Warning symptom of Affluenza: a shrinking dishwasher

A story to keep in mind as we enter the season of outrageous consumerism (i.e., Christmas)…

I visited a friend who lives in a 10,000-square-foot beach house here in Florida. The core of the two-story house is open, which makes the ceiling in the living room about 25′ high. He said that he was planning to remodel the kitchen. “Why?” I asked. “This house was built only about three years ago, right?” He responded, “They put in a tiny dishwasher. They wanted something that would match the cabinet size and didn’t think about the function.” I imagined an 18″ Manhattan-style dishwasher in the kitchen, which was itself the size of a Manhattan one-bedroom apartment. After getting a good workout by opening and closing the doors on the 72″-wide wall of Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer (each door 36″ wide), I located and opened the dishwasher. It was a non-standard Asko-brand unit in the completely standard 24″ width of an American dishwasher. His house and kitchen were so vast that the standard-size machine seemed like Derek Zoolander’s dishwasher.

It looks as though a 30-inch dishwasher was actually made for home use at one time. From Dacor:

From the reviews…

We love being able to fit lots of dishes into our pretty dishwasher; however, everything must be rinsed very well before loading and the wash time is 2 hours. We’ve had less expensive dishwashers that were more effective with less time.

Loud, Poor cleaning, Unit replaced, Still bad, Racks begin rusting in 18 months, 3 yrs the rusted racks are falling apart. 800 for bottom rack 300 for top rack. Now I have an oversized space in my cabinets. If you want to spend 3K on a dishwasher and really want greater capacity, buy 2 24″ washers, I wish I did.

And that last idea is what’s going into my friend’s new kitchen: two dishwashers.

Separately, I’m not sure why he needs so much dishwashing action. He doesn’t have more kids or more meals than moderately rich people. He doesn’t even eat breakfast. When he has a big party there are caterers. I guess one justification is that dishwashers now take more than 2 hours to run so the obvious solution of doing two loads in sequence isn’t as sensible as it was back in the 1970s.

6 thoughts on “Warning symptom of Affluenza: a shrinking dishwasher

  1. I am so happy that the governmental powers that be, through their years of analysis and regulation, came up with a National Diswhwashing Strategy that:

    1) Hobbled dishwashers so that the machines are more properly called ‘dishsquirters’ which means that:
    a) They work harder to clean less effectively and wear out faster to boot.
    b) Encourage people of means to double down like your friend, just to achieve parity, but looking like conspicuous consumption weenies in the process.
    c) Less well-off people pay their money and take their chances instead of being able to buy a single, stripped-down model that ain’t too proud but actually lasts and is effective and durable.

  2. Some religious jews keep 2 dishwashers. Maybe your friend should convert to justify the new one!

  3. I’ve always wanted to have two dishwashers. The idea is that you would use them on alternate days, so you could get today’s clean dishes from yesterday’s dishwasher, saving yourself the work of putting daily dishes away just to take them back out a few hours later. Call me lazy, but who likes doing dishes? Why not make it as easy and time-efficient as possible?

    Compared to other home extravagances it makes a lot of sense to me. I don’t understand the appeal of wine coolers and wine cellars — definitely would rather have two dishwashers. The double-wide fridge doesn’t make sense to me, though I have a separate chest freezer and if I couldn’t have that for some reason perhaps more in-kitchen freezer capacity would be appealing. We do have double in-wall ovens and my wife will tell you that she loves them, though simultaneous use of the two ovens is very rare; I guess they allow her to double her rate of Christmas cookie production, where baking quickly becomes the limiting factor, so maybe they are better than two dishwashers?

    I knew a family that had 4 teenaged kids. They all played school sports, which generated a lot of dirty laundry according to the parents. They had double laundry appliances, and thought it was great.

    • We bought a house with double washer/dryer, and when finally one washer broke and I alleged that we can be fine with just one set my wife flatly refused.

  4. You could leave all the clean dishes in 1 while putting the next load of dirty dishes in the other.

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