Giving dishes, cutlery and other cooking equipment a thorough wash can ensure good hygiene with the extra sparkly clean look. However, not many people know how to wash up properly which can lead to germs and bacteria still clinging to dishes. This article will give you some tips on how to wash dishes the right way without taking up a lot of time and effort.
Washing Up Preparations
Before diving into a sink full of dirty dishes, there are ways to make washing up easier. Ensuring you are well prepared with the right washing up equipment will make this tedious task quicker. After all, if you don’t have all you need on hand, you end up having to stop and look for whatever it is that you need.
Some washing up accessories aren’t necessary but some can really help to give you an organised washing up process. These are the accessories to consider:
- Washing Up Bowl – Using a washing up bowl can make it easier to separate your clean and dirty dishes. Some like to use a bowl to wash the pre-cleaned dishes instead of using the sink to keep their sink clean.
- Washing Up Gloves – A must have and essential accessory as it will protect your hands from the harsh chemicals of washing up liquid and from scalding your hands with the hot water. This will also prevent your skin from damage and drying out especially if your skin is quite sensitive.
- Caddy Bin – This is ideal to have close to the sink since you will be able to scrape off any leftover food or other bits into it. These type of bins are usually quite small so it won’t take up too much space. Alternatively, a small container can be used instead.
- Sink Tidy or Caddy – Keep your sink free from clutter by organising all your sponges, washing up liquid, washing up gloves and other related items all in one place. It makes it easy for you to find and it’s all within easy reach too.
- Different Types of Sponges – One sponge type doesn’t fit all. With so many different materials used in dishes and cooking pots, it’s important to be careful of the one you choose to use. Using a non-scratch sponge is ideal for anything that scratches easy such as non-stick pan. The shape is also something to consider e.g. a bottle sponge would be great in cleaning out tall glasses when your hand can’t fit in.
- Dish Rack or Drainer – A must have item in any kitchen even when the dishes are few. Designed to fit in dishes and cutlery, a dish rack provides the best way for dishes to dry out on and leaves the sink area a lot tidier too. These come in many styles and sizes from a flat standard one tier rack with slots for items to dry on or two tier racks that’s ideal for a family load of dishes.
- Drying Cloth – When you have an excessive amount of dishes and cooking pots to clean, the draining board area doesn’t always have enough space for everything to dry on. Using a drying cloth to dry up some dishes will allow you to put these away and have the area free again for more wet dishes. It saves you time as you don’t have to stop and wait for the dishes to dry which can take hours.
Top 10 Washing Up Tips and Techniques
Learning how to wash dishes with a good process can prove to be very efficient. Instead of taking an hour or more, this time can be reduced to just 20 to 40 minutes depending on the amount of dishes. Some of these tips can help to speed up the washing up process by teaching you how to wash up properly.
- Empty the dish rack – this will give you space to organise and dry dishes and cutlery in. It also prevents dry dishes from getting wet again which can leave unsightly watermarks.
- Pre-soak dirty dishes – having a washing up bowl of hot soapy water on hand allows you to drop in dirty dishes and cutlery for a soak before washing. It can help to remove the grease and dirt to make it easier to clean as you don’t have to scrub as hard.
- Scrape off food immediately – leaving scraps of food or grease on dishes and cooking pots will make it hard to wash these off later. By getting it rid of it straight after eating, food will have no chance to dry and cake your dishes so less elbow grease will be required from you when washing up.
- Wash with hot water – it doesn’t have to be boiling hot water, but hot enough to loosen food bits and allow grease to just slide off. Dishes will dry faster with hot water as well. Of course, the hotter the water, the more bacteria will be killed off too but don’t go for too hot if you can’t bear it.
- Use the right type of sponge – to preserve the life of cooking pots and pans, it’s important to use the right type of sponge. A stainless steel scourer should never be used on non-stick pans but it can be used for stainless steel without risk of scratching. For more delicate dishes which scratch easily, a non-scratch sponge can be used.
- Wash the greasiest items last – to avoid draining and refilling so early on, wash the least greasiest items first and progress onto the most greasiest last.
- Start with the smallest items first – this allows you to easily stack items on top of each other thus making the most of the space on the dish rack. It also saves you from having to stop and dry the dishes to make more space when there’s clearly enough space under the big items. Ideally, big pots and pans should be washed last as these can usually be stacked on top of most dishes.
- Drain and refill – as you wash along, the once clean soapy water will start to get dirty. When this starts to happen, drain the washing up bowl or sink and refill with clean hot water ready for your next batch of dishes. This will ensure clean water is always used to wash dishes.
- Avoid letting dishes pile up – instead of leaving the dishes till the end of the day, try to do these after each meal or at least before you cook your main meal of the day. That way, the washing up pile will be less daunting at the end of the day.
- Wipe the counters down – after all the dishes are done, it’s a good idea to give the kitchen counters and surfaces a good wipe down as dirty dishes and food preparations would have been sitting on these.
These tips are in no particular order and you may wish to only use a few. Washing the dishes doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming when you follow a defined process and useful tips. Once you’ve mastered how to wash up properly, you’ll no longer dread the piles of dishes waiting to be washed.