I don't want to romanticize life without an electric dishwasher too much, but it does have its moments. Often my husband and I wash dishes together the old-fashioned way. I am the washer. He is the dryer. We talk about our day, giggle, bump into each other or can enjoy silence. Sometimes, we'll even dance. For a while he was trying to teach me to Polka and it often transpired while doing dishes to Johnny Cash.
"Doing dishes", as we say, is not only good for your relationship, it gives your dishes a longer life, uses less water and allows you to opt for an environmentally friendly dish soap. Mrs. Meyer's (from Minnesota!) Lavender Dish Soap is my favorite. No gloves needed. Kids also stay away while washing dishes. They don't want any part of it!
I use really hot water. In fact I don't fill up the sink with water, I let it run hot on each dish while washing, rinse, then put in the other sink for drying. I don't like the idea of dishes soaking in dirty water.
Next time you're a little lonely, bored or just need the help, hand over the dish towel, put on some music and have a good time. (I also had a good time washing dishes with my Mom last week - so feel free to experiment wish guest dish-washers.)