Continuing my How Do I Adult series, today is about washing the dishes.
As usual, let’s all be kind. It’s ok to still be learning the basics and it’s ok to ask for help.
There are a lot of variations in exactly how one can go about washing the dishes, so first I’m going to talk about how I wash the dishes, then I’ll talk about some ways it can be done differently than my method to help you figure out what will work best for you, and I’ll finish up with talking a bit about dishwashers.
Things you will need
A drying rack
Rubber gloves (optional)
Ok then. Here’s what I do!
First I turn on the hot water on high to get the hot water through the pipes. While that is warming up I will put away any dishes that are still in the drying rack from the last time I washed the dishes, and organize the dirty dishes so that they are easier for me to get through. I’ll stack plates together, bowls together, and pile the eating utensils all together.
Once the hot water is coming out the tap, I will lower the hot water flow and turn on the cold (I have separate knobs for hot and cold) and adjust the water temperature so that it’s about the hottest I can reasonably handle. Then I take my sponge and get it wet, put some liquid dish soap on it, fold it in half, and rub the halves together to get the soap lathered up. After that, it’s time to start washing.
I start with the plates. I’ll take my stack of plates and put the entire stack in the sink under the flow of water. Then I wash each plate one at a time – I pick one up, get it wet, use the sponge to thoroughly clean both the top and the bottom, rinse it off, and then place it in my drying rack. I start with the big plates and move to the small plates, as it helps them fit nicely in the drying rack.
Then I move to bowls. Again, I will place the entire stack of bowls in the sink and wash them one at a time, getting each one wet, cleaning each side, and rinsing it back off. I wash bowls from smallest to largest, again because I find that stacks best in my drying rack.
Usually around halfway through the washing I need to replenish the soap on my sponge. As I adjust to the water temperature I can sometimes also turn it a bit hotter.
As I am washing I will also wash the utensils, generally several at a time interspersed between the various other dishes I am washing. Each utensil also gets washed one at a time – I will wash the “business end” thoroughly and usually give the handle a quick wipe down. They then get placed in the utensil cup part of the drying rack business end up – except for sharp knives, which ALWAYS get put away point DOWN.
Sometimes cups will need to soak for a few minutes to make washing them easier, depending on what was in them (remnants of milk can be quite difficult to clean). As I get through the dishes I will start glancing at the cups and any I see with dried beverage on the bottom get a little bit of water in them to start soaking.
I usually do cups, pots, and pans last, along with miscellaneous things that need washing like measuring cups and such. If the drying rack is full at this point (or any previous point, if I had an unusually large number of dishes to wash) I will go ahead and empty it – if the water is nice and hot, the dishes generally get dry enough to put away within minutes.
As part of my dishwashing regimen I also wipe down the counters and the stove top and the kitchen table. Finally, I rinse out my sponge, squeeze out the water as much as I can and put it next to the sink, rinse out the sink if necessary and then turn off the water. I’m done!