I realise that 'anything' is a singular pronoun, however, I am trying to determine whether the folllowing is correct or not.

Sign in the kitchen: "Wash and dry anything that you use"

Does this mean if I use 3 things I only need to wash and dry 1 thing to comply with the instruction, or does it mean I need to wash and dry 3 individual things as I used them all?

For example, how does that leave the things I didn't wash and dry? How would that work?

I am wondering if this is an issue of definition of the word 'anything' or rather an issue of context?

Of course: 'that you use' is a clause modifying, that is defining, 'any'. Which 'any'?-- the ones you use.

'Wash any dishes' means wash one or more, or none for that matter, because the 'any' is undefined.

'Wash any dishes that you use' means the used ones should be washed.
The instruction surely means that you are supposed to wash each of the three items that you have used, not just one of them. Otherwise, it would have been written like this: "Wash and dry something that you have used" : ) (to ask you to wash and dry at least one thing).
I think the meaning of the word "any" depends on whether the sentence is affirmative or not. In an affirmative sentence, "any" is usually used to mean "each". In an interrogative sentence, it might be used to mean only some indefinite part of the things in question: "Have you washed any cups yet?" - "Yes, I have washed two of them." Am I right?
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That was my understanding also, but I have come across someone with an alternate view as per this thread:


and he swears black and blue that I am changing the English language to suit my interpretation. His take on it is that, by washing only one of multiple items he is complying with the minimum requirement of the directive.

I believe this is incorrect...is there a definitive answer?

 Mister Micawber's reply was promoted to an answer.