Are You Happy To Let Someone Else Do The Dishes?

Are You Happy To Let Someone Else Do The Dishes?

In an Ask Me Anything interview on Reddit earlier this week, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said that he generally washed the dishes at Gates Mansion, largely because he didn’t like the way other people did it. Can you relate to that?

Dishwashing picture from Shutterstock

“Other people volunteer but I like the way I do it,” Gates explained. I feel the same way. I want the dishes at my place washed in a specific order and placed in a precise location on the rack to dry. But I’m sure there are many other people who take the view that as long as someone else is doing the dishes (or loading the dishwasher), they don’t care how they get done. Where do you sit?

[polldaddy poll=7792318]


  • I let my wife do the dishes, but I cant watch; because she doesn’t do them as meticulously as I do. when I do the dishes, it takes me ages. I rinse everything first, I have a set order of what category of things I clean (glasses, plates, utensils, cutlery), and I clean the dish cloths before I clean the dishes.
    But i figure if I don’t see how its done, I am less likely to hold the results up to the standards i do when im doing it myself.

    • In know what you mean. I tend to use a second tub to wash everything for bulky stuff first (sauce, dough, etc) and a second one as the fine wash (either dishwasher or hand wash).

  • One tip for those in relationships and in share houses: nobody ever has a legitimate argument against somebody who is doing the dishes. It’s immunity from prosecution in it’s purest form.

    • I remember being in my first share house with two college friends. We had a cooking and washing up rotation, but I insisted on washing up my own cooking efforts. The other two complained bitterly because they each generated a lot of mess in the kitchen, whereas I tend to wash or rinse as I go.

  • If someone else is doing them, great! But when I do them I have a set order. 1. Glasses, cups, mugs. 2. Cutlery goes in to soak (except sharp knives!). 3. Plates. 4. Bowls. 5. Wash cutlery (including knives). 6. Everything else.

    After having people over for dinner one night I noticed a friend doing the dishes in the same order. We realised that we had picked it up from our home economics teacher as we went to the same high school. 200 odd kilometres away!

  • After about four years of trying to convince my flatmates to do them, I’ve given up. It takes 10 minutes to do, which is probably less time than the arguments take if I ask them.

  • Dishes are right up the top of my No-One-Else-Can-Do-It-Right-Except-Me list. I’m totally pedantic and absolute hate it when people don’t wash the soap off the dishes, it drives me completely up the wall.

    • I don’t even think of myself as pedantic and it does my head in. how can you put a soapy dish on a rack to dry? you’re going to EAT OFF THAT. it HAS SOAP ON IT.

  • @rickinoz, do you rinse your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher? I always do; they come out cleaner and I feel weird knowing that any food scraps in the machine are in the water I’m supposed to be cleaning my plates with.

    I’m also really picky about what I machine-wash, I always hand wash frypans, expensive knives and large pots myself. But if other people are offering to do them, I don’t care how they stack them or what order they do it in – as long as the kitchen is tidy and I can cook in it, I’m happy.

    • No to rinsing … don’t seem to need to … good machine and detergent and rinse aid cleans the lot (almost) every time. The odd thing goes a 2nd time but few and far between.

      Dishwasher has 2 wash stages with draining and clean water fill between. So not concerned about dirty water … and detergent should bind up fat etc anyway. Washing in a sink is no better.

      Simple solution to 2nd point … we don’t have/use nice things. IKEA stuff is perfectly good enough and it all seems to be dishwasher safe. Our machine is a Tardis so it all goes in.

      • Haha your dishwasher sounds magical and awesome. Most kitchen stuff I’m happy to buy cheap (the fry pans aren’t expensive, I’d still rather extend their lifespan though) but knives I won’t compromise on. Ever tried cubing a pumpkin with a dodgy blade? It’s gonna be a bad time 😛

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