My 10 Commandments of Dishwashing

by Martine | Jul 1, 2011 | Homemaking | 9 comments I have certain rules when it comes to dishwashing. It’s a chore I’m rather OC about, mainly due to a very stringent and germ-conscious year of IGCSE Home Ec in middle school. But I’ve applied what I’ve learned through the years, and I have to say, all of it makes a lot of sense! I’ve made some additions to the process though, which I humbly call my “10 Commandments of Dishwashing.” 1. Thou shalt wash things in a particular order. It’s common sense, really: Wash the cleanest items first; wash the dirtiest items last. I’ve always washed glasses first, and then the cookware and serving ware last, as these tend to be the most grimy and gritty. 2. Thou shalt categorize before washing. I honestly think I have an essential gene which dictates that everything ought to be categorized. When I do the dishes, I don’t pile stuff up like that horrible, disorganized scene below. Rather, I put the dishes in neat piles: All plates here; soup bowls are nestled from smallest to biggest in matryoshka doll fashion, and so on. It just saves space in the sink this way. 3. Thou shalt pre-wash oily, greasy, “tomato-y” plates/platters in hot water. I hate the greasy, half-washed smell of dishes that haven’t been properly cleaned. I call it the “Tupperware pong,” because the smell reminds me of funky smelling plastic containers which reek of whatever was last stored in them. To avoid this, I make sure all greasy, oily and grimey dishes get rinsed in hot water first before soaping. 4. Thou shalt remove debris first with a brush. I HATE those TVCs which show a greasy plate being effortlessly wiped down with a “super” cleaner. It’s gross: In real life, you end up with a greasy sponge. My mom always told me to first brush off any debris so you have a  greaseless, stainless plate or platter or pot or whatever. 5. Thou shalt have different sponges for different items. I have two sponges: One for glasses and one for everything else. I learned this from my mom, who, in fact, has a separate sink for washing glassware. I also have a bottle brush which I use for cleaning slim glasses, bottles, and baby food jars. 6. Thou shalt save water when rinsing. Because I rinse and brush everything off before soaping, I pile up the soapy dishes and utensils so that I can rinse them all in one go. This saves a lot of water. 7. Thou shalt drip-dry dishes and glassware before wiping them and putting them away. I have one of those pricey, stainless steel dish racks which are both pretty to look at and functional. I like that dish rack a lot, so I make it a point to use it. Since I wash everything systematically, I also dry them in a particular fashion: Drip dry first, then wipe up all in one go after all the rinsing has been done. 8. Thou shalt not leave dishes in the drying rack overnight. Dry them right away. We live in the Philippines, people. No matter how clean your house is, there will be a roach or lizard lurking about somewhere who will probably creep onto your clean dishes, leaving microscopic footprints and a million germs. It’s the truth, and you know it. Put those dishes away. 9. Thou shalt clean and disinfect sink after use. During a Home Ec class, we conducted petri dish tests on how dirty a sink and drain are after washing and cleaning up after a meal. It’s pretty gross. Let’s just say within a few days, the little petri dish which was swabbed with a bit of dampness from the sink looked like something out of the Fringe season 2.
Here’s what I do: After washing the dishes, I disinfect the drain and sink with a some baking soda and vinegar: I sprinkle a bit of baking soda around the sink, scrub it with a scouring pad, rinse with water, then spray with some vinegar. I then give the entire sinktop area and surrounding counters a soaping up with some plant-based cleaner before wiping the entire area with a damp cloth, then drying it with a clean cloth. 10. Thou shalt disinfect sponges and dish brushes after every use. This is just, again, common sense. After being run over all those dishes and utensils, you can just imagine all the bacteria on these babies. I thoroughly wring the sponges of water and leftover soap, toss them in a basin of hot water and vinegar for a few minutes, rinse them again in running water, then wring them of excess water before hanging them up to dry. My sinktop clean-up kit: Plant-based all-purpose cleanser; white vinegar (I use Magic Time); dishwashing soap (This is a Messy Bessy container which I’ve re-used). I keep the baking soda dry in the cabinet below the sink. So, there. Let it be set in stone–preferably a dainty stone like rose quartz. Hehe. What are some of your dishwashing do’s and don’ts? I’d love for you to share them with me!
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on July 2, 2011 at 3:18 AM Hey Marts! 🙂 We are both OC about washing dishes especially about stacking everything neatly beforehand, etc! 🙂 Love this post!
Reply Martine
on July 1, 2011 at 11:39 PM My tita has a dishwasher. They ended up not using it because it used up too much water! Well, that’s Manila, haha! How I miss 1st world comforts like dishwashers, centralized gas, and garbage chutes, lol.
Reply Rone
on July 1, 2011 at 8:47 PM I don’t do dishes much anymore but I have the same system except # 8 and 10. Washing dishes is my favorite chore, especially when I had a dishwasher. Everything was soooooo clean and stain free!
Reply Joy Uy
on July 1, 2011 at 6:58 PM Wow! Thanks for the tips.
