HOW to wash the dishes.

howtowashthedishesOkay. So you know I prefer washing dishes by hand because I think it’s good for my soul. In case you needed further proof that I overthink daily tasks past the point of normalcy, here is a short explanation of how to wash the dishes.

When I was growing up at my parents’ house we had a dishwasher that I was assigned to load every day. I became great at dishwasher Tetris and through the years have become preoccupied with the efficiency of how to properly load the dishwasher. But washing by hand? For years I endured huffy grandmother stares as I pretended not to see piles of dishes rather than having to admit that I don’t even know how to wash the dishes by hand. I never had to do that whatsoever until I was in college and reluctantly washed my plate and cup in the dorm sink. It took years for me to hammer out an efficient plan for washing dishes by hand.

My current method consists of:

  • Pile the silverware into a dirty measuring cup (2 cup or 4 cup size), or other medium size bowl. Set aside.
  • Wash the plates with dish brush, putting soap on one at a time and rinsing one at a time.
  • Do the same with cups, scrubbing with a bottle brush until clean and then transferring soapy liquid into the next cup.
  • Wash pots or cutting boards.
  • Wash silverware. Wash the container silverware was resting in.

Stop when the dish drainer becomes full and do the rest later when space is freed up.

My genius discovery of late has been to place an overturned dustpan underneath the far end of the dish drainer and allowing 3 inches of the drainer to hang over the sink. This allows water to properly drain off the edge and into the sink instead of pooling in the bottom of the drainer to create a brown, hard water funk that has be cleaned. Because I shouldn’t have to bear the indignity of cleaning an instrument of cleanliness.

I have also discovered that a cutting board dripping with raw chicken juice can transform me into a fretting lunatic. To feel comfortable hand washing such a thing I wait until the water is very hot and then slather the board with Dawn and antibacterial hand soap. Scrub as needed, dry as needed.

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