Dishwasher Woes

My husband is gifted. He can fix anything. He can put together anything. He can trouble shoot anything. Just give him a task and leave him alone for a few minutes, and he will figure it out.

He’s the type to throw away the directions that come with unassembled products. He’ll put them together with no more than a glance at the picture on the front of the box.  “I don’t need no stinkin’ directions,” he’s fond of saying. (Guess what one of his favorite movies to quote is.)

He can navigate without getting lost (or asking for directions.) No, really, I know most men are like this, but he actually knows where we are at all times. He doesn’t get lost.

He can troubleshoot any computer issue I’ve ever handed him, whether he knows the program or not.

He can assemble anything, fix anything, build anything.

That is why I can’t figure out, for the life of me, why the man can’t load a dishwasher.

To his credit, he willingly helps out where ever I need it. He will walk in the door from work, throw on an apron, and put himself to work if he sees that I need help, and I love him for it. But let the man get within two feet of the dishwasher, and my perfect loading system is instantly kaput.

The stuff that goes on the top is on the bottom and the stuff that goes on the bottom is on the top. Utensils are thrown in willy-nilly. Things that don’t belong in the dishwasher mysteriously find their way inside. It looks like a free for all in there.

I mean, every woman knows there is only one right way to load her dishwasher. Right? Can I get an amen?

I guess this is what makes our marriage work. I instinctively know the most efficient way to load the dishwasher, and he has an internal GPS. Just don’t ask me to find my own way home.

Disclosure: Please don’t think I endorse husband-bashing. I asked permission before posting this. This is a running joke in our home. You know I luv ya, hon – mad dishwasher loading skilz and all.


    • Kathy Cronin says

      Hey folks, I am very happy who ever loads ND UNLOADS DISHWASHER. My husband is vey helpful with chores, he will do just about everything except I do all the bills. We share chores. My husband and sons do trash.

  1. says

    AMEN!!! Same deal at my house. And I don’t even attempt to apologize for being a control freak or unwilling to accept help because MY WAY IS THE RIGHT WAY. Not only do you waste energy if everything’s thrown in there willy-nilly, but it’s downright dangerous to put sharp knives and meltable plastic in the wrong spot. My husband comes by his dishwasher deficiency honestly, though — my MIL does the same thing. She will take up the whole bottom rack with 1 huge spaghetti pot. I mean, come ON!!

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Ah see, I do that – as long as it doesn’t have dried on stuff that won’t come off in there. I’d rather load the dishwasher twice than hand wash big pots. #lazy

  2. d says

    I was having this very conversation with friends the other day. Only difference is that my hubby is as good if not better (don’t tell) at loading the dishwasher. They were jealous. The washing machine is a whole other issue,though:-)

  3. Stefani says

    We kind of have the opposite thing happening here. I have a (sort of) system for loading the dishwasher, but wouldn’t care for a minute if he loaded it differently. However my hubby is a perfectionist and since he doesn’t know the exact correct way to load the dishwasher, he just doesn’t do it at all. He will rinse and stack everything in the sink though. I’ll take what I can get. :)

  4. Harley Mom says

    Then throw your kids in the mix as you are training them to help with loading and unloading and man do you need some patience. 😉

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Ha! I almost mentioned that, but I figured it was getting off topic. I am trying to “train ’em young”. :-)

  5. Emily E says

    My husband can’t load a dishwasher either. He won’t even attempt it unless in dire straits. His mother generally insists on handwashing dishes so they almost never used a dishwasher when he was growing up and he just never learned how. And since he cooks and I do the dishes, he has no interest in learning now. oh well!

  6. says

    My hubby was the one to load our old dishwasher. He always said he did it better, and never tried to teach me, either. We share all the household chores, but I think we both liked him having ultimate control over that one.

    That dishwasher recently stopped working and hubby installed the new one himself, although he did use the manual. I was so happy that he was able to do it himself, especially after we’d spent $180 repairing the old dishwasher only to have it break for a different reason about three weeks later. No use throwing good money after bad.

    I deferred to the ‘king’ when it was time to load the new dishwasher for the first time, but DH is as stymied by it as me! Neither of us has a clue how to get the most out of this new configuration. Is it a race for one of us to master the dishwasher?

    • Jo-Lynne says

      LOL. What kind is it? I have seen the Bosch and they look so confounding, lol. Mine’s a Kenmore Elite made by Kitchen Aid and it’s pretty easy to load. Well, *I* think so anyway! LOL.

  7. says

    Do you know what?? As anally organized as I am, I can’t load a dishwasher to save my life once we got this last one (an it was completely different from our other ones). I also can’t run the microwave (but I consider that a plus since I’m CERTAIN it’s eating my brain cells).

    Also? I do not put the silverware away correctly OR the tupperware.

    But don’t you worry, my boys have me covered. They go behind me and put the forks neatly in little piles and the tupperware lids in their proper location. And the toilet paper on the roll. Of course I believe it’s the toilet paper fairies but they keep assuring me it’s not.

    And I could get lost in my own bathroom if given enough time. It’s a wonder I have managed this far in life (so my teen tell me. To which I respond “I USED TO BE SMART”).

    I’m a mess. But I look good. HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH

  8. Laura says

    Amen! Except it’s my roommates that have a dishwasher-loading deficiency. Not only do they fail to empty the filthy sink, but they also manage to put my German wooden-handled (in mint condition) cooking knives in the dishwasher instead of scrubbing them quickly with the sponge. What a blessing to have a handy husband with an internal GPS and a willingness to wear an apron. Gotta find myself one of those eventually. Unfortunately, the current boy of the hour (haw-haw) has absolutely NO sense of direction. With the three of us in the car–meaning me, the boyfriend, and the GPS (named Phyllis)–we have gone on simple trips to local restaurants and ended up in Siberia, lovingly attempting NOT to quarrel with one another. It’s all fun and games until one of us disagrees with Phyllis about the quickest way to return to school! :)

  9. Joules says

    I’ll give you an amen and throw in a hallelujah for good measure:). My husband cannot be expected to know my insane dishwasher regimen, but he is a pro at unloading and praise be because I loathe that particular task.

