February 4, 2011
The Toxic Dishwasher
Two days ago, our dishwasher gave up the ghost in the middle of a wash cycle. My husband and I spent most of yesterday evening hand washing dishes and bailing out stagnant water. It was all very delicious.
This afternoon, I took the kids to an appliance store to shop for a replacement. The salesman took one look at me and licked his lips. He could smell desperation.
I told the man right up front that I had four kids and wanted a dishwasher that could get me through the next decade but didn't cost me an arm and a leg.
"This one has a special wash cycle just for china and crystal," he told me, pointing to a stainless steel contraption that cost $989.
I laughed like a hyena. Then I wandered over to the far corner of the store, where all the low-end reject appliances hang out.
Right away, I found a dishwasher that wanted to come home with me. She was 40% off and had exactly three buttons besides the on/off switch.
The salesman wrinkled his nose when he saw me writing down my new friend's serial number.
"I strong suggest that you buy this one instead," he said, pointing to a $675 machine. He opened up the door so I could look inside. I didn't know what I was looking at, but I nodded my head and told the man that I was very impressed.
"The great thing about this dishwasher in particular," the man told me, "Is that it is made of completely non-toxic parts. Your children will never sick by eating off dishes washed in this machine."
You can imagine how terrified I was when I heard this news.
"Do you mean to tell me that all the other dishwashers in this store cause cancer?" I asked. Fearing for my life, I backed away from the row of appliances.
The man told me not to be ridiculous. He could neither confirm nor deny that the less expensive dishwashers in the store were carcinogens. All he knew for sure was that the $675 model was safe to use.
I didn't ask, but I'd be willing to bet that the $1000 model reduces your cholesterol.
I left the store without buying my new friend. I'm going to back tomorrow morning to get her, when the salesman is not there.
If I'm going to put my family in harm's way, the last thing I want to do is put the salesman--who works on commission--in a position where he is indirectly responsible.