1. Don’t put dirty dishes in the sink.
This is intimidating and scary.
2. Instead, put them in a bin and keep it near the sink.
This way your sink is always clean and available to wash dishes.
3. If you have roommates, assign a different bin to each person.
4. Keep an empty plastic bin in your (clean) sink. When you’re ready to wash dishes, fill it with hot water and a few drops of dish soap.
The “plastic bin method” saves time and water. Make the water temperature as high as you can stand it, and/or use rubber gloves to protect your hands.
5. If you don’t have a plastic bin, it’s OK to plug your sink and fill it with soapy water.
Just don’t wash dishes one-by-one under running water like this dumb cat.
6. If you have any pots or pans that are mega, caked-on grease dirty, let them soak somewhere while you get started.
7. Work from cleanest to dirtiest dishes.
That way, you will have to dump your soap water less often.
8. Clean things in this order: Glasses first…
It’s good to do the glassware before you wash anything greasy that might smear on the glass.
9. …then cutlery…
Because they go in your mouth so they should get the cleanest, after the glass.
12. …Cast-iron pots are very last, after you’ve rinsed all the soap out of your sink.
Get directions on how to clean cast-iron cookware. (You can’t use soap because it causes them to rust like crazy.)
14. Use an extra oven rack as a drying rack over the sink.
15. There is no such thing as having too many soft, fluffy dish towels. Keep them somewhere easily accessible.
19. Use cold water to clean off starches and dairy products because hot water will make them gum up.
20. Make homemade Goo Gone with vegetable oil and baking soda to remove stubborn price tags and labels from dishware.
22. If you’re cleaning crystal stemware, line the sink with a terry towel.
23. Buy in bulk to save money, then transfer to an easy-dispense container.
25. Use this bowl trick to make sure you don’t use too much soap.
Most people use way too much soap when they do the dishes, which means it takes longer to clean off that soap. Instead, use a soap bowl: Squirt a tablespoon of soap in a shallow bowl and add a cup of water. When you need more soap, dip your sponge into the bowl.
26. Or use a foaming soap dispenser to make dish soap last longer.
28. Read a recipe all the way through before you start cooking, paying special attention to the size of the bowls it calls for.
If you use the wrong size bowl, all of a sudden your tiny bowl will overflow with ingredients, and then you’re going to have to start over with a new bigger bowl. That’s two dirty two bowls instead of one!
29. Get crafty with serving pieces.
36. Use the “one-soapy sponge” trick to break the task into smaller chunks of time.
If you hate washing dishes, try this trick from an editor at The Kitchn: “The deal is that I wash as many dishes as I can with one soapy sponge, and then I give myself permission to do something else.”