What You Need to Know About Washing Dishes

Washing dishes is something that everyone ends up having to do if you live in your own place and eat food there. It's not a difficult task, but there are better and worse ways to do it.

Washing Dishes by Hand

Knowing how to wash dishes by hand is a basic life skill. Everyone needs to learn how to do it. You can't live out of take-out pizza boxes forever.


1. Sink, two if possible. If not, a plastic bin for rinsing is recommended.

2. Liquid Dishwashing soap.

  • If you can afford it, but an envrionmentaly and human friendly brand but they do tend to be expensive. If not, stick with a reliable store or name brand.
  • Do not buy no name, in my experience you usually have to use more - no real saving in money.
  • Do not choose one labelled 'antibacterial'. They are not better at getting rid of pathogens and they are toxic to the environment.
  • Also, don't bother with those that are creamy, the 'cream' is a marketing ploy to make you think they are kinder on your hands - they're not. (also - there are other uses for dish soap around your house that you might not know about yet - but you can't use the creamy kind for most of them)

3. White vinegar - optional but recommended

4. Rubber gloves - recommended if you use a commercial dishsoap - most of them are made with petroleum derivatives that can be absorbed through the skin.

5. Scrub brush, dish cloth and scouring pad. Do not use a sponge! Most sponges harbor all kinds of pathogens in the damp warm interiors. There are chemically treated antibacterial sponges, but they are most often treated with triclosan (also known as microban when used on solid surfaces) which is toxic to both human health and to the environment.

6. Dish drainer or towel on the counter for dished to dry

7. Dish towel to dry dishes (optional - it's actually more sanitary to let then drip dry)

8. Baking Soda

Dishwashing Steps

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