Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP

It’s a trick question. Or is it?

The New York TimesAlan Henry joined me to talk about doing the dishes. It was more spirited a discussion than it had any right to be! Alan is a dish-doing enthusiast, it turns out, and we have some advice for you this holiday season: Volunteer for dish duty. You’ll be a hero to your family and more importantly, offering to do the dishes is a great way to avoid any boorish uncles.

Here’s what I covered in my 97th episode:

  • Which is better: Washing dishes by hand or in the dishwasher?
  • The answer to the question, “What’s the right way to load the dishwasher?”
  • A smarter way to approach doing a HUGE PILE of dishes;
  • The order in which dishes should be washed (yup, there’s an order!);
  • The biggest mistake people make when doing a lot of dishes;
  • Tricks for making washing a ton of flatware all at once less hideous;
  • A weird thing about cleaning starch and dairy out of pots and pans;
  • The easy way to clean a scorched pot or a greasy sheet pan;
  • How to polish and store silver.

We also sang the praises of X-14 and YouTube dishwasher videos, because Alan is my people. If you missed it, here’s the article we discussed on how to clean your entire home.

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Over in the bonus episode, we talked about sword-care, because no topic is too niche for me.

You can subscribe to Ask a Clean Person: The Podcast in Acast, Apple Podcasts, PlayerFM, Stitcher and all the other places you’d expect to find podcasts. For bonus episodes and all sorts of other cool rewards, head over to Patreon to help underwrite the show. Got Qs for the pod? Email Jolie with the subject line CLEANCAST.