FI Learning

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Project Steps: Doing the Dishes

Doing the dishes:

  • Start when the pile of dirty dishes looks like about enough to fill the dishwasher.
  • Take the clean dishes out of the dishwasher and put them away.
  • If any of the supposedly clean dishes are not clean, scrub them and/or put them with the dirty dishes to be washed again.
  • Take the clean dishes out of the dish rack and put them away.
  • Put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher. When you come across a dirty dish that shouldn’t go in the dishwasher, put it in the hand-wash area.
  • Generally start in the back and to the left of the dishwasher, putting the dirty dishes in their usual areas of the dishwasher. If you run out of space for things in their usual area, either find room somewhere else in the dishwasher or leave those things out to go in the next dishwasher load.
  • When the dishwasher is full, add detergent and close it.
  • Run the disposal.
  • Wash the hand-wash dishes, if any, and put them in the dish rack to dry.
  • Clean the counters.
  • Clean the stovetop if needed.
  • Start the dishwasher.
  • When the dishwasher is done running, open it and dump out any water that’s standing on the dishes so they can dry more easily.

(following the suggestion in this post)

Comments & Events

Andy Dufresne
We use a different process. As soon as the dishwasher is done running, we unload it. That works at least in part because we live in a dry climate and things pretty much dry just in the process of taking them out of the dishwasher and putting them wherever they go. 
With the dishwasher pretty much always empty, our policy is then that if you use a dish, immediately rinse it and put it in the dishwasher. That keeps stuff from caking on (again because things dry super fast where I am) and being harder to rinse later. When the dishwasher is full enough to run, we run it.
Hand wash stuff is only used at dinner time and is immediately hand washed after dinner.
Justin Mallone
I unload dishes after the dishwasher is finished but give the plates time to dry off first. One of the main things I like about having a dishwasher (other than the dishwashing part 🙂 ) is that it's a place for the dirty dishes to go other than piling up in my sink. My sink is pretty small and having dishes there meaningfully affects my ability to use my kitchen easily. But dishwasher can only serve as dirty dish storage zone if the clean dishes are outta there ASAP
Elliot, Fallible Ideas
You should write steps for 20+ more things rather than doing it once and stopping. Once isn't enough practice to learn it. Once is actually dangerous compared to zero times because it fools people (especially yourself) into thinking they've done it when they haven't.