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Pet Peeve #8: Glasses in the Sink

February 5, 2010

Over the years, I’ve noticed a phenomenon related to how people deal with dirty glasses when they are visiting someone else’s house. Some people–myself included–put glasses in the dishwasher (if it’s clearly dirty) or on the counter. Others put their glass in the sink.

Those people are crazy. Here’s why:

  1. You can stack dirty plates on top of one another in a sink. But once you have a single glass in there, no plates can soak in your sink.
  2. Once you put a glass in the sink, you can no longer put it on the counter because it leaves a ring of nasty sink water on your marble countertop.
  3. Sinks are slightly sloped so that the water will drain, making it easier for glasses to fall over. Show of hands: How many of you have broken a wine glass in the sink? It’s happened to all of us. I once had a person put a shot glass in my sink. Somehow it made it’s way into the drain; guess what happened when I turned on the garbage disposal? Yep, that was a lot of fun to clean out.
  4. There’s a dishwasher right there! Just put it in there!

I really don’t understand this phenomenon. Do people think they’re helping you hide dirty dishes from view by putting them in the sink? Do these people not have dishwashers at home?

When you go to that wine and cheese party this weekend, do your host a favor: Either put your glass in the dishwasher, or leave it on the counter. They’ll thank you for the gesture.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2010 4:10 am

    I am replying now, or else it probably won’t happen, as usual.

    First off, I could not help but laugh about the shot glass. I am sympathetic for your trouble though. As a rule, I never place dishes in the dishwasher, but there are some exceptions. As a person who has a particular system for almost everything, I assume that other people are the same way. By placing a glass in someone’s dishwasher, there is great potential to mess up their system.

    I totally agree about placing glasses the sink. However, there is a strong defense for anyone who has done to me in the last few years. My last two houses have been without a dishwasher. As an added bonus, I have never had a garbage disposal either. At least not one hooked up and running.

  2. T-Mac permalink
    February 5, 2010 8:17 am

    Interesting! I never knew your opinion of glasses in the sink. I know that I’ve been guilty of this infraction many times (but not this most recent glass that sent you over the blog-writing edge). Throughout my life, I actually thought exactly the opposite about sink vs. counter. I always hated when people put glasses on the counter vs. the sink. To me, a glass on the counter always said, “I’m not finished drinking out of this,” and a glass in the sink signified, “This glass is not in use.” As for the dishwasher, I guess I always thought along the same lines as JS–that people can be particular about their dishwashers…you don’t stick your glasses in another man’s dishwasher…that it was akin to changing the preset radio stations in another person’s car or using someone else’s toenail clipper without asking. It was OK to insert dishes while the other person is inserting dishes because he/she can easily stop you and correct your dish error. The other issue with dishwashers is that, due to some people’s diligent prerinsing, I’m never 100% certain whether the dishes are clean or dirty. I would always put all dirty dishes into a dishwasher at once, and for awhile I kind of lived off of the clean dishes that were in the dishwasher…just plucking out what I needed until the pile in the sink/on the counter had become large enough to force me to put away the remaining dishes so I could insert new dirty ones all at once. Longwinded explanation!

    I’ll be sure to opt for the dishwasher first and counter second in the house of Stegmaier though!

  3. February 5, 2010 8:57 am

    ::thinking, thinking::

    OK. I think that this all boils down to personal preference.

    Frankly, I don’t care where my guests leave their dishes/plates (or sheets if overnight guests). Any effort to help is appreciated, but neither expected nor demanded. I anticipate being responsible for tidying up after them for these sorts of things. Frankly, I find it much more annoying that the RESIDENTS OF OUR ABODE put dirty dishes in the sink when there is a dishwasher with some dirty dishes right there (or while ignoring and thus refusing to unload the clean ones).

    Let me make it very clear that by using the term “RESIDENTS”, I mean my husband AND me. We both do it. It drives us each (and both) crazy. But neither of us are hard-wired to pick up after ourselves as we go along, so in the moment, where the drinking glass needs to go when we are done using it, where the receipt from the grocery trip goes, whether the packaging for the newest gizmo makes it into the trash? None of this comes naturally to us. So it usually sits right where it lands until one or the other of us cleans it up.

