Spring 2018

Spring 2018
Spring Green

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

washing the dishes

Today's post is a bit different from what I usually share with you and it's not another travelogue.  

Today as I was washing the dishes left over from yesterday I thought "Why not do a post about this".  Okay.  Weird.  I know.

But I'm curious about how you wash your dishes?

Yesterday I had 3 best friends over for afternoon tea.  
{Sorry, no photos of that but, we had a great visit.}
I stacked the dishes on the counter then got supper ready.
After supper Murray and I decided to go for a walk as it was a lovely evening and there wouldn't be many more like it.

When we got home I looked at the stack of dishes and was too lazy to do them.  They stayed until this morning.

Do you do that too?  I'm sure you do once in a while.  :)

I could easily have put them in the dishwasher the night before but didn't.

I really don't mind hand washing dishes as I have a lovely view from the window over the sink.

This morning the cloud system was receding as the blue sky came in for a sunny day.

When I was in junior high we had Home Economics classes.  It was there that I learned the proper way to wash dishes. 
When I was a girl growing up my sister and I had our turns doing the dishes or helping Mum with them.  We had a round yellow enamel wash basin before we got a plastic one.  

I remember doing dishes at my grandmothers after big family dinners.  Out came the very large white enamel basins on the long wooden kitchen table.  One had hot soapy water in it and the other clean water for rinsing.   We had to be very careful with the real crystal glasses, the antique china and real silver cutlery.  I think the adults just wanted us kids out of the living room while they visited.  They would hire a maid to do the job but we got to help.

First of all I use a plastic wash basin so my glassware and cutlery don't get dinged and the sink doesn't get scratched.  I fill it with hot, soapy water and use a clean knitted dishcloth.

Wash your glassware first (always washing the rim and inside too), cutlery second, dishes next, and pots and pans last.  I use a vinyl coated dish rack, a drain board and, if I have a lot of dishes, one of those new absorbent drying mats.  
Aren't they great??

When I wash the cutlery, I wash each piece carefully.  None of this swishing them in the water or quickly rubbing the dishcloth over the whole handful.  I want to get all the dried on food off.  If there is egg, cheese or sauce dried on I use a soft brush to clean them.  I usually soak the dirty pots and pans to loosen any sticky food.

There!  All done!

I've had a dishwasher for only the last 2 years now.
We didn't have one growing up or for 34 years of our marriage.
I forget I have it unless we have company.  :)
Since there is only the 2 of us there really aren't that many dishes to do.  Sometimes Murray will help with the drying.
We talk and tease and enjoy 15 minutes of time without the TV or a computer in front of us.

my handy dishwasher 

Doesn't that look better?
{I even cleaned the sink!}

The cloth on the sink is my 'fresh daily' counter cloth for wiping up spills, crumbs etc.  I use another cloth to clean the sink.

So.  I'm just wondering how you wash the dishes?
By hand or in the dishwasher?
The kids?  Hubby? 
Paper plates and plastic cutlery?
{Just kidding}

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm linking with Sandi's weekly party 'HOME'.




  1. Oh...I could so identify with procrastinating about doing the dishes. And I even use the dishwasher for the most part. On Monday night we had a very late dinner...and then I was too tired to empty out the dishwasher and re-load...so the dirty dishes waited on the counter overnight. :) Your sink looks so shiny clean! Is it new? I've managed to scratch mine up a lot in nine years.

  2. Oh my this brought back memories of washing dishes with my mum on the farm ! I didn't have a dishwasher till we moved here 4 years ago either . But like you I do not mind washing dishes as I have a wonderful view from my kitchen sink window of our valley ! I do however use my dishwasher but not for my pots and certain items ! Yes I wash dishes the same as you do ! Only I do it from left to right of the sink lol ! Wonderful photos . Thanks for sharing ! The weather here is cool, sunny , windy and no humidity a real lovely September day ! Have a good evening !

  3. Hi. I was stopping by blogs in hopes I could get your help....I've been nominated on Martha Stewart and I was trying to get Votes to help Win...if you have time I would love to see you come by, Vote and also entry in a giveaway for your support!! Your able to vote 6 times in a row daily until Sept. 13th!! I would greatly appreciate it!! Thanks so much!

