Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Apr 19, 2012 08:44 AM

Cleaning up after dinner.

This morning, I finished cleaning up the dinner dishes as usual. While plates, glasses and silverware are usually put into the dishwasher right after dinner, we leave the pots and such soaking until the next morning. How about you? Is your kitchen cleaned before bed or are you fine with leaving some until the next morning?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Am I? No, I want everything cleaned up before heading up to bed.

    Problem is, Mr. CB is the clean up crew (I meal plan, shop and cook) and he flat out refuses (most of the time) to hand wash anything. So if the dishwasher is full, things sit until the next day. If I need the pot to cook, which I usually do, I will hand wash it. If I don't, it goes into the dishwasher when he cleans up again.

    If he would only follow my far superior method of clean-up and dish management.........but that is another topic :)

    20 Replies
    1. re: cleobeach

      This morning there was a large skillet, medium pot, cookie sheet and baking dish. If those had to go in the DW, they would have sat there at least all day...and the pots never get completely clean in my DW anyway.

      1. re: cleobeach

        No one recognizes my superiority here, either. I know the perfect way to load the dishwasher for maximum fullness and cleanliness, but others insist on doing things their way, oddly enough.

        1. re: Isolda

          Ha! Nice to know someone feels my pain.

          I learned to just keep my mouth shut. If he wants to take 2x as long to get the job done by doing it his way versus the quicker/better way, so be it.

          1. re: cleobeach

            When I realized the DW--how to load it, is it full enough, should we turn it on now--had become an ongoing topic of conversation with my husband (who cooks, washes dishes, loads DW too) I suggested we each do what we think is right, not comment on what the other has done, and run it when we see fit. At least we no longer sound like our own version of the PICKLES comic strip.

            1. re: escondido123

              The funny thing is, I never ran a DW until after I moved in with my husband. I was forbidden from touching it while growing up. The world would have ended if the DW was run and there was room for just one more fork. (My mom had some issues.)

              When I realized I was starting to act like her, I decided for the sake of harmony to let him load and run it however he saw fit. I don't even cringe when he runs a half full load, which for reasons too long and boring to explain, needs to happen at our house on occasion.

              1. re: cleobeach

                My mother is like that. I've spent years trying to explain to her that there gets to be a point where you overload the DW, reduce its efficiency, and not everything in it gets properly cleaned. Further, she also insists on pre-washing everything in the sink. Besides defeating the energy inefficiencies of the dishwasher, the detergent actually needs something to work against.

                But she thinks I'm crazy.

              2. re: escondido123

                We have had to institute a similar policy, only I cheat a little. After DH (or my son, who is equally bad) loads it, I will reorganize as necessary to use the space a little better. But I don't say a word. I'm a quietly superior person, you see.

                The weird thing to me is that men are supposed to be biologically superior when it comes to understanding spatial relationships (and in most cases, DH really is), but this doesn't translate to loading a dishwasher properly.

                1. re: Isolda

                  It also doesn't translate to stacking the dish rack properly, or organizing the fridge.

                  Or finding stuff in the fridge. Spatial superiority my ass.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    Or perhaps the spatial superiority is offset by laziness or a "why find the mayo when someone else can find it for me" attitude, or just the proverbial male pattern blindness.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      Or packing a suitcase or moving boxes...

                    2. re: Isolda

                      But I don't say a word. I'm a quietly superior person, you see.
                      Love it!

                      1. re: Isolda

                        I find this a fascinating phenomenon. I once lived in the same apartment building as two elderly widowers. Both were professional engineers. One had published six engineering textbooks. The other one had two PhD's in different kinds of engineering. Either of them would have been capable of inventing the concept "kitchen stove". However, neither of them, recently deprived of his wife's domestic attentiion, could figure out how to use the kitchen stove. We are not talking about making souffles. We are talking about boiling water to make a cup of instant coffee.

                        1. re: Querencia

                          That's my FIL. Brilliant engineer, but when he makes instant coffee - in the microwave, no less - he somehow doesn't realize that he should stir it!

