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    26 Tips And Tricks For Anyone Who Doesn't Have A Dishwasher

    What, like washing dishes is hard?

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    1. Make one-pot meals in a non-stick skillet to minimize the amount of dishes you need to use (and thus need to wash).

    This pan is 10" and is oven safe up to 400 degrees. It is made of aluminum, comes with a lid, and has a silicone handle. It has a thermo-spot indicator, which means the circle in the middle will turn solid red when it is perfectly heated for cooking.

    Here's a bunch of one-pot recipes for inspiration. Another good tip is to read a recipe beforehand to see how many dishes you will need. You may even be able to turn that multi-pot meal into a one-pot meal by planning and thinking ahead.

    Promising review: "I bought this pan two months ago. I have seared (and burned) food in it, and then just easily rinsed it out. I have yet to need anything more than a sponge and hot soapy water to clean it which is great because I hand wash all my dishes (I have no dishwasher). I have even used metal spatulas, spoons, and forks without any problems! The size of this pan is great for one-pot meals because it is large and has high sides. Another thing I like to do with this pan is to start dishes on the cook top and then finishing it in the oven. They do say after about every 10 uses to wipe it with olive oil, which I do. I have been using this pan daily and it still looks and works like new." β€”PiersonComputer

    Get it from Amazon for $22.47.

    Psst! If you prefer a cast iron pan, you can get this highly-rated, pre-seasoned skillet from Amazon for $14.88+. Dutch ovens are also great for one pot meals β€” you can get one from Amazon for $54.95. And be sure to check out BuzzFeed Reviews for an in-depth comparison of the best Dutch ovens at three price points if you want even more options.

    2. Wash your dishes with silicone scrubbing gloves to not only protect your hands, but to give you maximum scrubbing power.


    These waterproof gloves are made from stretchy food-grade, anti-odor, and anti-bacterial-forming silicone.

    Promising review: "As a semi-professional dish washer, I can say that these dishwashing gloves are effective, efficient and economical. One must still prep the dishes if there is baked on food, but anything you can do with a sponge, these can do better. Plus, no more dish-pan hands! They also make a great gift." β€”Stewart

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    3. Clean as you cook so you're not left with a million dishes at the end of your meal prep sesh.


    As you're cooking, put things you are done using in the sink so they are all in one place, ready to wash, and not hanging out all over the kitchen (you can also set up a bin for them to soak in, if you prefer) β€” this lets you avoid scrubbing dried, caked-on food later. And keep your garbage accessible so you can toss food scraps and scrape dishes as you go. For recipes that don't require your attention at all times (like soup or baked ziti) clean all your prep tools as the food cooks. Then you can eat worry-free and only have one last pot/pan to clean.

    4. Get a microfiber washable sponge to avoid constantly replacing your smelly sponges, which can become costly! Instead, use this one for a few weeks and then throw it in the washing machine. It will be good as new.

    Promising review: "I love these. I bought them months ago, and they have held up beautifully. I don't have dishwasher, so they take a beating. I love that I can throw them into the wash instead of having to buy an endless stream of disposable sponges. But what I really love is that they are large and clean really well. Anything that makes doing dishes easier and is environmentally friendly is a good thing." β€”Emily Cardwell

    Get a four pack from Amazon for $12.52.

    5. Clean your water bottles or travel mugs using an all-natural cleaning tablet. We all know washing those things can be a pain, but these tablets make it too easy!

    Promising review: "I'm not usually one to write reviews, but these cleaning tablets made my jaw drop. I have a metal Yeti mug that was stained from months of using it for tea. I have tried scrubbing it with Dawn and leaving that to sit and nothing would get rid of the stains. I bought these after seeing it on BuzzFeed thinking I might as well give it a shot. I put boiling water in the mug and popped in the tablet. It foamed like a volcano and I let it sit for half an hour. My mug now looks brand new. NO stains and I did ZERO scrubbing. My jaw dropped seeing how clean the mug was after pouring out the liquid." β€”Alex

    Get 12 tablets from Amazon for $7.99.

    6. Scrub hard-to-clean utensils with a blade brush. This makes it safe and easy to clean sharp blades and pointy forks.

    Promising review: "This definitely does the job, and does it well! I don’t have a dishwasher, so this tool makes washing silverware and cutlery 1,000 times easier and faster." β€”Kayleenadine

    Get it from Amazon for $5.60.

    7. Make sure to scrape the food off your dishes with a dish squeegee before washing them. This will make your dishes easier to clean.


