Post from the Past: One Thing I Learned Yesterday

Since many of you have started reading my blog recently, I’m starting a new series called “Post from the Past” where I will (get this…) repost some of my favorite posts from the past. This one is from 2007 when Ryan and I had just moved from Chicago to Grand Rapids to start residency training and didn’t have a place to live yet, so our friend Heidi’s grandparents let us live in their basement.

Do not put Palmolive liquid detergent into the dishwasher!

Cliff and Huddy are the absolute nicest people on the planet. So nice that they have allowed Ryan and I to live in their basement for the last week while they were away on a trip. Because they are so kind, I wanted to be kind to them in return, by cleaning the kitchen and all of the dishes and making the house look nice before they return this weekend. Which is why I feel bad for being a moron and breaking their house yesterday.

Well, not quite breaking, but just doing something stupid enough that it took about 4 hours of clean-up and a phone call to the neighbors before everything was pretty much back to normal.

I saw a bottle of detergent under the sink that had a picture of a sparkly little glass on it, which is exactly what I wanted…so I added the detergent, closed the door and started the dishwasher.

I then proceeded to go downstairs to take a shower. About 20 minutes later Ryan came home from his run and I heard him say, “Something’s leaking over here!” I looked up at the ceiling tiles in the basement and indeed, he was correct. So I ran upstairs and swung open the door to the kitchen, which I found to be completely covered in huge foamy suds. Seriously folks, it was like a movie.

I panic sometimes…and this was one of those times. “GRAB THE TOWELS!! WHAT DO WE DO?? CAN WE STOP THIS THING MID CYCLE?? IF I OPEN THE DOOR WILL MORE WATER COME OUT?? HOW DOES A DISHWASHER WORK ANYWAY? COULD THIS BE BECAUSE OF THE SOAP I USED? NO WAY! THE SUDS DIDN’T MAKE IT TO THE CARPET YET, RIGHT? THIS IS NOT GOOD! DID HUDDY SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THIS BEING A NEW KITCHEN FLOOR? MORE TOWELS MORE TOWELS!! CALL OUR MOMS!! AHHHHH!

Ryan ran back downstairs to see if it was still leaking and to dry the places the water had dripped. I guess those ceiling tiles are pretty much like a sponge, because this one was so water logged that it cracked in half when we tried to remove it.

“I can replace the ceiling,” I thought to myself, what should I fix first??
# 1 Huddy’s New Floor
# 2 The Dishwasher
# 3 The Ceiling Tiles

Then I ran back upstairs to finish drying the kitchen floor. The floor was dry, then I mopped it to make sure there was no leftover soap residue and dried it again. The floor looked great, so I moved on to the next priority – the Dishwasher

I took a cup and scooped the excess foam and water out of the bottom of the dishwasher and into the sink. Then I closed the door and ran the rinse cycle again. I layed down on the nice clean floor by the dishwasher so that I could see the first single drip if it leaked. Within about one minute the suds were forming around the dishwasher door again, so I stopped the cycle and again scooped the water and suds out of the dishwasher and into the sink. I was lost for ideas, and was quite embarassed by my stupidity.

So then, of course, I turned to the Internet to figure out if anyone had a solution to this problem. WWBVD? (What would Bob Vila do?) Apparently, there are a number of solutions. Crisco Oil. Oil, Table Salt, and Ice Cubes. A bar of soap, liquid fabric softener, malt vinegar, milk, or a half-cup of vegetable oil. White vinegar. Baking soda.

According to wikipedia : Hand-washing dish detergent (washing up liquid) should not be used in a dishwasher, as it will create a large foam of bubbles which will leak from the dishwasher. If hand-washing detergent is accidentally used, the foam may be removed by spraying with salt, and the dishwasher should be forced into a drain cycle to remove the soap and water.

So that’s what I tried, and it worked. The only problem left was the ceiling tiles.

I woke up this morning with a plan. I carefully took down one of the ceiling tiles and put it in the trunk of my car. Ace Hardware couldn’t help me, so I went to Home Depot and walked in the front door with my ceiling under my arm. I found the tiles that were exactly right, but they were much brighter white than the one I had in my hand. “That’s going to look funny,” I thought to myself. I asked for assistance and discovered that you can’t buy just one ceiling tile, you have to buy a whole case of 16 tiles. “How many cases would I need to replace Cliff and Huddy’s entire ceiling?” I had to drive back to their house to make a count. I would need at least 3 cases, and would have to buy one of those special saws that cuts ceiling tiles to the right size.

Luckily, I called Cliff and found out that he has some extra tiles and that I shouldn’t buy more.

Needless to say, lesson learned. I hope that this post will save someone from the hassle which I have been hasseling for the last two days.

And again I say, NO MATTER WHAT, never confuse liquid dish soap with dishwasher detergent!

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