HomeQ&ACleaning terms: laundry, clean the house, run the dishwasher

Cleaning terms: laundry, clean the house, run the dishwasher

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As I mentioned in another thread, I need help with some common everyday phrases in Spanish.

I want to start using Spanish around the house but I have no idea how to say most of the things I want to. Most language courses just don't seem to teach this kind of stuff.

house cleaning: For 'house cleaning' do people really use the term 'limpiar la casa' ? As in 'Necesito a limpiar la casa'. And would that term include dusting, vacuuming and straightening up?

dishwashing: In English we say we are going to 'run the dishwasher'. My guess is that in Spanish people don't use the word 'correr'. How is it said?

And is 'enjuagar' used to rinse the dishes first? And 'poner' used for putting them in the dishwasher? Or maybe 'llenar' - to fill it?

So could a person say:

'Primero, voy a enjuagar la vajilla, después voy a poner la vajilla en el lavaplatos.'

('First, I'm going to rinse the dishes, then I'm going to put the dishes in the dishwasher.')

laundry:

When you want to say 'do laundry', do people use 'hacer' or maybe 'lavar'? From what I looked up I could think of a few ways to say it, but I don't know what people actually say:

'Voy a hacer la lavandería' or maybe 'Voy a lavar la ropa sucia' (although not all laundry is clothing).

And is this correct:

'Ahora, voy al lavadero a saca la ropa de la lavadora y la pone en la secadora.'

('Now I'm going to the laundry room to take the clothes out of the washing machine and put them in the dryer.')

15610 views
updated ABR 23, 2017
posted by trisha2766
For house cleaning, I use different types of machine that save my time and money. Most of time, I use pressure washer which helps to clean driveway, bike, cars, roof top, floor etc. For the other things, I use dishwasher and vaccume cleaner which are good - jessyfrada, ABR 23, 2017

7 Answers

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So 'necesito' sounds too strong or overly dramatic compared to 'tengo que' in Spanish? Does that apply to other situations also? To me it seems like the opposite in English.

In practice, the difference is minimal, since both express obligation or necessity, but "deber" depends on the personal judgement, perspective or criterion of the speaker, and "tener que" is considered necessary from a more detached, universal and objective point of view (this does not imply "more necessary or important", though).

updated JUN 17, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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That's interesting, when I think of 'have to', I see it as someone making or forcing someone to do something. Whereas 'need to' is more like should.

Would using 'deber' makes sense for things a person should/needs/has to do around the house'

updated JUN 17, 2009
posted by trisha2766
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So 'necesito' sounds too strong or overly dramatic compared to 'tengo que' in Spanish? Does that apply to other situations also? To me it seems like the opposite in English.
The verb "to need" can be/is used in a very "weakened" sense in English. However, consider the (obviously related) noun "necessity" (or, adjective, "necessary"), these tend to retain the sense of "crucial" or "vitally important".

updated JUN 16, 2009
posted by samdie
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En efecto to soak = poner a remojar, dejar algo en remojo.

updated JUN 16, 2009
posted by AntMexico
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Thanks!

So 'necesito' sounds too strong or overly dramatic compared to 'tengo que' in Spanish? Does that apply to other situations also? To me it seems like the opposite in English.

And it sounds like you use something more like 'turn on' or 'use' for a dishwasher. Yes, I guess it doesn't make much sense to use sucia/dirty in English either.

'ponerla' - the use of pronouns in Spanish still really confuses me.

'poner a remojar' is to 'soak' then? That's good to know too!

updated JUN 16, 2009
posted by trisha2766
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to run the dishwasher / prender, echar a andar la lavavajillas.
And is 'enjuagar? used to rinse the dishes first? - poner a remojar (if you want the dirty get wet)

Dicho en español de México.

updated JUN 16, 2009
posted by AntMexico
0
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house cleaning: For 'house cleaning' do people really use the term 'limpiar la casa' ? As in 'Necesito a limpiar la casa'. And would that term include dusting, vacuuming and straightening up?

"Limpiar la casa" and "Necesito limpiar la casa" are both correct, although "necesito" sounds maybe a bit too much; try "Tengo que" instead.

"Dusting" and "using a vacuum cleaner" are both included, yes.

dishwashing: In English we say we are going to 'run the dishwasher'. My guess is that in Spanish people don't use the word 'correr'. How is it said?

No, we don't use "correr". A common option is "Poner el lavaplatos/lavavajillas" (notice that this word may change from country to country), but you also have "encender", "usar" "programar",...

And is 'enjuagar' used to rinse the dishes first? And 'poner' used for putting them in the dishwasher? Or maybe 'llenar' - to fill it?

So could a person say:

'Primero, voy a enjuagar la vajilla, después voy a poner la vajilla en el lavaplatos.'

All your options sound good to me, but in Spanish we don't have to use a comma after "Primero", like you do in English.

When you want to say 'do laundry', do people use 'hacer' or maybe 'lavar'? From what I looked up I could think of a few ways to say it, but I don't know what people actually say:

'Voy a hacer la lavandería' or maybe 'Voy a lavar la ropa sucia' (although not all laundry is clothing).

There is a chance that this is expressed differently in some countries, but in Spain we say "colada" for "laundry": "Voy a hacer la colada" (I am going to do the laundry). The alternative "Voy a lavar la ropa (sucia)" should be perfectly understandable and correct everywhere, and for what I understand, it is the main choice in some countries, where "colada" is hardly used. The word "sucia" is generally omitted, since people don't normally put clean clothes in the washing machine anyway.

'Ahora, voy al lavadero a sacar la ropa de la lavadora y [del]la[/del] ponerla en la secadora.'

The structure is "Voy a + [verb in infinitive]":

Voy al lavadero a [ifinitive: sacar] y (voy a) [infinitive: sacarla]

updated JUN 16, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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