It is probably safe to assume that dishes are washed all over the world. You can get a soapy, warm feeling just by thinking about all those foamy suds and clattering silverware. But it is not safe to assume that everybody washes them in the same way.
I was washing the dishes at my friend's house (no, I don't do this professionally, it was just something that needed to be done while having a friendly chat
), and he suggested that I did not need to rinse them.
Get this: his method of washing dishes consists in running them through a sink of hot soapy water, scrubbing with a sponge and then drying them off with a kitchen towel. That's it. I said "but this would leave a film of soapy water all over your stuff", and I used the tone of shocked horror that I reserve for people that wear socks and sandals and consider cardboard an acceptable packaging for wine. And he countered that that was OK.
I had to restrain myself from jumping up and down while screaming that he was basically feeding soap to his children, and that soap is not in any table of nutrients I was aware of. Later I reflected, perhaps this is more common than I think. Perhaps everybody here (the Netherlands) does this.
And now I am left to wonder about the dishwashing customs of the world.
Apparently this node touched a nerve:
Some were unapologetic: I'm from the Netherlands, and I can tell you this is how I wash dishes. Soapy water, sponge, towel, that sounds about right.
Others were more subtly unapologetic: Some of us are worse. We don't rinse and THEN we leave the dishes to dry on the rack. You still wanna come for dinner? On the positive side, this means that all the Dutch eat soap all their lives. And see how tall we grow!
Others again tried to argue rationally: I got into this exact argument with my not-girlfriend last week. She convinced me of the merits of her (and your) position. But certainly not rinsing things is commonly considered normal; I'd never even thought about it.
Others tried to claim that it was a totally normal thing: As a dutchman I wash dishes in the same way. It's probably a convenience thing: you need separate sinks to wash and rinse. While usually only people with small kitchens have no dishwasher. I don't think it's that bad either, you probably won't leave more than a few particles of soap on a dish.
Others again tried to make me sound prissy: I've always considered the wipe/rinse decision to be an either/or choice that accomplishes the same task.