Instructables
Picture of Wash Dishes By Hand
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First, I'd like to thank my mom for teaching me to do this. I've met a few people who grew up with dish washers, and weren't really sure how to do this when they got their first cheap apartment without one. I thought I'd write this for other people in the same boat. If nothing else, it may save a few roommate relationships.

Now take a look at the picture. This is my setup. I have the drain rack on the counter, and keep the dirty dishes on one side of the divided sink. If you need to conserve water the drain rack should really be in the sink, to allow you to rise the whole rack of dishes at once. The drain rack I have doesn't fit in this sink, so I'm doing it this way.

Tools:
1. Dish Soap - Just about any brand works. You'll need to use a little more of some of the cheaper ones.
2. Drain rack - You can buy these in big box stores and hardware stores
3. Plastic net puff scrubber - These work pretty well, and dry quickly, but gunk tends to get stuck in them, especially cooked egg.
4. Dish Brush - These are good for knocking the big chunks off. They are great for pre-washing for the dish washer, or knocking things into the garbage disposal, but they don't really get the crusty bits off very well. If you want one, look for one that has a straight edge you can use to scrape with.
5. Dish cloth - This is the traditional tool. They are good for wiping down counters, and you can use them to wash dishes. They have some limitations. Because they are absorbent, germs grow on them if you aren't careful. You need to wash them out with soap after each use, and boil them, or put them in the microwave soaking wet to kill germs. DON'T MICROWAVE A DRY DISH TOWEL or SPONGE. You will start a fire. You should also hang them to dry between uses.
6. Sponge - I don't have one at the moment. These are a lot like dish cloths in use and maintenance, but they don't dry as fast.
7. Green scrubber pad - These are my favorite for dish washing. They scrub well, dry quickly, and don't get too much food stuck in them.
 
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Darcy7775 years ago
Ooooooooo I like this tip. I used to rinse utensils one at a time. Duh @ me.
rudresha5 years ago
What I like to do to conserve water is have a tub in each sink. One is the detergent tub, one is the rinse tub. The water remaining in either after the dishes are done can be used to water you plants or your compost bin as long as the detergent isn't antimicrobial (this kills the beneficial bacteria that break down the carbon, nitrogen, etc.). The detergent tub is the dirtiest, and may need to be dumped more than once, but nonetheless, the water is getting a dual purpose and the food waste is being reused as well.
nomifyle5 years ago
Great post, however, I simply cannot relate to someone not knowing how to wash dishes by hand. LOL
missmoxie6 years ago
I have that same blue swirly plate! I got it at a thrift store and wish I could find more.
i have em in green, left overs from the coffeeshop i used to work for.
xeijix6 years ago
I have another method of washing dishes, since I think this method is dirty (since you submerge dirty dishes in the same water that's suppose to clean it). Since, I would imagine, people dump dirty dishes in the sink anyway, presoak it; that is, have the habit of filling the dirty dishes with water right after having used it. Pile them ontop of each other so water is not wasted (dishes below gets a thin layer of water). Wear gloves if you want, but wipe down the dishes without soap, the gunk should come off relatively easy. Once that's done, they're practically clean, just wet a sponge with dishwasher soap and clean them. Only rinse when everything is soaped up. I don't fill the sink with water, instead I use a spray head on the faucet and run the water low. If you wash fast enough, you waste less water this way.
skunkbait6 years ago
Great job. Sadly, this is a much needed iBle. It's hard to believe that so few people remember how to properly wash by hand!
Beautiful! Your mother would be so proud, and I'm proud of your generation (I'm assuming you're under 30) for recovering so many lost arts on Instructables. My grandmother taught me to wash dishes in exactly this manner, and to this day, I follow her rules. I like how you stated it: "cleanest dishes first." For 40 years I've watched people wash dishes willynilly and was sad for them that they never knew they could be practising an art. Bravo!
dontno6 years ago
Last May my old dishwasher shot blue sparks out of the bottom front of it and triped the circuit breaker. Needless to say I need to buy a new DW. So for the next few weeks. (3 months to be exact) I washed my dishes by hand. I've done it as a kid as one of my chores shared with my brothers and sisters. While doing the dishes it was like a time machine for me. Going back many years, and reliving fond memories of people places and laughter. I was taught the same course as above by my mother. Dishes had to pass her eagle eyes before they were put away.
Great job! Here are a few things that work for me to make dish washing easier: Cast-iron: I rinse with a little HOT water when the pan is still hot--it loosens the grime a bunch. I scrub it with salt if the dirt is stuck. It doesn't cut the seasoning too bad. To dry it, I turn it upside down over a low burner and leave it for a few minutes. Then I turn off the burner, flip the pan over, and wipe with cooking oil (prevents rust). I use a dish brush for most of my washing--it works well for me, and it doesn't need as much attention as a rag to avoid getting sour smell. Also makes quick work of fork tines. Try not to use extra dishes. I've been keeping just 2 of each dish (1 for the Mrs., 1 for myself) in the cabinet, with the extrass stored in a closet. This way, I'm more likely to rinse off/wash a plate/bowl after eating, which makes it much easier than letting dishes stack up for a week. Also, you can just leave them in the drain rack until you need to use them again (if you don't need the counterspace). For stubborn dirt on stainless steel and for stains in the sink that will not scrub off with soap and hot water, get some abrasive cleaner. Bar Keeper's Friend works well, Comet and Ajax ought to be fine also. Pour a little on the surface, then scrub with a wet rag. It brightens up the sink after you're done. Make sure you rinse the cleaner off (re-wash the pan with soap) so you don't eat it next time you use the dish.
mikeasaurus6 years ago
Washing dishes by hand is something that is so basic but is usually left unlearned.

This instructable is the unspoken underdog of issues that should be addressed but seldom are. Washing dishes isn't hard, and shouldn't be something anyone fears, yet I know loads of people who outright refuse to wash their dishes.

Good job on posting this, it is something that is long overdue.