Mother’s Day Special: The History of Modern Dishwashers

Image from Mental-Floss.com

Making Women Happy since 1886.

The first modern dishwasher was designed and invented by a woman who had never washed a dish in her life. 

Josephine Cochrane, grand-daughter of the man who invented the steam boat, hand-built the dishwasher by making the racks out of wire and placing them into a copper boiler. To make it automated and save her servants the trouble (and saving her fine china), she attached a motor to a wheel that sprayed the water down on the dishes. In 1886, the first modern-day dishwasher was born. When her friends heard of the new contraption, they started ordering them from her, and in 1893, when Cochrane showcased the invention at the Chicago World’s Fair, it became a hit. 

In the 1920s, models became available with permanent plumbing installed, and soon after a man named William Howard Livens invented one small enough for use in regular households. Although his invention was not successful, in the 1940s electric drying elements were added to aid in heating the water and drying. 

Mostly restaurants and hotels picked up the automatic dishwasher at first, but by the 1970s, dishwashers were a commonplace domestic item in the United States. Over 60% of American homes have automatic dishwashers, and they’ve come a long way since their 1940s counterparts. Though the basics have stayed the same, dishwashers are now available with stainless steel interiors, hard-food disposals and better cleaning technology (like the Maytag MDB6769AW). 

The first dishwasher contraption by Josephine Cochrane.

The first modern dishwasher: I don't think this baby will fit underneath your countertops.

With the immense success of Ms. Cochrane’s invention, she went on to start the Garis-Cochran Manufacturing Company, which eventually got acquired by KitchenAid and Whirlpool. Whirlpool is now one of the largest appliance manufacturers in the world, owning not just KitchenAid, but Jenn-Air, Amana and Maytag, as well. 

As an ode to the mother of dishwashers, we’re celebrating Mother’s Day with special discounts on dishwashers. Stop by your local Appliance Factory Outlet this week to check out what deals we’ve got going on, or sign up for our newsletter to get exclusive discounts.

Spring Cleaning: Four Easy Tips for Cleaning your Dishwasher

 This is the first article in a series that we’ll be doing to celebrate the coming of Spring: Spring Cleaning for your Appliances!

Appliances need spring cleaning love, too, and cleaning an appliance thoroughly can extend its lifetime significantly.  Spending a small amount of time cleaning the gunk and goo out of your appliance could save you massive amounts of cash in the long run.

Aggh! My arms are too short!

 This week’s article is about cleaning out your dishwasher. Since most people don’t properly rinse their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, this appliance can get clogged by food. You’ve seen when old dishwashers don’t clean properly: bits of food stuck to the underside of your dishes and inside your glasses even after the wash cycle is over. It might be that all you have to do is clean it.

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Kitchen Appliance Measurements

One of the most overlooked steps in buying an appliance is getting the right measurements. Not all kitchen appliance brands have standard measurements, so getting your kitchen’s specific space requirements should be one of the first steps you take when deciding on a good investment. Some important factors to consider:

  • Keep appliances size-appropriate. Large-capacity models in small kitchens lack visual appeal and practicality.
  • Measure your home’s entry ways so you can be sure you’ll be able to get your new appliance inside the house.
  • Remember to take measurements of width, height and depth of where your appliance will sit.
  • Be aware of the space an appliance will need to open and close.

This is what a counter depth fridge looks like. Photo from TinaRobinsonDesign.com

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Bosch: Pro-Environment Since the Beginning

Bosch has always been energy efficient, and has been committed to environmental protection and resource conservation for 25 years. Being a German company, their appliances have always been engineered to European standards, something that American consumers may not know. Now, however, Bosch is making it known. They’ve recently introduced their “Green Technology Inside” symbol to help consumers identify the most energy efficient appliances they produce.

Green Technology Inside According to the Bosch website, the logo “symbolises our commitment to developing the most efficient home appliances and producing them according to our strict ecological guidelines.”

 Their newly developed product line has dropped energy usage all across the board, without sacrificing performance. The biggest reduction in energy usage was for their line of Refrigerator-Freezers, which use a whopping 61% less energy than their older versions. Their laundry had a 46% drop in energy usage, and their dishwashers, what Bosch is best known for in the U.S., had a 25% drop.

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Easy Fixes for Common Appliance Problems

Appliances make our lives more convenient—if we didn’t learn this in 50s we sure know now. We use them for absolutely everything: washing our clothes, our dishes, storing our food, & much more. But what happens when something affects the way they work? They can cause minor inconveniences that sometimes we feel we might as well put up with. However, many people don’t realize that a lot of common appliance problems can easily be fixed with the right know-how and a proactive attitude towards fixing these minor problems! Remember, however, that sometimes more serious problems may be present and that a professional repair technician is always the best answer. Below are some common appliance problems with easy starting points on how to fix them.  Continue reading

The Subtly Stunning Bosch Dishwasher: Ecofriendly, Clean, Quiet

Bosch Integra 800 Series / courtesy Bosch.com

You’re in the kitchen, grabbing an after-dinner-snack, and question whether or not you forgot to put the dishes in the dishwasher. You look over at the empty kitchen sink and your eyes glide to the dishwasher, and then back to your sink. The dishes aren’t in the sink… but it’s virtually silent in your kitchen. The swish-slosh-swish-slosh sounds you’re used to hearing don’t echo throughout your house anymore after dinner time.

This ain’t your mother’s dishwasher. It’s a Bosch.

And it’s the quietest dishwasher in the world. Continue reading

Energy Star Dishwashers

The Benefits of Energy Star Dishwashers  

by sandra long 

I was one of those people who always thought that washing my dishes by hand got them cleaner and used less water than washing my dishes in a machine. I use the word “was” stating I have definitely changed my mind once I learned more about Energy Star Dishwashers. Not only will you save time by washing dishes in an Energy Star dishwasher but you’ll also save money, water, energy and help save our environment.   Continue reading