  4. Snap ... my husband's name is Murray too :)
    We usually wash dishes together after dinner rarely leave them on the counter. The view from our window is lovely too, always some birds to watch at the feeder or just gaze at the garden. We do take turns washing and drying. We have a dishwasher too but don't use it unless there are lots and lots of dishes.

  5. Well, Pam, here goes. I pre-rinse the dishes and usually place them in the dishwasher. This includes, bowls, glasses, casseroles, lids silver and small pans. Larger pans are washed and placed in the small drainer to dry overnight. Go figure...I won't dry the pan but never leave dirty dishes around...LOL...I'm a neat freak...:)JP

  6. Oh, I'm glad to read that others leave dishes overnight occasionally. I use a dishwasher for the most part, but don't mind washing dishes by hand. I wash them right in the sink without a plastic basin, rinse them and put them on towels to dry. I used to have a dish drainer and rack but decided I could do without them when they got all grotty.
    Crystal glasses always get washed by hand with hot soapy water and a soft cloth.

    Fun post.

  7. I haven't had a dishwasher since Shane and I got married -- fortunately I don't mind doing them. Not as systematic as you -- just save the big stuff for last. I let them dry in one side of the sink overnight then put them away in the morning. :)

  8. Oh, even though I have a dishwasher I don't use it everyday, unless I'm gonna use a lot of dishes, like in the weekends. I also let them dry until before I go to bed. I love your photos, so fun!
    Big hugs,

  9. John has been very carefully inspecting your enineering. He says you do a better job than I because your knives are all down and he gets wounded daily by knives that I leave up. I say he's full of it! Ha!

    Love the view out your window...so restful and pretty.

    Oh, do I ever leave the dishes? From time to time depending on how tired I am. Glad to know that I'm not the only one. I'll have to send you the link to my childhood dishpan blues. It is definitely how parents rolled in the good old days.

  10. Well...that looks like me at the cottage!
    We have a large white farm sink there...I also use a plastic pan...and a plastic rack...
    From left to right...
    And...the same order as you!
    My boyfriend does them quite often...whenever or whoever is inside, does the few that have accumulated..
    At home...dishwasher all the way...I usually manage to fill it up!!! Everyday!!
    I spied a few sweet peas behind your sink...very sweet!!

    Great idea for a post...sometimes the simple things, are the most interesting!

    Enjoy your evening...and go get those dishes done!!! hahaha!

    Linda :o)

  11. Pamela
    I do my dishes as you do, but my order is glasses, dishes, silverware, then pots&pans.
    I hardly ever use the dishwasher either.
    I haven't ever tried one of those pads before.
    It sounds like you like yours.
    My hubby and I trade dish washing and cooking. Whoever makes the meal doesn't have to do the dishes!

  12. LOVE IT... Why not post on doing the dishes..we certainly spend enough time doing them! And it is after all a key part of any tea party!IF you didnt do them there would be no next party.... but on how I do mine... well, Ive trained my husband to do them now... heheheheheh!

  13. Ha ha, the things we talk about. I mostly put everything in the dishwasher and run it every 3 days or so. There are times when I will do dishes by hand, like today after having a couple of friends over for tea. It's safer to wash the teacups, crystal and such by hand.
    Like you, I was taught that things that touch your mouth get washed first like the glasses, and then the cutlery next and so on in the same order you've listed.
    I do not, however, use a plastic tub and my sink shows the wear. If I'm doing up some pots and pans after dinner, instead of loading them in the dishwasher, Glenn will help dry.
    I will stay up late to do dishes rather than leave them overnight for morning - an old fusspot huh? :-)

  14. I have a dishwasher - the first one since we got married a million years ago - and I love it. There are just the two of us - but we rinse the dishes and wait until it is full to run it. I collect vintage dishes and they don't go in the dishwasher - so I do some hand washing. I enjoy dish washing, always have - love the suds and hot water and feel of the clean dishes. I learned to wash dishes in the same way you did - glasses first - wash the rims, etc.

    I also wash the big baking or cooking dishes - they fill up the dishwasher way too fast and only take a few minutes to wash by hand.

  15. Oh Pamela what a great post! I think people do not learn this anymore...homekeeping in general. My grandmother loved to wash dishes and she always did just as you, and I would get to help her. I run my dishwasher every other night depending on if my parents have come for dinner and such. I always wash all plastic, crystal, silver and pots and pans by hand. I need to find one of those dish mats. I'm enjoying having a nice big sink to get everything in also!!

