Two Modes of Washing Dishes

Over the years I’ve noticed that Americans on the one hand, and Brits (including Aussies and Kiwis) on the other, have different modes of washing dishes. 

Americans wash, then rinse. Sometimes they will dry the dishes with a dish towel but more often they let them air dry them in a drying rack. This generally entails a second step of putting the dry dishes away, but no tedious drying step.

Those in the British orbit wash the dishes, then dry them with a dish towel, without rinsing. Dishes can then be put away as they are dried. Brits don’t use drying racks, since then there would be a soapy residue. And they go through a lot of “tea towels”!

I first encountered this dissonence on an Earthwatch trip to Scotland, where the Americans had to learn the British system. Since then I’ve run across the issue on many trips to Australia and New Zealand. One adjusts of course, but there’s still often an odd moment when an American can’t find the drying rack or a Brit asks why the Americans insist on rinsing perfectly clean dishes. 

I’d be curious to know whether others have run across this, and particularly whether the simple dichotomy I’m proposing is an oversimplification.

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