Call it old school or poor, I still wash my dishes with a dish sponge and some dish soap and I don’t have me a nice little dishwasher like some of you.
There are some of you that still do things the same exact way I do and I’m sure this post will help you if you don’t already know these little hacks that make this dad one heck of a dishwasher.
If I knew what I know now, I would’ve had an easier time washing dishes while I was on KP in basic training but I was nothing but a young that was just getting started with life.
Now with a lot more experience and 4 kids later, I think I have mastered the art of washing dishes and I would like to share it with you today.
So if those dirty dishes are still kicking your butt, I’m sure these tips will help you not just clean those dishes better but it will actually make you enjoy doing them as well.
Okay, maybe not enjoy it but it will definitely make things a lot easier.
1.) Wash as You Go
Not many can multitask as it is probably impossible (I’m not a scientist), but if you are cooking, you need to think about cleaning them dirty dishes when you’re finished or you will only make things harder for you later.
Most of you might like the old stack em until later deal but that is not necessary.
When I use a knife to chop up some veggies, I just give it a quick wash and it’s back on the dish rack ready to dry.
Anything and everything that is manageable when cooking should always be washed right away but you can of course leave the bigger stuff for later.
2.) Don’t Mix Dirty Dishes
Just because you use dishes it doesn’t mean you need to pile everything up.
This is not a restaurant!
If you need half a cup of water and you decided to use a measuring cup, then guess what?
It is NOT dirty!
Take that cup, rinse it off, and put it on the dish rack so it can start drying.
For some of you, you’ll take that cup, toss it in the sink with the rest of your baking mess, causing it to grab some of that unwanted mess causing you to do more work.
This goes for things that are greasy and things that aren’t.
There’s no need to throw a used cup with last night’s stew as it once again, leaves you with more work.
3.) Use Your Hands
This is going to be your most powerful tool when you are doing the dishes and I don’t mean just because that’s what you will be doing to clean your dishes.
Taking that greasy plate and using your dish sponge is the last thing you want to do and I’ll be covering more on that next.
Now when you do get a greasy dish, here’s what you need to do.
Wet that dish and then add a tiny bit of dish soap to it (or your hand).
Give it a nice wash with your hands and you’ll see how easily that grease comes off compared to using a sponge that does nothing but spread the grease throughout that dish, which will also last a lot shorter than it should.
Your hands don’t absorb anything, so let your bare hands do the work.
Once you get all the grease out then you can take your dish sponge and give it that finishing touch.
I do recommend Dawn as it is really the strongest dishwashing liquid on the market.
4.) Don’t Soil Your Dish Sponge
This is actually a pet peeve of mine and it doesn’t help with anything.
When you are going to do dishes, don’t dig in while there is a bunch of food caked on there.
Just like the tip before this, take your hand and get rid of that gunk without the sponge.
Once that is done, then you can use the sponge.
5.) Soak Your Dirty Dishes
Just because you have caked on food that doesn’t want to come off does not mean you need to use a scour pad to get it off.
Take those dirty dishes and let them soak.
What I do is take each plate that I throw in the sink, run the water over them, and let them sit for about 5 minutes.
Once that is done, almost everything that was on that dish will come right off just with your hands alone.
6.) Get Rid of That Brillo-Pad
I’ve been in households where this is the go-to guy and I actually grew up in a house that used the crap out of this thing.
Times have definitely changed and gone are the days of scraping off metal to clean pots and pans and in are the days of nonstick cookware that doesn’t require a brillo-pad.
In fact, some people might not even know what this is so you can check that out here to see exactly what I’m talking about.
Now for those of you who are very familiar with this and are probably still using them, now would be a great time to stop.
Brillo-pads do nothing but ruin your cutlery and I’m sure you don’t want or need that happening.
7.) Have Two Sponges
I like some really clean dishes and I want no smell of what we had for dinner on them.
What I do is of course everything mentioned above but I also have a really clean sponge that does that final cleaning.
So if you want some fresh smelling dishes, this is the trick for you.
8.) Use a Scratch-Free Dishwashing Sponge
I know some of you are still using the old double sided sponge with the rough scouring pad on one side.
These days there are some really good ones that don’t use that but are still able to get out those tough, stuck on
9.) Zap Your Sponge
This hack applies to any sponge that is just flat out disgusting.
If your sponge smells anything else but like a sponge, then it might just be time to change out that bad boy, or you can do what I do to get rid of that funky smell.
I microwave it!
Put it in there for even just 30 seconds (depending on your microwave) and you will feel like you just got a new sponge or something.
10.) Grab a Silicone Sponge Scrubber
This invention can actually get rid of some of the hacks mentioned above but don’t count out old faithful just yet as this thing can only do so much.
However, without having to stick to food like a regular old sponge does, this thing can help with a lot of the decreasing and whatnot that would usually ruin a regular sponge.
You can checkout the Silicone sponge scrubber here and you’ll see what it can really do.
I might be old school when it comes to doing dishes but I can say that it does teach my kids some good old responsibility.
Not to say that there isn’t other things that can teach that but it also helps with the understanding of having a clean living environment.
Anyways, you get my point.
I hope these hacks have helped some of you old timers out there as I’m sure they will come in handy.
Do you have any hacks of your own?
We’d like to hear about them so please do share as I have probably left some out that can definitely be added to this list.