Washing dishes often tops the list of “chores you avoid until you absolutely cannot stand it anymore.” Even apartment dwellers with a dishwasher will find themselves needing to clean dishes by hand from time to time. Dishes always seem to pile up at lightning speed, and it doesn’t take much time for your sink to start overflowing with dirty pots, plates, and pans. The trick to tackling a sink full of dishes is to be aware of some helpful hacks that will make the whole process easier to handle, and we’ve got the tips you need to do it. Below, check out our most useful advice for washing dishes like a pro.
First thing’s first: the type of soap you use to wash your dishes matters. In order to conquer caked on food, not just any soap will do. For optimum results, you’ll want to start with dishwashing soap that contains lauramine oxide, a powerful agent that can cut through even the toughest of grease stains. It’s also a good idea to find a soap that contains lactic acid for some added antibacterial fighting power.
Hot and Cold Water
Hot water is always recommended when washing dishes. Not only does it work to remove food debris, but the hot water also kills germs and sanitizes your dishes. Washing with hot water also helps to prevent stains. However, hot water isn’t always the best choice. For stubborn dairy and starchy leftovers, cold water is key. Starch and dairy can get “gummy” in hot water, while cold water will allow you to clean them off with less trouble.
Try Baking Soda
An extra step may be required for any pots or pans that are especially caked with food. To ease your dishwashing pains, do this: coat your pot or pan with one tablespoon of baking soda. Cover the bottom with water, and then cover. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from heat and let soak for about an hour to loosen even the most stubborn and sticky stains.
Use a Dish Tub
The most effective way to wash your dishes in the sink is to use a dish tub. This will save water and cut down on the time it takes to hand wash your dishes. If you don’t have a dish tub on hand, you can line your sink with a rubber mat and use it as a tub to soak your dishes in soapy water.
If You Have a Dishwasher
If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher, there are still some steps you can take to ensure that your dishes get as spic and span as possible. Before adding any dishes to your dishwasher, rinse off excess food in the sink. If you don’t rinse your dishes beforehand, chances are high for caked on food and stains. When loading your dishwasher, put the heavy-duty items on the bottom rack. Keep delicate dishes, such as glasses, on top.
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