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Why can't wizards use magic to clean or organize their house, or even to prepare food, for example on Weasley's and Black's house?

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Funny, I wanted to ask the exact opposite question - why do people in the HP universe insist on using magic for absolutely everything? Surely there are some tasks that are easier (and less error-prone) to do the old-fashioned muggle way? –  Darrel Hoffman Jan 9 at 22:55

4 Answers 4

up vote 15 down vote accepted

They do!

Molly Weasley in particular is seen using magic to conjure ingredients, boil water, and so forth.

Presumably such spells, like all others in the Harry Potter universe, require practice. This means that it takes time and effort to replace manual labor with magic, and each spell is specific to a task. Some wizards may not have the patience or skill to do this, so different wizards use different levels of magic in their chores.

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The dishes are also regularly seen washing themselves in the Weasly household. –  Adam Head Jan 9 at 14:12
    
So, they don't simply use magic on doxies on Black's house for a matter of knowing the correct spell? –  J0rge Jan 9 at 14:13
    
@J0rge Affluent families like the Blacks had servants. It's more of a status thing than not knowing the spells. Why cast the spell yourself when you can make your servants do the work (or cast the spells) for you? –  phantom42 Jan 9 at 14:59
    
@phantom42 I am rereading the Order of the Phoenix, and Molly and the kids are removing doxies from a courtain using sprays with some liquid instead of using spells(or servants) –  J0rge Jan 9 at 16:25
    
@J0rge - How often do you clean windows by making your own spray? Or do you grab windex? Same same. –  JohnP Jan 9 at 18:57

There are several instances of Molly Weasley cooking and cleaning using magic. There are three different instances of the spell Tergeo being used to clean every day items (Hermione cleans blood from Harry's face with it, Ron uses it to clean a rag, and Harry uses it to dust).

However, it's more likely to be used by a family such as the Weasley's, whereas when you start getting towards more affluent wizarding families such as the Blacks, Malfoy's, etc., you are more likely to see them with servants such as house elves to do their every day work.

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First of all, spells take a long time to practice and to master, this wouldn't be a very good use of their time. There are also many risks of exposing magic to the muggle world.

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Using a spell to clean the dishes in a home that muggles can't find is risking exposing magic to the muggle world? –  phantom42 Jan 9 at 21:09
    
Yes it can, say someone peaks through your window and sees a broom sweeping with no one holding it. –  Spencer VDE Jan 10 at 7:21
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If we're going to worry about that, then any spell done by any witch or wizard anywhere at any time is a risk of exposing the magical world. You're stretching here. Most every magic-related location is charmed to prevent muggles from discovering things they should not be seeing. –  phantom42 Jan 10 at 12:00
    
Think about it, you have to be 18 before you can use magic outside of the enchanted locations, they probably feel that wizards would be more responsible by that time. –  Spencer VDE Jan 10 at 17:35

Many wizards can and will use magic to do household chores. However, underage wizards are not allowed to use magic outside of Hogwarts, so Hermione, Ron, and Harry were not allowed to use magic to clean Sirius's house. Mrs. and Mr. Weasley, Bill, Charlie, Fred, and George all were able to use magic at home to help with chores, and in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Fred and George flaunt their priviledge in front of the others by using hovering spells to put food on the table and by apparating throughout the house.

Also, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Harry had first arrived at the Weasley household, there had been pots and pans hovering above the sink and being cleaned without anyone in the room.

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