7 Tips for Making Dish Washing by Hand Easier
There is a very good reason behind why the dishwasher was invented – it is because doing the dishes by hand really sucks. Yet, sometimes you don’t really have a choice and you have to wash them by hand. Unfortunately, too many things cannot be washed in the dishwasher – your favorite knives, utensils made from wood and crystal would be some of them. Also, there isn’t a dishwasher big enough that can take items like cookie sheets or roasting pans.
So, sadly, we just clarified that washing dishes by hand is inevitable, but hold on – we have prepared a few tips and tricks to make your experience with it less daunting, but probably still not fun. Once you know how to get through them quicker, you will have enough time for you to get fun.
So, how does soap work?
Each soap molecule is built up of a head and a tail. The head of the molecule has hydrophilic qualities, meaning it is attracted to water. The tail of the molecule is actually hydrophobic which makes it easily attracted to oil and grease. When these attractions happen at the same time the water and the grease become linked which allows you to use the force of friction and gravity to separate them from your dish.
Put on gloves
If you don’t care about your safety, don’t expect your dirty dishes to. Other than blinding you with their bright yellow colour, the gloves are your skin protectors. They will keep your hands safe drying out which leads to raisin hands. Rogue knives and hot water are another dangers which the gloves will keep you away from.
Also, because the gloves are made of rubber, they ensure enough traction so you can hold the wet dishes without slipping from your hands. Still, this extra comes with a prices – the well-known smell of rubber gloves – to hide it a bit, get baking soda and sprinkle it over the gloves before putting them on.
Invest in a dish rack
Dish racks have great value to price ratio. They can hold a solid number of dishes, glasses and forks and etc. To make your dish rack as convenient as possible, use a baking sheet under it and cover it with a towel.
Grow a habit of wiping your food as soon as you are finished
This is an easy one. When the food has been sitting on your plate for more than 10 hours, washing it by hand can (and will!) become a nightmare. Grow a habit of wiping your dishes as soon as you are done with your meal, you will see how much easier is to wash them later. The science behind this – with time moisture evaporates from the food particles which creates a strong connection between the surface and the food.
Wash with very, very hot water (while already wearing your gloves)
The higher temperature of water, less scrubbing efforts for you. Hot water acts like a spatula and takes off the food from the surface easier than cold water would. Also, it helps to eliminate grease and when your glasses are washed with hot water there are less streaks. The general rule of thumb is from the mouth outwards, meaning the items that come closest to your mouth should be washed first in the hottest and cleanest water.
Dedicate some time for your dishes to soak
No matter how happy our lives are, in some point of them, we all have to deal with hard to remove food leftovers stuck on our dishes. When this moment comes, reach out to your dish liquid or detergent and use a few drops of it on your dirty dishes. Let it stay for a night so the stuck food can be loosen. On the next day, simply wipe everything away. If there is still some food that is refusing to go away, include some baking soda for a better abrasion and sprinkle it gently.
Be careful: dishes tend to pile up if not washed regularly!
While this is not breaking news, we still neglect this aspect of our kitchen hygiene. If you happen to forget (on purpose) to wash some dishes and the two plates are looking more like a giant pile now, then you know it takes inhuman motivation to tackle them all. If you have a source of such, good, but for the ones who haven’t – wash your dishes every night, after dinner and do not let them pile up and become a thing that frustrates you and your guests. Having a neat kitchen starts with an empty sink and clean dishes!
Your perfect washing plan
You can’t be good at something if you don’t have a plan, right? No one wants to be good at washing the dishes by hand, but having a plan will shorten the process and help you go through this chore quickly. So, follow these simple steps:
- Start with washing your glassware and drinking cups.
- Proceed with your tableware or cutlery.
- Time to wash your bowls and plates.
- The nastiest step – tackle the greasiest stuff (serving dishes, dinner plates)
- Scrub and wash your pots and pans.
- Sanitize your entire sink with white vinegar and a sponge.
Every now and then there is that one pot or pan which is really tough to clean. The best way to tackle that is to start before the dishes (make step 5 of your plan first). Simply fill the pot with hot water, then sprinkle some baking soda and while you’re doing the rest of the dishes put it on the stove and heat it up. By the time you get to it, most of the food particles will hopefully have already dissolved.