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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Daisy on May 19, 2009
"It takes me 15-20 minutes to handwash my dishes every night. It took me half an hour to write this out! And my instructions are long!"

How to handwash dishes

I. First, sort the items to be washed into piles of similar items. Your piles may differ from mine depending on what sort of dish sets you own. The piles may also vary from meal to meal, and day to day. My piles usually consist of some or all of the following:

1. Flatware
2. Cooking utensils
3. Small dishes
4. Large dishes
5. Small bowls
6. Large bowls
7. Cups
8. Glasses
9. Pots
10. Pans
11. Lids for pots and pans
12. Tupperware

II. Once you have the items sorted, squirt an appropriate amount of dish soap into a plastic tub. Fill the tub with water at the hottest temperature you can tolerate.

III. Now fill another tub with clean water. Again, the temperature should be the hottest you can tolerate.

IV. Start by washing the flatware. Scrub each item with your soapy cleaning pad. Focus on the part of the item that gets most contact with food or your mouth (e.g. the middle of a plate, the top of a fork). Use your hands to feel the item to make no dried on food is still stuck on the item. Use your fingernails to scratch off the dried on food if necessary.

V. Transfer the flatware into the clean tub after you've scrubbed them in the soapy water. Add the cooking utensils into the soapy water and let them soak during the next step.

VI. Using a separate cleaning pad, scrub the flatware in the clean tub to ensure cleanliness.

VII. Give the flatware a quick rinse with clean tap water. Use hottest water you can tolerate so as not to add cold water to your tub.

VIII. Arrange clean flatware in the flatware pocket of your drying rack.

IX. Repeat steps IV to VIII for the cooking utensils, soaking the next item on the list during step V. Repeat for every item on the list until all items are clean. It may be necessary to refresh your soapy water if your items are particularly dirty.

X. A word about arrangement of items on drying rack. After the flatware and cooking utensils, place the small plates on first. They take up about half the width of the drying rack. Put small bowls, then larger bowls behind them. Place the large plates on the other half of width, but in a perpendicular position. In the space between the large plates and the small plate/bowls, place any tall glasses and cups that can fit. On the cup-leaves on the side of the rack, I place only small cups.

XI. On the counter, place one or two clean, dry dish towels. Pots and pans can be placed on top of these towels. Smaller item should be on the bottom. Larger items go on top of those. Try to place pots on the towels so that there is a space for air to get inside the pot. If the air is sealed inside, sometimes you get a musty smell from the wet towel. Extra cups and glasses that cannot fit on the drying rack can also be placed on the towels. Lids can go on top of the dishes on the drying rack. Tupperware containers and lids can also be placed there.

XII. It is not necessary to dry items with a cloth. In about an hour or two, the dishes will be dry and you can put them away.

Now, for how to arrange your dishes on your shelves ..... or maybe not!

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