Learn how to wash dishes fast and get them really clean, either by hand or using the dishwasher.
Besides not having to cook it yourself, theres another major advantage eating takeout has over a home-cooked meal no dishes! Other than throwing a few containers into the trash, cleanup is minimal.
When you cook at home, thats certainly not the case. However, its better to enjoy meals cooked at home because you save a lot of money and have better control over whats in your food.
Lets delve into the best way to wash dishes, whether by hand or using a dishwasher. After you cook up a storm in the kitchen, you can wash your own dishes fast and with confidence knowing theyll be clean.
How To Wash Dishes
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How Often to wash the dishes
You should wash dishes everyday as part of your daily kitchen cleaning checklist. This prevents a build-up of dirty dinnerware, plus youll avoid mold and bacteria growing on your plates because of leftover food particles.
I personally prefer to wash dishes during and immediately after cooking and eating. That way, I dont have a huge pile of dishes and pots to wash up later. You decide what you prefer to do will you wash up as soon as possible or once a day?
Next up, determine how youre going to wash the dishes by hand or using the dishwasher.
Hand washing Dishes
First of all, make sure you have all the items necessary for hand washing dishware:
- Dish soap
- Sponge, scrubber or brush
- Double sink or dishpan
- Dish drying rack
- Kitchen towels
- Warm water
- Reusable kitchen cleaning gloves (optional)
Best Way To Wash Dishes By Hand
Here are the steps you need to follow to wash dishes by hand:
- Scrape excess food off the plates into the trash.
- Plug one side of the double-bowl sink or use a dishpan if you only have a single bowl. Fill the plugged side or dishpan with warm water (as hot as you can stand it). Be sure the other half of the double-bowl or your single-bowl sink is empty for dishes that need to be rinsed.
- Add dish soap to the water.
- Place items that need to be washed into the soapy water. Add heavy or bulky items like saucepans and baking pans to the bottom. Lighter items and ones that could break easily should go to the top e.g. glasses, plates, eating utensils. Be careful placing sharp knives or even forks into the soapy water so you dont injure yourself as you reach in. I like to wash these separately or first so theyre not sitting around.
- After a little soaking time, begin scrubbing the dishes with your sponge, scrubber or brush. Remember to clean the underside of pots and plates, especially if you had them stacked up. Heres how to clean a scorched pan.
- As you work, determine whether you need to change your water. If its really dirty, greasy or there are no soap suds left, its time to drain it and fill up again.
- Take the dishware, cookware and flatware out of the soapy water and check for any dirty spots you might have missed. Then, transfer them to the single bowl or second side of the double-bowl sink for rinsing.
- Wash off the soapy water until there are no suds left on each item. Place them in a drying rack.
- Rinse the sink and/or dishpan once youre done.
- Dry off the dishes, cookware and utensils using a kitchen towel or lint-free cloth for silverware. Put them away into cupboards and drawers. Learn how to organize kitchen cabinets here.
- Leave sponges, brushes or dish cloths out to dry thoroughly or put the kitchen towels to be laundered, if soiled.
- Put away your supplies and youre done!
The Most Sanitary Way To Wash Dishes By Hand
Sponges are bacteria breeding grounds because they never really dry. Theyre very porous and this provides ample space for food to get stuck.
Instead of a sponge, use a plastic or silicone brush. These dont have as many crevices for food to get stuck and dry a lot faster after use. Plus, its easier to wash food out of a brush so its not difficult to keep it clean.
If you do need to use a sponge to clean dinnerware, sanitize it regularly and replace it often.
Using the Dishwasher
Here are the steps to take to wash dishes using your dishwasher:
- If you have a newer dishwasher that cleans really well, you might be able to skip a few steps and just load it. If not, take the time to do the next two steps first.
- Scrape excess food scraps off the dinnerware and cookware.
- Soak heavily soiled dishes in warm soapy water.
- Load the dishwasher placing heavy items on the bottom rack and lighter pieces on the top. Place items between the prongs instead of over them so they stay in place. Stack flatware into the basket. Dont crowd the dishwasher or items wont get cleaned properly. Make sure items are dishwasher safe.
- Add the recommended amount of detergent to the dispenser. Follow the instructions on your dishwasher and the specific detergent. Dont use too much as this could leave residue on your dishes. Also, avoid using dish washing liquid meant to hand wash cookware as these produce a high quantity of suds.
- Close the machine and run it.
- Once the cleaning process has ended, remove the dishes. Check that they are clean and dry first. Then, put them away.
If youve been wondering how to wash dishes whether by hand or using your dishwasher, these tips should help.
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