Nov 05

The Washing Up

Blog 72 comments • 888 views

I have volunteered to do The Washing Up in my shared house For Ever, in exchange for Never Having To Do The Bathroom Or Hoovering. What madness, you may say!

The Washing Up is a chore reknowned for wrecking marriages and accelerating the deterioration of mental function, but I am Zen-like in my commitment, sticking some Pirate Drum N Bass on the radio and donning the marigolds. Fine.


  • AAARGH #1: Do Not bloody put KNIVES straight into the washing up bowl WHILST MY HANDS ARE IN THERE doing said washing up. Not only will this result in my fingers being cut to ribbons but also the Washing Up Sponge being sliced up, rendering it limp and useless for further Washing Up Activity. For knife-cleansing one must switch to the Washing up BRUSH which has much hardier bristles (but fails to remove stubborn stains).
  • AAARGH #2: My housemates have a habit of placing dirty dishes/cutlery/saucepans into the empty bowl, turning on the tap and ‘leaving it to soak’. THIS WILL NOT HELP! It does not clean the items in question but turns the bowl into a Minging Washing Up Soup (or MWUS). The MWUS must be emptied, the items re-stacked onto the formica, errant forks located and the bowl cleaned of MWUS residue before Washing Up Proper can commence. It smells rank and doubles the ETA of Washing Up Completion. If you really want to aid the process yet not actually wash anything then 1) scrape off your food before dumping it on the side and 2) rinse off saucepans as soon as you have finished cooking instead of leaving them full of MWUS.
  • AAARGH #3: The poor design of our draining board means that once clean but wet items are placed on said draining board, the water drips off the side and makes a puddle on the floor! Perilous if one wishes to conduct The Washing Up sans shoes, or wishes the kitchen floor to remain unmuddied.
  • AAARGH #4: If you are going to burn porridge you can bloody well clean the pan yourself. Burnt Porridge = most adhesive substance known to man! I wonder that it is not used in the construction industry! Mmm, Burnt Porridge House. *beckons* Come here, little children….
  • Comments

    1. 1
      Dave on 18 Apr 2007 #

      RE: AAARGH #2 – My Flatmate does this…

      Its the most annoying thing ever. Like you say, rather than actually wash something up there and then his preference is to leave things “to soak” as he puts it. My understanding of leaving something to soak is when something really hard to clean is baked solidly into a pan a pan or something, and then you might leave it to soak in some hot water for an hour or two before cleaning it up. What he does is fill a sink with cold water and drop everything in, without rinsing anything… even if its just a plate which has had a sandwich on so only has a few crumbs on it, he’ll leave this “to soak” too. So it all just sits there in a sink of scanky water getting greasy and leaving a scum ring in the sink. The problem is that he genuinely thinks this helps.

      I came home the other day to find a sink full of stagnant water containing dishes and oven trays and knives and forks etc which had been filled to the top. This was the washing up from the previous night where he had cooked some garlic and spiced chicken with rice. So not only was loads of left over rice left in the sink to soak up water and expand to a size where it has trouble fitting through the plug hole… but all the washing up had been left in a sink of scanky water by the window on a hot day so the entire house smelt of garlic… it was horrible… there isn’t enough fabreeze in the world.

      I’ve tried to have a conversation about why he does this but the problem I have is that he’s not doing it to annoy me, he actually gods honest believes that this is the best way to do it and has doing us both a favor. His counter argument being “its better than leaving it on the side to dry up and go hard making it impossible to clean”.

      The real answer is scrape all excess food into the bin first and then rinse. Just rinse things like sauce pans used for beans or rice, frying pans used for bacon etc. Rinse plates and stuff. Then… when they are free of food, sauce and stuff leave on the side where yes they will dry, but its just clean water that drying… then I’ll wash them later in hot water with washing up liquid and stuff. DO NOT LEAVE THINGS soaking in their own filth, it makes them more dirty, is completely unhygienic. does my nut in.

    2. 2
      Kat on 18 Apr 2007 #

      Dave, since I wrote the above, my housemates have changed but the problem remains the same. I sympathise.

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