The Heat in the Kitchen? It’s Bad Design Being Set on Fire

Currently at my mother’s UK flat and frankly horrified at some of the kitchen appliance design I’m seeing here. There’s a Credaplan Microwave (which thankfully doesn’t seem to exist anymore) which sports an interface a succession of PhDs have not been able to fathom. Then there’s a brand new Indesit WIDL146 washing machine which looks nice but has a baffling interface, and its sister, an Indesit IDL40 dishwasher which has a simple enough interface but isn’t clever enough to keep the dish tray from sliding back into the machine when you’re trying to put stuff in it. What is it with these people? Why can’t they design simple appliances?

And don’t get me started on dish mops. For years we’d use sponges on our dishes, or simple mops, and then one day someone had the bright idea of attaching a sponge to a mop handle. The dish mop was born. But you still had to build up the soap suds yourself. Then suddenly someone had the bright idea of putting the detergent in the handle, so it would trickle out into the sponge. Brilliant. Except no one seems to be able to come up with a design that actually works.

First off, there’s the sponge-not-attaching-properly to the handle scenario, as evidenced by the Minky Dish Jet. Looks great, but, as I explained some months back to the company, the moulded clear plastic that serves as a holder for the blue sponge clip “appears to have given way, or deformed in some way, so the blue plastic clip is no longer held in place.” I was disappointed to hear back from the company, not the explanation for the flaw I was looking for, but a bland “I am sorry you have had problems with the Minky Dishjet and will be happy to forward a replacment to you if you care to email me direct with your address details.” What’s the point of another Dishjet if the other one doesn’t work? How existential does one have to get in the kitchen?

Eventually, this visit, I found another kind of detergent-dispersing dish mop, from another British company called Spontex. The Dishmop looks good:

But it’s not. Mine leaked its suds all over the other mops within seconds of being filled, however tightly I screwed the little screwball (I use the technical term here) you can see at the bottom of the handle in the illustration above. It was a messy day in the mop holder cup.

Clearly I’m not the only one having problems with these dish mop things. And the problem is nothing new. Here’s one discussion, and another, both from a couple of years ago. I guess if someone can’t someone design a simple dishmop what hope do we have that they design a simple microwave or washing machine?

08. September 2005 by jeremy
Categories: Design, Rants | Tags: , , , , | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. i’ve just emailed Minky with the same problem, not holding the scrub head in place. its the third ive had and since the first one, the quality seems to have gone way down hill.

    the first lasted 12 months, the second 4 (before the handle cracked and the soap leaked out) and the third <24 hours, the head keeps falling off!

    we need alternatives. ive seen flash do one, but its not like this, it spins and has a brush type end, not what im looking for really!