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Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The Cupcake Goddess

Oh I love this! I have also wondered why you would need to place a tub in the sink. Really fun photos too. I love that big bar of soap in the dish above the sink in the top photo!


I do feel like a bit of a gran about it, but I put a plastic tub in the sink when I do dishes. It's a water conserving thing, as my sink is one large porcelain basin, not divided. The secondary reason is to keep glasses from breaking on the porcelain. I do not, however, wash any dogs in my sink, but in those other ways, I apparently have been channeling a 1930s housewife.


Fantastic post! I have lately become quite enamored with reading and learning about the domestic aspect of women's lives prior to the 1960s/women's lib movement. I think the way women figured out how to make things a bit easier, or just get around things (like doing dishes in multi-use sinks!) fascinating. Can't wait for part 2!

♥ Casey
blog | elegantmusings.com


Wow, I was just wondering why this was common practice the other day! I love that the tub would keep dishes from cracking, I'm going to have to try this!


I seem to think it's a British practice more than anything. I've seen plastic tubs used in sinks in today's kitchens in the UK. Not so common back home. (I'm an Aussie currently in the US)


In my 20's San Diego bungalow I only had one large porcelain sink so I used a smaller plastic tub to put the dishes in soapy water and let them soak a bit, then I still had access to the remaining part of the sink, or could move the tub if necessary. Makes total sense!

Steph @ Tart Deco

Blogged about this here- http://tartdeco.blogspot.com/2010/01/vintage-chores-washing-dishes.html

Can't wait for part 2! I have never liked dishwashers and wash by hand (using a plastic tub). Even now when my sink is divided, I still use the tub. It seems cleaner to me too.


my grandmother STILL uses the washtub-in-the-sink method and now i know why! :)


The other thing that I think was done, when using a tub inside the sink, was to use the "grey" water for the garden. The tub makes it easy (and possible) to carry the water outside :)

Marie Merriman

When I visited Northern England a few years ago, I was confused to see a plastic wash tub in the kitchen sink of our holiday cottage. I asked our English friends about it and they replied, "Why, it's for washing up of course!" So apparently this practice survives and is considered quite normal in parts of the world. It's good to know that some things never die!

Kathy - 16 Sparrows

Thanks everyone for your comments, I am really glad to see you enjoyed this post and am just as curious as I was as to why this was a common practice! I also love hearing that this method of washing-up is still used today.

Eva Girl

I remember my grandmother telling me they used a tub so that when they were done they could take the water to use somewhere else - watering the garden for example - or just for the ease of dumping it outside...I like to reuse water in the summer this way. It conserves water by using it for the plants, and for those of you on town water, you wouldn't be paying for extra water going down your drain.


I was always taught to wash dishes this way(in the USA)...I never realized there was any mystery about it. Fun post.


The rubber plugs back then weren't particularly reliable either - the rubber dried out and cracked, warped, and was stiff...

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