Doing Dishes

Discussion in 'Skills and Smarts' started by TraditionalFrog, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. Veronica T

    Veronica T Familiar Face

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Illinois
    As a volunteer interpreter at Old World Wisconsin (nineteenth century European immigration and agriculture museum), I dressed as an eighteen-fifties woman to render the fat of a freshly slaughtered pig for making candles and a lye soap of lard, ashes from the wood burning stove and water (which presumably would have had to be fetched from a pond approximately a quarter mile away) and heated to boiling over a fire. The soap would have been used primarily for household chores as personal hygiene left something to be desired especially during the long winter but most people were more concerned with surviving than smelling sweet. There is a Finnish family represented at the museum that had the tradition of the sauna.

    Another nineteenth century dishwashing tip: Rub the dirty dish directly with cooled ashes.

    There was a general store in the village but it did not sell soap; mainly fabric, metal items, farm implements and coffee beans. And hats.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  2. MissNathalieVintage

    MissNathalieVintage Practically Family

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    759
    Location:
    Chicago
  3. Dixie_Amazon

    Dixie_Amazon Practically Family

    Messages:
    523
    Location:
    Redstick, LA
    If someone in the house was sick my grandmother poured a kettle of boiling water over the dishes draining in the rack. I am trying to do things more like she did. She lived to be 93 so I figure she was doing something right.
     
  4. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    This is how I sanitize my sponges.... pour a kettle of boiling water over it in the sink. We don't own a microwave, and although I grew up with a mother who used a dish rag instead of a sponge, I like using a sponge.
     
  5. lolly_loisides

    lolly_loisides One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,846
    Location:
    The Blue Mountains, Australia
    There's a company in New Zealand that are making soap savers again. They are somewhat bigger than the older ones to fit modern (larger) bars of soap.
    More info here
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  6. Mickey889

    Mickey889 New in Town

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    I don't know much about the history of dishwashing (and I'm a little embarrassed about that as I try to use vintage methods for things when I can!) but I have noticed that a lot of the time more natural methods and vintage methods many times coincide, so let me tell you how I do it! I have to be careful about what I use as I do have a roommate who is particular about certain things. I use liquid dish soap (when we run out I'm going to run the idea of different types of soaps by the roommate) in one side of the sink with the water as hot as I can stand it. I do use gloves when I can, but most rubber gloves are too big on me and I spend a lot of the time fixing them when I do use them. Then, in the side closest to the drying mat, I use cold-but-not-too-cold water with about a cup of white vinegar mixed in. Then I wash in the soap side and leave them to soak/rinse in the vinegar side. Easy as that! I started using vinegar because I found that even when my sponge was clean as could be my dishes would smell like wet dog. Vinegar fixed that easy!
     
  7. Mickey889

    Mickey889 New in Town

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    Hi! I just quickly tried to search that soap and it says it's laundry soap, am I looking at the wrong one?
     
  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Octagon's not around anymore, alas, but it was an "all purpose" soap. I wouldn't take a bath with it, but it was great for dishes, scrubbing floors, stuff like that.

    The one I use now is "Zote," a big block of plain white soap imported from Mexico -- has no extra ingredients, and gives a nice lot of suds. You can get it very cheap at Walmart, and one cake lasts about eight or nine months.
     
  9. Mickey889

    Mickey889 New in Town

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    Thank you so much!
     
  10. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,808
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    Kitchen Police this weekend. the kitchen's a mess and the sink is chock full to the top with dishes,
    utensils, pots and pans. Mea culpa.
     
  11. Mickey889

    Mickey889 New in Town

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    I'm using Zote now for handwashing dishes, but is there a certain way it should be done? I'm finding myself having to rewash them due to white filmy spots left on the glass, and even some grease left? I've never had an issue before with regular liquid dish soap.
     
  12. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I put the dishes in the dishpan with the soap and run up a big head of suds with very hot water -- and then take the soap bar out. That's very important -- if you leave the bar in the dishpan the water will be much soapier than it needs to be, and your soap bar won't last as long.

    I wash with a sponge and rinse again in vigorous hot water and leave in the drainer to dry -- I don't wipe dry. I don't notice a whole lot of spotting, but then again, I have very poor eyesight. Sometimes that can be an advantage.
     
    Dixie_Amazon likes this.
  13. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,015
    Location:
    New England
    Thank you. Yes, I see that now, five years later and a few eyeglass prescription upgrades later.
     
  14. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,669
    Location:
    New Forest
    Most of our every day dinner plates have spotting, it comes about due to my placing the plates in a hot oven prior to serving. It will come off but to do so, it's best left overnight to soak in a very weak bleach solution. The next morning, rinse off the solution and then leave the plates in a bowl and pour over a kettle full of boiling water, leave for a few minutes before removing plates. This will dissolve and remove all traces of bleach. You should never use a scourer on crockery, it creates microscopic scratches that can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
     
  15. MissNathalieVintage

    MissNathalieVintage Practically Family

    Messages:
    759
    Location:
    Chicago
    The way I do dishes when I am in a hurry is I just rinse the dish under the faucet and leave it in the sink for later.
    if there is food on it I wipe it with a sponge under a running faucet.
     
  16. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,895
    Location:
    Chicago
    I don't know why, but I've always found an odd satisfaction with hand washing dishes.
     
  17. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

    Messages:
    856
    Location:
    Western Reserve (Cleveland)
    We just bought a house (4 months go) that has a dish washer and a single sink. It has been the hardest thing to get used to. It seems that there are always dirty dishes in the sink waiting to go in the washer. I still prefer washing in one sink, rinsing in another and drying in a rack.
     
    Tiki Tom likes this.
  18. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,172
    Location:
    Oahu, North Polynesia
    I also find dishwashing therapeutic. Not to over think it, but I get a sense of having accomplished something when I whip through a sink full of dirty dishes and they are all now sparkling in the drying rack. Beginning, middle, END. A tangible task has been completed! Well done! So unlike my nine-to-five duties that are never truly done, are always threatening to bounce back onto my desk, and which require multiple sign-offs from multiple idiots colleagues. In comparison, doing dishes is therapy that does my soul good.
     
    Bushman likes this.

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