  16. Your post brought a lot of memories. I guess my grandmother taught me how to wash dishes-- same as your method. I remember the holiday dinners-- the women would gather in the kitchen to help grandma clean Jo and do dishes while the men outside to smoke. I started very young doing discs after the evening meal. I hated it. It was always me, just. Now, I don't feel guilty leaving suoer dishes until the next day; however, I am blessed because my husband will put them in the dishwasher, a kitchen appliance I would not do without. Very cool post.

  17. I did a post like this a few years back. Our dishwasher recently broke so I am back in the washing up mode and I LOVE to wash dishes. I do it similarly to you (and my sinks are situated just like yours). I go right to left as yours. I do glasses first and then put the silverware on the side of the water and put the plates and bowls in. That way the silverware can be soaking clean. And lastly the pots and pans. I usually let them dry on their own, Sometimes I quick wash a few with a soapy sponge, but they really do get cleaner soaking in hot suds I think!

  18. Hi Pamela, well, we have a dishwasher and I love it! We use it most of the time. But I have to say that Mother and Grandma taught me how to wash dishes and I must say - it is Exactly THE WAY YOU DO DISHES.!!! Glasses first (inside and out), then silverware and each piece at a time, then the salad plates and then the dinner plates....always ending up with the pots and pans last. I remember many times we would let the dirty soapy water down the drain and make some more so that we had good clean, soapy water to wash off the shelf (countertop) and the table and that meant every inch of the table!

    We always had to ask to be excused from the table! No question about that.

    I hope I have taught my kids the rules of washing dishes. Seems like I have...and my grandchildren always ask to be excused from the table.

    Great post!

  19. I can't afford to lose cabinet space for a dishwasher and do mine by hand, in the same order you do. I have a good view from my window as well but admit that I usually do them in the morning.

  20. Morning Pamela, That was an interesting post and not a subject that gets talked about as most people just pop it in the dishwasher. I have had a dishwasher since we married and moved here 11 years ago and have probably used it about 10 times a year. Like you mainly when we entertain as I don't like leaving dirty dishes in there and it is not economical to put it on for a few dishes. I always rinse plates and cutlery when we have finished a meal and leave them to soak, but I usually wash them the same evening / day.
    I was taught to wash glasses first, then cutlery and then plates and lastly the cooking dishes and saucepans. The glass need to be rinsed and then dried and polished with a tea towel, same with the cutlery otherwise they will end up very smeary. Well I then dry everything else and put them away lovely and clean and shiny until the next time. Doesn't take long, prefer to do it myself, not keen on having Phil in our smallish kitchen, except to make cups of tea!!! ;-)
    I like washing dishes like I like ironing, very therapeutic!!

  21. My mother taught me to wash dishes the same way, and it's how I do it to this day. We use the dishwasher regularly, but my crystal and porcelain don't go there, ever. I like to wash dishes with company - it reminds me of girlhood.

  22. Oh my Pamela . . . I wrote a long detailed comment about your delightful post. For some reason it wouldn't publish, (probably because I wrote a book.). It is way off someplace in cyber space now . . .

    Short version, almost forty years with a dish washer but I wash everything first before the DW washes them. And never does my silverware, china, crystal travel to the DW, only are washed by hand.

    Sorry you missed my comment, I liked it! Smile . . .

  23. Cute post - I have to comment on the sweet peas on the window sill, so pretty, love them!!

    There are certain things that don't go in the dishwasher here - pots, Pyrex and old glasses

  24. These days I tend to only wash the fine glassware, and any other delicate items by hand. When I first met my husband he was helping to dry up the dishes at my parents' house, and he managed to break two crystal glasses. They were actually glasses I had bought, but fearing more breakages, they told him he didn't need to help any more. I suspect that was a sneaky move on his part! As a child I hated the washing up after a Sunday lunch. Now I moan about loading the dishwasher!

  25. I will confuse that doing the dishes is the most boring job in the world for me, but I love, love the counter and kitchen in general when the room is completely clean. When I purchase a home, I look forward to a dishwasher, but do them by hand now. I usually let them air dry overnight.

