After booming sales over the past couple of months, dishwashers are in short supply in many Indian cities. The waiting period for some of the reputed brands is as long as two months. Dishwasher detergents have disappeared from supermarket shelves and online retailers. The Covid-19 pandemic has given the dishwasher its moment in India. If it leads to a greater adoption of dishwashers in Indian households, it will be a good thing for Indian society.
It’s easy enough to understand why the demand for dishwashers has surged. The lockdown and social distancing considerations have increased the number of meals cooked and eaten at home. At the same time, access to domestic workers is limited. The additional load of cooking and eating at home has literally piled up the dirty dishes in and around the kitchen sink. Many people have come to realise that dirty dishes don’t get cleaned merely because they have been left near the sink — someone needs to do them. If the falling apple triggered Isaac Newton to theorise about gravity, it could be unwashed dishes that led him to his first law of motion, or Émilie du Châtelet to the law of conservation of energy.