the idiot's guide to dish washing

December 15th, 2006

Just because something is simple, doesn't mean a lot of people won't get it wrong. I've been living without a dishwasher for the first time in my life, and while that's not been a problem for my own sake, it's other people not using one that's more of a bother. Because I hate reaching for a plate, and getting my hand greasy just from touching it. We do share the same dishes after all.

The idiot's way

You cook food, you leave the dishes to be done after you've eaten. By the time you get back, the remains of the food have dried and have stuck to the dishes. You scrub like a madman and realize it's very hard to get everything, so you get the worst bits off, then leave the dishes to dry.

The normal way

You come in to do the dishes, you see the food has dried. You pour water over the dishes, put some some dish washing liquid in there as well, and let it soak for half an hour. When you come back, most of the food comes off without touching it, the rest you gently scrub.

If you don't know this, then you aren't terribly astute. A ten year-old will, at some point, have seen *someone* pouring water over dirty dishes while you were watching. I don't care if it's your uncle or your home ec teacher. When you saw that, it should have made you ponder why it's being done.

What is clean?

Clean = pure porcelain. If you run your fingers over a plate and you feel tiny crests on it, it's not clean. If you see tiny dots on it, it's not clean. A good way of checking is running water over it. If the stream of water reveals that the surface isn't even, then you know it's not clean. All you have to do is scrub some more and it will come off, trust me. And be generous with the dish washing liquid. Forget that "one drop is enough for a bucket" crap, you can afford to wash your dishes properly.

Also, just washing one side of a plate isn't good enough. The whole dish has to be clean on all sides. If you cook rice in a pot, and wash the pot, but on the outside there are long streaks of white, it's not clean. Pans will eventually look pretty nasty, because of all the burnt food. If you have a pan like that, you're not obligated to remove all the dirt on its sides and bottom. Just restore it to the condition it was in before you started using it.

I inspect every dish I need before using it, and wash it if need be. I wish we had a machine to sterilize them after use.

:: random entries in this category ::

5 Responses to "the idiot's guide to dish washing"

  1. gregf says:

    Just got a good laugh at this one, very random.

  2. erik says:

    I'm so glad I'm done with the student thing of living with random people

  3. ash says:

    Do the people you live with know about your blog? Because if not then I think this post might be wasted on us clean people

  4. numerodix says:

    It's a public service announcement, ash

  5. erik says:

    Don't smother your kids