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  • Topic: Dishwasher, Water, Dishwashing
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A person dishwashing
See also wash-up period, the period immediately before Parliament is dissolved, when outstanding Parliamentary business is concluded. The term dishwashing refers to cleaning eating and cooking utensils, in addition to dishes. In British English the term washing up is more common.

There are cultural divisions over rinsing and drying after washing.[citation needed]


Dishwashing is usually done using an implement for the washer to wield, unless done using an automated dishwasher. Commonly used implements include cloths, sponges, brushes or even steel wool when tackling particularly intransigent stuck-on food particles. As fingernails are often more effective than soft implements like cloths at dislodging hard particles, washing simply with the hands is also done and can be effective as well. Dishwashing detergent (aka "washing up liquid") is also generally used, but in principle all that is required is water. Rubber gloves are sometimes worn when washing dishes by people who are sensitive to hot water or dishwashing liquids, or who simply don't want to touch the old food particles.

Running water or sink

A major variation in method is the temperature and state of the water. Asians usually prefer running water because it is seen as being more hygienic as the water is not being reused, and usually use cold water. This is practical in environments where hot water is rarely available from the tap, and sinks are perceived as dirty surfaces (essentially a convenient drain). Westerners usually prefer standing hot water. This is practical in environments where hot water is cheaply and easily available, and sinks are perceived as clean surfaces (essentially a bowl with a convenient drainage device). In this method, the sink is usually first filled with dirty dishes (which may have already been rinsed and scraped to remove most food) and hot, soapy water. The detergent is added while the sink is filling with water, so a layer of suds forms at the top. Then the dishes are washed one by one and thoroughly rinsed to remove the grease dislodged by soap and mechanical action as well as the soap itself, then placed on a rack to begin drying, or dried and put away immediately by a second person. When the sink is empty, if there are more dishes to be washed they may be added to the same dishwater, or the sink may be drained and refilled if clean, hot dishwater is desired.[citation needed]

Separate tub in the sink

In some[which?] European countries, the dishes are generally washed in a separate tub placed inside the sink. This practice may have started as a matter of hygiene, as the kitchen sink was the only sink available for all the household water. The clothes were washed in the sink; the water used to wash the floor went down the sink, and so it made sense to separate the dishwater from the sink. There were two other possible reasons: First, kitchen sinks tended to be very large in a time when heating water was considered to be a major household expense; a tub used less water. Second, kitchen sinks were usually made of hard ceramic; any contact between the sink and plates was likely to cause chips, but a tub could be made of more forgiving material. Using a separate washing-up bowl in the sink also provides a place (down the gap between bowl and sink) to dispose of unfinished drink, soaking-water, etc. Unfortunately, using the gap for disposal of waste water requires extra vigilance to make sure food particles and other waste are not trapped under the bowl.



An automated dishwasher
Where dishes are to be shared among many, such as in restaurants, sanitization is necessary and desirable in order to prevent spread of microorganisms.

Most institutions have a dishwashing machine which sanitizes dishes by a final rinse in either very hot water or a chemical sanitizing solution such as...
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