Whether you don’t mind it or it’s your most hated chore, there’s really no way around dishwashing. Especially if you love cooking. But we can help you make this task run a lot smoother, and maybe even a little faster. Here are six smart tips that make washing dishes easier.
1. Start the night with an empty dish rack or dishwasher.
Tackling dirty dishes after dinner isn’t a chore I enjoy. Especially if there’s a dish rack to empty or dishwasher to unload first. It’s easier and less daunting to tackle a sink full of dirty dishes when the dishwasher is already empty.
2. Get a head start with a bowl of soapy hot water by the sink.
When it comes to cooking, we’ve talked a lot about cleaning as you go, so think of this little tip as an extension of that. It’s helpful to keep a large container of soapy hot water near the sink, then drop dirty utensils and tools in as you finish using them. It gives you a jumpstart on dishwashing, plus it prevents utensils from cluttering the bottom of the sink.
3. Save water by running the dishwasher instead of washing by hand.
If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher, don’t feel guilty about running it. Not only do dishwashers make cleanup a lot easier, but you’re also likely to use less water than if you were washing by hand, especially if you have a newer-model dishwasher.
4. Keep a clear sink and store sponges in the dishwasher.
I love this reader tip for storing sponges in the dishwasher. It keeps your counter and sink free from clutter, and your sponges are always clean. It’s a win-win.
5. Know what isn’t meant for the dishwasher.
Dishwashers are a kitchen luxury that make cleanup a much faster and easier task. But a dishwasher is not a catchall for all your tools and dinnerware. There are actually a number of pots, pans, and servingware that should always be washed by hand.
6. Your dishwasher needs a little TLC once in a while.
Running load after load of dirty plates and bowls can take its toll on a dishwasher after a while. So, to keep it working well, it needs a little TLC every once in a while. Be sure to do things like clean the dishwasher trap and seals, and run an empty load with vinegar.
More from The Kitchn:
- 11 Ways to Make Washing Dishes More Cheery and Less Dreary
- 10 Important Things You Should Know About Your Dishwasher
- 11 Things You Probably Shouldn’t Put in the Dishwasher