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Since we moved into our home, we’ve been having some trouble with the dishwasher. No matter how many times and no matter what cycle I chose, my dishes would have soap scum or looked like they were never even cleaned. More than half the time I would end up having to hand wash most of them after they had been through the dishwasher. Anything plastic was guaranteed to need a hand wash.
For months, we just assumed we were using the wrong detergent. We tried 3 different detergents with no success. We spent months researching for some kind of detergent miracle, but alas we found none. I completely emptied out the dishwasher and took the racks out. I assumed my dishwasher probably just needed a good scrub down.
When I took everything out, I saw that the filter in the back was extremely dirty, so I called the BF over to ask what I could actually safely clean with. He looked in and after not even 30 seconds assured me that the filter was actually covered in mold, not dirt. Turns out, our hot and cold water lines were switched, and our dishwasher had been running on cold water for years.
I had a terrible taste in my mouth at the idea that for months we had been washing and eating off of those dishes. I know I’m painting a horrible picture in your head but it really was that bad. So due to our lack of a dishwasher, I was going to have to hand wash ALL of the dishes for at least a week, if not longer, while we waited for someone to come out and do something about this dishwasher.
For all of my readers who don’t have a dishwasher or have ever not had one, my heart truly goes out to you. It took me a good 40 minutes to hand wash all my dishes because there were so many, and it had been at least 2 or more days since they should’ve gone in the dishwasher. Then, the next day I had to spend another 20 minutes washing the day’s dishes. By the time I was done, my hands were dry from all the soap, my back was killing me, and it took two dish towels just to get everything dry!
I have never been more grateful for my dishwasher. I know it might sound silly to be grateful for something so basic, but after having to go without it I have realized how many tools and appliances really impact my daily life. I rely on so many different appliances to serve me on a regular basis, especially my kitchen appliances. I’d probably lose my mind if my oven or fridge ever became unusable.
In the next few months, we might have to live without a washer and dryer for some time. We will have to adjust, just as we did when the dishwasher became unusable. My sister spent the first few years of her married life without a dryer. Wanna know a secret? They survived just fine. It was probably more work, but they never went naked because their clothes couldn’t be put in the dryer.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a household where we never had to live without appliances. There was always a working dishwasher to do dishes, clothes always were washed and dried using our washer and dryer, and at one point our house had two ovens.
I’m glad there was mold in my dishwasher
Now before you think I’ve completely lost it, hear me out. I’m allergic to mold and end up sneezing at least 2-3 times when doing the dishes because of my dishwasher, but I’m still glad all of this happened. By losing one of the appliances which I became so dependent on to get through my chores with ease, it taught me to be more self-dependent. It reminded me of what my own two hands were capable of. It also taught me to reduce both my waste and my dish use. If you have to hand wash every dish and piece of silverware you use, you will find ways to reduce your usage.
Being frugal can sometimes mean doing without and getting creative. A frugal lifestyle means learning to live with what you have and being grateful for it. I learned to be more grateful for the everyday items that I have. I will still lust over a standing mixer on Amazon or drool over all the unique kitchen gadgets in Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I mean come on, you can find the WORLD in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
As I’ve learned to accept my frugal lifestyle and truly embrace it, I’ve also become more grateful for everything and every experience. Sometimes when we leave a store the BF will ask me if there is anything I want or need. Now, I usually say something along the lines of I already have everything I need.
I’ve become a person who can take a situation such as a moldy dishwasher and turn it into a reason to be grateful for something. I’ve learned to embrace and grit through the dishes while remembering that my dishwasher will not be unusable forever and that this hard work now is only temporary.
One of the greatest lessons in frugal living is learning to do without and make do with what you already have. This week, I’ve learned a hard lesson about doing without, but one that will stick with me during hard times in the future.