Wednesday 11 August 2021

Dishtub? WTF?

 It's a washing-up bowl! Where I "do the wup". People have been washing dishes since we moved on from dobbing out portions onto banana leaves. If you don't clean the dishes, the dog will; and absent a dog the plates will get crufty, crusty and thicker than they need to be. I grew up in a three sib home so the tasks were: Alice to clear; Bob to wash; Cecil to dry; Alice to put away. If my Sailor Dad was present andif it was Sunday, he would wash the dishes. We, his minions would pass the obvious dish-wash failures behind his back for another go-thtough; so as not to hurt his feelings. You will notice that there was no Derek to rinse so that didn't get done. Not rinsing the dishes was/is really common in England and it's kinda gross to my present sensibilities. I didn't learn about rinsing until I went to the USA as a 20-something.
flatware = silverware = cutlery
china = crockery = delft = dishes 

Ten years later, we were back in Ireland. The Beloved secured a training gig in Birmingham which required regular overnights in a Brummy B&B. She got pally with the owners, who shared that they had no tea towels. Because the Tourist Board decided that tea-towels were a potential fomite, to get their seal of approval, you had to show the inspector a dish-draining rack. Shortly thereafter I bought a robust triple decker plastic-dipped wire dish rack which screwed onto the wall over the draining board - feckin' bri'nt! You can see half the drip-tray of this machine behind the tap in the picture of Dau.I learning her craft in the last century [R].

One of the agreements nailed down very shortly after my parents married in 1950 was that the wup would never be left until the morning. I suspect that was a rather one-sided contract . . . except on Sundays, like.

Recently on Metafilter, someone tapped into the hive-mind to ask "What is the right way to hand wash dishes?"  This is my jam! It's like the answer to
Q Do you have a dishwasher?
A Yes, his name is Bob
Dishwashing machines are by no means universal in Ireland!  Anyway, here is my answer:

We live remote with a septic tank and drain field. Moi le plongeur is scrupulous about minimising fats and oils going down there. A neighbour had to dig up his drive and the pipework to deal with their fatberg. Two sheets of TP will absorb a lot and make good firelighters after. We have a double sink.

  1. I start running hot water into a plastic wup bowl containing a squirt of dish-soap; glasses get washed first because they deserve a hot-water rinse in the hot tap water.
  2. Cutlery gets dumped in next to soak
  3. Cups & side-plates get dumped on top and washed with a brush and fingers
  4. They get rinsed in cold water in the other sink 
  5. Left to dry on a double-decker wire drainer
  6. Cutlery next
  7. Dinner & dessert plates next
  8. Pans last.
  9. Wup basin water, esp if potentially fatty, tends to get fired out the kitchen door in a satisfyingly medieval way.

If we have company, and more dishes, I stop when the drainer is full and have another session later.

Never, no matter how drunk, leave the dishes till morning

There is no way I use 20 gallons / 90 lt of water.

On dit que handwashing dishes consumes that amount of water while a dishwashing machine uses only 5 gallons = 20 lt. According to the MeFi discussion there are people who rinse dishes under a tap running cleaned drinking water straight to the septic system. For them favelas / townships / barrios are something you see on the National Geographic channel.

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