    It also saves your one and only sponge from any nasty food stains (which contribute to bacterial growth on the sponge).

    Promising review: "I keep this with my sponge, at the ready. It works much better and faster than using a spoon or other utensil to scrape off dishes. I'm glad I got it." β€”Susan S.

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99.

    8. Use a food scraper to scrape away stubborn food remains when your roommate accidentally leaves their peanut butter plate in the sink for three days.


    Promising review: "I cannot live without these and every kitchen needs. I love how it scrapes out the leftover oatmeal from the pan prior to washing. It keeps the sponge and dish water much cleaner. I also love to use this for scraping off the cast iron grill, or just about anything I hand wash. It is very durable and sturdy! β€”Amkoch

    Get a three pack from Amazon for $7.59.

    9. Turn the cold water on to clean dairy and starches off of your dishes. This prevents the food remains from getting gummy and makes it easier to rinse away.


    10. Keep your dirty dishes in a collapsible bin to free up the sink. You can also use it to soak those dishes that just really need to sit overnight.

    Bonus points: That collapsible factor means it's super easy to store! Plus if you have roommates, and enough free counter space, you can each have your own dish bin to keep the sink free and know whose dishes are whose!

    Promising review: "We have a kitchen sink that only has one bay and we don't have a dishwasher, so we hand wash all dishes. I needed something to put the dirty dishes in and make room in the sink. This works perfectly for that. The fact that it collapses is where I was sold. It can easily be put away when guests are over!" β€”Phil & Ash

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    11. Hang a wire shelf over your sink so you can dry your dishes and save counter-space. No more bulky dish-drying racks.

    Learn more about this hack on From Oh, The Projects You'll Do.

    This hack picture shows the shelf over the sink so the excess water can drip into the sink, but you can also put a dish drying mat on the shelf so the dishes still dry, but don't drip! This will also allow you to hang the shelf anywhere in your kitchen, if over the sink isn't your preferred placement!

    Promising review: "I mounted this shelf over the kitchen sink in my RV, which added much needed counter-space. For example, I lay out the dish drying mat on it and put the washed dishes on it to dry. Now I don't have to use the stove top for counter space. It's only 12 inches deep, so it doesn't stick out and is not in the way at all. This is a perfect trick for small spaces." β€”Sandi S.

    Get a similar product from Amazon for $12.99.

    12. Or leave the dishes to dry on a roll-up drying rack if you don't want to install a piece of wire shelving, but still want to save counter space in your kitchen.

    Promising review: "This product is a game changer for small kitchens. Forego the large drying rack and get this sleek, stylish space saver. I don’t like leaving dishes in the sink, nor do I have a dishwasher and this is just perfect for keeping the sink clean and leaving the counter space open. It is also amazing for washing and drying produce." β€”Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $11.98+ (available in four sizes).

    13. Soak a dryer sheet in warm water and dish soap to make it easier to swipe away the grime from a dirty pan.

    Ashley McGetrick / BuzzFeed

    Check out Nifty's full tutorial.


    1. Fill pan with warm water and a dash of dish soap.

    2. Add a dryer sheet. Let soak for about an hour.

    3. Rinse, then wipe down with a sponge. The burnt-on food, grease, etc. should be softened and wipe right off!

    Get dish soap for $5.05 and dryer sheets for $5.70, both from Amazon.

    14. Keep your hands and dishes spick-and-span by getting down and dirty with a natural dish soap.


    This soap is sulfate-free (SLS, SLES, SCS), triclosan-free, paraben-free, petrochemical-free, and does not use animal by-products, toxins, perfumes, or ingredients that dry out and damage your skin. It is also non-toxic, hypoallergenic, vegan, gluten-free, biodegradable, and NEVER tested on animals. It has a light green tea and lime fragrance, keeps your hands soft, and still destroys grease from the greasiest of pans!

    Promising review: "For the past two years, I have tried to make the switch to using ethical brands and products. Puracy dish soap is one of the very first products we tried, and we fell in love! It smells great and really works to remove leftover food from pots, pans, and other kitchen items. We used it for a year without a dishwasher, and it always got the job done, meaning our dishes looked and smelled great. We especially like to use it to wash our wine glasses, as it does not leave streaks or residue at all." β€”HyggeHannah

    Get it from Amazon for $7.15.

    15. Waste less soap by pouring it into a touch-less foaming soap dispenser. This will help control the amount of soap you're using and reduce your soap cost.

