Culture Wars

Recognize this?

No? Well this brush is the subject of a HOT debate going on between Holland and the rest of the world. According to the Dutch, Dishes must be washed with a brush. It’s the only way to do it.

What, you didn’t know that? You thought there were various options: sponge, cloth, sponge-tipped soap dispenser etc., right? But no. There is only one right way. Apparently all Dutch children are taught this in school. I don’t know about you, but my home ec class never mentioned the dish-washing implement. Just that we had to do it, really.

So back to the brush. You can probably guess where this came from. I did the dishes quite a few times while at my in-law’s house. On the first day, my step-mother-in-law walked in and saw me using the sponge. Don’t worry, she set me straight. So, I picked up the brush, and thanks to the Dutch practice of closing doors, waited until she had left and closed the door behind her before going back to the sponge.

It may sound like this is just her, but it’s not. I’ve yet to visit a Dutch home that doesn’t use a brush for dish-washing. The whole debate is funny to me because when my mom visited one time, she went and bought a soap dispenser with a sponge on the end, because she didn’t like using my sponge. I (gracious as I am) threw a fit, because I didn’t want it cluttering up my sink area. (I’m REAL fun to live with.) Yeah, it was dumb. And my sister ended up going home with a new soap dispensing wand.

Let’s leave the Dutch to their vices.

Weigh in: What do YOU use?



9 thoughts on “Culture Wars

  1. I use a cloth. I don’t feel like the brush does a good job of cleaning everything off and it often gets gunk build-up between the bristles. Those crazy Dutchies.

  2. Yah, I use a sponge. And the other thing about the Dutch is that I have noticed that they don’t rinse their dishes. They must pre-wash them, or something, because the Dutch ladies I have seen while doing their dishes have just kind of swished them real well in the soapy water after washing them, and put them straight in the drying rack!!!

    1. Totally wanted to comment on the no rinsing thing, but I was afraid that might just be my husband’s family! I thought it might just be them. But apparently it IS a weird Dutch thing. Ha!

      1. The Dutch aren’t the only ones who don’t rinse. I discovered many, many years ago in Shell that Canadians don’t normally rinse the soap off either.

  3. Hmmm, interesting. I think it is quite fascinating how different cultures choose to do different things. Not that one is better than the other, just that they are different. Plus, everyone always seems to have a reason as to why they do certain things. We use a brush because of the bacteria growth on sponges and our need to have germs killed. (With E and all.)

  4. I use a pot scrubber for basically everything so I can sympathize with the Dutch on their love of a good, abrasive dish cleaning. Those sponge/soap dispenser things drive me crazy! The sponge is itty bitty and they seem like they’re always leaking soap all over the place.

    1. I know! They totally leak. That was the source of the disagreement with my mom when she bought one for me. Well, that and clutter.

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