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Master the Art of Hand-Washing Dishes

May 10 2014 - 3:05am

If you don't have a dishwasher, your hands are probably tired of washing dishes. But the thing is, this chore doesn't have to be difficult — and you might actually be cleaning your dishes the wrong way. If you're the designated dish washer at your home, check out these how-to tips that make cleaning up easier.

Get the Right Tools

A sponge with a scrubby side helps clean baked-on grime, and the right dish rack ensures proper air movement for even drying. Pick up a few soft towels for hand drying and buffing glassware. Gloves protect your hands from hot water — and keep your manicure happy.

For the most efficient cleaning, also invest in a dish tub so you can let things soak or wash without wasting water. And a dish tub also protects your dishes from chipping and breaking if you accidentally drop one.

Wipe Off

You just ate so the last thing you want to do is some cleaning, but leaving dishes in the sink makes for serious scrubbing later. Even giving dishes a quick rinse or wipe with a paper towel before stacking in the sink makes hand washing easier.

Use Soap You Love

You're going to be spending some serious time together, so why not make your dish soap lovely? You can even DIY a special blend [1] or add a few drops of essential oil to your favorite soap. For the best clean, use the hottest water you can stand. And one to two squirts of dish soap should be enough to tackle an entire dish tub or sink filled with dishes.

Wash in the Right Order

You want to begin washing with the least messy items, so starting with glassware is a must. Then move on to plates, flatware, serving dishes, and lastly pots and pans. And if the dish water is super greasy when you hit the pots and pans, dump the dish tub, or drain your sink and start fresh.

Stop Spots

After washing, give your dishes a final rinse before hand drying or stacking in your dish rack. If you're frustrated with water spots on your hand-washed glasses, fill your second sink or another dish tub with warm water and add one-half cup vinegar to your rinse water. Along with preventing water stains, a quick final dip in the vinegar water sanitizes glasses.

Soak It

You've washed all the dishes, but your pots and pans are a mess. Instead of scrubbing, fill the baked-on pots and pans with hot water, drop in a dish soak fizzy [2], and leave overnight. And for metal pans, mix together this easy and natural cleaning solution [3] that will bust through stains.

Final Step

Either let your dishes air dry or give a wipe with a dish towel before putting them back where they belong. You might not be feeling like doing this final step, but putting away your dishes makes them easier to find and keeps them from getting dirty sitting on your counter — resulting in having to wash them all over again!

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