Designed by Nicole Skarlatos

Something no one is told before moving in with roommates is that dishes tend to become a major issue at one point or another.

When moving in, the first thing that should be done with roommates is determining what the dish and dishwashing situation is. As adults, everyone should be responsible only for what items they used. If a roommate has a significant other or a friend over, the dish is still their responsibility. The next item on the agenda is to decide what a clean dish actually is. Here is a universal way to say what clean is: if there is any speck of food from the last time the dish was used still on the dish, it’s not clean. But even after a civil discussion with roommates about plates, bowls and silverware — issues still arise. Apparently many people are not taught how to properly wash and put back dishes from their parents.

The first problem arises when one person uses someone else’s dish without washing it. If your roommate bought a pan and you borrow it to make an omelette, wash it thoroughly after instead of being a garbage human being. If your parents wouldn’t let you get away with it, don’t do it to your roommate.

Another common problem is leaving dishes unwashed for too long. People get busy, that is a given, but it shouldn’t take six days for someone to wash a bowl that had some chicken alfredo in it. The easiest solution is to wash the dish within 48 hours. If a dish is not washed within that time frame, it is acceptable to politely confront them.

It’s perfectly reasonable to not wash the pot full of meat sauce immediately after. That leads leftover food sticking to the dishes, meaning the dishes need to be soaked, but letting dishes soak is not a hard task. Leaving water inside of a pot for three days isn’t going to clean the four-day old sauce inside of it. Additionally, dishes can not soak properly in cold water, that is probably a scientific fact. If you don’t take cold baths, why would you wash a dish in cold water. If you’re thinking about using a dishwasher to get the dried food out, don’t. This may be news to people but dishwashers do not actually wash dishes. Dishwashers only waste water and make too much noise.

The proper way to soak a pot, pan or any other food stain item is simple. First run the water until it’s hot, then put a squeeze of dish soap in or on the dish and apply the water. If done properly, it should only be a few minutes before the food comes off, then finish washing the dish — which does not mean just rinsing it.

Doing all of this should alleviate much of the tension roommates have towards each other’s dishes. If you’re still too incompetent to wash a dish properly after this, the only solution is to use plastic silverware and disposable bowls and plates.