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Dishes--No rinsing in water after washing?


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#31 Fat Guy

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 09:55 AM

I want to make clear that it's always okay to make fun of Andy. This is long-standing board policy, established during the 9 days between when the site was launched and you joined.

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#32 oldschooltie

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 10:04 AM

what about those who wash the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher?

I've heard some anally retentive things in my time, but what is this about?

#33 Anna N

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 10:59 AM

what about those who wash the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher?

I've heard some anally retentive things in my time, but what is this about?

It is TRUE! I know of a couple of people who wash AND rinse their dishes before they load them into the dishwasher and someone who NEVER uses her dishwasher because she wants it in mint condition should she ever decide to sell her home - so far she has lived there for 15 years! And I know someone who only ever puts dishes in the machine and piles up all the used cooking pots in the sink and washes them by hand. But... to each his/her own.
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#34 Hallie

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 11:03 AM

An Australian friend uses the dirty-tub-of-water method too, he says his mother has always done this to "save water"

And on that note (yes Maggie, this is a Pandora's box) I just have to add this little anecdote;

First of all, I don't usually begin conversations by prefacing them with 'I was listening to 'You and Yours' on Radio 4 the other week, but this is, shall we say, a one-off. A number of people were ringing in with ideas about how to save water. One particularly well-meaning woman claimed that in order to save water, whenever she was about to do her washing up she patroled the house in search of unfinished glasses of drinking water that her family had left lying about. She then would gather up the glasses and pour the contents into her sink and do the washing up in the 'dregs'. While using half consumed glasses of water is a noble pursuit, pouring vessels filled with particles of skin, traces of saliva, dust and whatever else into one's sink for the purposes of cleaning dishes is absolutely and positively disgusting. A house plant would appreciate it far more.

I so wanted the host to point out that if restaurants did that their doors would be closed faster than you could say 'public health risk'.

I think this whole clean dish debate can be easily put into perspective by posing the question; if you knew that a restaurant was doing what you or others did to dirty dishes at home, would you still eat there?

#35 Fat Guy

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 11:06 AM

Oh, I very much feel a "Loading the Dishwasher" thread coming on . . .

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#36 Hiroyuki

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 02:48 PM

I'm not a moderator but I can see where this is going and as this thread kicked off with Hiroyuki's innocent question, which elicited some interesting answers but then degenerated into a sillly but potentially offensive discussion...I will try to put the matter to rest before anyone gets hurt (my beau says his mother threw dishes at him if they weren't clean enough).

Thank you for describing my question as being "innocent" because that's exactly true. My question was just an innocent one. I just wanted to know the truth, out of curiosity. And I'm really glad now that I have found the truth.

Thank you, everyone. I didn't expect that this thread would turn out to be such a fascinating one.

#37 John Whiting

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Posted 24 April 2004 - 12:03 AM

Not a joke and it still happens today. As a student living in halls of residence, I have seen people wash dishes using the icky method that Hallie describes.  :sad:

Is this distinctively British? When I helped prep for a demo in Perigueux a couple of years ago, I saw the dishes and utinsels being washed in a sink full of cold water, full of floating detritis, and left to dry (more or less) in a rack. There wasn't enough detergent in the water to require rinsing.
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#38 torakris

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Posted 24 April 2004 - 12:47 AM

what about those who wash the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher?

I've heard some anally retentive things in my time, but what is this about?

It is TRUE! I know of a couple of people who wash AND rinse their dishes before they load them into the dishwasher and someone who NEVER uses her dishwasher because she wants it in mint condition should she ever decide to sell her home - so far she has lived there for 15 years! And I know someone who only ever puts dishes in the machine and piles up all the used cooking pots in the sink and washes them by hand. But... to each his/her own.

Isn't his how you are supposed to wash dishes? :blink: I grew up with two people always washing dishing, one to scrub them in the sink with soap and then rinse and then another to load them into the dishwasher.....

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#39 fresco

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Posted 24 April 2004 - 01:01 AM

Some of the most memorable images from the movie Withnail and I were the shots of crockery containing weeks old half eaten meals of beans, eggs, curry, etc. stacked in the kitchen of a slum student flat in London, growing mold.
As amusing as I found the movie, I didn't take any of this as an indication of the lifestyle or hygienic standards of most Brits, or students.
Interesting, though, that accusing another race or nationality of being unclean is still about the most common slur going.
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#40 John Whiting

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Posted 24 April 2004 - 02:04 PM

Interesting, though, that accusing another race or nationality of being unclean is still about the most common slur going.

For others, it's to accuse them of being compulsively clean. :raz:
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#41 Fat Guy

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Posted 24 April 2004 - 02:10 PM

I hope I haven't come across as implying that anyone in the Lynes family is unclean. Although they may not rinse their dishes very well, I know for a fact that Andy washes his hands 35 times a day.