    The touch-less feature is also great when you are working with raw meats so you don't need to worry about cross-contamination. The company suggests filling the soap reservoir half way with warm water and than the rest with a liquid soap of your choice for the perfect foam. You can play around with your soap-to-water ratio to get the best foam and maximum cleaning power, while reducing your soap usage! It also has two soap dispensing settings, so you can control how much soap you are using at once. This needs four AAA batteries, which are not included.

    Promising review: "I totally love this soap dispenser! I have had it since Christmas (yes, this is the kind of thing nerds get for Christmas), and it has worked wonderfully. It saves so much soap but still gets all my dishes squeaky clean. It's great to not have to touch the dispenser when my hands are covered with dough or raw chicken grime. I am so happy with this product, and definitely would recommend it." β€”Alicia G.

    Get it from Amazon for $33.95.

    16. Leave your dishes out to dry on a silicone dish-drying mat rather than a fabric one to help avoid mold growth.


    This mat is made of 100% anti-microbial and anti-bacterial FDA food-grade silicone, which prevents the growth of germs, mold, and mildew.

    Promising review: "I like the concept of this mat. It helps dry the dishes very well, and there's less chance of mold buildup as with a fabric mat." β€”Kris H

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    17. Swap your sponge for a microfiber dish rag. Some reviewers say they clean better than a sponge.


    You can throw these guys in the washing machine to clean them!

    Promising review: "I don't have a dishwasher and have to do all my dishes by hand. It's just me, so it's not that I have a lot of dishes, I just hate doing dishes. I wanted something that would make it go as quickly as possible and a friend recommended this type of dish cloth. I ordered these and am thrilled with them. They hold a lot of water and dish soap and the scrubbing side does a great job of removing crud from the dishes, silverware, glasses and mugs. The mugs are important for me because I drink a lot of tea, which stains the inside of the mug. These cloths do a great job of removing the stains with not a lot of elbow grease required. To clean them, I just throw them in the wash with my regular laundry and they last longer than I thought they would. I've had these dish cloths for several months now and I see absolutely NO sign of them breaking down or falling apart. I definitely recommend these as a welcome addition to your dishwashing chore." β€”NancyLou

    Get a pack of 5 from Amazon for $7.99 (also available in a 10 pack and 20 pack).

    18. Listen to music through a water-proof bluetooth speaker to make your least favorite chore bearable while not getting electrocuted.


    Promising review: "This little thing kicks out some sound! It doesn't have that weird tinny sound that a lot of the cheaper models have. It hits a good range of highs and lows. We actually had to turn it down the first time we used it because we weren't expecting it to kick out sound like that. I often stick this onto my kitchen window so I can listen while cooking or doing dishes. Yesterday I walked up to the sink, and this speaker was sitting in a bowl full of water in the sink. I dried it off and let it sit for about 10 minutes. It works perfectly and you'd never know it sat in water for who knows how long." β€”Bill W.

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available in four colors).

    19. Keep your sink clean with a deep basket sink strainer. It attaches easily to your drain and will catch all the food debris to prevent your sink from getting clogged. The best part? It adds depth to your drain, so it will catch more and save you from emptying it out multiple times during a dish washing.


    Promising review: "If you don't own a dishwasher and wash everything by hand these things are a must! I switched out to a tall pull down sprayer faucet and in combination with these strainers it makes my task so much easier. It is great for vegetable and large amounts of food matter. The baskets are nice and deep and of top quality. The stoppers look beautiful." β€”Brian Savage

    Get it from Amazoon for $12.95.

    20. Attach a swivel tap aerator to your standard sink nozzle so you can use its 360-degree rotating powers to get in all those nooks and crannies.


    This product comes in both short and long attachments:

    Short (pictured left): There are two spray modes and you can tilt the nozzle up to a 45 degree angle as well as rotate it 360 degrees. It has a "save mode" button that you can press, so if you are filling a pot or pan, it can save about 50% of water.

    Long (pictured right): This attachment also has two spray modes and you can rotate it 360 degrees. It acts more as a sprayer attachment than the short one. It has a "save mode" button that you can press, so if you are filling a pot or pan, it can save about 50% of water.

    Promising review: "We don't have a dishwasher so I wanted a swivel tap that would make washing dishes easier. This is great. You don't have to pull on your faucet to switch between stream and spray modes. The buttons have small indicators on them to let you know which is which, and the spray mode gives you a nice large spray area." β€”Kelly R.

