How to deal with dirty dish dilemmas

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If your roommates are anything like Jim Halpert from The Office, they use old t-shirts as rags and give their dishes indefinite time to “soak.” Taking care of dirty dishes is always a drag, but doing the dishes in a college apartment is especially messy. An apartment mood depends on whether that one roommate finally cleaned out the pan they used to bake tuna-stuffed-mushrooms.

College students have bigger fish to fry than figuring out the culprit behind the crusty crock pot, but some say they have tricks up their sleeve for how to eliminate dirty dish stress.

Taking care of dirty dishes is always a drag, but doing the dishes in a college apartment is especially messy.
Taking care of dirty dishes is always a drag, but doing the dishes in a college apartment is especially messy.

“Before getting mad at your roommates, try to help as much as you can,” Senior Jen Riding said. “Even though it’s a pain.”

Everyone is quick to point a finger. Nobody has dishes in the sink, nobody has cooked this month and nobody has eaten at home this week. But dishes can be done in a matter of minutes. Be considerate of your roommates and hopefully they will return the favor. Not sharing your dishes is a sure-fire way to eliminate all blame in your apartment. If these tried-and-true tips do not help, you can always take matters into your own hands.

“I’m a forceful human being. If someone is really bad about doing their dishes I will put them in their bed,” Junior Alec Balkman said.

Some couch potatoes might need the rare reminder that their dishes are inconveniencing others. Putting their dishes in their bed might fire up a whole other fight, but a causal post-it note or funny text is a great way to help them remember. Several students on campus said they liked the dishes-in-bed approach because it’s a two-for-one: the deed acts as a prank but also is a service to the apartment’s well-being. Whatever your approach may be, do not, under any circumstance, mess with the George Foreman.

“Everyone takes their turn doing the dishes, but I have a George Foreman grill and people use it and leave their chicken grease on it,” junior Andrew Lamprecht explained. “Then I get mad.”

Scrubbing the dishes sounds like a daunting task after a long night of slaving in the kitchen. The big kitchen appliances are always the ones that hang around the kitchen sink for weeks on end, and with each passing day they get more impossible to clean. Resist the temptation to leave your pot roast bits “soaking” and roll up your sleeves until you can see your reflection in the pan.

Dirty dishes seem so trivial, but are at the root of many strained roomie relationships. Take these tips to your kitchen, but remember balance in all things.

Watch the common reactions to a sink full of dirty dishes.

 

Click here to take our dirty dishes poll; see how you compare with others when it comes to dirty dish reactions.

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