As the old joke goes, if it isn't, marry a new one! Ba dum tiss (that was a cymbal, by the way.)

A dishwasher, as in the appliance, is one of life's little luxuries. Once you have had one, is there ever going back? Especially after a big meal or when you have guests over.

This appliance has been around in some way, shape or form for about 170 years. Joel Houghton registered a mechanical device in 1850 in the US made from wood. With a crank of the handle, water would spray on to dirty dishes. Did it work well? Nope. In 1886, a woman named Josephine Cochrane, who wanted to protect her china from breaking while being washed, got together with her mechanic and developed a better model. This version was shown for the first time at the 1893 Worlds Fair. It may surprise you that the name of this invention that was released to the world was called "Lavadora." (It was changed shortly after that to "Lavaplatos" due to copyright infringement).

Many are familiar with the appliance manufacturer, Miele. Miele was the first to invent and manufacture dishwashers with electric motors in 1929.

At about the same time, the design of the dishwasher also changed. The first dishwasher to include many of the features they have today, such as front door loading, wire racks and the rotating sprayer, was invented in 1924 by William Livens.

By 1940, dishwashers started coming with built-in drying elements. The building of new homes with running water and indoor plumbing made it possible to consider including this new-fangled appliance. Granted, it was primarily in reach for the affluent.

Between the 1950s and 1970s, demand for dishwashers continued to grow. Once wall-to-wall countertop and standard height cabinets became ubiquitous, dishwashers became familiar and expected in homes. By 2012, over 75 percent of households in the US had dishwashers.

Most dishwashers in North America are a standard size. (24 in/61 cm wide by 24 in/61 cm deep and 35 in/89 cm high.) If space does not allow, dishwashers are also available that are portable and smaller.

The dishwashers in North America feature an inside housing unit that is either plastic or stainless steel. The racks inside where you place your dishes are made with plastic. One of the benefits of a stainless-steel housing unit is that it resists hard water and can dry dishes quicker than plastic.

Some dishwashers come with hard food disposal units that mean you do not have to pre-rinse your dishes. New dishwashers on the market today offer wash cycles that are controlled by microprocessors and sensors. These components allow the wash duration to adjust to the number of dirty dishes and the amount of dirt. These features result in water and energy savings. Another recent enhancement is a safety lock. This is something to consider if you plan to rent your condo or casa when you are not using it yourself. A child-lock on the dishwasher prevents accidental starting or stopping, and more importantly, from opening the door mid-way through a wash cycle of hot water and strong detergents.

Did you know that you can also use a dishwasher for cooking foods? I cannot say I have tried this, but some say that if you seal food in a canning jar or oven bag and run it in your dishwasher, you can make dinner.

When surveyed, dishwasher owners say they use their appliance for more than just cleaning their dishes. Dishwashers have been known to clean sneakers, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, flip-flops, pet bowls, and garden tools. None of these items are recommended by manufacturers and sure to void any warranty. Quite the appliance!

Do you need appliances for your home in Puerto Vallarta? Contact me at to buy right the first time! And, make sure to join our FB Group: Mexico Furniture and Décor for great ideas, tips and inspiration!