Life Style

Useful Dish Washing Tricks You Wish Knew Sooner

By Jennifer Noonan

The Never Ending Chore

Dishwashing is a task most people don’t look forward to. If you’d rather be doing, well, anything rather than washing the dishes, check out these simple tips and tricks. While they won’t save you from having to wash dishes at all, they will make the job faster and easier than you may have thought possible.

washing dishes hacks

Bag It

Tiny items, such as bottle tops, cocktail forks, and kids’ toys and pacifiers, can get lost in the wash cycle if they’re placed in the silverware basket or upper rack. Instead of throwing such items directly in the washer, first pop them in a laundry bag. The mesh bag will keep them from getting tossed around—or worse, lost—inside your appliance. Place the bag on the top rack when you run a load for best results.

Dishwasher Top Rack

Blend Up Some Soap

With their sharp blades and tiny crevices, blenders and food processors are a challenge to clean. To dislodge food that’s stuck around and underneath the blades, first run a bit of soapy water through the blender on the pulse setting to give the cleaning process a head start.

how to clean a blender

Make Use of Plastic Bins

Contain yourself—or at least your dishes—when you’re on after-dinner cleaning duty. Instead of putting dirty dishes directly in the sink, put them in a plastic bin. Place the container on the countertop or, if it’s small, inside the sink, so you can keep all or part of the sink clear for other tasks until you can tackle the dishes. Putting hot water and a little soap in the bin will give your dirtiest items an instant presoak.

plastic bins for cleaning

Use a Soap Dispenser

Buying dishwashing liquid in bulk is a money saver, but large bottles are not easy to handle—especially with wet hands. Keep a refillable dish detergent dispenser on the counter by the sink, and leave your bulk bottle under the sink for refills. Soap will be just a quick squeeze away anytime you need it.

Use A Soap Dispenser

Don’t Rinse Your Plates!

Scrape your plates but don’t rinse them before loading the dishwasher. The small food particles left behind on your dishes actually act as an aggregate that helps get dishes cleaner as they run through the wash cycle.

Pre Rinsing Dishes

Flip-Flop Your Forks and Spoons

When loading the dishwasher, be sure to alternate the position of flatware (placing some with handles up and some with handles down) so that forks and spoons don’t nest together. Sharp knives, if you put them in the dishwasher, should always go handles up—for obvious safety reasons.

Loading The Dishwasher

Presort Your Flatware

Sort your flatware as you load the dishwasher, putting all the forks in one bin, all the spoons in another. Presorting your utensils doesn’t add much time to your dishwashing routine, and it saves time later when you put the dishes away.

Sort Flatware

Clean While You’re Cooking

Wash your pots and pans as you finish your cooking tasks. Food residue wipes off much more easily if the cookware is still warm, and you’ll have fewer things to clean after the meal is over.

Clean While Cooking

Use Cold Water for Dairy and Starch

It may seem counterintuitive, but using cold water (not hot) to clean that lasagna pan will make the work go faster. That’s because hot water makes dairy and starch stickier, and harder to wash away.

Cleaning Baking Pans

Make an Extra Drying Rack

Short on counter space but in need of an additional spot to dry your dishes? You can make an extra drying rack by placing a cooling rack on one half of a double sink. Not only will this hack double your dish-drying area, but because the clean dishes will drip right over the drain, your counters will stay dryer.

Dish rack


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