the way around the back of the new dishwasher to the drain valve. So the new dishwasher actually sat in the open space without being hooked up for a whole week while we waited for the hose to come. The old dishwasher sat on the back porch. I washed all the dishes by hand. Boy, was I excited for that stupid hose to show up.

I was very happy with the new dishwasher and started using it right away. I love the white finish (all of my appliances are white; I know that's not the height of fashion these days, but I don't care. I like the clean, crisp look of them). The handle on the door is nice; it echoes the handle shapes on the oven and fridge, even though they're all different brands. I do love having a stainless-steel lining on the inside of the dishwasher. The old one was all plastic and was covered in stains. It was weird at first to look into the dishwasher because it seemed so dark inside, but I'm used to it now. I like the racks too, they're much sturdier than the old ones, and the whole thing is roomier and has more useful space.


This is my favorite part: the pull-out drawer on top for smaller items. It took me a few days to remember that I had this drawer, then it took me a few more days to remember to empty it when I unloaded the dishwasher. I kept wondering where things had gone to, only to remember hours later that they were still in the top drawer. Duh.


I like having the controls on the top edge of the door, instead of the front. I was always leaning against them and pressing them with my belly. This is only my second dishwasher with electronic controls, mind you; the old one was my first. Before that, I had one with a knob, and before that, I had a succession of dishwashers my own age or older, with lever-locks and push-buttons. This is also only my second dishwasher with a rinse-aid dispenser. I'm telling you, it's like I've entered a whole new world of housekeeping technology and I can't get enough.


There were free samples included, to my delight. Do you love samples as much as I do? I've always been into little bottles and packages of everyday products. One of the first things I ever did when I began using the internet, after making an email account, was to go hunting for free samples by mail. Later on, I found that free samples were one of the best things about being pregnant; everywhere I went, I got something for free. I even still have a little pouch of Dreft that I never got around to using; I put it in a memory box. As for dishwasher supplies, these are somewhat more luxurious than the type I would buy for myself, and they cleaned beautifully, but to be perfectly honest, the old dishwasher was doing a terrible job in its final months and I could use the cheapest products now and still get cleaner dishes. I'm just amazed at how well the new dishwasher works. Everything comes out sparkling. I'd forgotten what truly clean dishes looked like.

I don't normally like to brag on my blog about things I've bought for myself, but I'm just so happy with this thing! It's a surprise, really; I'd never had a really good dishwasher and had no idea what one could do, so this is all new to me. If you've made it this far, thanks for sticking around for my poetic waxing (see what I did there?).

13 comments:

  1. Hallelujah for dishwashers. My partner once told me I wouldn't be getting a dishwasher, ever, I was perfectly capable of washing up by hand. Imagine my delight then when we bought a house with a dishwasher included. Happy sigh. Couldn't do without it now of course. In fact we did replace the original one a while back, and I felt exactly as you do about it. I do love machines that do all the hard work for me. As I type this the dishwasher and the washing machine have just finished and the bread machine is quietly baking a loaf for tomorrow's lunch. It's the little things. CJ xx

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  2. Congratulations on your new dishwasher. If I had 2kids at home I'd use mine more often.

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  3. I think a dishwasher is perfect for 16 years! I have a Kenmore as well and it's running right now.

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  4. yay 16 years!!! We are nearing year 6 (we married later in life...having met later in life too!)... :) I think a dishwasher is the most wonderful of gifts! I appreciate mine everyday! (well except that I wish it was better but anyway)... I use my dishwasher lots and it's one of the things i am most thankful for, it's part of our routine and helps so much! I still wash somethings by hand but we usually run the dishwasher 1x a day, or 2 if I am baking/cooking! :) Wishing you many more years together!

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  5. Belated anniversary wishes and such a great gift to yourselves. We don't have a dishwasher anymore now there is only two of us. I must admit I do miss one when the family visit, but in fairness they are pretty good at helping out.

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  6. Brag away, who wouldn't want 16 years of marriage and an ace dishwasher!! Have a good week. Jo xx

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  7. I get it! Hooray! Happy belated anniversary!
    I'm so thankful that I don't have to wash my dishes by hand. I hope this new purchase lasts and lasts!

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  8. Ditto with the upper rack - we've had our three years and I STILL sometimes forget to take things from there. I couldn't be without a dishwasher. We were for a few months once and I felt like all I did was wash up, all day long. Our current dishwasher is cheap and I don't like it; he buttons are on the front and someone is always leaning against it and accidentally turning it on, and I don't think it cleans particularly well, but I still want it in my kitchen. x

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  9. Thank goodness for dishwashers! Sometimes I run my twice a day, like today. I like yours a lot. I really like the white. Happy belated Anniversary! And Happy 4th of July coming up this week. We will be grilling burgers and making Ina's Tri-Berry Crumble for the fourth and trying to stay cool during our heat wave here on the east coast.

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  10. I once said - after our current dishwasher had died - that I was sure we could manage without one. I think it took less than a month before I caved in and ordered a new one. We live in a very hard water area of the UK; I'm happy if my kitchen appliances last 5 years (which is why I don't buy expensive brands; it doesn't seem to make a difference). Happy (belated) anniversary :)

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  11. Waxing poetic...hee hee. You remind me a lot of myself sometimes. We live with old stuff (including cars - mine's a 2001!) and simply fix them instead of replacing. That is, of course, unless the cost of fixing is simply not worth it anymore. We're on our 3rd dishwasher in the 28 years we've lived here. Funny thing is, this dishwasher we have now is used and OLD! It's actually a hand-me-down from a friend who had it in her garage. It's off-white and has a dial on the front. It's noisy. (It's a Whirlpool, BTW.) But it's worked for years with nary a problem! I know a lot of people would think it's ugly and outdated and too noisy, but those things don't bother me. As long as it works, I'm all good. I was thrilled to get a free dishwasher at the time where we couldn't afford a new one! Anyway, like you, I prefer white appliances. I purposely have replaced our refrigerator and stove with white ones instead of stainless steel, which I don't care for. Enjoy your new dishwasher...I love how the controls are on the inside!

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  12. I love this post Jennifer, which brought a smile to my face. So pleased you love your new appliance. It is a Win Win situation. You never know with white goods, sometimes they can be a big disappointment. Meant to comment sooner, but have been a bit overwhelmed since returning home from hols.

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  13. Big cheers to new dishwasher we love ours ♥ Always great to repair as often as can but sometimes that outways the new price too....crazy. Lovely post Jennifer xo

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