Ask a Neat Freak - How To Do Dishes

Posted By Harper Dao on 5/1/15 3:45 PM


There's a lot of things we do on a regular basis without giving it any real thought. File "dishes" under that category. Given the invention of the dishwasher and the set-it-and-forget-it mentality it brings us, there's a knowledge gap when it comes to hand washing dishes. 

"When am I ever going to wash dishes," you say? It's going to happen sooner or later in situations such as this:

  • Your dishwasher blows up, it's a holiday and maintenance can't get to you until tomorrow
  • You own expensive knives (good for you) and those really shouldn't go in a dishwasher
  • You sautéed something from Trader Joe's that contained sugar and your pan is now caked in a black mess

If you're my boyfriend, your first instinct is to put all the dishes in the sink, add a manly-squeeze of dish soap, fill the sink with water and walk away so they can "soak." This is a total guy BS maneuver. Girls - If this is happening to you, print out this article and tape it to your BF's case of Coors Light. 

So, here's what to do - step one, get gloves. Those rubber ones. Keep them under the sink and bust them out when it's time to scrub pots. There's actually something really therapeutic about these gloves, I can't put my finger on it, or in it?!

Fill one side of your sink with HOT water. Really hot, (that's why you have the gloves).

Add some dish soap but not a lot. The hot water is going to handle about 60% of the work, 20% is your effort and 20% is the dish soap. 

Fill the other side of your sink with COLD, clean water. Add a couple drops of vinegar, this helps the air-drying process. 

Get a clean sponge, I like the blue Scotch ones with the scrubby surface and get to work. If your sponge is dirty, throw it away - buy more sponges. It's worth it. 

Take your least dirty item, wash it in the hot water. Dip it in the cold water, put it out to dry. 

Take your next least dirty item, wash it in the hot water. Dip it in the cold water, put it out to dry. 

Takeaway here, work your way from least dirty to the most dirty items. So counter-intuitive right?

Set those items on a drying rack, or face up on a towel. I've seen a lot of people put their glasses face down, maybe they think the water will drip out? I have no clue. 

So there you have it. You've not only learned to clean dishes, but you can enlist help from someone who otherwise would be of no assistance (my boyfriend) if needed thanks to this guide. If you have any pro-tips for cleaning dishes, leave them in the comments. 

Tags: Apartment Life