How Do You Wash Dishes? 5 Innovative Methods to Improve Dishwashing


When you’ve got a lot of greasy dishes to scrub, even the most enthusiastic dishwasher might feel discouraged and think twice about putting some elbow grease into their work. But it’s important to remember that there are ways to make this task easier, no matter how much cleaning is involved.

If you’re looking for tips to get your dishes sparkling clean without having to resort to excessive elbow grease or chemical additives, try some of these innovative strategies.

#1 Prep & Soak Your Dishes

The most important way to speed up hand washing dishes is by making sure your dishes are prepped beforehand. While you’ll need to spend a few minutes preparing your dishes, you won’t have to spend as much time washing them.

There are several methods you can use to prep your dishes, including:

Scrape Your Dishes

This is an old hack that could save you time and effort if you’re looking to simplify your dishwashing routine. Scraping your dishes first will make a big difference in their cleanliness, and it can save time that you’d spend scrubbing otherwise.

Use Very Hot Water

Heat – when it’s applied to soap and water or glassware and tableware – helps make them easier to clean. Hot water will help break down grease and can aid in drying dishes without streaks.

Let Them Soak

Fill the sink with clean, hot water and let the dirty dishes soak for 15 – 30 minutes.

For incredibly stubborn grime, use some dish liquid while soaking to let those baked-on food bits loosen over time. After a while of soaking, you’ll be able to wipe all the grime away without having to scrub for hours.

Try a Soap & Shake

For containers with lids, you may not need to scrape them—just place soap and hot water in the containers you’re washing, snap on the covers and shake them from time to time. Think of it as a mini dish washer.

#2 Use Quality Tools to Wash Dishes

You may not need all of these tools every single time you wash the dishes, but it is good to have them around when you need them. Having the right tools can make all the difference when it comes to washing dishes.

Dish Scraper

If you hate soaking and scrubbing dishes, you’re not the only one. A dish-scraping tool like this one can make scraping dirty dishes so much easier because you can quickly scrape off any food that has dried or baked onto a dish.

Dish Washing Sponge

Make sure to get a good scrubbing sponge to get your dishes squeaky clean. It is best to choose a gentle, non-scratching sponge so you won’t ruin your dishes.

Tip: Sponges should be sanitized or tossed weekly due to bacteria build-up. You can even buy reusable sponges that can be washed with the laundry to make things easier and cut down on waste.

Dish Washing Gloves

Dish gloves are a simple solution you can use to take care of your hands while washing dishes. In addition to protecting your hands from chemicals and hot water, dish gloves can also help prevent blisters that can develop from washing dishes over long periods.

Water Bottle Cleaning Brush

Many things might be irritating in the kitchen, but washing your water bottle is among the worst. A bottle washing brush is the easiest way to clean your water bottle and other hard-to-reach places.

Dish Towel

Thin, small dish towels are great for polishing drying glasses, while thick, super-absorbent towels are better for spills and drying pots and pans. Check out some of the best dish towels for only $1.

Drain Strainer

A kitchen strainer is a tool that can keep your food bits out of the drain while allowing water to flow freely through. Choose from many different models that will work with your specific sink to keep food out of the drain while protecting your pipes from clogging.

Soap Dispensing Dish Brush

Soap dispensing brushes are one of the most popular kitchen tools in recent years, for a good reason! They hold dish soap, have a soft sponge on one end, and make it easy to clean your dirty dishes without getting your hands grimy. These soap dispensing brushes come highly recommended:

OXO Good Grips Dispensing Dish Brush

This dispensing brush has a wide opening that is easy to fill with dish soap and a special valve that cuts out waste and dripping when not in use.

This dispensing brush has a built-in scraper that removes baked-on food easily and quickly, and it also comes with a soft nylon brush to use on non-stick pans and other more delicate dishes. The brush handle can also work with scrubbing sponges that are sold separately.

Scotch-Brite Advanced Dishwand

The Scotch-Brite Advanced Dishwand is an excellent tool for any kitchen. The brush has a foam sponge and a scraper, which are both helpful in removing stuck-on food and grease. It does not leak and has a button that lets you precisely control the soap dispensing. With a non-slip grip handle, this dish wand is compact and keeps your sink area nice and neat.

Soap Dispensing Palm Brush

Soap dispensing palm brushes are tiny but very powerful. They have a small button on the top that will release the soap through the bristles so that you can scrub off grease, grime, and stuck-on food, easily and quickly.

Their small size makes it easier to get into hard-to-reach spots, and they don’t take up much room on the counter at all.

#3 Get the Best Dish Soap

Using high-quality dish soap, such as joy dish soap, makes a huge difference. Quality dish soap can easily cut through grease and grime, and it won’t leave a slimy film on your dishes.

When dirty dishes are sitting around for hours, the moisture evaporates from the food, causing it to dry out and bond to the dish’s surface. High-quality dish soap can get rid of dried-on food better than any other cleaning solution.

#4 Use a Sanitizing Rinse

Rinsing your dishes in a sanitizing solution will help you feel confident that your dishes are clean. A sanitizing rinse can kill the bacteria on your dishes to ensure no germs are left behind.

After you wash dishes, dip them into a homemade bleach and water sanitizer solution, or purchase a food-safe sanitizing solution to use for this method.

#5 Invest in a Good Dish Rack

Let your dishes dry without overcrowding the counter when you invest in a suitable dish rack. Indeed, there are other choices for drying your dishes, like microfiber mats or drainboards. Still, a good dish rack helps keep your dishes separate, providing better airflow and drainage, ultimately making your dishes dry faster. The most popular current brands of dish racks include:

KitchenAid Full Size Dish Rack

The KitchenAid Full-Size Dish Rack provides a great balance of features vs. size for a four-person home. This dish rack is approximately 20½ inches long and 15 inches wide, and it fits perfectly on most countertops. The draining dish catches excess water. Steel sides help protect plates from falling out and breaking. You can also take apart this rack into three pieces to make cleaning it a breeze.

Simplehuman Steel Frame Dishrack

This is one of the larger dish racks available, and it is one of the most effective for draining water. It has a closed-in basin that does not overflow easily, even with a lot of water inside. This dish rack even has a swiveling ability, allowing you to arrange dishes on your countertop however you need.

Rubbermaid Antimicrobial Dish Drainer

The Rubbermaid Antimicrobial Dish Drainer is a budget-friendly option and is one of the best-selling dish racks available. It manages to hold a good amount of dishes for a family of four people. This rack does not come with the drainboard, but the brand sells a separate drainboard that will work with this dish rack.

Dish Mat

It’s not a dish rack, but a dish mat also has its advantages. You can leave your wet dishes on a super-absorbent dish mat while still keeping your countertops dry. After you’re done using your dish mat, simply hang it to dry.

Discover More Home and Lifestyle Tips

We hope this article has given you some valuable insights on how to wash dishes by hand and improve your dishwashing methods. If you’re looking for more advice for cleaning in the kitchen or home cleaning ideas, our blog provides you with valuable lifestyle and home tips to help you achieve your goals in a snap!


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