• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Hiroyuki

Dishes--No rinsing in water after washing?

78 posts in this topic

I have seen the same non-rinsing behavior in Ireland that Hallie describes. I remember having houseguests insist on doing the dishes, then running into the kitchen later to give everything a proper rinse. No one else seemed bothered by it, and in fact I never felt ill after eating in a home where non-rinsing was the norm.


Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To be fair to the Lynes family, my understanding is that since they only eat fish and chips, and they wrap that in newspaper anyway, their food doesn't actually come in contact with their unrinsed dishes.

This is not true, sometimes we have a donar kebab (or "gyro" for our American chums) which we eat off of paper plates and then feed the left-overs to the dog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think non-rinsing is more common than this topic might suggest.

We have a dishwasher, but the stuff that does not go in that does not get rinsed and I can't say it has ever made us ill to my knowledge. I certainly know many people who don't rinse - well educated, healthy types who appreciate good food!

The one exception is stemware which I rinse with real zeal because I know I don't want soap film in my next glass of wine.

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assure you that both my daughter's college friend, who stayed with us for a summer last year, and also a close friend of mine, in whose home I lived recently for a few months while househunting, are neither English nor Irish. They were simply among that large group of people who populate the planet in various places and were never instructed in the proper method for washing dishes. I simply made it a habit to rewash anything that they had washed before I used it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So I would say, if you don't want to force those bad-ass UK moderators to shut this thread down, it is necessary to avoid political discussions and claims of general British uncleanliness, which are offensive, off-topic stereotypes...

I guess nobody took Fat Guy's warning seriously...not even Fat Guy himself. :smile:

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).

Un-salubrious dishwashing behaviour is not the sole purview of Englishmen, believe me. Manual dishwashing (indeed machine washing too, what about those who wash the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher?) is highly individual, and transcends borders. I've seen appalling technique used in many countries and ...in my own house. (Don't worry, not when you guys are over :smile: ) An Australian friend uses the dirty-tub-of-water method too, he says his mother has always done this to "save water" (and at the risk of starting another tangential discussion, I'm sure our semi-reactionary friends at The Ecologist magazine would say it's better to ingest old pieces of food, salmonella spores etc. than to waste water and/or use too many detergents - go put a lock on *that* Pandora's box)

I think we are all guilty of leaving that little bit of crud on the plates, and the sink. Enough said.


Edited by magnolia (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.....


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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:


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Wilma squawks no more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.