Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Washing Up

Big subject.

Let’s start by loading the dishwasher.

There’s a simple rule – small items take precedence.  Two simple reasons for this simple rule.  One: a small item generally takes nearly as long to hand wash as a big one.  Two: a big item takes longer to shoehorn into the dishwasher than a small one.  So, fill the machine with small items, then hand wash the bigger ones that won’t fit.  Try it: it’ll save you time and effort.

Other than that, rules can not and must not be defined.  To attempt to do so would be akin  to writing a single law governing human behaviour in Leeds, Asbakistan and Outer Space.  I will propose a bet, sight unseen, that tomorrow morning, when we each unload, neither of us will have accurately predicted the detail of the other’s dishwasher content.  Wanna play?  No.  So load it as seems best for you - but only one you!  The only ruling principle of dishwasher governance is dictatorship.

A good rule of thumb is to put the more delicate items (crystal, Dresden figurines etc) in the top tray.  I assume this is because they’ll do less damage when you drop them on to the contents of the bottom tray whilst unloading the machine tomorrow, sober. 

Emptying the dishwasher.

Apart from knowing where to put the stuff, and therefore in what order to unload (which will not in any way correlate with the loading procedure), the only universal rule here is: make sure it's clean before putting it away.  I will draw a veil over recent alleged incidents in this area.

 Hand washing.

Hottest possible water, plenty of it, thick copious black heavy duty murderer’s gloves – then just get on with it.  Glasses first (not more than one at a time in the sink, or they’ll magically break even though they don’t touch each other).

The satisfaction at completing the washing up before retiring can be added to that of not having to face it in the morning.  This total then has to be subtracted from tomorrow evening.

When cooking, as far as possible, wash up as you go.  Things like sieves, colanders, measuring jugs, saucepans in which you have just simmered the frozen peas –all of these and more can often just be rinsed off, dried and put straight away.  Seconds now – aeons of angst and stumbling incapacity later. 


  1. My late father used to be a WUO (washing up obsessive). His unique triple rinse method was famous throughout North Kent.

  2. Dishwasher? Oh, that's me! And, as far as cups and glasses are concerned, I subscribe to the single rinse method. Sound advice, regarding glasses, Tim. They do have a habit of shattering, without actually colliding.

  3. You sound like my Aunty Flo. A touch irritating.

  4. I don't always wash up at night. I really can't be fagged, and as I don't live with a partner, if I don't give a shit no one does. :) It's not my boys who will take over if I don't do it (unless nagged for roughly 20 minutes).

    Hurrah for the dishwasher!

  5. You do, of course, realise that this wasn't about washing up at all, but a counterblast to some, shall I say, generalisations about male characteristics being bandied about elsewhere? You don't? Then it's about Washing up.
    In real life, I actually subscribe to your attitude, Sarah. (btw, I don't seem to be able to access your blog for some technical reason (probably my crap computer).)

  6. Ideally, the cook has an assistant to wash the colander and so on, because the cook is busy cooking. Regarding big items, I completely agree. Fill with small items first, because a small item over a big one won't be washed clean, whereas a bigger pan over a small dish will. Handwash as a last resort because that's what a dishwasher is for.

    I apologise for generalising about blokes (although this seems to have been corroborated in my comments) when I really meant one bloke.

  7. Hmm. This formula is becoming incomputable. *extracts tongue from cheek* (mine)

  8. On updating your computer make sure you get one with the wireless waterproof webcam facility so you can stream live video of the dishwashing process from within the machine. It will enthral.

    Nota Bene: unload bottom stuff first so top stuff movement does not cause dripping onto bottom stuff.

  9. Hi Tim, it seems people who use IE to access my blog have more problems than those who use Firefox or Chrome, if that helps.

  10. I use thick strong glasses. They bounce off the tiles and land in the (extremely hot) water without so much as a chip.
    (not that I handwash the chips)