While we may be living the homesteader life, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a few luxuries. One luxury that we decided was worth it was a dishwasher. It is a great way to keep dirty dishes off the counter and we do not have to use it that often and so it doesn’t really cost us that much money in the long run compared to washing dishes by hand. That being said, sometimes clean dishes sit in the dishwasher that can be put away, or dirty dishes still pile up on the counter even though they can be put in the dishwasher with other dirty dishes. What we needed was some sort of way of knowing whether the dishes inside the dishwasher were clean or dirty, and short of gaining x-ray vision, we decided on making some dishwasher magnets.
2 sheets of patterned paper
1 photo magnet
letter stickers (or a stencil)
All these materials can be purchased at your local $ store and on Amazon
- Use two different paper patterns as another way to tell what state the dishwasher is in besides the wording. Using a pattern that can also be used as a guide (i.e. lines or repeating images) helps by making the application of the letters in a straight line easier.
- Cut the paper just slightly larger (~1 mm) than the size you would like it, making sure that it will fit on the magnet.
- Attach the paper to the sticky side of the magnet, be sure here as you can’t tear it back off without ruining the paper and the magnet’s stickiness.
- Cut the paper and magnet in as straight of a line as possible, trimming off that ~1mm of extra length.
- Attach the second paper in the same way.
- Cut out your letters and line them up on the magnet with the backing still on to get an idea of the spacing you will need.
- Remove the backing and place the letters on the paper, but do not press down firmly until you are happy with the spacing as you will probably need to fiddle around a bit.
- Place the “clean” magnet sign on the dishwasher when you start the cycle. Replace with the “dirty” magnet when you unload the dishwasher. Store the other magnet on the fridge (be prepared for some jokes about the cleanliness of your fridge from house guests).
- Use the magnets to let you and your family know if they can put their dishes away, and when it is time to unload.