"Spuelen" oder "Waschen"
Duolingo doesn't get much into cleaning, but I hear that "waschen" means "to wash". Another app I use tells me to use "Spuelen". Which one is correct?
"Spülen" is for dishes. It has this notion of running water. For clothes and body (animals, cars, wathever with much water, also fruits) use "waschen". If you do it professional it is: "reinigen". Cleaning the floor or furniture, shoes: "putzen". Cleaning the table after eating: "(ab)wischen" (also for other flat surfaces, you use a cloth). Polishing glasses: "polieren". If you use a mob for the floor you can say: "wienern". For a broom there is: "fegen/kehren". For vacuum cleaner: "(staub)saugen". For wiping the dust of the furniture: "staubwischen". If there are plants or prisoners or small dirty kids that must be cleaned quickly and you have a hose that sprays water: "abspritzen". Taking a shower: "duschen". Taking a bath: "baden". (Can be used for making somebody bath, like your dog) For the abstract meaning and with quite a negative touch and bad backstory: "säubern". Otherwise there is the good old colloquial: "sauber machen".
I hope I could be of help.
True -- in addition, "spülen" can be used where in English you would say "rinse" or "flush".
Also, a more generic term for "wienern" is "scheuern" (scouring). "Wienern" originally implied the use of a specific agent, "Wiener Kalk" (pulverized dolostone).
There is also "abwaschen" for cleaning dishes. It is even more often used than "spülen". But it is mostly used for doing it from hand. The machine for these things is "die Spülmaschine", but the stuff that is to be cleaned (the dirty dishes) and also the act of cleaning them is called: "der Abwasch". The "ab" is important here. "waschen" is never used for dishes. (only if you accidently put them into the washing machine)
"ab-" is often used for cleaning purposes. It means you get the dirt "off". For example for hard dirt that you need to scratch off you would use: "abkratzen". If you use much water and just let it flow over the dirt (also for dishes) it is "abspülen".
For "Abwischen", would I say "Nach ich esse, wische ich den Tisch ab" or "Nach ich esse, abwische ich den Tisch?"