How to Wash Dishes the Right Way: A Complete Guide

By admin / April 26, 2021

Did you know that the average American does chores for about one hour every day? This time includes tasks like vacuuming, straightening up, laundry, and doing dishes.

If you do not have a dishwasher, then you may spend a lot of your time washing dishes every day. Cleaning dishes can be a cumbersome chore if you do not know how to wash them properly.

You may be wondering how to wash dishes effectively so that you get the job done quicker and you have clean dishes. Here are some tips to get you to hand washing dishes like a pro in no time.

Scrape Food Off First

Before you begin to wash your dishes, you should make sure to remove as much food and residue as possible. This way, you can avoid clogging up your garbage disposal or dirtying your dishwater too early.

For cutting boards, baking sheets, and pans, you may want to use a food scraper to get off all the leftovers that you can before you begin the washing process. A food scraper can help get the crust that may be difficult to wash off of cookware.

Rinse Your Dishes Thoroughly

To get the additional residue off of your dishes, you should rinse them before you start to scrub with dish soap. If you have a single sink, it might be a good idea to simply use the sprayer to rinse the dishes beforehand and set them aside.

If you have a double sink, fill one side with hot water and soap to put the dishes in before you scrub them. This will allow more of the leftover food particles to slide off make less work for you.

Soak Crusty Food Residue

A good rule of thumb for cleaning dishes is to soak items that have accumulated crust or hard bits of food. This will help to soften it so it will be much easier to clean. You will not have to put as much work in or waste soap and water.

Ideally, you should try to soak your crusty dishes for three to four hours. Fill them with hot, soapy water and set them in another area to soak while you wash the rest of your dishes.

Load Up With Dish Soap

For washing dishes, you will need plenty of dish soap to sanitize your items and make the job easier. Many dish soaps have ingredients specifically to combat tough food residue and kill the remaining bacteria on your dishes.

If you want an all-natural or organic option, you can find choices catered to your needs online or at almost any big-box retailer. However, many brands, like Joy dish soap, get the job done quickly and help to eliminate grease and grime from all of your cookware.

When you dispense your dish soap, make sure that you do not waste too much product. Instead, try utilizing a pump that gives you the same amount each time. Less dish soap will fall off your tools and go down the drain without being used.

Use the Right Tools

Although you may rely on one device to help you clean your dishes, it is actually better to have a combination of scrubbers in order to best tackle different dishes or types of food residue. You can wash everything from delicate china to a cast iron skillet without worrying about damage.


Sponges can usually get the job done effectively for most types of messes. A good sponge is essential because they do a great job of wiping as well. Sponges tend to be a popular choice as a universal tool because they can also wipe down surface areas.

Make sure to properly sanitize your sponge after using it to inhibit bacteria growth from your dirty dishes. If you use disposable sponges, buy them in packs so that you can immediately switch out your sponge when you cannot use them any longer.

Scrubbing Brush

A scrubbing brush is a wonderful tool to tackle messes like stubborn food bits. Load it up with dish soap to easily cover large surface areas with less amount of arm work. The bristles in the brush are naturally better at lifting tough grease and other messes.

To clean your scrubbing brush, soak it for several minutes in a combination of dish soap and vinegar to keep away the germs. You should do this regularly and make sure that the scrub brush completely dries so it is safe to use again.

Steel Wool

Steel wool can be a great choice to use on abrasive surfaces that are tough in nature. When you buy steel wool, you can often purchase it in multi-packs so that you will not have to worry about running out easily.

Do not use steel wool on your regular cookware, because it may wear away at the surface. Instead, steel wool is good for surfaces like baking sheets and cast iron pans. Soak your steel wool regularly so that it does not rust immediately.

Tackle Plates, Bowls, and Cups

When you decide the order to wash your dishes in, you should start with your everyday dishes. These include bowls, plates, cups, and utensils. You can fly through the dishes and be able to stock your cabinet faster after you have gotten through them.

While washing your dishes, scrub them with your preferred tool and dish soap, then place them in hot water if you have a double sink. Then you can easily give them a final rinse and continue the process.

Save Cookware For Later

By doing your everyday dishes first, you can also clear the sink for when you have to wash the bigger items. Cookware often takes up much more space and scrubbing power. You will not have to worry about damaging glass when washing large pots and pans later on.

If you wash large pieces of cookware, such as crockpots, you may need to be more careful and rotate it so you scrub every surface. Make sure that you can move it around without slippage or accidentally breaking it in the process.

Rinse Again

After you finish hand washing dishes with soap, you can take them out of your hot water solution and thoroughly rinse them again. Make sure to cover all surfaces of the dishes so that you do not leave any soap residue behind on your dishes or cookware.

If your sink has a sprayer tool, this can come in handy when you rinse. It has a powerful nozzle and is usually flexible enough to cover large surface areas. You will not have to maneuver your larger dishes

Dry and Put Away Your Dishes

The final step in the dishwashing process is to dry and put away all of your freshly cleaned dishes. Even if you feel you did a good job cleaning them, it is still vital that you dry them effectively. Putting away damp dishes can lead to bacteria growth, especially when they go into a dark environment like the inside of a cabinet or pantry.

Dry With a Towel

Drying your dishes using a towel still remains one of the most popular methods to speed up the process. One benefit of doing this is that you can almost immediately put your dishes away, rather than waiting for them to air dry, which can take much longer.

Make sure that you use multiple towels if you have to when you dry your dishes with hand towels. Once the towel gets damp, place it in a pile to be washed and immediately switch to a dry towel. Even a little bit of moisture on the towel can prevent your dishes from getting completely dry, and potentially cause bacteria growth.

Use a Drying Rack

Another great method for drying your dishes is a dish drying rack. These come in all different shapes and sizes, and some are even multi-layered depending on the functionality that you need.

Once you rinse your dishes for the final time, simply place the wet dishes in the dish drying rack. You can organize it however you like, but usually, there are slots designated for plates, cups, and silverware. Once the dishes air dry completely, simply put them away.

Some dish drying racks come with a plastic tray underneath that will catch water dripping down from the dishes. If that accessory is not included, you can make your own or simply place an absorbent towel underneath that you wash regularly.

Learn How to Wash Dishes Effectively

You do not need to have fancy tools or techniques to know how to wash dishes quickly and easily. With these dishwashing tips, you can learn how to get cleaner dishes and develop a system that works for your household.

Want to learn more about taking care of your home? Check out our sites for all of the cleaning tips and tricks that you will need.

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