Before the dishwasher was popularized, people had to hand wash dishes. Both serving dishes and personal dishes were scrubbed clean manually, and is a good way to get rid of scum that the dishwasher could not detect. Hand washing dishes is easier than you think, and will help ensure the cleanliness of your food!
In this article, we'll show you how to hand wash dishes the proper way, which is a practical life skill that everyone should know. No more grease stains on your fine china, and no more sudsy lemon smells in your cups! Start eating from squeaky clean plates, and feel the difference as your food becomes much more appetizing.
What to Prepare Beforehand
Before washing your dishes, it is good practice to prepare your materials beforehand. You should also remove any large pieces of food and leftover food. By doing this, you minimize the oils that go down the drain, and the amount of food particles that may clog the drain catcher. To do so, you'll need a couple of items:
- Dish soap or Dish detergent
- Flour or Paper towels - to remove excess oil
- Baking soda
- Hot water
- Scouring pad or Brush
For oily food, use a paper towel or some flour to absorb the oils, and toss them out with your solid waste. Dirty dishes often contain large amounts of oils and grease residue, which can lead to clogs in your pipes. Tossing excess oil out with the garbage minimizes the chances of clogging your drains.
Use the hose attachment of your kitchen sink to wash dishes with a powerful jet of water before cleaning them with soap. This will remove food bits and sauces that cling onto the plates, but won't remove miniscule residue.
Washing the Dishes by Hand: A Helpful Guide
Step 1: Remove Remaining Bits on Dirty Dishes
While you've prepared your dishes for a cleaning, there would most likely be bits of stuck-on food on your plates, bowls, and cups. Take your sponge and start removing these prominent bits and pieces. You may need to use a scouring pad to scrub them away.
Take precautions when scrubbing with a scouring pad so as not to scratch the dishes. Run the dish under hot water from your tap to soften the dried bits, and scrub with the scouring pad in a gentle but firm circular motion. This will prevent visible scratches from forming as you remove the dried stains.
Step 2: Clean All Around the Dish
Once you've spot cleaned the dishes. Rinse dishes with water, and take your sponge dampened with soapy water. Start with the soft side of your sponge, and clean the inside of the dish - which is the part that meets your food. Work your way around the entire dish, and sponge the bottom and outer portions clean as well. This will remove any oily residue.
Step 3: Scrub the Nooks
Scrub the nooks of your dishes and cutlery. For forks, you may find pieces of food stuck between the prongs. Use a brush or scouring pad to clean these out. Check the design of your dishes as well. Some dishes have engraving or patterned designs where food bits can hide, so be sure to scrub these out with a brush or a scouring pad as well.
Step 4: Rinse, and Test for a Squeaky Clean
Rinse the dishes in hot water - this will kill bacteria lingering on the dish, and test for a squeaky clean finish before you leave them to air dry. If you feel an oily sheen on the dish, use the soft sponge to clean the spots you've missed with a higher concentration of dish soap to water. Rinse, test, and repeat the process until you get a squeaky clean finish.
Step 5: Dry Your Dishes
Place your dishes on the drying rack to allow the excess water to drip off. Air drying dishes may leave watermarks, so it is best to use a dish cloth to dry them. Take a clean towel or some dish cloths, and start wiping the dishes dry. Store your dishes properly.
Storing Dishes Safely
Always store your dishes dry. While the air drying rack will help drip off any excess water from washing dishes, using a kitchen towel to dry your dishes by hand will help prevent the buildup of mineral stains from hard water. Use a microfiber cloth, dish towels, or a linen kitchen towel to dry your dishes, and wipe them in gentle, circular motions to prevent streaks.
Store your dishes according to their center of gravity to avoid accidents and crashes. Plates should be stored laying down, or on their side when supported by a dish rack. Bowls, mugs, and cups should be stored upside down, particularly for top-heavy dishes. Utensils should be separated by category, and placed in organizers in a kitchen drawer for easy access.
The order in which you store your dishes matters as well. Frequently-used items and utensils should be within arms reach, closest to the door of your cabinet, while dishes meant for special occasions should be stored at the back. Storing your dishes this way is more accessible, convenient, and hassle-free!
Keep it Clean
Keeping a clean kitchen is a lot of work, especially when you have to battle grease and oil stains around your home! Make cleaning hassle-free with our Luce Home cleaning services that get the dust and grime out of your home once and for all.
Looking for more kitchen cleaning tips? Head over to our blog and check out our kitchen cleaning series for more guides and walkthroughs!