I am a fairly good cook. I like experimenting in the kitchen and take my palate to the limit. A fair amount of my time is spent browsing the web for new recipes. The hot food on my plate, with smoke rising as an offering to the ancestors, that’s my reward. The one part of being in the kitchen that I do not generally care for, is the dishes. I use up a lot of dishes while preparing a meal, from sifting flour to crushing garlic cloves. When it comes to washing the dishes, I suddenly get a slight headache.
I am not alone in this endeavour, most people I have met do not like doing dishes. Since I cannot afford to buy a dishwasher, I have devised a few simple techniques to help the hellhound task of washing dishes be more bearable.
There is nothing as discouraging as walking into the kitchen and finding a fort of dirty dishes. To get around the issue, you can wash the utensils after using them. While this may not apply to some items like the cooking pot, there are some that you can easily clean once done using. For instance, you can prepare everything you’ll use in your dish beforehand. Peel the potatoes, chop the onions, dice the tomatoes and so on, after that, the knife’s work is done and you can clean and store it.
As a kid, I would look for any excuse not to wash all the dishes. Cooking pots with burnt food were my favourite, I would soak them in water once I was done washing the dishes. Now that I have to wash my own dishes, I have had to adapt. Whenever I cook ugali or any food that may stick to the sides, I soak it in water immediately after I’m done with the cooking, this way when it comes to washing dishes, it’s easier to scrub the pots.
Know what needs washing
Not everything needs to be washed. Having this knowledge could save you a lot of time while washing the dishes. This may be just me, but I tend to overuse dishes (a fact I have had to come to terms with). If I want to make a fruit salad, I’ll use around three bowls. One for placing the fruits after washing them, a second one where all the peelings go, and a third one for mixing the salad. While the last two bowls may need a wash, the first one just needs a quick rinse and it goes back to the dish rack.
Invest in cleaning supplies
Yes, dishwashing is mundane and boring, there’s very little you can do to spruce it up. However, with the right equipment, you will get to clean more quickly and in a more efficient way. You should replace your dishwashing sponge before it’s all torn and tattered.
You can also buy washing supplies that will make you feel better while cleaning. Flavoured soap is easily found and you can try a flavour you either like or strongly identify with e.g. strawberry, apple, peach, etc. Also, get some washing gloves if you’re grossed out by murky water or would like to preserve your skin and nails.
Get your groove on
When you hear music blasting from my flat, know I am busy cleaning something. Singing alongside my beloved jams makes the time fly by, and makes the activity more enjoyable. You should get an enjoyable passive activity you can engage in while cleaning.
While dishwashing is not the most lucrative of house chores (is there a lucrative house chore, to begin with?), following the above tips should help you have an effective and somewhat exciting cleaning process. It wouldn’t hurt to change your outlook on dishwashing. Attitude goes a long way to influence interest and once you change that, the rhythm will flow on its own.