How To Hand-wash Dishes

I’m going to guide you step by step on how to hand-wash dishes. You can probably imagine that I’m going to say that keeping the dishes clean is probably one of your highest priorities as the Captain Housekeeper of your home. Not only does it make it easier to cook the next meal, but also there are health and safety issues as well. A clean kitchen is a happy and healthy kitchen.

Here is an overview of how to hand wash dishes. In a later post I will be showing you how to properly load a dishwasher if you are lucky enough to have one. (Also watch the video at the end of the blog post)

Gather Supplies

Just as with any project you have to have the right tools to tackle it efficiently and effectively. Here is a list of what you’ll need to wash dishes:

Dirty dishes
Dish soap
Sponge with scratch-less scrubber
Dishtowels – or drying mats
Rubber gloves (yes, you need these, trust me and they do make them man-sized)

Heres What To Do

Step 1: Divide your dirty dishes into categories to one side of the sink on the counter like this:

Plates & bowls
Cups & glasses
Pots & pans

Note: I mention using very hot water during this process and here’s why – the grease on the dishes will melt off making it much easier to get everything completely clean, and when you rinse with hot water the items will actually absorb the heat and as they drain on the counter they will dry themselves not only eliminating the step of drying dishes but also leaving them all spot-free.

Step 2: Squirt dish soap in your sink and fill with the hottest water you can handle. This is where the gloves come in, to protect yourself from the hot water. If you refuse to wear gloves (or haven’t found some that fit yet) be careful not to make the water so hot that you get scalded.

Step 3: Lay out either dishtowels or drying mats on the counter on the other side of the sink. I don’t like to use those drying racks that you can find at the kitchen supply store; they are too small, and become dangerous as you fill them with breakables and sharp knives.

Step 4: Arrange all the silverware on the bottom of the sink to soak, spreading them out evenly in one layer. Do NOT put sharp knives in the sink or you might slice your finger accidentally. Don’t ask how I know this. Moving on.

Step 5: Carefully place cups and glasses in the sink laying them down so that they fill with water. Using the sponge thoroughly wash each one, standing it up as you go so that you know it has been washed. With very hot water rinse each of the items and place them rim side down on the dishtowel on the counter.

Repeat Step 5 with the plates & bowls, then wash and rinse the silverware, laying it out to dry.

Step 6: By now the dishwater has cooled off and is probably skanky, so drain the sink and refill with fresh hot water and more dish soap. Repeat the washing and drying process with the pots and pans.

Note: at some point during Step 5 you may run out of counter space for the clean dishes. What you should find is that the very first ones you washed are probably dry already and can be put away. By the time you get to washing the pots and pans all the other dishes can be put away to make room on the counter.

Step 7: Drain the sink and put away the clean pots and pans

Slow down dude, you’re not done yet!

Step 8: It’s very important that you use another small squirt of dish soap on your sponge and thoroughly wash and rinse the sink. You don’t want to leave any food residue on the sink to grow bacteria which at the very least will smell funny, and at the worst contaminate your next meal.

Captain Housekeeper Says…

It’s a rule in my house that I do not start preparing a meal until the dishes from the previous meal have been washed and put away. At the VERY least don’t go to bed until all the day’s dishes have been done. Follow the simple steps I outlined above and you should be able to complete this task quickly and easily. (Don’t forget to bring age-appropriate family members in on the task)!

Watch the video!

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