I’ll print this para sa katulong.
I will have it translated in tagalog or bisaya para maintindihan.
This should make my sink extra clean 🙂
Keep it coming, Marts! 🙂
Reply ocmominmanila
on July 1, 2011 at 10:10 AM I love it!
My additional tips
1. Collect all leftovers for composting (which deserves another post altogether)
2. Best to have an insinkerator just so little particles don’t clog up the drain.
3. Use those plastic guards at the bottom of the sink to prevent chips on your glasses and dishes.
4. Don’t buy items which have very small openings that will make it hard to clean.
And trisha_cm, can you send us a copy of that helper reminder on top of the sink? Is the copyrighted? =)
Reply Martine
on July 1, 2011 at 10:18 AM I’m so honored that you deigned to “anoint” my entry with your OC-ness, hahaha!
We collect all the leftovers and turn them over to the caretaker to compost downstairs in the vegetable patch
My mom has an insinkerator; it’s too expensive for a newbie homemaker like me, hehe! In time. For now, I remove all the debris beforehand, and then unclog my drains with baking soda, vinegar and boiling water. 🙂
Reply manilamommy
on July 1, 2011 at 9:53 AM i love this list. i love dishwashing it’s zen haha
Reply Martine
on July 1, 2011 at 10:19 AM Haha. Ms. Bishop, by Home Ec teacher, would be very proud of me, indeed!
Reply trisha_cm
on July 1, 2011 at 9:07 AM You’re like my mom! She even made a reminder for the helpers and posted it on top of the sink.
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My 10 Commandments of Dishwashing by Martine | Jul 1, 2011 | Homemaking | 9 commentsI have certain rules when it comes to dishwashing. It’s a chore I’m rather OC about, mainly due to a very stringent and germ-conscious year of IGCSE Home Ec in middle school. But I’ve applied what I’ve learned through the years, and I have to say, all of it makes a lot of sense! I’ve made some additions to the process though, which I humbly call my “10 Commandments of Dishwashing.” 1. Thou shalt wash things in a particular order. It’s common sense, really: Wash the cleanest items first; wash the dirtiest items last. I’ve always washed glasses first, and then the cookware and serving ware last, as these tend to be the most grimy and gritty. 2. Thou shalt categorize before washing. I honestly think I have an essential gene which dictates that everything ought to be categorized. When I do the dishes, I don’t pile stuff up like that horrible, disorganized scene below. Rather, I put the dishes in neat piles: All plates here; soup bowls are nestled from smallest to biggest in matryoshka doll fashion, and so on. It just saves space in the sink this way.  3. Thou shalt pre-wash oily, greasy, “tomato-y” plates/platters in hot water. I hate the greasy, half-washed smell of dishes that haven’t been properly cleaned. I call it the “Tupperware pong,” because the smell reminds me of funky smelling plastic containers which reek of whatever was last stored in them. To avoid this, I make sure all greasy, oily and grimey dishes get rinsed in hot water first before soaping. 4. Thou shalt remove debris first with a brush. I HATE those TVCs which show a greasy plate being effortlessly wiped down with a “super” cleaner. It’s gross: In real life, you end up with a greasy sponge. My mom always told me to first brush off any debris so you have a  greaseless, stainless plate or platter or pot or whatever.  5. Thou shalt have different sponges for different items. I have two sponges: One for glasses and one for everything else. I learned this from my mom, who, in fact, has a separate sink for washing glassware. I also have a bottle brush which I use for cleaning slim glasses, bottles, and baby food jars. 6. Thou shalt save water when rinsing. Because I rinse and brush everything off before soaping, I pile up the soapy dishes and utensils so that I can rinse them all in one go. This saves a lot of water.  7. Thou shalt drip-dry dishes and glassware before wiping them and putting them away. I have one of those pricey, stainless steel dish racks which are both pretty to look at and functional. I like that dish rack a lot, so I make it a point to use it. Since I wash everything systematically, I also dry them in a particular fashion: Drip dry first, then wipe up all in one go after all the rinsing has been done. 8. Thou shalt not leave dishes in the drying rack overnight. Dry them right away. We live in the Philippines, people. No matter how clean your house is, there will be a roach or lizard lurking about somewhere who will probably creep onto your clean dishes, leaving microscopic footprints and a million germs. It’s the truth, and you know it. Put those dishes away. 
