Ok, I’m sure everyone here already knows how to wash the dishes. So what am I writing this for? Well, I’ve learned a few techniques over the years to streamline washing dishes and make the process efficient and short because I really don’t like doing the dishes. No one likes doing the dishes. They may not mind doing them, but let’s be honest… have you ever seen someone fighting to do the dishes? Nope. It’s usually the reverse. So here’s the process I’ve developed and want to share with you all. If you have any tips to add, please comment below or on our Facebook page. Now, let’s get dirty!
Here’s what we’re working with:
Scary!! But don’t worry! When broken down into simple steps (now with 133% more pictures!) it will be a breeze:
Grab the largest, strongest, and dirtiest cup you can find in the bunch, put a drop or two of dish soap in it and then fill it half way with hot water:
Gather up all the silverware in this order: Sharp Knives > Butter Knives > Forks > Spoons (Basically start with the sharpest, most dangerous stuff first) Then take that glass or cup full of soaking silverware and put it aside for later. Note: You are now able to rummage through the dishes without fear of cutting yourself on any stray objects which is usually a downer in your day.
Organize and stack the dishes into their similar groups. Exact copies should be directly together and all dishes of a certain type should be in a great stack that is related to their type: plates, bowls, etc. Place any hand wash dishes in the sink without a garbage disposal so that the one that has it is ready for some washing!
Begin the dish washing with the plates, rinse any heavy residue off in the sink, and place them in the dishwasher according to their type with exact copies right next to each other. Having them placed as close together will become important when we get to unloading the dishwasher later.
Next up are the bowls! Remember you can move the stack into the sink together and wash them all at once. Left over soapy water will just run over all of them. That is, if they all fit. Otherwise, break up the stacks as you need to of course.
Before we move to the cups, use this chance to wash and rinse any random dishes that may go in the bottom rack and open the top for them as well. Remember that it is best to keep plastic dishes that are dishwasher safe in the top rack. The heat directly from the water jets could warp your favorite food joint cup.
Time to get those glasses rinsed and into the dishwasher. Since the top rack is open, it’s optimum for making each move you make across the kitchen purposeful and towards the goal with the least amount of steps and energy spent. Start at the back of the rack and move your way forward so that if you do not plan to run the dishwasher now, when you add more glasses later you will not have to pull out the rack as far. There are of course exceptions to every rule. We rewash used glass bottles for use as water bottles on the go instead of plastic, because we already paid for them right? Those bottles are too tall for our washer, but when placed forward, the rack has enough give to close.
Before we can close the top rack, there’s one more glass on the counter we need to address. Remember the one from earlier we put all the silverware in? Well it’s been soaking all that crud off the utensils and they are ready to be rinsed! First place the strainer plug over the garbage disposal to make sure none of the silverware falls into it creating an adrenaline moment when we turn it on later that we don’t need. Dump the entire contents of the cup into the sink, rinse the cup, put it in the dishwasher and close the top rack.
Now to the silverware! As before, safety first! The priority remains the same: Sharp Knives > Butter Knives > Forks > Spoons. PRO TIP: Keep those spoons away from the running water or you will have a mess! Place similar utensils together in the same section of the silverware bin so that it will be easier to remove them after you’ve run the dishwasher. Once everything is in place, push in the bottom rack and close the dishwasher. If the dishwasher is full, then go ahead and start it running. You’ll be finished with the hand wash dishes long before it’s done, but when it’s time to eat, there will be hot plates!
Last but not least, it’s time to do the hand wash dishes! It’s good to have a drying rack and they aren’t very expensive. Start with the utensils for safety as mentioned before, remove the strainer from the garbage disposal and then work on the smaller items to the larger ones. This will allow you to place larger items over smaller items and maximize the space on your drying rack. Save something heavy for the other “bookend” and everything should be sturdy enough that you can place a couple of items on top! Carefully check the garbage disposal for anything that may be harmful to it and to spare your favorite silverware, then run it until it is clean.
Now on to unloading the dishwasher!
Open up your dishwasher and pull out the bottom rack. We’ll start here for several reasons, one of which is that there may be some residual rinse water on some of the items on the top rack and we don’t want to accidentally spill it back down on the clean and dry dishes below. If you placed each type of silverware in their own compartments in the bin as mentioned before, then it will be easy to place them in your silverware drawer. Grab the bin, shake it a little over the sink, and then take it to where your silverware is kept. Simply grab each type of silverware safely by the handles and dump them right into their spot in the drawers. You may have to shift things around a bit to get them to fit, but this is an extremely quick way to empty out the silverware bin. Place the empty bin back in the dishwasher when finished.
Plates! If they are all placed near each other you can grab the stack of them using your fingers as protectors between them to keep them from colliding as well as giving you more grip. Then stack them on the empty space of the rack, grab them fully with one hand and place them in the cabinet. For efficiency’s sake, and if you are ambidextrous, grab a stack with each hand and double time it! Once you’re finished, close the cabinet and push in the bottom rack.
Glasses! This is the easiest part. Don’t grab too many or you’ll end up looking like the new server at the restaurant! Once the glasses and random dishes are put away, push in the top rack, close the dishwasher and call it a job done!
Total time it took me to empty the dishwasher, rinse the dishes and reload it, all while taking pictures:
So there you have it everyone. It took me 4 hours to make this tutorial and only 34 minutes to actually do the chore and that was while taking the pictures for this tutorial! I hope this helps as I know that chores are not the most fun part of the day, but the sooner we get them done the better. Please share any tips you have with us here or on Facebook!
– Charlize <3
Cover image credit: Charlize Veritas