  10. Niki says

    I just crack up reading this because my husband loads the dishwasher so often and in the same way you describe, it’s just a mess. He doesn’t seem the least bit bothered–while I cringe seeing it. I have come to a place where I don’t want to lesson his effort and work, so I have been accepting it and remembering that I could have to do everything myself. For me, I’m learning to let go of my OCD in this area–it’s a work in progress. But I appreciate that so many people go through this same ‘issue.’ :)

  11. says

    I think it is a “man thing”. My husband can’t load a dishwasher either. I’ve tried and tried to tell, uh I mean teach him but he just never gets it. I really can’t gripe though because is an AWESOME cook!! Guess that makes up for the lack of ability to load the dishwasher.

  12. Liz says

    Normally, I do not care how my husband does household jobs–we do our fair share, we do them differently, and neither of us feels the need to re-do anything the other does. We just let it go. However, I will never understand how this man who has an eagle eye for order and efficiency cannot see that dishes will not get clean if they are jumbled willy-nilly in the dishwasher. They need space for the water to circulate, but that simple, scientific, left-brained fact is lost on my scientific, left-brained husband! But it totally doesn’t matter because I love all things to do with dishes and kitchen work and my husband knows not to feel guilty if he leaves his dishes in the sink instead of putting them in the dishwasher. And I know not to mess around with his systems, too. Plus, he does all the ironing.

  13. Angie says

    My husband is the same exact way! We have a system. I cook dinner and he washes the dishes off and stacks them neatly and then I will load the dishwasher.

  14. Stacey V says

    My husband actually loads the dishwasher. Everytime I attempt to he rearranges, so I gave up. He also does the dishes every night and helps with laundry. Guess I’m lucky!!

  15. says

    My husband can’t load the dishwasher either. And the method he uses puts about half the dishes in that I manage to get in there. I try not to complain about it because at least he’s loading the dishwasher and I didn’t have too, but it does drive me crazy.

    But he can’t find his way around without a map so he is out on that as well. It is a good thing he’s cute.

    • says

      HA! That made me laugh!!! My husband feels the need to draw me a map if he is sending me to the basement to find something. Your husband and I would be so lost without our God-given spouses.

  16. says

    My husband knows that we have a dishwasher – does that count? I think that’s about as far as it goes :) Oh well – at least I know the thing is loaded right! And… my two little ones WILL be helping with dishes, once they get tall enough to stand at the sink!

  17. says

    HaHa! Same thing in our house. It always amazes me that hubby is such a problem solver and expert pack-the-car guy, but I can always fit way more in the diswasher than he can! Apparently it’s a puzzle that only I can solve…and he’s ok with that!

  18. says

    We have it the other way around – he says his way of loading the dishwasher is the right one and I have no idea :). So I wash dishes, put them on the counter and he loads it! Better than he redoes the whole dishwasher.

  19. Barb @ A Life in Balance says

    I love it! My husband is the dishwasher loader at dinner time, though I will fill it during the day since I still have 2 kids at home fulltime with me.

    However, our running joke is that I can’t put the whole chicken in a pan with the right side up to save my life. I always end up putting the breast side down which he admits makes it juicier, but isn’t the “correct” way. Oh, well. My way does work.

  20. Debbie Hammel says

    OMG, Jo-Lynne, I got as far as the line “the man can’t load a dishwasher” and then I laughed out loud and stopped to comment. I will go back and read the rest of the post, but I just had to give my two cents.

    Don’t you know that you need two x chromosomes to be able to load a dishwasher? It’s a recessive gene, just like listening! The other half of our species with an x and a y are seriously challenged in these areas. Very few are able to overcome the disability! :-)

  21. mary b says

    I’ve never me a man who CAN load a dishwasher properly.
    My DH knows he should just keep out.
    My middle DS used to be the unloader, so he does realize where to put things, he just doesn’t do it!

  22. Monica says

    Love this!

    My husband will “do the laundry”. What that means is “Hon, I will wash and dry my clothes and then leave them in the dryer for you to fold…also I will not touch your work clothes for I fear I will ruin them.”

    And the diswasher situation is the same in our house. But he keeps our vehicles running and the lawn is immaculate….

  23. Mary Kathryn says

    Haha!! I love this. Although, my philosophy on this is one I have for many chores around the house–or had four kids ago. Therefore, making my husband forget how to do most of those chores. :) I did have a period where I broke my ankle and had to have surgery and had to give up all rights to worry about how anything was done. It has changed me for life– except the dishwasher. I will still change things around no matter who the kind person was to load it for me.

  24. says

    Tim & I are exactly the opposite. Tim critiques my dishwashing and dishwasher-loading techniques constantly. And – I admit – he is much better at both than I am!

  25. Kathy Cronin says

    I am lucky my husbands does almost all chores, and I wouldn’t complain. I never had a dishwasher until 5 years ago. I love it. I always wash dishes by hand since I was a young girl (although I had to be forced to do my turn) My 2 sisters and I did the dishes and when I married we share in chores.

  26. Sherry Lee says

    My husband goes right behind me and fits them in his way. I dont mind… my opinion there is nothing more sexy than a man doing dishes and running the vacuum cleaner!

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