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#42 Gavin Jones

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Posted 24 April 2004 - 03:05 PM

It seems unlikely that there is a significant health issue associated with dishwashing practice.
Reported cases of food poisoning rose by a factor of 6 from 1982 to 2001 - 2001 had a million reported cases (according to the Food Standards agency) - during which period one would presume availability of dishwashers/mixer taps/hot water had increased. Of course, difficult to control for the spread of key bacteria:
Salmonella, E. Coli, Campylobacter, Listeria & Clostridium.
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#43 mb7o

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Posted 24 April 2004 - 06:26 PM

i don't see why this discussion should be in any way inflamatory--clearly there is a tradition in britan of not rinsing the dishes after washing them. it may not be the dominant tradition, and it may have historical reason, but it's not an insult to point out an actual tradition.

as for washing in dirty water, i think that's a common method--scrape the plates, wash all in one soapy tub, then rinse with clean water. where i went to summer camp in maine they washed all (or maybe half) of the plates (~60 people?) in one sink-load of water with a manual dishwasher--put the dishes in a rack, put in an agitator (back & forth with a lever) in the sink, pull out, put in another sink to rinse (i forget how often that was changed or if it was running water), and set out to dry. two people had the job for the entire summer. then again, we spent half of each week on camping trips drinking straight out of the lakes and rivers.

#44 Katherine

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Posted 24 April 2004 - 06:59 PM

My own ex-FIL, a traditional Mainer, would do the two-sink wash. He was proud of being what he considered to be the fastest dishwasher in the state, a title I guess he earned while washing dishes at a frat house while he was in college. Of course, the glasses never got scrubbed out, so they all had an opaque, waxy coating on the inside, ick! His own sister would clean all the glasses when she came to visit.

One year I was having friends to visit in the summer place. I took down all the dishes from the open shelves in the pantry and scrubbed them clean before replacing them. My MIL came in, looked, and was dumbfounded. She'd never seen the glasses gleam before...

So it's definitely not just the British.

#45 phaelon56

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 07:10 AM

I think the point has been well established that dishwashing practices are idiosyncratic and vary wildly from one household to the next, much less from one country to another.

Believe me.... I'm tidy but hardly anal about cleanliness - the dust is so thick in my house that the the roaches have to ride in dune buggies :biggrin:

That said.... I give a quick rinse under a running tap to most plates and bowls before they go in the dishwasher. I do that with glasses if they've had something pulpy/sticky in them (like homestyle OJ) and also do it with my latte/cappa cups that have an encrustation of coffee oils etc around the rim. My reasoning is very simpel and based on experience. I don't run the dishwasher every day and certain items, if unrinsed before going in, never get completely clean once the washer is run.

#46 John Whiting

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 11:13 AM

There's a revealing cultural divide in that all the Americans are talking about what they do with their dirty dishes before they go into the dishwasher. :laugh:
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#47 John Whiting

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 11:15 AM

I know for a fact that Andy washes his hands 35 times a day.

So did Lady Macbeth. :raz:
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#48 mongo_jones

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 11:26 AM

washing and rinsing dishes? making sure the uneaten food-bits get cleared away? loooxooory! when we were young we didn't have plates--father passed around a piece of bone and we took turns licking it. later when we had money we had a sink and hot water. the neighbours would bring all their dirty dishes to soak in it--we called it soup, i can still taste it.

#49 retirement_beckons

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 11:26 AM

Wash the dishes ? What's all that about ? Surely, you just re-use the plate at successive meals, until the dried on leftovers form such big mounds that you then SCRAPE the plates clean.

Ah, such memories of Quentin Crisp.

Mind you, in our household, all used crockery, cutlery and pans are taken to the scullery by the third footman and one of the maids, sandblasted with a mixture of hydrochloric acid and limestone chippings, then the local fire brigade hose them all down (including the servants) using ultra-high pressure hoses, and finally the now clean crocks are thrown into the bin and at the next meal we open a box of fresh plates direct from the Wedgwood factory.

Seriously though, I've known clean and dirty people on several continents. All sorts of nice folks have some habits which others might consider unhygienic. But these are usually personal idiosyncracies, rather than national characteristics. I don't consider my fellow countrymen (the English) to be dirty or unclean - but then, I'm biased.

#50 GG Mora

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 12:10 PM

For the record:

I was in England last week on bidness and saw a TV spot for Persil (a dishwashing liquid), in which a cheery housewife pulled a just-washed dinner plate from the suds-filled washing-up tub in the sink and placed it, with a bit of happy suds still clinging to the edge, directly into the drying rack. I saw the ad 3 times, so I was able to confirm the sequence.

#51 Hiroyuki

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 03:47 PM

I'd like to make my intention clear. I just wanted to know whether Englishmen rinse dishes in water after washing them with detergent. I have never asked whether Englishmen are dirty, unclean, or unsanitary.

Let me add one more thing although it is completely off-topic: I love the culture of England. What admires me most is the old houses there. Do you know that the houses in Japan are scrapped in an average of 26 years?

#52 oliver@omwines.com

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 03:51 PM

I moved to the US twenty years ago, and that was indeed how I was taught to wash dishes in England. One of the first things my uncle taught me upon moving in with him in the US was how to wash dishes properly.

