Cooking more during themeans you’re sure to be generating more dishes, too. In my house, it feels like the dirty dishes regenerate every time I empty the sink. Turn around to put away the cereal and — POW! — more dishes. Where do they come from? I didn’t even know we still had those bowls.
There are a few ways you can streamline your dishwashing routine for quicker and more effective clean up. Here are some top tips for getting dishes clean without doing quite as much work.
Use a dishwasher as often as you can
If you’re running the dishwasher a lot, don’t fret. It may seem like handwashing dishes after meals and snacks is easier, faster and more conserving way to go, but you’d be surprised.
According to the EPA and a 2016 study by the Water Research Foundation, the average dishwasher uses about 6 gallons per load, while older models can use up to 10 gallons. An Energy Star-certified dishwasher can use as few as 3 gallons per load, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Pair that with the fact that your kitchen faucet probably uses around two gallons per minute and, unless you can get your dishes washed in five minutes or less, a dishwasher just makes sense. Of course, not every home has a dishwasher. If you’re washing dishes by hand, keep reading. There are other ways you can make life easier after meals.
Let dirty dishes soak
Gross, but effective. After loading the dishwasher, you can let your hand wash items soak rather than spend minutes (and gallons of water) washing them over and over under the running faucet. You can soak them one at a time, or fill the sink a little and let them marinate. You don’t need a full sink to soak dishes effectively.
The best way to do this is to lather all your dishes at once. Then, plug the sink and run some hot water over all of them. Turn the faucet back on only when you’re ready to rinse everything. Your dishes…