Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

7.7.09

Lies, damned lies and Bosch dishwashing machines.

The colour ad in the magazine that fell out of the weekend newspaper was the usual cliched rubbish designed and written by a creative team earning $300,000 p.a. between them. A stupid-looking man (they have to look stupid, or the casting agency won't cast them for the job) wearing oversized pink rubber gloves was standing in front of a kitchen sink full of bubbles as if wondering what a kitchen sink was and why he was standing in front of it wearing a pair of oversized pink rubber gloves. Advertising cliche #2,143.

The ad declared that Bosch dishwashers used a fraction of the water used by obviously stupid people who refuse to buy a dishwasher.

It then went on to quote 'research' supposedly showing that while the dishwasher used 15 litres, the amount used by the human dish-washer to wash the same number of dishes was 103 litres on average.

103 litres?????!!!!! On average?

(I hardly ever use multiple exclamation marks, let alone question marks, so this better be good. It was good.)

Such a statistic, casually dropped into an ad, is usually swallowed whole by your average hungover breakfast weekend newspaper reader whose mental focus is simultaneously engaged in hoovering up a plate of eggs florentine on sourdough with fried mushrooms on the side and a strong latte, maybe two, at any number of inner city cafes. It's the same everywhere. Drink, chew, read a few lines of a newspaper, drink some more, flick the page, chew some more, read some more. What's a statistic on a Sunday morning? A number, that's what. Doesn't mean a thing. Finish the coffee. Pay the bill. Wink at the waitress. Shuffle out into Brunswick Street. Go home.

To use 103 litres of water when washing the dishes, even a setting for twelve, I would have to call the fire brigade, take the dishes out into the front yard, wait for the fire brigade to arrive and then have them blast the food off the dishes using their most powerful hose.

So how the hell does Bosch come up with the figure? I guessed they must have chosen households without plugs. I guessed kind of right:

(the) ‘carefree-dish-washer’. Typical for these persons washing practice is to have the tap water running most of the time (sometimes also during drying the dishes!).
If I can follow the semi-literate report, the figure blew out with 'many' of the hundred-plus test washers using in excess of 200 litres and one individual using a staggering 447 litres:

Looking on the consumption values for water (Fig.4) and energy (Fig.5) no
homogenous picture is given anymore. In both measures a big variation is visible.
On water a first centre may be identified around 30 to 100 litre, while a second is
around 130 litres. But there are also many test persons who have consumed more
then 200 litres, with the most extreme one at 447 litres.
Maybe they used monkeys.

3 comments:

Julie said...

I've heard this argument before, dishwasher vs. hand washing via running water. No one seems to point out that to wash a single person's dishes for a single meal, it probably uses more water to fill up two sinks with wash and rinse water, than it does to just trickle some water over the dishes.

If the person who used 447 liters is NOT a monkey, they were probably washing up after a five course meal for twelve. Including finger bowls, salt cellars, and fish knives.

kitchen hand said...

Julie, there's always an agenda.

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