How Do You Keep a Clean Kitchen with Roommates?

published Oct 19, 2015
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(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

Whether you adore your roommates, or merely co-exist, so many heated disputes in a shared household come down to one question: “Who made this pot dirty?” And then, of course, the inevitable follow-up question, “Who’s doing the dishes?”

Today we’re looking for some crowd-sourced knowledge to answer this question — or better yet, prevent it from needing to be asked in the first place. What are your best tips, most surprising secrets, and hard-earned pieces of advice for keeping a kitchen clean when you live in a house with roommates?

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

We’re asking this question not just for our collective benefit, but also to specifically help one reader, who sent in this plea in our Reader Request Week thread:

I live in a shared house of nine people — four couples and a bachelor. Any tips to keep kitchen peace? With several enthusiastic cooks and no enthusiastic dishwashers, it can get into quite a state at times. While we share cooking equipment, each household buys their own food and cooks only for themselves, on account of wildly different schedules and diets.


Dear Hilloves, we’ve all been there at some point or another in our lives. It sounds like you’ve got a pretty good roommate situation — you all just need a little help in the “chore list” department. In the short term, let me point you to this great article:

In the longer term, let’s see what advice the rest of you have to share. What’s worked for you? What hasn’t worked? Give us — and Hilloves — your best words of wisdom for this situation!

This post was requested by Hilloves for Reader Request Week 2015.