Some chores appear to be universally dreaded, and washing dishes is one of them. Not only does the task seem fairly redundant, but there is always a fair share of items that can never seem to get clean no matter how well you wash them. While there are some products out there that claim to ease the effort of washing your dishes (and we're sure you've tried most of them), we thought we would put together a list of helpful tips to making washing dishes a fast and easy task…almost.
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1. Clean your dishwasher.
If your dishes come out of the washer with leftover film or an off smell, it's time to clean your dishwasher. The task is not as daunting as it sounds and shouldn't take up much of your day. Just pour some vinegar into a dishwasher-safe cup and place the cup on an empty dish rack, standing straight up. Next, disperse about 1 cup of baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher. Run the dishwasher on "hot" for half a cycle. Once the cycle is complete, leave your dishwasher door open for a few hours to allow it to air out.
2. Wash moldy water bottles.
Plastic water bottles with curves and corners are almost impossible to clean, and always end with a faint moldy smell on the inside. Try soaking the bottle in warm water with about a tablespoon of bleach in it. The next day, scrub the insides with a toothbrush and rinse the bottle well. Add a tablespoon of baking soda and top the bottle off with hot water and let it sit for a couple of hours. Next, just rinse out the bottle and toss it into the dishwasher. If you don't have a dishwasher, a simple rinse in soapy water and drip drying on the counter will work fine.
3. Keep utensils away from other dirty dishes.
Source: The Snug
Somehow silverware and utensils end up on the bottom of the sink, collecting more dirt and taking even longer to wash. Try placing a colander or sponge caddy in your sink specifically for holding silverware, that way you only need to give them a good rinse before putting them in the dishwasher.
4. Freshen up your garbage disposal.
Your garbage disposal can quickly accumulate too much food and begin smelling a little off. To keep your sink smelling fresh add a few lemon peels, orange peels, or a tablespoon of vinegar to it and let it run. Your entire kitchen sink will take on a fresh citrus smell.
5. Wash your blender the right way.
Source: A Glug of Oil
It's such a pain to have to take apart your blender every time you need to clean it, and often pieces tend to go missing (like that one, small, rubber band thing). Save yourself the time and headache and just add a bit of soap and water to the blender, run it like you normally would and wah lah! Give it a quick rinse and allow it to drip dry.
6. Fill up the sink before dinner.
This technique is a simple way to get a head start on those dishes that requires almost no effort on your part. Before cooking, fill your sink with hot water, a little dish soap, and a tablespoon of baking soda. Then, as you cook, toss your dirty utensils into the sink. This way your dishes will be presoaking while you finish cooking and eating your meal, making the washing process much easier.
7. Clean glasses first.
Source: Live Strong
Avoid getting extra grease smeared onto your glasses by washing them first and keeping them stacked at the top of your dishwasher.
8. Keep glasses from breaking in the dishwasher.
Wine glasses and glasses with a thin stem seem like they were just made to break in the dishwasher. Their shape doesn't leave many ways to place them safely on the rack. Try taking a large wire baking rack with 1 cm holes and clipping little slits into the cable. You can then use the frame to hold the glasses upright and prevent them from breaking.
9. Clean burned residue.
Oops, it happened again. You stepped away from the stove for a minute and ended up with a scorched mess at the bottom of your pan. Equal parts vinegar and baking soda is the perfect mix for getting that burnt residue off of pots and pans.
10. Use cold water.
While hot water is great for killing bacteria and removing tough grease stains, some foods come off better in cold water. Starches and dairy (even eggs) are cleaned better with cold water since the hot water tends to make them stick.
11. Protect crystal stemware.
Source: No Garlic No Onions
Slippery crystal has a tendency to crack while being washed in the sink. Protect your precious stemware by lining your sink with a terry cloth towel before cleaning them.
12. Make your own dish soap.
Combine 2 cups of hot water, one tablespoon of arm and hammer baking soda, ½ cup of liquid Castile Soap, one tablespoon white vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil for the perfect homemade dish detergent.
13. Use the right amount of soap.
Source: Best Leather Conditioner
Too much soap means extra time rinsing off your dishes. Instead of applying a ton of soap directly to your sponge, mix a tablespoon of soap with one cup of water in a shallow bowl. Use the bowl whenever you are in need of more soap.
14. Use a muffin tin for condiments.
Save yourself from having to wash out five separate bowls and use a muffin tin to keep condiments separated but within hands reach. Using a muffin tin is also an excellent way to serve condiments at parties since it saves you from having to carry out multiple plates.
15. Wipe down cutting boards with lemon and salt.
Source: The Krazy Coupon Lady
Wooden cutting boards have a tendency of getting food particles stuck between the grains. Try rubbing your cutting board down with half a lemon and sea salt before washing it to disinfect tight spaces easily.