How to Clean Your British Kitchen

I got into an arguement with my housemate yesterday. She is a bit obsessive and she kept going over the same problem again and again, despite my reassurance I would clean differently AND my partner telling both of us to back off. Looking back on the disagreement, I think I found another small difference between Americans and British.

When I have dirty dishes, instead of leaving them stacked next to the sink, I immediately put them in. I might not wash them that instant, but then I don’t have to look at filthy plates all over the kitchen. As far as I am aware, a majority of my American friends and family are like this. In some cases we leave unwashed dishes in the sink because we want to fill up a whole load in the dishwasher. Other times, it is just because we want to do ALL the dishes at once. Either way, it is the norm in America.

But in living in a house full of English, I observe that if the dishes are not washed right away, they are left scattered about, BUT not ever in the sink.

I was cleaning our kitchen and proceeded to put all dishes that weren’t in cabinets into the sink because I assume they are unclean, and I needed to wipe down the counters. Enter my housemate: who lost her mind. She had left clean dishes out, and blamed me for them being put in the sink. When I attempted to point out that she should instead put her things away, she only got more upset. (Didn’t you know that is an unreasonable request/notion).

Now in the future, so as not to upset this one precious housemate, I must leave all dishes piled on the counter, clean or not.

Now this is probably a generalization about the treatment of dishes in both America and England, but I can’t help but notice the difference. And be extremely annoyed that I actually was chewed out because I cleaned.

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