For some reason I seem to write a lot of posts about domestic tasks and chores… which is strange since I actually don’t do many… I really hate housework, and although I do it, it’s always an effort. Some people seem to really enjoy household activities… Not me!

A friend from Australia remarked that it’s only British people who have plastic washing up bowls in their sinks… everyone else, according to him, just runs water straight into the sink and washes the dishes there. Well, I had no idea… So why do I use a washing up bowl? Well, I guess it’s useful to be able to take it out with the washing up still in it if I want to do something like strain the potatoes into the sink… I guess if you have two sinks then that isn’t a problem. Also if I only have a small amount of washing up to do I can boil water in the kettle and use that in my plastic bowl, rather than running the hot tap to have enough in the sink…

I know in some countries having a container full of water to wash dishes is thought to be unhygienic, and people prefer to do the washing up under a running tap… well, we have to pay for our water usage so that would be quite expensive, also, it might empty all the hot water from the tank, if the tap is just running…

Historically most ordinary households wouldn’t have had sinks; water would have been brought in buckets from a well or pump and then decanted as needed. Then a bowl to contain water to wash dishes would have been the only way to do it; later such chores as  washing clothes would have moved from an outside activity in a stream or river, to an inside activity, using a sink – then it would have been important to have a separate bowl for dish washing. The first sinks would have been made of some hard material, some sort of stoneware or ceramic and it would be easy to accidentally break dishes or cups against the sides, so an inserted tub or bowl would have been practical from that point of view.

I must say, until our Australian friend talked about how odd we are to have bowls, I had never considered it… now I think about it every time I stand at the sink!

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5 thoughts on “Washing up bowls

  1. My wife used to wash the dishes down at the creek but a beaver bit her and took off with the dish towel so I was forced to buy her a double sink. Darned critter cost me about 10 cases of beer!

    Liked by 1 person

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