The 'washing-up' group
These nouns refer to tasks that need doing, for example household tasks. This is a productive use. (These nouns are also often used without the.)
baking catering cleaning cooking dishes driving drying up dusting hoovering ironing laundry shopping vacuuming washing washing-up
I've practically finished the ironing.
Then when lunch was over Martha volunteered to do the washing-up.
This pattern is also used to say that a particular person does or will do something, rather than other people.
This time he did the talking.
I leave the thinking to you, Bettina, I always have done.