Doing Dishes

First I rinse everything that needs to be rinsed. Then I put all the cutlery in the bottom of the sink. I turn on hot water and rinse the sink, making sure there are no food chunkies left in the bottom. I put the plug in and squirt some soap while the hot water runs. I let the water run until I have a few inches of soap and water. Then I wash dishes using a dishcloth (not a sponge), starting with cutlery, and ending with the biggest and/or dirtiest dish. If the dishes are dirty with stuck on food, I use a plastic scouring pad that gets replaced monthly. If it’s really stuck on, I dump a little baking soda in the dish and make a paste with water and scrub like a maniac.

Before the dishes get put on the drying rack, they get rinsed in hot water. Once all the dishes are washed, rinsed, and put on the rack, I rinse out my dishcloth and thoroughly wipe down my counters (and my stove if I did the cooking there). My counters get wiped a couple of times every day. The only things that don’t air dry are my knives because they’re the most expensive thing in my apartment besides my couch. I like my knives. My knives are my children. My knives don’t talk back to me. My knives are pretty.

I replace my dishcloths every 3 to 5 days. I have different towels for dish drying and hand drying. Those get replaced every 5 to 7 days. If I ever have to wipe up the floor, I either use paper towels or I throw the cloth or towels in the wash immediately. Raw meat juice gets sprayed with disinfectant and wiped with paper towels.

My mother washes dishes like this, as do my siblings. I assumed (until fairly recently) this is how everyone did dishes. I was wrong. Very wrong.

As it turns out there are huge divides when it comes to sponge versus cloth and how you wipe counters. Or IF you even wipe counters (YOU NEED TO WIPE YOUR COUNTERS). This causes me significant (probably unnecessary) stress and I want to know if anyone out there is as neurotic as I am about dishes (oh gosh, I hope so).

This type of thing fascinates me. How can something so simple vary so drastically? How can some people be super gross about dish washing? Who taught you to wash dishes? WHY DON’T YOU WIPE YOUR COUNTERS?

Please indulge me and explain your process. Sponge or cloth? Full sink or running water? Rinse or no rinse? Hand dry or drying rack? What gets left out of the dishwasher? What about your counters? Am I insane? Have I waved my freak flag a little too enthusiastically with this post?