Monday, 7 May 2012

The Rules of Washing Up

Following university halls, student hovels and years of being a live-in landlord, my time as a house sharer is finally coming to an end. Over the last decade i have lived with all manner of people: some of them scrupulously clean and conscientious, others downright fucking filthy. There are few things i’ll miss about sharing my house and kitchen with these people, but more than anything i’m delighted to no longer be sharing a kitchen sink with them.
  • If you made it dirty, it’s your job to wash it up. If someone else does it on your behalf, be grateful. If people do not clear up after you, do not have the fucking temerity to complain about it.
  • An acceptable window of opportunity for washing up is one hour after you’ve eaten. Any longer than that makes your job infinitely harder as food dries and clings like cement to your crockery (cleaning as you go helps enormously and prevents you being overfaced by a mountain of filth later).
  • The longer you wait to wash, the longer you inconvenience others waiting to use the kitchen. Have some common decency and get on with it.
  • This ought to be common sense: clean the cleanest things first and the dirtiest thing last.
  • If you do leave dirty crockery (heaven forbid!) leave your festering leftovers next to the sink so you’re not stopping other people using it.
  • Buy washing-up liquid, sponges and cloths regularly. Failure to do so makes you a lazy freeloader.
  • Getting it wet is not getting it clean. Pans seem to be the least likely item to be cleaned properly given people’s propensity to wipe out their innards while disregarding the drips and spills on the outside of the pan. Oh, and plates need cleaning on both sides – especially when they’ve been stacked.
  • Your water should be as hot as you can stand it. And should contain decent washing-up liquid: there is no acceptable substitute. Not even shower gel.
  • Fat/oil does not mix with water (this is scientifically proven). If you don’t remove your bacon grease, lard or oil before washing up everything will be coated in a thin film of grease when you’re finished. Usually this means your items are dirtier than when you began.
  • If your plates/pans/cups/glasses are truly filthy, make sure they’re scraped and rinsed before you clean them. This helps avoid washing up in a watered-down soupy version of whatever you’ve just eaten.
  • Cutlery is not optional. Just because it’s smaller than your crockery doesn’t mean you can conveniently ‘forget’ about it.
  • If the draining board is full, try putting things away rather than playing kitchen Buckaroo.
  • The area in and around the sink also needs wiping and cleaning so as to avoid salmonella, e-coli and MRSA lingering in a food preparation area.
Thanks for reading.

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