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Best Way to Wash Dirty Dishes

Do you know about National No Dirty Dishes Day on May 18? This fun, unofficial holiday celebrates the opportunity to break away from the norm of slaving over dirty dishes every night.

You have two options for observing No Dirty Dishes Day: You can eat out every meal or you can serve breakfast, lunch and dinner on paper plates with disposable cups and utensils. To keep the holiday green, choose biodegradable products.

Of course, you can’t celebrate No Dirty Dishes Day if you begin the day with a sink full of dishes. Here’s the best way to wash dishes so you can empty your kitchen sink just in time for No Dirty Dishes Day.

  • Soak plates as quickly as possible: There’s nothing worse than day-old spaghetti sauce that refuses to come unstuck from pans, plates and forks. Even if you don’t plan to wash the dishes immediately, get things soaking so food comes off easily once you start scrubbing. Use extra hot water to help break up grease and stuck on food faster.
  • Clean the sink first: You can’t expect dishes to come clean if they’re soaking in a dirty sink. Clean it first with a squirt of dish soap and a wash cloth. Scrub away grease and grime, and then rinse the sink to make way for your dishes.
  • Use two sponges (or brushes): There’s hardly a germier surface in your home than a kitchen sponge. To prevent using the same one to pre-scrub dirty dishes and wipe off clean ones, keep two sponges by the sink. Scrub brushes are even better, since their bristles dry faster and harbor less gunk than sponges. You can also wash scrub brushes by occasionally tossing them into the dishwasher. Buy two different colored sponges or brushes so you don’t mix up which is for dirty dishes and which is for clean dishes.
  • Wear rubber gloves: This keeps you from touching dirty surfaces directly, protects your hands from hot water and prevents irritation from the dish soap.
  • Fill up both sides of the sink with hot water: Use the first side as wash water and the second as rinse water. You could just leave the tap running, but this method wastes a lot of water and dish soap. Add a splash of vinegar to your rinse water to prevent water spots from forming on freshly washed dishes.
  • Refill the sink if necessary: If the water begins to cloud up – especially the rinse water – don’t be afraid to drain the sink and start again. Dirty dishes won’t come clean if you wash and rinse them in dirty water.
  • Invest in a good drying rack: If you wash dishes by hand a lot, a good drying rack conserves counter space and prevents dishes from accidentally falling onto the floor. Clean the drying rack occasionally so it doesn’t get funky. Clean dishes don’t stay that way if they’re left to dry on a moldy rack.
  • Clean up after yourself: Drain the sink and rinse away all the suds. Wipe down the faucet, counter and backsplash. Thoroughly rinse and wring out the wash cloth, sponge and/or scrub brush you’ve been using. Hang cloths on the faucet to dry, and set sponges and brushes in a holder under the sink. Never leave sopping wet cloths, sponges or brushes in the sink. They’ll never dry and will harbor mold and bacteria as a result.

With your dishes washed and your kitchen clean, you’re ready to enjoy National No Dirty Dishes Day to the fullest! Enjoy this day off from scrubbing dishes – you deserve it.


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