Reading today's as-usual very funny posting by TV writer Earl Pomerantz at his blog, one of the side issues raised was putting dirty dishes into the sink. He does it and gets complaints along the line of "You couldn't run some water over them?"
I have lived (as of now), the majority of my life with an automated dishwasher in the house. At first, that automated dishwasher was my Mother. Later, in my teen years, we contrived to buy one of those metal and plastic thingies that did all the washing for you. It was a VERY good thingie, since it came along about the time my Dad was thinking about adding dishwashing to the chores needed to produce an allowance.
But, in our house, the fact is, I don't think we ever put a dirty dish into the dishwasher. To this day, I shudder when visiting a house and watching one of the residents stick a plate still stuck with refuse on it into the dishwasher. It evokes a visceral shudder. My Mother, as gentile a women as I know, would blow up Mount Vesuvius-style if I'd ever done that.
No, the procedure is quite simple. You rinse off ALL items headed for the dishwasher as thoroughly as necessary so that they could be dried and placed before guests again. Only AFTER such a rinsing, was the dish, pan, fork, whatever allowed entrance to the hallowed innards of the dishwasher. The dishwasher is ONLY used for removing microbial menaces too hardy to be removed by merely scalding hot water. In my case, that and adding water spots. But I digress.
Living alone, I tend to reuse pots and pans and utensils a fair bit. I might do one dishwasher load a month. I'm not completely sure how I decide a plate is ready for the dishwasher or another use. It's about the tenth use on average. Or if the meal I made and then ate off the plate didn't taste as good as it should have. But that's more a testament about my cooking then the cleaning methodology.
Still, it's great to have a dishwasher to clean those clean plates. Guess I have to go now. Have to clean the house before the cleaning lady arrives.