- Soak dishes before washing to help loosen encrusted food debris.
- To save water when dishwashing, use a wash basin, or put the plug in and fill your sink up – don’t just leave the tap running the whole time.
- Wash your dish towels and cloths regularly to keep them clean and hygienic.
Whether you’re protecting your more delicate crockery, saving energy, or just don’t have a dishwasher, you can make the most of the time spent hand dishwashing with these simple tips and tricks for gleaming results.
How to Clean Dishes: The Basics
Prepare to clean dishes — First, make sure that you have everything that you need – a place to put the clean dishes, the dishwashing bar or liquid, and gloves to protect your hands if you want! If you’re using a liquid dish wash like Vim Liquid Lemon, mix one teaspoon (3 to 4 ml) in a small bowl (about 40 ml of water). You can dip your sponge or pad into this solution. Remember – you don’t need to use too much detergent, even if your dishes are very dirty. Just follow the directions on the label. If you’re using a bar, then just take a swipe on your wet scrubber.
Wash cleanest dishes first and finish with the dirtiest — Start with glassware and stemware, then move onto the forks, knives, spoons, and eating utensils. Then plates and bowls, and finally, the cooking dishes — the pots, pans, grills, and baking trays. This way, the greasy dishes at the end won’t make your wet scrubber or scotch-brite dirty or leave residue on the other dishes.
Soak any tough dishes ahead of time — This is the number one rule for how to clean dishes. If food has crusted on to your baking pans or trays, fill them with hot water, add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to create foam, and let them soak for a few hours. You may even need to soak the dishes overnight for the best results.
Rinse the dishes afterward — Once the dishes have been washed in soapy water, give them a quick rinse before you dry them. You don’t want a film of soap to be left on the dishes.
Air dry the dishes where possible — Set them on a dish rack and let them dry on their own. This is less effort for you and also more hygienic. Dish towels used for drying can harbour germs and bacteria. However, if you need the dishes right away and need to hand dry them, make sure you are using a clean dish towel.
Extra Tips for Hand Dishwashing
Extra precautions for delicate dishes — Particularly delicate dishes like ceramic or fine stemware, should be washed separately from other dishes. To prevent breakages, line the bottom of your sink with a towel before you start washing. If something is particularly delicate, you can create a mixture of baking soda and water, soak a cloth in this solution, and gently use this to rub your delicate dish.
With these tips, dishwashing by hand should be a snap. Hand dishwashing saves on your energy and water costs — but it also doesn’t need to take up too much of your time. Cleaning dishes can be easy on both you, your bills, and the environment!