What Does It Mean to Dream of Washing Dishes?

What Does It Mean to Dream of Washing Dishes?

Washing dishes is a routine activity for many people, and dreams often use the imagery of such routine activities. When you find yourself washing dishes in your dream, though, it could have a deeper meaning.

Washing Dishes Dream Summary

Washing Dishes Dream Symbolism

Washing dishes is a process that requires effort. As a dream symbol, washing dishes can sometimes show that you are making an effort to improve your life, and the cleansing symbolism of water may add that you really feel like you are shedding something that has been holding you back.

In other cases, a dream of washing dishes can symbolize that you feel like the effort you make in your life is not getting you anywhere, and you need to work hard just to meet your basic responsibilities and stay in the same place. As always, paying attention to the emotional atmosphere of your dream can help you determine whether a positive or negative interpretation is more appropriate for you.

Common Dreams of Washing Dishes

  1. Dream of washing dishes in dirty water
  2. Dream of breaking a dish while washing dishes
  3. Dream of washing someone else’s dishes
  4. Dream of washing dishes as a job

Washing Dishes Dream Symbolism

Washing Dishes Dream Symbolism

Drudgery

In the myth of Sisyphus, a man is condemned to roll a rock up a mountain repeatedly. Every time he gets the rock up to the top of the mountain, the rock rolls back down, and he has to roll it up again.

Similarly, after you wash dishes, you eat off them again, and then you have to wash them again. A dream of washing dishes could therefore symbolize a situation where you feel like you are endlessly busy but are not really accomplishing anything lasting.

Responsibility

Whether or not you enjoy washing dishes, you have to acknowledge that, if you ate the food, it is the logical consequence that the dishes are now dirty. Dreaming of washing your own dishes could therefore symbolize a situation where you need to take responsibility for the natural consequences of your actions.

Cleansing

Washing dishes typically uses water. A dream of washing dishes can therefore emphasize the part of water dream symbolism that has to do with cleansing and purification, and this may be especially healing if there is something in your life that you feel guilty about.

Your dream of washing dishes could symbolize that you are making an effort to clean up your life, and the work inherent in washing dishes shows that this process is not just passively happening on its own.

Common Dreams of Washing Dishes

Dream of washing dishes in dirty water

Dream of washing dishes in dirty water

A dream of washing dishes in dirty water could symbolize that you are making an effort to improve some situation in your life, but you do not have the resources you need to do a good job. If you truly have no access to clean water in the dream, this could show that you really are in a destructive or unsupportive environment.

If the dream scenario was such that you chose to keep washing dishes in dirty water even though you could have turned on a faucet for clean water, this could symbolize that you are not making appropriate use of the resources that are available to you. Though you may be acting out of a desire to conserve money or some other resource, the situation has gotten to a point where whatever you have will not do you any good unless you use it.

Dream of breaking a dish while washing dishes

Dream of breaking a dish while washing dishes

If you dream of breaking a dish while washing dishes, this could symbolize a common situation that often happens when you try to clean up your life in general: things can look messier for a while before they begin to look cleaner.

Sometimes when you try to improve your life, people close to you feel threatened by the change because they were used to the existing dynamic in their relationship with you. If you shift yourself in a way that alters that, they feel pushed to change too.

While you sought out this process of change, though, they did not. They might therefore feel out of control and react badly.

A dream of breaking a dish while washing dishes could symbolize this type of relationship problem where, even if you are doing what is necessary to make things better for yourself, you might wind up breaking a relationship in the process.

Dream of washing someone else’s dishes

Dream of washing someone else’s dishes

If you dream of washing someone else’s dishes, this could symbolize a situation where you feel responsible for another person. Especially if the dream scenario was such that you did not get to eat any of the food that was served on the dishes, you could feel that you get all of the pain and none of the gain in this relationship.

Dream of washing dishes as a job

Dream of washing dishes as a job

If you dream of having a paid job washing dishes, like working at a restaurant, the interpretation of this dream is based on your attitude toward that type of work. If you are in a situation where you would be grateful to have a job washing dishes, a dream of washing dishes could symbolize that your work ethic will get you the resources you need to take care of yourself.

If you believe that your education and work history should qualify you for a job more important than washing dishes, however, a dream of washing dishes as a job could symbolize that you feel you are not being respected in your work. It could alternately symbolize anxiety about your status, like you think you might lose your job and have to go back to a less advanced type of work if you do not perform well enough.

Conclusion

While washing dishes may be a boring activity in waking life, it can be a potent dream symbol revealing your attitudes toward work, relationships, and more.

Eva Sylwester

Eva Sylwester has been fascinated with the interpretation of dreams since middle school. She got a B.A. in psychology and religious studies from the University of Oregon in 2007. After that, she began exploring astrology and other new frontiers in spirituality. In her approach, the goal of dream interpretation is to help the dreamer articulate their own intuition. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, United States.

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