9. Thou shalt clean and disinfect sink after use. During a Home Ec class, we conducted petri dish tests on how dirty a sink and drain are after washing and cleaning up after a meal. It’s pretty gross. Let’s just say within a few days, the little petri dish which was swabbed with a bit of dampness from the sink looked like something out of the Fringe season 2.Here’s what I do: After washing the dishes, I disinfect the drain and sink with a some baking soda and vinegar: I sprinkle a bit of baking soda around the sink, scrub it with a scouring pad, rinse with water, then spray with some vinegar. I then give the entire sinktop area and surrounding counters a soaping up with some plant-based cleaner before wiping the entire area with a damp cloth, then drying it with a clean cloth. 10. Thou shalt disinfect sponges and dish brushes after every use. This is just, again, common sense. After being run over all those dishes and utensils, you can just imagine all the bacteria on these babies. I thoroughly wring the sponges of water and leftover soap, toss them in a basin of hot water and vinegar for a few minutes, rinse them again in running water, then wring them of excess water before hanging them up to dry.  My sinktop clean-up kit: Plant-based all-purpose cleanser; white vinegar (I use Magic Time); dishwashing soap (This is a Messy Bessy container which I’ve re-used). I keep the baking soda dry in the cabinet below the sink.  So, there. Let it be set in stone–preferably a dainty stone like rose quartz. Hehe. What are some of your dishwashing do’s and don’ts? I’d love for you to share them with me!You Might Like To Read  Today’s home office inspiration comes from Pinterest again (Do follow me there, or send…Birds’ eye view of my desk today. Aaaaaaah! Piles everywhere! And I’ve not even showed…9 Comments Tina Santiago-Rodriguez aka Teachermama Tina
on July 2, 2011 at 3:18 AM Hey Marts! 🙂 We are both OC about washing dishes especially about stacking everything neatly beforehand, etc! 🙂 Love this post!
Reply Hey Marts! 🙂 We are both OC about washing dishes especially about stacking everything neatly beforehand, etc! 🙂 Love this post! Martine
on July 1, 2011 at 11:39 PM My tita has a dishwasher. They ended up not using it because it used up too much water! Well, that’s Manila, haha! How I miss 1st world comforts like dishwashers, centralized gas, and garbage chutes, lol.
Reply My tita has a dishwasher. They ended up not using it because it used up too much water! Well, that’s Manila, haha! How I miss 1st world comforts like dishwashers, centralized gas, and garbage chutes, lol. Rone
on July 1, 2011 at 8:47 PM I don’t do dishes much anymore but I have the same system except # 8 and 10. Washing dishes is my favorite chore, especially when I had a dishwasher. Everything was soooooo clean and stain free!
Reply I don’t do dishes much anymore but I have the same system except # 8 and 10. Washing dishes is my favorite chore, especially when I had a dishwasher. Everything was soooooo clean and stain free! Joy Uy
on July 1, 2011 at 6:58 PM Wow! Thanks for the tips.
I’ll print this para sa katulong.
I will have it translated in tagalog or bisaya para maintindihan.
This should make my sink extra clean 🙂
Keep it coming, Marts! 🙂
Reply Wow! Thanks for the tips.
I’ll print this para sa katulong.
I will have it translated in tagalog or bisaya para maintindihan.
This should make my sink extra clean 🙂Keep it coming, Marts! 🙂 ocmominmanila
on July 1, 2011 at 10:10 AM I love it!
My additional tips
1. Collect all leftovers for composting (which deserves another post altogether)
2. Best to have an insinkerator just so little particles don’t clog up the drain.
3. Use those plastic guards at the bottom of the sink to prevent chips on your glasses and dishes.
4. Don’t buy items which have very small openings that will make it hard to clean.
And trisha_cm, can you send us a copy of that helper reminder on top of the sink? Is the copyrighted? =)
Reply I love it! My additional tips
1. Collect all leftovers for composting (which deserves another post altogether)
2. Best to have an insinkerator just so little particles don’t clog up the drain.
3. Use those plastic guards at the bottom of the sink to prevent chips on your glasses and dishes.
4. Don’t buy items which have very small openings that will make it hard to clean.And trisha_cm, can you send us a copy of that helper reminder on top of the sink? Is the copyrighted? =) Martine
on July 1, 2011 at 10:18 AM I’m so honored that you deigned to “anoint” my entry with your OC-ness, hahaha!
We collect all the leftovers and turn them over to the caretaker to compost downstairs in the vegetable patch
My mom has an insinkerator; it’s too expensive for a newbie homemaker like me, hehe! In time. For now, I remove all the debris beforehand, and then unclog my drains with baking soda, vinegar and boiling water. 🙂
Reply I’m so honored that you deigned to “anoint” my entry with your OC-ness, hahaha!
We collect all the leftovers and turn them over to the caretaker to compost downstairs in the vegetable patch
My mom has an insinkerator; it’s too expensive for a newbie homemaker like me, hehe! In time. For now, I remove all the debris beforehand, and then unclog my drains with baking soda, vinegar and boiling water. 🙂 manilamommy
on July 1, 2011 at 9:53 AM i love this list. i love dishwashing it’s zen haha
Reply i love this list. i love dishwashing it’s zen haha Martine
on July 1, 2011 at 10:19 AM Haha. Ms. Bishop, by Home Ec teacher, would be very proud of me, indeed!
Reply Haha. Ms. Bishop, by Home Ec teacher, would be very proud of me, indeed! trisha_cm
on July 1, 2011 at 9:07 AM You’re like my mom! She even made a reminder for the helpers and posted it on top of the sink.
Reply You’re like my mom! She even made a reminder for the helpers and posted it on top of the sink.Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website
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