Sunday 05 January 2003

Dishappointing Dishmatique

Google search: dishmatique

According to Google, fellow-Australian Allan Moult and I remain the world’s leading authorities on the Dishmatique. Since Allan was the first Sudsy Stud to discover the Dishmatique Flex, I called him yesterday morning to ask how he was finding the “improved” Dishmatique after three months of use.

Dishmatique non-scratch PowerPad and handle (top)“I’m having a few problems with it,” he told me, a hint of disappointment evident in his voice—even all the way from Tasmania.

“Mine leaks detergent,” I confessed.

“From both ends!” he added vehemently.

A wave of relief washed over me. At least I wasn’t the only one having problems with the new model. We discussed the Flex’s shortcomings for ten minutes or so, agreeing that Hyphen Design may have been too clever by half in totally revamping the Dishmatique’s detergent delivery mechanism. Instead of a simple hole in the head of the classic—where the sponge/scourer attaches snugly—the Flex model has a complicated sprung-loaded sponge/scourer and a rubber washer in the head. When the Flex is stored head down, detergent leaks out. (Allan told me that he’d even tried reversing the washer, to no avail.)

Dishmatique handle (bottom)Storing the Flex with its head up proves to be no more satisfactory since a stretch rubber end-cap has replaced the tight screw cap of the older model. I admit my initial review of the Dishmatique Flex was overly enthusiastic, given I’d only had it (and the Brush model) for a few days. But at least I foresaw potential problems with the end cap:

My only quibble is that the screw cap at the end of the handle has been replaced by a flexible rubber cap which forms part of the rubberized handgrip. While there is no longer any risk of losing the screw cap, I am concerned that the rubber may not stand up to years of heavy use.

I’ve retired my Dishmatique Flex and have gone back to using my classic Dishmatiques (one fitted with the heavy-duty green sponge-scourer, the other with the non-scratch white attachment). I still use the Flex brush for cleaning my juice extractor.

Allan and I also chatted about our long run at the top of the Google search results for “dishmatique”:

Easy-Do have significantly improved their ranking over the past year—when I started writing about the Dishmatique they barely made it into the top thirty. But a couple of small changes to their site design catapulted them into the top ten. And the fact that they’ve taken out a Google sponsored-link indicates their seriousness about playing the game. Even so, Easy-Do’s Dishmatique and Dishmatique Flex pages still illustrate perfectly how not to design with high search engine rankings in mind.

For the valuable consideration of a gross of classic Dishmatiques plus a gross each of heavy-duty and non-scratch replacement sponge-scourers (the three-packs, not the two-packs) I’m willing to consult with Easy-Do on how to get their site to the #1 spot on Google. If they come to the party on this, anyone who’s ever expressed interest in the Dishmatique or its imitators—either by posting on their own weblog or by leaving a comment in mine—can look forward to receiving a complete Dishmatique system in the mail.

Gemco Li’l Scrubber update

Turning to other dishwashing news, I received an email and an attached photograph from Norm Jenson (he’s happy for me to publish both):

Norm Jenson's Li'l Scrubber knockoffDoes this qualify as a dishmatique type device. Is it something new or perhaps there has already been a picture of this on your site. It would be easy to miss. I tried google but there are hundred’s of pages of posts by some Delacour Dude about this subject. I looked but didn’t find this exact model, though it certainly may have been there. I found it on my sink, I don’t know where it came from, but I suspect my wife. I tried it out and I like it.

I thought it looked like a cross between a Dishmatique and Eric Grevstad’s Gemco Li’l Scrubber, the one piece of dishwashing apparatus I still lust after (the Gemco has nylon bristles instead of a sponge-scourer).

And, as if cued by Norm’s message, Saundra Doty left the following comment:

Just got a Christmas present from my ex-husband’s present wife. It is the Li’l Scrubber by Gemco.

She presented it to all of us gathered at their home in Clermont, FL for our traditional feast and gift-giving Christmas celebration. She said it was so great that she wanted to share with all of us. She’s a gem and so is the Li’l Scrubber.

But.…where do I get it. I live in little ole town of Brooksville, FL..some hour or so away from everywhere. Please help me…I’m in love with the Li’l Scrubber! I am wanting to share this will bugger with all my friends. any suggestions as to the closest place or if I could mail order? Thanks and Happy Holidays to the Sudsmen, whoever they are and if they are the inventors of Li’l Scrubber..God bless them and my hands bless them.

Eric’s no longer blogging, but perhaps someone else can advise Saundra (and me) as to where we can pick up a Li’l Scrubber.

And what a relief to find a female dishwashing enthusiast! When I read the opening paragraph of Tom Jaine’s Guardian review of Escoffier: The King of Chefs, it immediately occurred to me that men approach dishwashing in the same manner:

A wise old cook, veteran of work ruined by guttering fires and smoking chimneys, observed the essential difference between males and females in the kitchen. Men treat a meal as a problem to be solved; women as a series of things to be cooked. Men are preoccupied with tools, performance and manual dexterity. Women just press on. It’s the old antagonism of means and ends.

Happily, Saundra’s comment proves the existence of Sudsy Dames.

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A *gross* of Dishmatiques? Greedy boy. That's a lifetime supply for every Sudsy Stud and Dame you know.

Posted by: Dorothea Salo on 6 January 2003 at 02:01 AM

A short update on our "cross scrubber". My wife and I are both pleased with its performance. It is holding up well and has proven to be an effective tool. Gail's friend Shonnie also purchased one. She plans to use it for cleaning her bathtub, so I suppose we should add versatility to the list of the scrubbers many virtues.

Posted by: Norm Jenson on 6 January 2003 at 03:43 AM

Glad to see you're not experiencing any post-purchase dissonance with the "cross scrubber," Norm. It looks as though it would be an effective bathtub cleaner though I'd probably prefer the Li'l Scrubber for doing the bathroom tiles.

Dorothea, I just wanted to put an appropriate value on my consulting advice. (Plus I wanted to send out Dishmatiques to every Sudsy Stud and Dame I know and have some spares.)

Posted by: Jonathon on 6 January 2003 at 12:31 PM

Don't let the Dishappointing Dishmatique get you down. There's a new kid on the block!

Check out for more...

Posted by: Kevin Laurence on 15 January 2003 at 10:49 AM

Kevin, thanks for letting me know. I've written a post about this "new kid on the block."

Posted by: Jonathon on 15 January 2003 at 08:36 PM

I waited and waited for months for a new head supply for my old dishmatic. Finally I just gave up and spent the cash on a new "flex" model. Well, it is great for washing as long as you don't need detergent, because none comes out. I am sick of the thing after two weeks and want my money back. Any suggestions about how I can get it? If not, does anyone want the goddamn thing?

Regards, Antony, Melbourne Australia

Posted by: Antony on 3 March 2003 at 12:24 AM

This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed.

© Copyright 2002-2003 Jonathon Delacour