When Mom Gets to Say I Told You So: Plus Bonus DIY Plumbing Tip!

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A pile of dirty dishes in the sink isn't what you're used to seeing on The Kitchn. And y'all know better than to stack dishes in the sink, even if the dishwasher is full, right? I have told my children over and over — and, let's be honest, my husband, too — that dish stacking in the sink can only lead to disaster. The other day, I was proven right, though it was a bittersweet victory, since I had to solve the resulting plumbing issue myself.

Dish stacking is an ongoing issue, since we regularly host a large crew in our normal sized kitchen. The dishwasher gets full. Counter space is at a minimum. I get it. And I know I should appreciate the help, in whatever form. But dish stacking still makes me crazy. Our older dishwasher requires that we rinse each plate, utensil and glass before filling the racks. Stacking means you have to rinse both sides. Also, stacking leads to broken dishes, especially when someone puts the glasses on the bottom. (Argh. Who does that? Oh. Everyone in my family except for me.)

In a perfect storm, glasses at the bottom of a pile can also lead to one little juice glass, its mouth almost exactly the same diameter as the drain, ending up in the garbage disposal. Luckily, someone spotted it before they turned on the disposal. Everyone tried, but with no allowance for fingers or other kitchen tools, there was no way to remove the glass. I told everyone to go to bed and planned to deal with it the next day. Maybe it would help if everything, including the slippery glass, was dry.

It did not help. It took me a while, but I finally solved the problem: I worked my thinnest dish towel underneath the glass, leaving the ends protruding from the drain, and pulled the cloth carefully, working the glass out of the drain without breaking it. (Yes, I high-fived myself repeatedly when it worked, since no one was home to share in my joy.)

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But wouldn't it have been nice if no one had stacked dishes in the first place? (Yes, they did it again the next night.)

What kitchen habits make you crazy? It's easy to correct the kids, but do you correct well meaning adult guests or grin and bear it?

(Images: Anne Postic)

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