Yes, for the same reason you should keep an automobile in use if it is
not actually being stored. It keeps the oil moving, keeps seals from
drying out, rubber from dry rotting.
As it so happens, I've got both situations: I run the D/W once a month,
but the old Honda hasn't been started in ...ohhh... about seven years.
I'm sorry for your loss, Charlie.
I found my dishwasher to be useful for other things.
My old box fan was just filthy. I removed the front
and back grills and placed them in the dishwasher.
While it was running, I attacked the chassis and fan
blades with a spray bottle of window cleaner and some
Reassembled, the fan looks like new!
I had some glazed pots in the back yard holding cacti
for several years. I emptied out the pots and put
them all in the dishwasher. They turned out very
nicely, (very shiny) without one swipe of a towel.
I don't know if I'm actually making the dish washer
last longer by using it more but it does save me quite
a bit of elbow grease.
Yep. I washed a chandelier made up of over a hundred bits of cut glass.
To fuss with all the pieces using Windex atop a ladder would have taken over
twenty minutes (until I tired of the exercise and said "To hell with it!").
Back when you could still make money refurbishing and selling used
computers, I used to wash grungy cases and keyboards all the time.
(remember to let the keyboards sit in bright sunlight for a couple days
before you plug them in...)
But as to OP's situation- yeah, the seals do dry out from lack of use,
especially if the DW is a few years old. I've seen it happen at
relative's houses and in rentals of people who lived alone, or just
didn't like to use the dishwasher. I live alone, and run a load about
every 7-10 days, based on one meal a day at home. I rinse and stack in
the sink, and when I notice the sink is full, I load the dishwasher.
You're the second one to mention keyboards. Hard to believe. I'll
have to get up nerve to wash my keyboard, but I guess I wiill. Once I
stop using a keyboard, there's no point in not washing it.
I got to hamfests and buy keyboards for 1 dollar for regular, and I
think it's now 2 dollars, sometiems more, for ones with extra keys.
BEcause I know the accelerator keys for browser functions, like cntl-R
for Reload, and alt-left (or right) arrow for Back (or Forward) I only
use the volume and mute keys, but they are much easier than clicking
on the icon in the systray. So I only use these enhance keyboard
now and my dirty fingers make them very dirty. And they are not so
easy to find at hamfests at that price. So I guess I'll try it.
Seems like it shoudl take several years to dry but maybe not!
When I was losing my hair, that got all over the keyboards too, but I
guess I was able to remove all that. I lost a lot of hair from age 50
to 56 or so, but I'm 62 and it stopped coming out a few years ago.
And I still have a full head of hair It's just about 60% (or maybe
more) thinner. But my hairline is just where it was when I was 20,
and my hair color is still brown. My beard has a little more grey,
where the blond used to be, but it's 60 or 70 or 80% brown too.
Keyboard washing hints- Turn the 'heat dry' feature OFF. Take them out
as soon as wash cycle is over, and shake out as much water as you can.
Set them to dry outside in sunlight, preferably leaned up on end against
a wall, for at least a day. If too cold and rainy out, use a sunny
window, and leave a fan blowing on them.
Not all of them will survive, but most will. And as you said, this is
something you do to 'nothing left to lose' keyboards. My 20+ year old
OmniKey 104, I'll still field-strip and wash by hand, but is is designed
to be servicable, unlike modern disposable keyboards.
Thanks, I think I would have thought of that, but I never ever use the
heat dry feature anyhow. Extra money and I'm in no hurry. I do open
the door and pull out the top rack so the door doesn't close back.
Only a day maybe. Not five years. That's good. Otherwise I would
have had to start five years ago.
I don't like disposable but I finally understand it. Most people will
throw things away anyhow, so they might as well not waste effort
making it seviceable.
BTW, I do make an effort to keep my hands clean but two years or 3 at
most still makes them dirty. And really hard to clean without a
Being in charge of the computer system in a low-tech environment where
people ate and drank while at the computer, spillage was a common
problem. We had extra keyboards, so I would take the offending keyboard
and just rinse it under the sink faucet using a soft stream and lukewarm
water for a minute or so, blow most of the water out with a hair dryer
set at low heat, then hang it to dry for a day or so.
Very few keyboards failed to operate after their 'shower'.
I would never wash a keyboard in a dishwasher. There are too many small
and soft parts that might not take the rugged spray.
How much does your contact cleaner cost? At work, the junk keyboards
they buy are about six bucks apiece in bulk. I pull them out of
dumspters all the time. (the name-brand ones, at least, that get pitched
along with the generics) An external cleaning with windex and couple of
paper towels, and most of them look and work fine. I then turn them back
in to the supply guy, who puts them on the shelf.
Wish they weren't so anal there. Thousands of bucks worth of stuff goes
in the dumpster every year, but they say it is a firing offense to take
any of it home. (Yes, I do carry a briefcase every day- why do you ask?)
At home, I'm still using up a couple of milk crates worth of beige
keyboards, from when the state govt used to sell computers at auction.
(This was before Dell, et al, decided it was worth it to kill the
secondary market by buying up all the point sources of cheap used
machines.) Getting kind of hard to make them work on modern machines,
though. First everyone went to PS2 connectors, now newer machines are
I don't remember what a big can of the cleaner costs but that,
along with a paint brush, usually keeps my keyboards working.
I don't clean mouse balls anymore since I banished balled mice
from my desktop in favor of ball-less mice.
After spilling an entire glass of iced tea (no sugar) into my IBM keyboard,
I tried washing it in the dishwasher. I used no detergent, and removed it
before the drying cycle. I gently shook out all liquid, then left the
keyboard to dry both upside down and right side up for several weeks. It
never worked again.
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