The British and their odd ways

“England has the worst beer in the world; nasty, warm, sticky stuff with various forms of pond life in it…” John Cleese from 1982 commercial

Do the British not rinse dishes after washing them?

Dear Cecil,
I am English, aged 66yrs, been married 40yrs and the only person I have ever met who didnt rinse dishes was my sister-in-law who claimed that she didnt rinse them was because she had a water meter. When it was pointed out to her that the last plate washed bore the residue of all the previous ones she started rinsing.
J. Hughes, Nottingham, England.

The two world wars took a far greater toll of the Brits than of the US, as such slowing progress in many sectors. The US population was over 100 million from before 1900 (the UK a mere 35M), so it’s easy to see how things got going from “Little House on the Prairie” hygiene to today’s standards, more quickly. The slow change was also influenced by the industrial revolution with dense population centres for the wool and cotton industries (2up, 2 down and an outside loo - no hot water). In those days there were no cars so employees had to be close by - they had to be “packed into” small houses - my maternal grandparents lived in one. Heating water on the stove to pour into a brass bath-tub in front of the living room fire - that was in the 1950s. Single sinks were the standard for some time after that (not enough space for a double) - my sister had no means of rincing dishes but she now has a dish-washer.

The U.S. population in 1900 was 76,212,168. And U.S. hygiene wasn’t that hot before WWII. A large proportion were pretty poor.

Come on, people! England bequeathed to the world a language which spans the world, four or five Anglophone nations, all rich, influential and, in one case, globally dominant, and Cary Grant.

You want us to have good teeth too? Get outa here!

[Reg of the People’s Front of Britain]

Well, what have the English ever done for us? :mad:


I am British and I rinse dishes thoroughly. My American wife thought I was odd to do so, to the point of sometimes being quite snarky about it, but I did not really like the bits of dried-up old food that sometimes remained on dishes and pans that she had “washed”.

Modern dishwashing liquids contian hormone mimickers/hormone disrupters which mimic estrogen. They promote precocious puberty in girls and wimpiness in boys.

It is hard enough to remove all residue when you are really trying, but to leave it on knowingly is ridiculous.

No wonder the Empire is gone and the whole country is becoming more and more third world.

In regards to the British not rinsing their dishes, you can add Australia, Canada and New Zealand to that. I spent some time in those places and observed it a number of times.

Columbus, OH

Cite for this, please?

Join date 2007…2 posts, and this is one! Gold.

And I think in a thread about the British, you should spell it “oestrogen”.

Quite right and long may it remain.

Read this thread and thought it was about not rinsing before placing in the dishwasher. But no. :smack:

It has never occurred to me to rinse dishes in a sink of hot water, having washed them first. Thats like washing them twice!

I’ve never lived in a house with two kitchen sinks. I do know a few people who have them but virtually everyone has a dishwasher.

On the odd occasion when I hand wash some plates/pots etc, these are placed in a draining rack beside the sink. If I’m lucky a sullen teenager will stand beside me drying the washed items with a tea towel, and then stacking in the cupboard. Or I’ll do the drying myself.

I honestly cannot see the problem. The tea towel removes any detectable trace of soap plus any detritus from the washing water. Then it is usually hung on the oven door where it drys for next time.

Tea towels:

Is water really that expensive that you can’t turn on the cold water tap to rinse dishes lightly after they’ve been scrubbed?

I lived in England in a flat about 4 decades ago with my family. We were shocked that the phone in our flat was a pay phone! The landlord was proud to tell us that the pay stove had recently been replaced. He explained that the gas line had a pay box on it, and the gas company recently went to monthly billing for this flat. I was never sure whether he was joking or not. This is the land of Peter Cook, John Cleese, Beyond the Fringe, and Monty Python. They do have a very strong sense of humor, but straight faced low key humor is not their strong suit.

One of the things that made an impression on me was the lackadaisical attitude to milk refrigeration. Milk was stored outside on the sidewalk in the front of grocery stores, and delivered daily to both stores and homes in little unrefrigerated milk trucks that resembled sardine cans. It was always warm. I guess if you grew up drinking milk like that, a little soap residue on your dishes isn’t that bad.

Do you know, I have no idea.

I’ll ask my valet, who’ll ask the housekeeper, who’ll ask a scullery maid.

I’ll report back directly after tiffin.

I once had to repair my Mother’s dishwasher. The tiny pump that empties the washer was choked with what my Wife describes in an industrial dish washer as “dishwasher stew”. It is to avoid that experience that I lightly wash everything that goes into the washer.

Poorly researched article based upon the anecdote of one person’s childhood, combined with a few tired cliches and hackneyed stereotypes. Deeply disappointing.

How old was it? Modern dishwashers have food grinders to prevent this sort of problem. Some older models (and here I’m thinking late 1990s Bosch models) had a filter that needed to be cleaned occasionally.

I have no idea, this would have been fifteen or twenty years ago.

Good on Fierra, hope she keeps Cecil in line.
We are English. My dear wife has had a dishwasher for 54 years, Me. We had an automatic one for a while, waste of time. As a retired health worker, I appreciate the importance of good hygiene, a well washed, and dried plate is clean and safe, whether rinsed as well, or not. We have NEVER tasted soap on the plates, but its usually the dog that licks them, not us.