Dishwasher Woes – Clean or Dirty?

Do you work in an office where it always seems that there is at least one person that is completely befuddled with the operation of the dishwasher? You know, the guy that puts his dirty mug in among clean dishes or just puts it in the sink because he doesn’t want to have to guess. It is probably partially because he doesn’t want to be the one to unload it either.

It is frustrating enough to deal with the clean or dirty observation when you have a family, but when it is compounded by a large staff, it can become a real workplace distraction. Feeling unappreciated, angry, resentful and frustrated just have no place at work if you want your staff to be productive.

Another downside of the dishwasher dilemma is that it could be costing you extra in dishwasher detergent, water and electricity. If a load has to be ran a second time (or even third!) because someone put in dirty dishes along with the clean ones, this is a waste of resources.

Sometimes people don’t notice that some dirty items have been added. A water glass, for example, may look clean but if it is used it is contaminated. Putting dirty items back in the cabinets so that they are inadvertently reused could result in illness which is yet another thief of office productivity, and if it were to be a serious outbreak that could be linked to that cause there could be a liability to you as a business owner as well.

There are a few ways in which you can avoid these problems related to having a dishwasher at your business. Some are more effective than others, as well as being better embraced by your staff.

Get Rid of It

While getting rid of the dishwasher may seem like the ideal solution, it is likely one of the worst. First of all, your staff is going to be quite upset about it. Now they have to fight about who is going to wash the dishes by hand, or they’ll be annoyed that they have to take care of their own dishes. And, that issue about sanitation? It is even more likely there will be illness since very few people are good at washing dishes by hand thoroughly.

Assign the Task

Some offices opt to have one person in charge of maintaining the dishwasher. By doing this, you avoid the hassle of people avoiding the kitchen because they don’t want to be the “hot potato” that has to unload it. If you set up a system where everyone puts their dishes in the sink and the assigned person is in charge of loading and unloading, and running, the dishwasher, you have solved the problem.

The downside of this solution is that nobody wants to be the person this is assigned to, and even if you were to rotate the task, it can affect the productivity of their normal workday to keep being drawn away numerous times throughout the day to take care of the kitchen. Furthermore, if dishes are put into the sink, this is unsightly and could draw insects and vermin. This is certainly not the outcome you want if you also have customers or clients that use the kitchen area.

Use a Sign or Magnet

Just as you might resolve the issue at home, there are numerous ways in which you can indicate whether the dishes are clean or dirty. A quick option is just to tape a sign onto the front and swap it out. This would not be a very good solution, however, if you are concerned about aesthetics. It is also not very cost effective in the long run because the tape won’t last for long, nor will the paper, so they’ll need replaced often.

A magnet is the ideal solution since it is long lasting and easy to deal with. Just a quick turn of the sign is all it takes to let everyone know whether the dishes are clean or dirty. Simply turn to dirty after unloading the dishwasher and turn to clean when starting the cleaning cycle.

The problem with dishwasher clean/dirty magnets is that many are quite unattractive so may not be much nicer than the taped paper option. Furthermore, since many dishwashers now do not have a metal front, a magnetized clean/dirty sign may not even work.

One product that overcomes these objections beautifully comes from Quality Clever. Their dishwasher magnet is sturdy, attractive and comes with a peel and stick metal plate that you can put on the dishwasher giving the magnet a place it can attract to if your dishwasher won’t hold a magnet otherwise. An added bonus of this product is that on the back it has a bottle opener so your employees can open those premium soda and water bottles without hunting for an opener. Just let them know to make sure when the return it to the front of the dishwasher that they put the clean or dirty half upright as they had found it.

The quality of this dishwasher magnet is immediately apparent – it is made of 3D raised lettering non-slip rubber, rather than the tacky plastic that most are made from. Also, it has two strong covered magnets for a superior hold, yet won’t scratch or mar your dishwasher front panel. You will definitely want this one for your office and also for at home.


The last thing you want is arguments and hurt feelings to hurt productivity at work, or illness to cause absenteeism. It is obvious to see that the ideal solution is a dishwasher magnet so that everyone can see at a glance whether they can add their dirty coffee cup to the dishwasher or whether they need to unload it first. By having a quality built and attractive dishwasher magnet and a set policy in place for your personnel, everyone will know the proper protocol and should follow it without fuss. Your kitchen can stop being a battleground, at least for this task. All that will be left is trying to keep people from helping themselves to someone else’s lunch.

Check this beautiful Dishwasher Magnet