"Clean ziss now! Use a scrubber. How you let ziss get like ziss?"
These were the heavily accented words of the dishwasher repair man yesterday as he handed me the filter and strainer from the dishwasher base and attempted (rather successfully, I might add) to shame me into accepting responsibility for the state of the appliance. Meekly, head bowed in deference, I took the items from him and applied a scouring pad and some elbow grease to their cleaning.
Now, the dishwasher is a high end model that is only 18-24 months old, so I'm rather certain that its condition can't be all that bad. Sure parts of the interior are a little crusty and hardened from soap residue, but it's a heavily used appliance and bound to show off its wear and tear! I certainly didn't think, as Mr. Dishwasher Repairman looked up at me in disgust from his kneeling position on the floor, that it was so horrible as to warrant the head shakes, reproachful looks, and under-the-breath comments about "people - who do ziss - like cement - no care - " etc etc. How was I supposed to know that we have been using the entirely wrong dishwasher detergent, that using liquid dishwasher detergent is so heinous an offence as to mandate significant levels of flagellation (or is that flatulence - I always get those words mixed up).
In fact, what he was in my kitchen to fix had nothing to do with the smudgy state of the stainless steel interior and everything to do with the mysterious reason for occasional water leakage out of the bottom of the dishwasher.
But clean the filter and strainer I did, scrubbing nervously while he peered over my shoulder to make sure I did a good enough job. I felt like I was back in grade school working to get a good mark or a pat on the head. I must have passed muster in the end because he grunted as he took the clean parts back and re-installed them.
Eventually he did get around to discovering why the dishwasher is leaking and he will be back in two weeks with the new part to install. I guess that gives me two weeks to start using the right detergent, and maybe just enough time to finish scraping out the rest of the built-up soap scum.