Tokyo, Procrastination
Published on August 30, 2005 By momijiki In Blogging
I meant to blog about this a while ago. For some reason, our hot water is only a trickle from the kitchen faucet. For another reason, namely laziness, we haven't called the rental management company to have it fixed.

We don't have a dishwasher and and it irritates the nuts out of me to rinse dishes in a trickle when it is my turn to wash. I really get pissed off. It's kind of funny if someone ranting amuses you.

I could never figure out how my husband gets it done so quickly. Finally, I asked him. His secret? He washes the dishes in cold water! No wonder some of the dishes come out a bit greasy at times!

He says it's okay as it is anti-bacterial soap but this flies in the face of every Home-Ec class I've ever had! I'm not convinced it IS anti-bacterial soap anyway. I will check.

He says that if it's not boiling water it doesn't matter what temperature it is as bacteria is not being killed.

Am I clinging to an outdated idea, or worse, completely off-base?

Opinions please!

on Aug 30, 2005
Just a thought.... if you want to put your mind to ease about the suspected bacteria... zap the washed dishes in the microwave for a minute before putting them away... that's assuming you have a microwave. the maintanance man and get the hot water fixed! You are probably paying for it even if you don't use it.
on Aug 30, 2005
I throw a splash of bleach in my dishwater...but no, I don't use cold water.
on Aug 30, 2005
Hot water is usually between 95-120 Degrees (F). Which makes it the perfect temperature for most of our tiniest household guests... and completely shoots the whole "bacteria" argument out of the water. ;~D

Hot water works best for greasy dishes, but in your case (where the hot water runs unbearably slow), quantity of water is always more important than temperature.

I also agree with Manopeace. Call maintenance to get it fixed, you paid your rent (which means you've paid for the service)... Use It!! ;~D
on Aug 30, 2005
we used to haul water up from the creek and then pour it into a vessel which we'd suspend over a fire until it was hot.

i guess a pan on the range might work as well.
on Aug 30, 2005
we used to haul water up from the creek and then pour it into a vessel which we'd suspend over a fire until it was hot.

Where did you live when you did this? We did that as a child whenever we visited our grandparents! Man those were the days!

Momijiki I third the calling the rental company to fix it. Or you can boil water in the kettle if you don't have a microwave, put a stop in the sink and fill it up with hot water to rinse. Or leave the trikle to catch until it fills up the sink and then wash!

Cold water doesn't really get rid of the bacteria. It will wash your dishes clean if they're not greasy but that's it!
on Aug 30, 2005
Cold water doesn't really get rid of the bacteria. It will wash your dishes clean if they're not greasy but that's it!

Most people don't wash their dishes in water that is hot enough to get rid of the bacteria either--so the need for hot water is simply an ol' wives tale. You will be fine washing your dishes in cold water--though I would still recommend calling the rental office and getting it taken care of.
on Aug 30, 2005
Bacteria, no. However, to get off grease, and stubborn food particles, some of which are hard to see, hot water's the way to go. Try boiling a couple of pots worth on the stove.
on Aug 30, 2005
A little info.

Is antibacterial soap any better than regular soap?

It seems like everything is "antibacterial" these days. About 75 percent of liquid soaps currently on shelves in American grocery stores display that word on their labels, and we are constantly adding new antibacterial products to our cleansing arsenals. So are we cleaner now than ever before? Some experts say no.

First let's take a look at how soap works on a chemical level. To make soap, you need to combine an acid and a base (or alkali). The acid is fat (fatty acids and triglycerides), and the base is sodium hydroxide (NaOH). The mixture causes the fatty acids to separate from the triglycerides and fuse with the hydroxide ions, forming a salt that we call "soap." Soap has two main functions:

Decrease water's surface tension
Bind to dirt, oil and bacteria
It can do these things because one part of the soap molecule is hydrophilic (water-binding) and the other is hydrophobic (water-repellent). The hydrophilic part allows the hydrophobic fatty acids to come into contact with other hydrophobic substances, such as the dirt on the surface that is being cleaned. When the grime adheres to the soap's fatty acids, it becomes encapsulated in droplets of water. Dirt, oil and bacteria are easily scrubbed off and washed away in this suspended state. So ordinary soap does get rid of bacteria. But does antibacterial soap get rid of even more?

Possibly. But there are several main points to consider in our antibacterial craze:

The antibacterial components of soaps (usually triclosan or, less commonly, triclocarbon) need to be left on a surface for about two minutes in order to work. Most people are not this patient, and end up washing off the soap before the antibacterial ingredients can do their job.
Some scientists theorize that bacteria may develop a resistance to bactericidal agents over time.
Some bacteria actually benefit us. The normal population of bacteria on our bodies not only eats our sweat, but also helps defend us against truly harmful, invasive bacteria.
Many common diseases are viral in nature, anyway, and are therefore not prevented by antibacterial products.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibacterial soaps are not necessary, but washing your hands thoroughly with ordinary soap and warm water is one of the most effective ways to ward off infection.

on Aug 30, 2005
Wow Really Anonymous - couldn't you have just log in?? However what details you give here. Just one note too, Triclosan has been proven to be harmful (I wrote a blog about that a couple of months ago). Now when I go shopping I make sure my toothpaste and soaps and shampoos don't have this ingredient in it.
on Aug 30, 2005

Hot water helps get grease off dishes and emulsifies it to help it from sticking to other dishes in the water.  It also aids in softening food left on the dishes.

Another way to get grease (and bacteria) off your dishes is to add salt to the water.  Salt is a natural antimicrobial, which is why it is used in canning processes (hence why canned food is so salty).

It's more important to have warm/hot water for the rinse since it will help the dishes dry faster keeping them from possibly getting mold on them.

Of course, you could always get a dog to "pre-rinse" the food off your plate before washing them


on Aug 30, 2005
Thanks for the input.

Really Anonymous, lots of interesting information.

I agree with calling the management company. I should just get over the language barrier and call myself. Hubby won't do it because he doesn't see it as a problem.

I actually think I will end up completely changing the way I do dishes based on this input. Thanks folks!