When I last looked, Zanussis performed considerably worse than Boschs or Mieles, according to Which? It would be unlikely that their brochure would rush to highlight this shortcoming. This dip into the fallen king of consumer idiocy followed an uneventful date with Kate Moss, you understand, though there was some hoovering apparent. Anyway, ‘Please beware form over function’, they blandly exhorted, ‘however enticing the tarty silver ones with subtly recessed controls may seem, the white, boring ones still have the edge in performance’. So now we know.

My wife and I have never rinsed ‘owt before challenging our Teutonic beast with the foulest platens of greasy residue, and we haven’t yet been disappointed. It really isn’t necessary, unless you have entertained a vegetarian with steak and kidney pie, in which case any available quadruped is the obvious beneficiary.

Actually I’ve noticed that folk who perform a ritual pre-dishwasher rinse and employ a cleaner are apt also to clean their house within an inch of its life before the cleaner arrives. There is a definite connection. I’ve never been sure whether they are ashamed, considerate, mistrusting or simply oblivious to the function of labour-saving technology.

Stacking a dishwasher properly is an art oft ignored yet easily learned, according to someone else’s Mum. Despite this discouragement, the act becomes an undiluted joy as soon as you realise how much less time even the most complicated “Tetris level 9″ stack takes when compared to the endless drudgery of using a brush and sink. Even if it involves dried-on cat food, tortilla, cigarette ash, lengthy spinach stalks and of course the ubiquitous ‘matter’, on this occasion nervously united with tea leaves by solidified lamb fat, all spread among sufficent oddly-shaped vessels to require devilishly inventive placement, you will still have saved time. Reading that sentence would have taken longer in fact. Wine glasses should never be put in a dishwasher unless you don’t mind them slowly turning grey (thanks to the harsh abrasive powder). Anyone who puts antique glasses in one is a wanton and dangerous idealist. I found a wonton lodged in the filter once, although the contents were ominously conspicuous by their absence. I can promise you a (German) dishwasher is an excellent investment, even if you have to re-clean the occasional omelette pan. Your water bill will thank you too.

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