Dishwashers for Nerds

Congratulations on purchasing or otherwise acquiring your first dishwasher! A dishwasher is a life-changing appliance, but can only take full effect if you develop a full understanding of its proclivities, its potential, and its purpose.

First, be aware that just as an automatic car does not drive itself, and a computer seldom computes, a dishwasher does not actually wash dishes. Instead, a dishwasher facilitates a number of essential steps in the process of washing dishes. It is up to you to provide the intelligence, the passion, and the necessary menial labor to assist the dishwasher in guiding you to the completion of the dishwashing goal. A dishwasher combines a powerful dishwashing methodology, tidy storage, a noisy motor and flaky plumbing to create a focus for the dishwashing project.

Your role is to provide both input and output to the dishwasher processing unit. Just as a computer requires you to meet it considerably more than half-way, modifying your mode of communication, your very language, and even your intentions, in order to somehow arrive at some task the computer can actually do, so a dishwasher demands a change in your life-style. Be warned! You may never be able to return to the haphazard manual process of washing dishes in a sink. Recent studes indicate fundamental differences in neurophoysiology between long-term dishwasher owners and a control group of YAMPs (Your Average Mug Punters).


Dishes, cutlery and pots must be sparkling clean before they are stacked in the dishwasher. Failure to provide perfectly clean input can result in the creation of a residue whose chemical composition is only dimly understood. Harder than diamond, more resilient than carbon fibre, the substance is being investigated in conditions of close military secrecy and may provide the basis of a complete defense system.

Items must be stacked so as to allow the rotors to move freely. This sounds easy. In fact, dishwashers generate a zone of quantum uncertainty which on the macro level manifests as a suspension of the commonly received constraints of three dimensional space. While a trained dishwasher stacker can insert the entire contents of the kitchen and several other utility rooms into a dishwasher, the novice can fit in one fork, a cup, and a cereal bowl.


This involves removing items from the dishwasher and putting them away. This sounds easy. In fact, dishwashers modify neural circuitry to create a syndrome described as dishwasher denial. It is never anybody's job to remove items from the dishwasher and put them away. Furthermore, the logistics of opening the dishwasher door, and moving items from the drawers to the cupboards, is an unknown number of orders of magnitude more challenging than the travelling salesman problem. Apparently Alan Turing was working on a great unifying proof, which showed incontrovertibly why it was not possible to unload a dishwasher, when he was found poisoned in his apartment. Suicide? Perhaps.


Dishwashers operate in conditions of extreme stress. The San Andreas Fault is relaxed in comparison. It is worth noting that we can land a man on the moon but we cannot construct a working dishwasher. Naturally under such punishment a dishwasher may suffer occasional dimunition in performance. Gaskets burst, bearings seize, electrical parts corrode, and the goddam little plastic thingy that holds the door shut will snap and fall down inside. This is to be expected.

Do not attempt repairs yourself. Miracle substances such as duct tape and superglue are no match for a dishwasher. Always consult a trained dishwasher serviceperson when your dishwasher breaks down. Yes, they charge more than your neurosurgeon, but the benefits they provide are more tangible.

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