Kufua vs. kuosha
Can anyone enlighten me regarding the difference between these two? They both get translated as wash. Kuosha I've seen with buckets and dishes, and kufua with clothes. Is it just kufua with clothes, and kuosha with everything else?
And then kusafisha is translated as clean, but what's really the difference between cleaning and washing? My feeling is that washing involves water, and cleaning could be using something else (and is perhaps a bit more thorough)... What do you say?
I remember reading somewhere that kufua comes from a root meaning "to beat", which actually explains its other meaning of "to forge". So you can use kufua for anything that is traditionally cleaned by beating it (I really can't think of anything other than clothes, bedsheets and the like).
For washing you also have kunawa for washing your hands. kusafisha, cleaning is a more general word to clean something. Im anot user if kufua and kuosha are really different. I tried to find both words in a number of sources, and found more references to kuosha. Please keep in mind that there may be differences between Swahili as it is spoken in Kenya and in Tanzania as well. You can clean a room, but you do not wash a room. Just as in English.
I'll wait and see if someone else has any further comments on kufua and kuosha - whether there's some difference, or we should perhaps suggest them as alternative correct answers.
My Kenyan husband says kuosha and kufua are used interchangeably in his experience but kusafisha is any kind of cleaning including shaking out a rug, cleaning the whole house etc.
Kusafisha is with practically everything eg. Meza (table). As for kuosha, it's usually to do with dishes, as you said.
Kufua is to wash things like clothes. Hope this helped.
As a Swahili speaker from Kenya. Kuosha is also used with cleaning oneself and other things utilizing water. It's closest meaning is to wash. (hands, dishes, etc.) Kufua is used for clothes and personally, never heard it used for anything else. Kusafisha is generally just to clean.
Kufua is mainly used in laundry.. example "kufua nguo" it means washing clothes.. and kuosha is washing in general.. example "kuosha vyombo" means washing the dishes or "kuosha gari" means washing the car.. But you cannot say kufua gari meaning washing the car