                        2. re: escondido123

                          to escondido:

                          I resemble that last remark!

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            Sing it, sisters.

                            Because we have all got that first verse down, pat.

                      2. re: Isolda

                        Ha, ha! My DH seriously cannot load the DW. I have opened it in the morning to throw a sippy cup or something in it and have been compelled to "re-organize" his work. I may be a bit obsessed but I do have quite the knack for loading the DW. My mother-in-law once watched me and commented about how impressed she was and this is a woman who doesn't give compliments. So, I guess I have *that* skill to be proud of.

                        I dont claim to be the most organized person in the world, and I could probably mop a little more often but my kitchen needs to be clean before bed. Actually, I just recalled something from last Summer. I went through an extensive evaluation at a renowned hospital's program and was (after 30 years) diagnosed with ADHD. I completed quite a number of diagnostic questionnaires, etc., and during the feedback session, the PhD conducting the eval commented, "but you certainly do keep your kitchen clean, don't you?".

                        1. re: Isolda

                          Exactly! I can easily fit twice the amount of dishes in the dishwasher than my husband can. He likes to get up immediately from the table & get the dishes done, he can't stand having dishes stacked on the counter or in the sink. Typically I clean as I go so it's not usually not so bad to clean up.
                          I try to not interfere with his dishwasher loading, but somedays are harder than others. If he has a lot dishes left & no room, I don't hesitate to step in & re-arrange. He doesn't like to do pots & pans or wipe the counters so I usually finish up.
                          Call me crazy but I would much rather clean the kitchen up after dinner by myself than unload a clean dishwasher.
                          Oh & I don't have problem leaving a pan soaking all night or leaving a suitcase & laundry until the next day if I get home very late from a trip. However when we travel as soon as we get to our destination I have to unpack & get organized for the week.
                          We all have our quirks don't we?

                          1. re: jcattles

                            I try to not interfere with his dishwasher loading, but somedays are harder than others.
                            I just leave the room after dinner. Mr.Sueatmo has is own way and he does this job his way. I am thankful I don't have to do it my way.

                            But, secretly, I could do a better job loading. I really could.

                        2. re: cleobeach

                          I have the exact same set up. I cook/shop/plan, he does the cleaning up afterwards. Sometimes he asks me if he can come back to it a few hours later, but I insist its cleaned immediately. I dont want any unnecessary odours to linger, and I don't need dishes/pots to get any more crusty than needed. He claims it's the part of his day he dreads the most. HA! I say he is one lucky man.

                        3. As a general rule we clean up before bed. My jobs include meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, fridge clean out, and putting away clean dishes as well as loading the dishwasher. SO pre rinses and does the actual dish washing. If I don't empty the clean dishes and I have gone to bed he will empty the washer and put away the things that he knows where they go. If we have already run the washer and someone uses one dish or cup it will sit in the sink until we empty the clean dishes the next day.

                          After a party we always clean up entirely before going to bed with minimal clean up while guests are there. For late night parties we have been up until 4 cleaning. It takes about an hour to clean up from a party plus the rehash and eval of howuch was used/ eaten to know for the next year.

                          1. Always clean before bed.

                            But I am someone who when I move, I don't go to sleep until everything is unpacked and put away.

                            I also unpack luggage first thing when home from a trip.

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: Janet from Richmond

                              Janet, I am OCD about unpacking after a trip. Doesn't matter what time I return home, either. And have to have at least one load of laundry started, better if I can get one in the dryer and the second load started. We just returned home from Orlando this past Monday at 1:00 a.m. I had to be up at 6:30 to get my daughter to school, but didn't go to bed until my suitcase and hers were unpacked and put away, and laundry was mostly done. It may be quirky but it works for me.

                              1. re: jlhinwa

                                "Janet, I am OCD about unpacking after a trip. Doesn't matter what time I return home, either. "

                                Same here. I unpack and immediately make 3 piles of clothing: whites, colors and dry cleaning. If I have time, I start a load of wash, if not I do it bright and early the next morning because I always take that day off of work just for this reason!

