Ready or Not #246: Dishes

I got my dishwasher.  Of course it’s not hooked up yet, but I have been assured by both my husband and son that it would be working today – or tomorrow.  The point is, I am not going to wash dishes again until the dishwasher is up and running.

I hate washing dishes.  Some people love it and get joy from standing in front of a sink full of hot soapy water.  I do not.

Having said that…

Every time for the last two weeks that I have been hand washing my dishes, I have heard my mom in my head instructing me as to the correct way to do it.  It is kind of like when you have to sing the ABC song to find out if Q is before or after P.  The skills you learn when you are young, you tend to continue to remember and process them like you were still young.  After washing the dishes for two weeks, I am feeling old and I don’t want to have to think about it anymore.

The good thing was that I had a mother who did teach me a very effective way to wash the dishes to get the most out of your suds – and the time spent standing in front of them.

First you start out with two sinks full of hot water, one with suds and one without.  You then load the sudsy sink with all of the utensils EXCEPT the sharp knives.  (The knives will be cleaned later.)  You don’t do anything with the utensils at this point except let them soak.  Rinse all of the dishes in the non-sudsy sink.

Next you wash the plastic containers.  The reason you start with plastic is because the water is the hottest at this point and also has the least amount of grease or other particulates that can cling to the plastic.  After rinsing the plastic you should be able to run your finger across it and get a good clean plastic squeak.

After finishing all of the plastic items, load all of your glasses and cups.  These items generally don’t have a lot of food clinging to them and they are easy to clean.  It is best if you have a long handle brush to reach to the bottom of glass glasses because it is really difficult to reach your hand down at the bottom to clean them effectively without breaking the glass.  Just trust me on this.  (This is one of those bad experiences that I had at college where I had to administer first aid on myself.  My dad suggested, over the phone, that I sew myself up.  It did not happen.  And yes, it was that bad.)

Next you wash all of the bowls, plates and serving dishes.  By this time your water might be getting less sudsy and more dirty and depending on how many more items need to be washed, you might want to change your water.

Now is when you wash your soaking utensils.  There has been some discussion about the best method.  Some people prescribe to the “grab-n-swish” method, but I don’t find that to be comfortably effective.  I like to grab a handful of utensils and then take each piece and wash it individually.  If I am putting something in my mouth, I really want to make sure that it is clean, not just “swished” clean.

Now you can wash your sharp knives.  I don’t put them in the water to soak; I prefer to see exactly which end is which (another special story for another time.)

Now you finish off with the pots and pans and call it good.  Almost.

The thing about washing the dishes by hand, they still have to be dried and put away.  Some say that it is more sanitary and better to leave them to dry on their own, but I hate looking at them on my counter and I would just prefer to get them wiped dry and put away.

Job well done.

I was talking to my friend about how, as I was washing the dishes, I would hear my mom in my head giving me instructions – she laughed because she hears her mother too!  The funny thing is that she purposely does everything just the opposite – because she can.  I guess no matter how old we get we can still keep our stubborn streak.

In the end if the dishes are clean and put away it is all good – no matter how it was accomplished.

…and they had better have that dishwasher operational when I get home tonight!

6 thoughts on “Ready or Not #246: Dishes

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