    The corollary to that is that if we don’t notice our own habits, we aren’t as likely to be particular about someone else’s. And vice versa.

    Anyway, I guess that’s why it is called a “pet” peeve.

    If it was universally annoying, it would eventually be deemed bad manners.

  4. Dionne permalink
    February 5, 2010 10:08 am

    First off, unless the person you are visiting TELLS you to put the dirty glass in the dishwasher then do that, BUT if they don’t and you don’t bother to ask then put it in the sink. I, personally, use my dishwasher as a drying rack and not what its really for (i have good reasons why, but won’t get into that right now) and so I WOULD NOT appreciate someone putting a dirty glass in my washer UNLESS I instructed them to do so. You, my friend, are Type A.

  5. February 5, 2010 10:16 am

    I belong to the crazy group and am raising my hand on behalf of breaking wine glasses, on numerous occasions. I also hide dirty dishes in the sink and sometimes my dishwasher is clean and I don’t unload it right away to make space for the dirty glasses.

    But you’re right. 🙂

  6. Gabby permalink
    February 5, 2010 10:17 am

    I put glasses in the sink b/c I usually put some water in them first. If I am drinking something other than water I don’t want to leave my host with a glass that has been sitting on a counter all evening and getting milk crust at the bottom of it. If I filled the glass with water as a sort of pre-rinse and left it on the counter then that seems kinda gross to me. Plus, I don’t believe in dishwashers, just ask Jamey.

  7. February 5, 2010 10:37 am

    Okay, it looks like I’m behind because I took the day off and just woke up, so I’m going to respond to these GREAT comments as a collective whole:

    Basically, you all have some great points. I feel bad for being so harsh in the post. (Really, I don’t get mad at people for doing this; I just shake my head after poker night and put dishes where they belong in the dishwasher).

    For a man of many systems, I don’t have a system for the top rack of the dishwasher. So I hadn’t considered the great point that many people do.

    But that does leave the counter. Trevor, I agree that if people are still hanging out, glasses on the counter mean, “I’m still drinking this.” But after everybody goes home for the night, no one is still drinking that. Thus, I think the counter is the best place for glasses.

    Like several of you, I do, on occasion, use a clean dishwasher as a dish shelf. Dishes pile up in the sink. But no glasses. Once you put a glass in there, it’s all over. You have to empty out the dishwasher at that point.

    Last, for all of you who may have different preferences about this sort of thing (which is fine), you totally have to agree with me about wine glasses. They simply don’t belong in the sink. They break too easily.

    Thanks for all the thoughts!

  8. February 5, 2010 10:42 am

    Ummm, we have a big sink. Both plates and glasses will fit standing up just fine. However, we do the dishes three times a day here (with 7 kids roaming about) so there is never a chance to have them soak 😉 That is the real issue here… why are you procrastinating doing your dishes by letting them soak?!? 😉

    Ahem, usually my guests leave their glasses and plates on the table and I clear them later.

  9. Nicholas Tolson permalink
    February 5, 2010 10:49 am

    It’s about time people started truly hosting parties again. Hosts need to stop requiring their guests to bring a dish to the dinner and guests need to stop feeling obligated to clean up.

    It’s a party, and there are roles for hosts and guests. Unless it’s a pot luck, you shouldn’t have to contribute anything other than a thank you gesture of a bottle of wine or flowers. And unless you’re roommates, you also shouldn’t have to help clean up.

    • February 5, 2010 5:45 pm

      Interesting point about hosting. I’m not sure it applies to my weekly poker night (the primary context for this post), but I still consider myself a host and try to provide for all those present. I shouldn’t expect anyone to put their dishes in the dishwasher–really, all I’d ask is that people put their glasses on the counter. Especially wine glasses (although we almost always drink beer).

  10. February 5, 2010 4:46 pm

    I have broken way too many wine glasses in the sink! Glad to know I’m not the only one who does this.

  11. Brian Gilmore permalink
    February 7, 2010 2:19 pm

    Another good question.

    I know this isn’t the direction the post takes, but generally speaking I find kitchen maintenance to be the single most important compatibility test in a roommate, whether the roommate is a buddy or a girlfriend. Aren’t on the same page with how dishes and trash get done? You will always be frustrated.

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