                                I think this thread is going to reveal a lot about some of us! lol

                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                  Wow, it's so nice to meet other people with the same craziness! My family always made me feel I was the only one....

                                  1. re: Isolda

                                    Isolda, me too. My husband of 30 years still rolls his eyes each time, as if this is something new to him.

                              2. re: Janet from Richmond

                                Me 3!!! No matter how exhausted, the sink needs to be emptied and the kitchen cleaned before I go to bed. I'm not talking a full-on scrubbing of countertops, etc but things need to be in there place and THE SINK NEEDS TO BE EMPTY. I'm so OCD about this that it makes me uneasy when I am at a friend's house for dinner and they are so casual about the dishes. I feel like I need to do it for them. I envy others more laid back ways. It's weird though, I'm not a clean freak. Just an order freak.

                                Incidentally, my suitcase gets unpacked and everything put away the day I return too. :)

                                1. re: lynnlato

                                  Conversely, I hate it when my host(s) get up from the table and begin emptying the table and washing the dishes.
                                  It's almost like a 'time to go home, guests' sort of message. I've noticed when hosts do that they also empty their house.
                                  I'm very OCD when it comes to keeping my home clean but when it comes to dishes at night or when guests are in my home I either hire someone to keep the table cleared or clear it myself and close the door to the kitchen and do the dishes in the morning, early, with a pot of coffee.

                                  1. re: latindancer

                                    Agreed. Never do dishes when visitors are there. (Unless, of corse, they are the sisters and OCD BILs. NOTHING says "go home" to that group ;)

                                    1. re: gaffk

                                      Exactly. I remember being at a dinner party once with one of those OCD relatives who got up in the middle of the meal, went to the closet & got the vacuum out, and started vacuuming around and under the dining room table where we were all sitting.
                                      He made sure we all lifted our feet and legs and repositioned our chairs while he vacuumed away.

                                      1. re: latindancer

                                        One of my OCD BILs has been known to get up from the table, collect all trash and garbage and take out the bag(s).

                                    2. re: latindancer

                                      When we have guests and I do the dishes, my partner stays at the table with the guest this way ensuring that the evening is not over. Also, we have a pass-through from the kitchen to the dining room so that I can keep up conversation with my guests as I am cleaning and getting ready for the next course. It all works out well. I've never once had a guest think I was asking them to leave. As a matter of fact, my guests stayed so long at our last dinner party that not only had I cleaned up the kitchen, but I was sitting at the table for some time thinking in my head, "When will these people leave!" lol

                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                        I do sort of clean up while the guests are still there but I have a routine. I have the dishwasher empty and will clear the dishes and put them directly into the dishwasher, as opposed to stacking on the counter or in the sink. My husband stays at the table with the guests. Unless guests would follow me into the kitchen, they wouldn't know I was cleaning up.

                                        I do this because it bothers me to have dirty dishes sitting on the table while we are lingering over our dessert and wine.

                                      2. re: latindancer

                                        When we have guests, we empty the table between courses, and we get up to do that. We have limited counter space, so plates go directly into the dishwasher, and since our dishwasher is extremely quiet, and has a 15 minute wash cycle, we run the dishwasher while we serve dessert. Dessert dishes are left on the table until our guests leave. When we have a very large holiday dinner or formal dinner, we hire someone to help out in the kitchen.

                                  2. We hand wash almost always now. There are only 3 of us and I clean as a I cook, so there's just never enough to merit using the dishwasher. I don't like dishes left in the sink at all, especially to soak. If something is difficult to get off, I just put water in the pan and reheat it to easily remove any bits. Clean kitchen and sink every evening at chez velochic. Mr. velochic does some dish washing, but the kitchen duties from start to finish are pretty much my domain, which is fine as he works full-time and I do not.

                                    1. If something needs a good soak I don't hesitate to leave it out overnight. I do like all plates, cups, etc to be in the dishwasher.

                                      @Janet from Richmond: I flew home from Tucson on March 19 and there are still a few items in my suitcase. LOL! :-D I need to take a lesson from you.

                                      1 Reply