Washing dishes is easy, right? Just shove ’em in the dishwasher or leave them in the sink for the Dish Fairy, amiright? Alas, my little fledglings, there is no magical Dish Fairy once you’ve left the nest. Hint: there never was one. (Crazy, I know.)
There’s an old joke about a young bachelor who, upon learning his mother was coming to visit, filled the bathtub with his dirty dishes so she wouldn’t see them piled on his kitchen counter. Dishes are one of those things best done early and often, as the task may seem overwhelming once they’ve piled up a bit. Always scrape any excess food particles into a trash can or in-sink garbage disposal. Next, figure out whether the dish in question can be put in the dishwasher (if you have one), or if it has to be hand-washed. For me, it seems obvious which dishes have to be hand-washed, but my fledgling roommates needed some help, so I created a decision tree to help them figure it out on their own. While it doesn’t cover everything (yes, my Corelle platter is technically larger than a dinner plate; no it doesn’t HAVE to be hand-washed), it’s a good start for making smart choices.