Washing Dishes the OCD Way! (Topic#031)

Running Water

Running Water

This is not really how everyone with OCD washes dishes! Just me! This is meant to be a comical rendition (although it’s 100% true).

  1. Pull out your designated “kitchen” rubber gloves.
  2. Let the faucet water get warm (catch the cold water to use for house plants or pet dishes).
  3. If your sponge (or rag) has any odor or extreme discoloration, throw it out and pick up a new one (or pull out a freshly-laundered one).
  4. Either way, rinse the sponge thoroughly with water as hot as you can stand (referred to as “warm water” in the rest of this post, but is preferably slightly scalding).
  5. Place a drop of Earth-friendly dish soap on your sponge.
  6. Take a deep breath and assess the situation.
  7. Try to arrange things so that the larger bowls or pots are near the bottom and are going to collect soapy water (unless you already have a sink that plugs and is filled with warm, soapy water).
  8. If anything might have had raw meat juices (or raw egg) touch it, or is extremely greasy, place those aside for now. They won’t be going into the soapy water, and won’t be touching your sponge yet. Because you don’t want to contaminate the rest of the items.
  9. Let’s go with utensil for now, because it’s on top.
  10. Scrub your sponge over every part of the utensil. Make sure fabric gets between every tine or nook or cranny. The handle, the sides, the bottom, everything. Do it several times, just to be sure it is clean.
  11. Check it in the light and make sure all bits are smooth and nothing remains.
  12. If you have one side of the sink empty, place there and collect all scrubbed items there for now.
  13. If you don’t have one side of the sink for this purpose, go ahead and rinse your single utensil now.
  14. Do so over the bowls or tub so that it will collect your soapy water.
  15. After rinsing, check item in the light again and make SURE it is spotless.
  16. If it’s not spotless, go back to the scrubbing step.
  17. Place utensil in drying rack so that the part that touches your mouth faces upward and can certainly dry (or sideways, if that’s how your drying rack is designed).
  18. Continue with more utensils in the same manner.
  19. If you have a handful of the soapy utensils, go ahead and rinse them now.
  20. Hold them all under the faucet so you can pretend you are not wasting water.
  21. Make sure to spread each one individually beneath the running water to make sure all soap is removed.
  22. Make sure your gloves have no soap on them.
  23. Run your (gloved) fingers over each utensil as if helping to remove all soap, while rinsing.
  24. Place mouth-side up (or sideways) in dish drying rack.
  25. Spread items out and arrange as much as possible to allow optimal draining and drying.
  26. Continue on with the next item. It’s a Tupperware. Oh. No.
  27. Anywhere that the plastic pulls inward, spend extra time scrubbing.
  28. Anywhere that there may be a ring, indention, or groove, spend extra time scrubbing.
  29. Really make sure you fold a corner of your sponge and run it in along each groove, to make sure no bacteria remains there. Lids are especially challenging.
  30. Collect to the side or rinse as before.
  31. By now, you should have nice warm, soapy water collected in a bowl, pot, tub, sink or whatever.
  32. Place any remaining small items in that water to soak as you tackle the next, larger items.
  33. You can use that soapy water to wet your sponge and the item you’re working on.
  34. By now, it’s time to add another drop of soap to your sponge. Because the old soap is surely worn off.
  35. Repeat.
  36. Now you are done with all of the non-raw-meat dishes. It’s time to tackle the meat dishes.
  37. Now it’s okay to get the raw juices on your sponge and in the sink.
  38. If the item is extremely greasy, rinse first to spare all that grease from going into your sponge.
  39. (You have wiped off all excess grease, peanut butter, and other thick substances with your (gloved) fingers, to spare your sponge from getting dirty prematurely.)
  40. Scrub as before, and rinse, and use your (gloved) fingers as it feels right to “help” the cleaning along.
  41. Add more soap to your sponge.
  42. Keep scrubbing.
  43. Rinse for a very long time.
  44. When you are done with all dishes, now it’s time to rinse your sponge. A lot. Because of the meat juices.
  45. You’re almost done! Now it’s time to wash the sink itself, and the strainer, and the counters and any other place the meaty dishes might have touched.
  46. Do so by loading on more soap to your sponge.
  47. (If you have a different chemical you wish to use for this, do so, but remember to switch to a different, dedicated sponge for that chemical).
  48. Scrub.
  49. Rinse well.
  50. Keep rinsing, because you put way too much soap on that sponge.
  51. Now rinse rinse rinse your sponge again.
  52. Squeeze as much water out as you can, and place sponge where it has a chance to dry (NOT inside of your sink!!!).
  53. Hang your gloves so they can dry.
  54. If any drop of water got inside, hang them upside down so they can drain, too.
  55. Survey your work and feel pleased with the squeaky-cleanness of it.
  56. Go into another room where your living partner says, “How could that have taken you two hours??? How about I wash the dishes from now on and you put them away?!” Okay! ❤
  57. Two days later, go to grab a dish the other person cleaned, find a speck of food on it, don’t say anything, just set it back down and grab a different one…

**UPDATE** I forgot to mention the Tupperwares filled with moldy food! Either just throw them away or, if someone else is home, ask them to take care of it, outdoors. Mold spores are not to be breathed in. Maybe you can take care of it yourself, outdoors, if you have your gloves and a mask.

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