How to keep your kitchen sink clean of dishes without losing your sanity
Take back control of your life by taking on the overflowing kitchen sink
Let’s daydream together: it’s 6 am in the morning and you walk into your kitchen to make breakfast and you’re welcomed by a clean kitchen sink…. This will definitely make you smile and more eager to get your day started. But, when you are welcomed by a sink full of dirty and greasy dishes, everything changes.
I know that washing dishes is one chore that is dreaded mostly because it’s never-ending. In this post I share a few ways you can streamline your dishwashing routine for quicker and more effective clean-up. Here are some tips for getting dishes clean without doing losing your sanity.
1 Wash dishes as you go
This is one of the tips I learned growing up, whenever my mom would be cooking, you wouldn’t find a single dish or spoon when she was cooking, she cleans as she cooks.
It helps to wash all items that are used when preparing the food as the food cooks especially for dishes that don’t demand your constant attention, like rice, soups, or bakes. I find that one of the reasons our sink quickly fills up with dishes is that we leave all of the cleanings until the end of meals. Not only does this make it more tiring because we just ate and now have to confront a mountain of dishes, but it also makes the pile much greater.
Instead of leaving the dishes till the end of a meal, wash them while you prepare. If you’re not going to use a utensil again, wash, wipe and put it away. Don’t leave dishes in the sink waiting for more dishes to clean, before you know you have a huge pile of plates, dishes, and dirty pots in your sink in no time. It usually takes less than 5 minutes and you’ll save lots of time and effort that can be put into something more productive.
2 Rinse & Reuse
This one is similar to the one above, I find that most recipes I follow tend to require similar utensils, so instead of taking out a number of teaspoons, bowls, measuring cups, and other utensils to cook different recipes/meals. I usually rinse/wash and reuse it. For example, when I’m baking and I will need a teaspoon of baking soda, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract, instead of taking out 2 teaspoons, I rinse or wash the one and use it again. Make it your aim to use as few dishes as possible when you are cooking or baking.
We also try to refill the same glass/cup/water bottle throughout the day. Instead of taking out a new glass every time we need to drink water. We all have our water bottles that we keep filled with water that I usually wash at the end of the day and refill again.
3 Only put out what you will need
If you like setting the table for meals only take out what your family will need and use. Instead of taking out forks, knives, or spoons on a spaghetti night, rather take out forks only if your family only uses forks to eat spaghetti. Try not to put out more plates, or glasses if they will not be used for dinner. The more dishes you put out while setting the table, the more likely they are to get mess up even when it is not necessary or end up in the sink even if no one used them.
4 Use good quality cleaning products
Washing dishes over and over is not fun at all, what makes it even more frustrating, is to scrub dishes over and over again just to get them clean. It’s good to have a dish soap that does the job well, plus multiple sponges – a soft “non-scratch” sponge for most dishes, heavy-duty scouring pads/ sponge, for stuck-on food, and a stainless steel sponge (steel wool) for stainless steel pots & pans.
5 Have fun while washing dishes
From time to time, I like to listen to music/podcasts/audiobooks while doing the dishes, this is a great
6 Involve your family
The other best way to help keep your sink free from dishes is to involve your family, communicate your kitchen goals with them and get them on board. One of the rules I have right now which mostly works for my husband and me because our kids are still little is “leave it the same way you found it”. When you find the sink clean and free of dishes, make sure to not soak or leave your dish in the sink after use.
If you have a dishwasher, you can communicate that you would like for everyone to put their dishes in the dishwasher immediately.
7 Make dishwashing part of your routine
This is doable if you make having a clean sink every night one of your everyday practices. Tell yourself that you won’t be able to sleep until the dishes are done—and then stick to it! And convince yourself that this task will only take 10 minutes, or less if you do it consistently.
What’s your take on this
Do you have an easy hack that makes dish washing easier? Please add it to the list.