    Get it from Amazon for $6.89+ (available in short and long).

    21. Scour your dishes with the fan-favorite Scrub Daddy. It will change textures depending on the temperature of the water to ensure the best clean. Did I also mention it's smell and scratch resistant?

    You control your scrubbing power! The FlexTexture foam is firm in cold water for tough scrubbing and soft in warm water for light cleaning. And check out a BuzzFeed writer's in-depth Scrub Daddy review for even more info.

    Promising review: "I don't have a dishwasher and have used so many products full of promise. This, however, cleans better than anything I've ever used. It goes from scrubbing glass to scrubbing pans, with ease. It really gets through grease, lipstick, baked on junk easily, with barely any elbow grease required. It does not scratch your dishes and rinses clean without much effort. I'm a customer for life! For those comments about it falling apart, I've used it for three weeks and it's still going strong." β€”Denice

    Get a three pack from Amazon for $9.99.

    22. Cook with aluminum foil if you're in a rush, hosting a lot of people, or just darn lazy. Baking your famous lasagna in an aluminum foil tin or lining your pan with a sheet of tin foil before roasting veggies will save you from a lot of sink time.


    When you're done cooking with the tin, you can just toss it! Easy peasy, and no mess. When your done making your veggies, just toss them on a plate and throw out the tin foil. Your pan will look like it wasn't even used!

    Get a 25 pack of tins for $13.97 and a 130 square foot roll of aluminum foil for $10.59, both from Amazon.

    23. Save yourself from hours of clean up by cooking your meals in a 6-in-1 Instant Pot. You can sautΓ© chopped meat and then dump chili ingredients in for a delicious dinner, using just one pot/device.


    When you're done using it, just remove the pot from inside and rinse the lid. And check out a BuzzFeed writer's in-depth review on the Instant Pot.

    Promising review: "So I just got home and the box was sitting in my foyer. My daughter asks what did you get me? I respond, this toy is not for you, it's for me. Quite simply, it is the best cooking appliance I've ever bought. This was like Christmas for me. I made rice, hard boiled eggs, garlic-honey chicken, and basmati rice, all in one night. It's 11pm and there are still so many things I can make. Dinners will now be so much easier and more delicious. By the way, the chicken used for the honey-garlic recipe was frozen solid as a brick. I just added six minutes to the cook time, and came out perfect. I made all this, and just had to clean one pot after. Life is Good." β€”D4

    Get it from Amazon for $59.95+ (available in three quart, five quart, and eight quart).

    24. Unclog your sink using a sink plunger. It will fit perfectly over your kitchen sink drain and make it good as new the next time it gets backed up.


    Promising review: "This little plunger fixed a long-standing problem in our office kitchen sink in literally five seconds. The sink had been having difficulty draining and would have standing water in it for a few minutes after washing dishes, etc. Before resorting to chemical pipe cleaner, I opted to give this item a try. After only two plunges in, some super disgusting crap bubbled up in the water then rushed quickly and completely down the drain. Thankfully, the sink has continued draining with no problems, but I'm still glad to keep this item on hand for any future problems." β€”Aces

    Get it from Amazon for $7.70.

    25. Prevent your clothes from getting drenched while washing dishes by using a splash paddy.


    When it's not in use, you can push it down until you need to use it again. It also adjusts to different heights for every member of the family or roommate in the house!

    Promising review: "I stumbled across this product a few weeks ago so had to order it. I wash my dishes by hand as I do not have a dishwasher. Yes, I have had many wet shirts after doing dishes and have done the laying of the towel across the front of the sink to try to prevent it from happening. With this guard I find I can prevent the wet shirts. It does not come up high enough to scrape my arms which is somehing I suspected would happen. This is one of those I call a gem of a find." β€”WVCookie

    Get a set of two from QVC for $15.89 (originally $17.50).

    26. Hand-washing everything can be straight up exhausting, so take a *load* off by using a countertop dishwasher.


    Promising review: "I lived without a dishwasher for 14 years because my I couldn't afford to lose cabinet space in my kitchen. I finally gave up counter space in a corner because I HATE to do dishes. Did my research on countertop dishwashers, decided that this was my best bet, and couldn't be happier! It is very quiet, cleans well, and I only use it every 4–5 days since I live alone. It saves water, doesn't ring up the electric bill, and I don't have to do dishes!" β€”Rodeograma

    Get it from Amazon for $223.97.

    You, washing all of your dishes:


    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    BuzzFeed / Via Allison Krausman

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