For years I ignored it. It just couldn’t be. In the staff room, after lunch, those soapy dishes left in the drying rack… I mean, surely, someone was going to come along and rinse them, right? The soapy residue taste when I ate a friend’s house… well, I must have been imagining it.
When I moved to Australia seven years ago, everything was new anyways, so what was a little soap on the dishes?
When you witness something that’s borderline sketchy…. what do you do?
I dared not speak up.
What if I offended? What if I looked stupid? What if I wrongly accused people of not washing soap of the dishes, when in fact they were?!
I kept my mouth shut for years.
I had good faith that those soapy dishes, left dripping in the dish rack, were secretely rinsing themselves.
Until… one day, amongst a group of good friends, I finally built up the nerve to ask.
“Nell…” I said.
“Yes…” She replied.
“Do you… Do you not rinse the soap off your dishes?” I asked
“Nooowrrr…” (That’s “No” in Australian) She answered.
I put my hands to my temples and furrowed my brows.
“Are you serious!?” I blurted out!
“Well… Are you suppoooosed to rinse them?” She said.
We took a poll. Almost everyone in the room did NOT rinse the soap off their dishes when hand washing. If they did, it was selected rinsing. They might rinse a mug, but not their pots. They might dump a jug of fresh water over all the soapy dishes in the dish rack, *if* they felt like it, to get the extra soap off.
It was a riot. We were cracking up. They couldn’t believe I wasted the time and energy to rinse. I couldn’t believe they left soap on their dishes.
“So, what happens to the soap?” I asked.
“It just evaporates. You can’t taste it.” They all said.
I taste it.
But, at least now, I accept it… it’s sort of like going over to my Jewish grandmother’s house and knowing that there won’t be any salt in the food.
A few soapy bubbles in my cuppa? No problemo.
Soapy taste in the chopped fruit bowl at playgroup? Well, honey, that’s just the way it is.
Sometimes my friends know I’m coming over and they rinse for me! It’s very considerate of them… although I can’t help but feel sorry that when I’m not there, they’re eating soapy residue.
I took a poll on my Facebook page, with ‘likers‘ from all over the world, and I had, by far, the most comments on any post I’ve made in YEARS! Some people, on either side of the argument, seemed outright offended!
Disgusting! Outrageous! Whaddyamean ya don’t wash the soap off!
Waste of time! Waste of water!
It seemed that mostly the North Americans were the ones rinsing their dishes. Many Australians and Europeans (not all) don’t rinse the soap and saw rinsing as, not only as a waste of time, but as a waste of water as well.
I understand. I really do. Running water and water abundance is not something that everyone in the world gets to enjoy. In the desert, water is so scarce that they clean their dishes with sand. It just so happens, that growing up on the east coast of America, no one ever seemed to be concerned with water conservation, we had plenty of it (or so I was raised to believe to way).
I know it’s not the most important topic in the world… but we’ve all had to wash dishes at some point in our life, how funny that there’s no one way to do it. And, I do understand that the people reading this post who own dishwashers, are thinking that hand washing dishes, in the first place, is the most ridiculous thing of all.