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How to wash dishes


This photo was taken during a roommate stand-off. One roommate was tired of washing the dishes all of the time when most of them were not used by the washer. Therefore, dishes were left for the non-dishwashing roommate(s) in question to do. It sounds silly, but cleaning stand-offs similar to this happen every day all over the country. 

Recently it was requested of me to write a piece on basic kitchen hygiene, also known as doing the dishes. While thinking it a somewhat odd request it quickly came to my attention how many students either A. Don’t know how to do dishes. Or B. Simply choose not to in an effort not to help out. Therefore I shall attempt to quickly educate those that currently do not posses the knowledge of dishwashing skills.

There are two different ways to do dishes, one is by hand and the other is using the dishwasher. However, a lot of people actually do a combination of the two. To do the dishes by hand one must posses some kind of sponge and soap combination – I like the dish brush/wand – and either a dish drying mat or a dish rack. The dish rack can be put next to the sink (or in the sink if it’s a double). To wash the dishes, turn on the water so that it’s hot enough to clean the dishes but not scald bare skin. Wet the dishes, wet the sponge of choice and proceed to wash off all gunk and grime until the dish is clean. Then place into the rack to dry.

For the dishwasher, make sure all giant pieces of food and crud have been removed from the dish in question. Also, make sure all dirty dishes are dishwasher safe. If there are pots, pans, cookie sheets, etc. involved and they don’t belong to you, ask the roommate that owns them if they would like them put into the dishwasher. Regardless if an item is dishwasher safe or not, if the owner prefers it to be washed by hand respect their wishes.
Don’t put plastic on the bottom.
Cups and bowls will survive in the top rack.
Pour dishwashing detergent or the preferred cleaning agent into the appropriate place. Do not use regular liquid dish soap in the dishwasher. It doesn’t sound like it would be a bad idea, but it is. Two words: Bubbles everywhere. Close the dishwasher, turn the dial to the desired setting and let the machine work.

There is now no excuse for anyone not to know how to do dishes. If further explanation is required, it would be wise to ask a roommate.


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