(WGNO) — It’s a very real question people are asking this Thanksgiving: when do you do the dishes – before or after the guests leave?
An article in Good Housekeeping breaks down the argument.
The website spoke with two etiquette experts who didn’t completely agree.
“It depends on your family’s culture,” says Lizzie Post, an etiquette expert at The Emily Post Institute. “But I’ve never felt put out or like someone wasn’t taking care of me as a guest when my host has encouraged people to start cleaning up or put the food away.” In fact, Post says her mom puts out a bucket of soapy water for people to put their dishes in to start the process, without pulling out the scrubby brush.
Post also said don’t do the dishes and delay dessert, especially if you have non-family guests at the meal.
Myka Meier of Beaumont Etiquette gave a hard no to non-family helping out with the dishes.
“Guests may be polite enough to offer to help you cleanup after a dinner party, however a gracious host should avoid accepting their offers, as you are the host and simply want them to have a relaxing, enjoyable time.”
So, to wash or not-to-wash might be an ongoing argument.
There’s always a third option: paper plates and plastic cutlery.