I really hate doing dishes


We all have some chore we profoundly dislike. For me, it’s all things related to dishes. I don’t like scrubbing them, and I don’t like emptying the dishwasher either. Oh, I know life is better than the days when, in one of my old magazines, an ad showed a woman with a stack of roughly 1000 dishes, and reported that this is how many she had to wash by hand each month.

Still, whenever we dislike something, we have a tendency to massively overestimate how much time it takes. I have timed myself, and I know I spend far less than an hour each week on dish-related chores. But because it happens in small spurts often, it feels like it takes more time than it does. I suspect this is why, in one 1998-1999 study, women estimated they spent 5.5 hours per week doing dishes, when their time diaries showed they spent 1.1.

Since the cold snap happened in Brisbane I’ve gone from a ham and salad wrap, wrapped up in glad-wrap, to a tin of bake beans that require to be heated in the microwave in a bowl… I then have to wash up.  I go to profound lengths to steer clear of the dishes in my life.  I use a foam cup at work every day for hot drinks, I replace the 1 liter bottle of water on my desk each week so I wont have to wash it.

So I hate doing dishes. What can be done about it?

Ignore. An underutilized option, but I could always just let them pile up in the tea room. Either they’ll stay piled up, or some other person/cleaner will lose the game of kitchen chicken and do them.  I use paper towels to place toast, piece of cake an other items on I bring back to my desk, for the sake of not having to wash up. Throwing out foam cups, paper towels and glad-wrap are easy wash free options.  At home, I simply place all dishes in the dishwasher, and pretend the dishwasher does not exist at all other times.

Minimize. Another option is to use fewer dishes.  Don’t use serving dishes.  Cook stuff that comes off easily. Use paper plates, paper towels, foam cups to cook bake beans in or put grapes in.  At home, I cook with one pot, and reuse knives from preparing food, wash off and use again for eating, then everything goes into the imaginary dishwasher.

Outsource. This is harder to pull off in the usual sense of outsourcing, unless you have a cleaner who is there every day (we have one in my workplace). When the workplace cleaner arrives for the day, she cleans the toilets first and then moves to the kitchen, in the small time frame between the two office locations I place my dirty dishes in the sink…. magically they become clean!

I love cleaning in all other regards, and find it can be a great way to clear your mind.   I’ll make a good housewife…. if his prepared to do the dishes.

What chore do you dislike most? How have you ignored, minimized or outsourced it?