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Casa Verde: Efficient Dishwashing by Hand

I've told you before that using an energy-efficient dishwasher is the best way to go when it comes to getting your dishes clean, but let's be realistic . . . we don't all have one and some of us just can't afford to buy one at the moment. There are some ways you can increase your efficiency at washing dishes by hand so you don't use more than a couple gallons of water, though. To begin, put a stopper in your drain (not just the strainer). The easiest way to waste water is to leave the faucet running down the drain, so plugging the drains will create a pool of water you can use to soak your dishes. And even if the water is dirty, you can still use it on your thirsty plants. If you have a double sink, wash your dishes in one section filled with a couple gallons of water and then use the other one with hot water for rinsing. If you have a single sink, use some sort of basin or bucket for rinsing your dishes with hot water, so the dishes you're rinsing reuse the same water. But, before you wash, wait until all of your dishes have piled up; it conserves water to wash as many dishes as possible at once.

Join The Conversation
Jyramiah Jyramiah 8 years
Ha! I told my out-of-state relatives when they were washing dishes and they didn't listen! But look here! Proof! They are so wasteful.
sc-cutie sc-cutie 8 years
I have a dishwasher, but it doesn't seem to get the dishes very clean. :( So I prefer to wash by hand anyway.
Spiderlove Spiderlove 8 years
I don't have a dishwasher. Well, I kinda do.. my 13 year old loves doing the dishes! Lol...
bbrimacombe bbrimacombe 8 years
I almost cannot believe my eyes. People need an instructions on how to properly hand wash dishes?! I didn't grow up washing dishes but when I got out on my own I knew how to do dishes. I hate dishwashers. They are loud. They take forever to wash dishes. They ruin glasses. They are inconvenient because you always run out of glasses, or some kind of utensil or dish before it's full. They waste electricity and water. When my husband and I buy a home I plan to sell the dishwasher (assuming the house has one which most do these days) and use that extra space better. I do dishes with a slight variation. We only have one sink. So I only fill the sink high enough to soak a few dishes and after I wash a dish, I turn on the tap and rinse it right into the sink. The advantage of this is that it keeps the water hot.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I wish I had a dishwasher. :(
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
Who doesn't put a stopper in their drain when they wash dishes? I'm a little appalled to think people can be so wasteful our dear writer has state that Do-Not outright. I wash all my dishes by hand -- but not by choice. We don't have a dishwasher =(
Summathis Summathis 8 years
I can do this one a little better for single sinks.... fill a dirty bowl with soap water, then just wash your dishes with a soapy sponge and a quick rinse, then voila! Done!
Blackthorne Blackthorne 8 years
Just don't let it pile to high, or you'll be setting up a gourmet meal for flies, roaches and other ickies.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Thanks for these tips! Perfect timing, as I've got a big pile of dishes waiting for me at home :cry:
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