Sunday, August 23, 2020

Mom would be proud

Living in a vehicle changes you. And it changes your habits. For example, from the age I was expected to help with chores, until I became a nomad at sixty-one, I would always put off dishwashing until… later. 

I’d leave the dirty dishes in the sink, maybe soaking, maybe not. Or I’d get ambitious and hide them in the dishwasher. I’d finally, grumblingly, clean up when there were either no more clean dishes or no more room in the sink/dishwasher. 

Can’t do that in the Rolling Steel Tent. First, there’s no sink or dishwasher. Second, I have only one set of dishes, one pot, one pan. So the new habit is Use It > Clean It > Right Now. Imagine that.

And here’s the great discovery: Dishes are easier to clean when you do it right away, before the residue transforms to adhesive. I’m pretty sure epoxy was discovered by a chemical engineer who hated doing dishes.

How do I wash dishes without a sink or running water? First I wipe off as much as I can with paper towels. Then I spritz with a water-vinegar-soap mixture and wipe again until clean and dry. Sometimes, for really sticky, gooey things, I heat about a quarter cup of water, maybe with a bit more soap, in the dirty pan.

However, Mom would not be proud it took me until I was a senior citizen to develop proper dishwashing habits.


  1. I carry the same dishes, minimal....I always clean them after eating. Easier yes, flys... they fast constantly, never seen one eat anything but poop, picky eaters.

  2. Interesting-looking pots & pans. Is it a set? What make/model?

  3. Super-glued a handle back on a coffee mug. Came off in a few hours. Left a fork on a plate with pancake syrup. Took a week to force apart.
    Dyed a towel with Rit Dye. Color washed out in 2 months. Spilled some Koolaid on a pair of jeans. It is still there all these years later.

    I too, use that meal's napkin for a 'pre-wash'. I use brown paper products from restaurant supply so after a full day's use they can go in a compost pile or are used as fire pit starter.

  4. Spritz and wipe--sounds like an excellent system! I must remember that in case I ever get back on the road.