  26. Cute post---and encouraging to know I am not the only one. Actually---I do all of it--a am not in a 'box'--when it comes to dishes---I hand wash some---use the dishwasher for most--and use a lot of paper plates too---depending.

  27. PS---I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed seeing your view--and loved the memory of your grandmother. I have the same type memory of my grandmother and great-grandmother doing the dishes just like that--on a wood table--close to the wood burning cook stove where they had to boil the water. That old farm kitchen is one of my favorite memories!! Great meals were cooked there. :)

  28. Great post..........and I'm with you in the way you wash everything, we must have had similar training by our mums!
    Have a dishwasher but never use it! Store cutting boards, salad spinner, baking racks etc. in there because I've no pantry. Love to get all dishes done and put away after food prep and eating.....Bob often helps either washing or drying. Look out a similar window over the sink, we chat, but don't have your lovely view. Never ever leave dishes overnight though - just couldn't face them next morning LOL!

    Hugs - Mary

  29. I think I am the only woman I know who insists on a single sink in her kitchen instead of a double sink. I was brought up washing dishes with a handy invention called a dish master. It was a thing that held liquid dish soap and the soap mixed with water through a small hose which went to a brush headed wand. One would wash a dish, then push a button on the wand handle to release soap/water mix, then release the button to rinse with plain water. Like showering dishes! No need for a sink for soap and a sink for rinse!

    It wasn't until years after getting my home Ec degree that a missionary clued me in that dishes need not be washed in hot water, the soap sanitized the dishes not the heat. If the water was hot enough to sanitize it would scald our hands...so summer dishes could be washed in cold water on hot days!

  30. Fun post, Pamela. I use my dishwasher but when it is only my hubby and I, I often wash by hand. The dishes always seem to shine more when I do so.

  31. Hi Pamela,
    This is a different yet interesting post. I enjoy washing dishes by hand. Hubby prefers the dishwasher. First the glassware, then the silverware, then the dishes, then the pots and pans. I use very hot water and wear gloves, then rinse and dry. I don't have a drying rack or a mat. The mat is a good idea though. Oh, and Hubby always helps when he's home. I wash during the day but after the evening meal, he washes and I dry. Sometimes he does them all by himself to give me a break.
    Both of us are bothered by dishes on the counters and in the sink. Perhaps if our kitchen wasn't the first room you see when you walk through the door, we would feel differently about that. That's how we do dishes here in our household. Thanks for sharing a great post and enjoy your weekend.


  32. I've been blogging for a LONG time and I don't think I've ever had this discussion! I love your big sink of sudsy water and pretty clean dishes. Do you really want to know what I do? lol The first thing anyone will tell you is that I am FAST! I like to speed through the process and get out of the kitchen. So I pre rinse...real quick and put most everything in the dishwasher. I hand wash a few things and lay them out on a dishtowel with a paper towel on top. I have never owned a dish drainer. When I've wiped all the counters off, I dry the hand washed dishes and put them away....and start the dishwasher. WHEW! We're done and out of the kitchen in record time! That was fun working together! It went faster, don't you think? haha! Sweet hugs!

  33. I wash as much as I can in the dishwasher, but there are always a few things I need to wash by hand. I have to say that dishwashing was always a job I hated, it was my job to do when I was growing up and there was always a LOT of dishes!

  34. That was funny. I don't have a dishwasher. I do have a big tree outside my window and I watch the birds as I do my dishes. Sometimes I talk to them or laugh at them. My hubby must wonder who I'm talking to. No, he knows. I remember when I had to wipe the dishes after my grandmother washed them. She was old and after a stroke, very slow. Every tine on every fork - you know. I'd get so frustrated inside. How I wish I could wipe the dishes with her one more time.

  35. Well I was off to Montreal for a extra long work day yesterday so I missed commenting on this post. Washing dishes was such a "family event" for me growing up and it continues to be with my husband's family where there has never been a dishwasher. I think some of my fondest memories are of the laughs we have had while washing dishes and putting everything away. We had the washer, the rinser and the dryer. I always wanted to wash. That was at times a sore point for my middle sister who also wanted to wash. You know how that goes...anyway, memories galore around this topic. I don't think it is quite the same with the dishwasher. We always insisted that our kid "red" the table. I don't know how you would spell that word but that is how it sounded when my mom told us to red the table. Do you know that expression?


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