I imagine this has changed somewhat in the intervening years, though; my sister has both a mixer faucet (tap) and a dishwasher.

#53 JasonCampbell

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 08:47 PM

You think the English have strange pot washing habits, you don't even want to know how the Welsh wash their pot (we only have the one, keeps our national dish company)...

#54 Hiroyuki

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 09:03 PM

You are speaking in riddles. What is it? :blink:

#55 Fat Guy

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 09:15 PM

If you're pre-rinsing the dishes that you're putting into your dishwasher, you're either wasting your time (and water) or you don't have a good dishwasher -- or you have some environmentalist dishwasher that doesn't use enough water (therefore requiring pre-rinsing, which wastes more water overall I'm sure). Any good dishwasher manufactured in the past 5-10 years is going to say right in the instruction manual "you don't need to pre-rinse." And that's true. You hardly even need to scrape the plates, no less pre-rinse them, before you put them in my dishwasher. It has a disposal/grinder unit built in, so you can literally put entire plates of food in -- pasta, vegetables, anything but bones -- and it will rinse the food off in the first cycle, pulverize it in the disposal/grinder, and send the goo out the drain. Not that I do it that way, but I've tested it and it works. And I don't have a super-high-end unit. It's the cheapest KitchenAid.

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#56 Behemoth

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 09:29 PM

The first fight my german bf (now husband) and I ever had was about this very issue. I was horrified the first time I saw him do it but I have to say I have never experienced food poisoning with him or his family. Still, when I wash the dishes I really feel the need to rinse.

By the way, there is a great MFK Fisher essay about this: How to Lure a Wolf. MFK is of the rinse-with-hot-water-no-soap school. The inverse-European method, so zu sagen.

#57 Behemoth

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 01:19 AM

Just a thought -- is anyone else driven completely nuts by the American obsession with anti-bacterial soaps? Just what I need to be ingesting on a daily basis, something that will kill my stomach bacteria.

#58 Hiroyuki

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 05:46 AM

If ... or you don't have a good dishwasher

Strange as it may sound, only 11.6% of the households in Japan have a dishwasher as of March 2003, according to one source, partly because of the limited kitchen space in most Japanese houses and partly because of the different shapes and sizes of bowls, dishes, and plates used in normal Japanese houses. With the advent of more sophisticated and less bulky dishwaters in recent years, however, dishwashers have become more popular these days.
Strange as it may sound again, some Japanese wives feel somewhat guilty or shameful about using a dishwater. I wonder if anyone can understand their feeling.

#59 Hiroyuki

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 06:04 AM

Just a thought -- is anyone else driven completely nuts by the American obsession with anti-bacterial soaps? Just what I need to be ingesting on a daily basis, something that will kill my stomach bacteria.

I'm not 100% sure but I think that when it comes to obsession with sanitation, Japanese are second to none. There are all sorts of anti-bacterial products sold here in Japan. I think that most of them are quite silly; they only weaken the body's immune system.

#60 Jonathan Day

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 06:47 AM

If you're pre-rinsing the dishes that you're putting into your dishwasher, you're either wasting your time (and water) or you don't have a good dishwasher -- or you have some environmentalist dishwasher that doesn't use enough water (therefore requiring pre-rinsing, which wastes more water overall I'm sure). Any good dishwasher manufactured in the past 5-10 years is going to say right in the instruction manual "you don't need to pre-rinse." And that's true. You hardly even need to scrape the plates, no less pre-rinse them, before you put them in my dishwasher. It has a disposal/grinder unit built in, so you can literally put entire plates of food in -- pasta, vegetables, anything but bones -- and it will rinse the food off in the first cycle, pulverize it in the disposal/grinder, and send the goo out the drain. Not that I do it that way, but I've tested it and it works. And I don't have a super-high-end unit. It's the cheapest KitchenAid.

European dishwashers tend to be of the "environmentalist" type that FG describes.

All I can guess is that plumbing over here is older and often cannot support a disposer/grinder, whether in the sink or in the dishwasher. So dishwashers come with a filter, which traps food particles as the water recirculates, and drains have a filter which you have to empty. It is therefore sensible to scrape plates or at least lightly pre-rinse; otherwise either the filter fills up or bits of food circulate during the wash and get stuck to other dishes during the drying cycle. At some point, in any event, you have to manually remove and clean the filter, which is an unpleasant chore.

Our plumbing supports a disposer, so we have one, and the dishwasher empties right into it; this also means that we can rinse straight into the disposer without cleaning a disk filter. But if you want a dishwasher over here, it has to be a filter model, and hence it's easier to rinse the plates. In America we had a KitchenAid; here it's a Miele.

Rinsing doesn't take a lot of water -- just a splash to get rid of the big stuff; in fact most of the time we just scrape with a rubber spatula and the plates go into the machine. And the Miele is far quieter than the old KitchenAid. Nonetheless a proper dishwasher setup, like a washing machine that takes less than an hour, is one of those things I miss from the U. S. of A.
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