Washing dishes is – by far – the least favorite chore around my house. Everyone in my house hates washing dishes with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. In fact, when the subject of washing dishes comes up, screaming, temper tantrums, and even tears are not uncommon. And hubby and the kids hate doing them almost as much as I do.
Really – it’s that bad.
To make matters even worse, we are sans dishwasher at the moment, so we’re stuck washing dishes by hand. Unfortunately, though, I can’t procrastinate much when it comes to dishes. Washing dishes is a chore that must be done, and done every day, so I’ve learned to live with it – at least until I can afford a maid!
If you hate washing dishes as much as I do, take heed! It doesn’t have to be all locusts and darkness when it comes time to do them. Here are a few tips to make this abhorrent chore a little less intimidating and stressful…
Wash Dishes as You Use Them
Here’s a common sense tip for washing dishes – wash them as you use them. By getting them out of the way sooner rather than later, they’re less likely to pile up and become overwhelming. All it takes is filling a sink with soapy water while you’re making dinner, and the rest should fall into place.
Use the Coaster System for Glasses
Hubby in particular hates washing drinking glasses, because he can’t fit his big fat hairy man hands into them. Cut down on the number of drinking glasses and cups in the dirty dishes by using the “coaster system. Each member of the family gets their own coaster, and their glass gets placed on their coaster during the day. Just rinse it well periodically and wash it at the end of the day.
Eesh! Baked and caked on food is the worst! Give super dirty pots, pans, and casserole dishes with baked on crud a quick prewash. Use a scrubby, a little soap and some hot water to quickly scrub away as much of the crud as you can. Also, all dishes should be rinsed well before being washed. They’ll be so much easier to clean and you’ll be less likely to just let them soak forever, not to mention it keeps the water cleaner.
Don’t Pile Dirty Dishes in the Sink
Dirty dishes belong in the sink, right? Wrong. Piling them up in the sink just makes washing dishes more of a hassle; you have to pull all of the dirty dishes out of the sink before washing. Instead, stack them neatly next to the sink. Better yet, place them in a plastic wash tub placed next to or under the sink. This system looks neater, it’s less work, and washing dishes seems a little less intimidating.
Wash Dishes a Few at a Time
If you can’t seem to keep up with your dirty dishes, try washing dishes a little at a time. Take five minutes here and ten minutes there to wash as many dishes as you feel like at the time. By the end of the day, you might be surprised to see an empty – or almost empty – sink.
I’m a music lover, so I have my Sirius radio boombox in my kitchen. This sucker gets cranked every time I’m stuck doing dishes, so I can rock out! It’s such a little tip, but it makes my least favorite chore a little more bearable. If music isn’t your thing, try listening to audio books or catching up on your favorite TV shows on a TV or tablet while washing dishes.
Learn to Love Foil
When I’m cooking something messy, aluminum foil is my dear friend. I try to line all of my baking pans, dishes, and sheets with foil whenever possible. I’ve even lined my slow cooker with foil before. It makes washing dishes so much easier!
Organize Your Dirty Dishes
It may seem weird to some, but I’m pretty big on organizing my dirty dishes before washing them. The glasses are placed right next to the sink, since they’re washed first, followed by the plates and bowls, then the pots and pans. Silverware and other utensils are usually placed in a large drinking glass or bowl.
Divide and Conquer
If washing dishes all the time has got you down, it’s time to rally the troops! You can can go the traditional route and have one family member wash, while another one dries. In my house, however, we’ve developed a system that works a little better for us. We discovered that some of us don’t mind washing certain types of dishes, while we loathe washing other types. So, I now wash the pots and pan, which I prefer since the kids never seem to get them clean enough; my daughter washes plates and bowl, my son washes cups and glasses, and hubby washes silverware and utensils.
How do you feel about washing dishes? What tricks do you use to slog through this chore?