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Preparing Dishes for Washing

If possible, as soon as serving dishes, i.e. dishes used at the dining table, are soiled, scrape away bits of food from them. The scraping may be done with: (a) a piece of soft paper, (b) plate-scraper, (c) a knife or spoon. The latter is doubtless the most commonly used for dish scraping, but it is less efficient and may scratch china. If it is impossible to wash dishes soon after soiling, let them soak in water until they can be washed.

Cooking utensils need special care before washing, especially if they have held greasy foods. "Oil and water do not mix!" The grease from dish-water often collects in the drain-pipe and prevents or retards the drainage of waste water. This often means expensive plumber's bills and great inconvenience. Bear in mind the following cautions Before putting a utensil which has held fat into the dish-water, always wipe it carefully with a piece of paper. After wiping most of the grease from a pan or kettle, the remaining fat can be entirely removed by filling the utensil with hot water and then adding washing-soda. Boil the solution a few minutes. Fat and washing-soda react and form soap; hence the effectiveness of this method. (This method should not be applied to aluminum utensils; washing-soda or any alkaline substance makes a dark stain on aluminum.)

Utensils used in cooking can generally be washed with greater efficiency if they are soaked before washing. Fill each dish or pan with water, using cold water for all utensils which have held milk, cream, eggs, flour, or starch, and hot water for all dishes having contained sugar or sirup.


School and Home Cooking (1920).


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