Dishwashing Grandma’s Way

If you wash dishes by hand and, like me, use a metal dish pan (mine is an antique enamel tub), place a folded dish towel in the bottom of the dish pan to keep your glassware and dinnerware from possible damage by the contact with metal.

When it comes to hand washing dishes, rinsing off that soapy residue can use quite a lot of water. Since we don’t have running water I use three containers of water.

The first is the dish pan with warm, soapy water. Begin by washing the cleanest things first.

Also, before washing, clean off the cookware and dinnerware first by wiping away any food debris and disposing of it. A hot pan or skillet is much easier to clean than a cold one. While the pan is still hot, drain off any liquid, then wipe away anything that remains. You can easily completely clean a skillet this way.

Glassware first, then flatware, cups, plates and bowls, last cookware. Just as each is washed separately, remove the washed articles to the first rinse water container which holds warm water and vinegar. Then from there move them to the final rinse bath to remove possible hint of the vinegar or soap. By the time the second load of dishes is washed and rinsed, the first load is air-dried and ready to be put away.

I have tested this method against my “former” automated dishwasher, and I had all the dishes washed, dried and put away in less time than it took the DW to start its wash cycle. Just think of all the water and electricity that DW used compared to the 2-3 gallons I used doing them by hand.

After the dishes are finished I can continue using the same water for other cleaning, such as washing down the counters, cupboard doors, and stove. Or use it to wash the floor.