Cleaning the Dishes Is a 1 Woman Job on ‘The Great British Baking Show’

The executive producer behind The Great British Baking Show chose to place the contestants in a tent to achieve a village fete vibe. It’s meant to feel a bit like a festival in the rural countryside. 

Rather than placing the culinary contestants in an industrialized facility with air conditioning, multiple fridges and freezers, and endless equipment, they compete out in nature, with no protection for themselves (or their food) from the heat. Yet, fighting against the elements isn’t the only drawback to the setting. There are no machine dishwashers. 

The Great British Baking Show judge Paul Hollywood
‘The Great British Baking Show’ judge Paul Hollywood | Mark Bourdillion/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Why is ‘The Great British Baking Show’ void of machine dishwashers? 

Contestants on The Great British Baking Show dirty a lot of dishes. From pots and pans to cupcake tins, whisks, blenders, and more, one would assume that the set has multiple dishwashers to take care of the job — the kind that asks users to push a button and be done. Yet, that is not the case. 

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According to Mashed, there are two primary reasons that The Great British Baking Show is void of this technological wonder. First: operating a dishwasher would be too noisy while filming. With a set as small as the one for The Great British Baking Show, it would be nearly impossible to film far away from a dishwasher to avoid hearing the noise, especially if there were several of them. 

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As for the second primary reason: a lot of the ingredients that come into contact with dishes require a thorough scrub or more than one round in the machine. For example, sticky caramel and chocolate syrup don’t just slip right off. Thus, washing the dishes has become a one-woman job.

Iva Vcelak washes the dishes for ‘The Great British Baking Show’

Mashed notes that Iva Vcelak is tasked with washing all of the dishes used on The Great British Baking Show by hand. Mashed notes that Vcelak goes through 1,000 dishcloths, 80 sponges, and 8 gallons of dish soap every season to accomplish the job. 

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DailyMail explains that Vcelak can spend up to 16 hours a day just washing dishes for the show.  In the end, it takes a little elbow grease to get out those stains, as well as the more silent washing that a human could offer (even though some state of the art dishwashers are rather quiet). The question is: if people are going to wash by hand, one would assume that those behind the show have the budget to hire a team of dishwashers! Poor Vcelak must be very busy.