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Old 08-19-2023, 06:06 PM
Location: Texas Hill Country
23,656 posts, read 13,969,723 times
Reputation: 18856


Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
A visit to a younger relative made me realize some people don’t know how to wash dishes by hand. Not every home or apartment have a dishwasher so hand washing is a requirement. But there are ways to do so efficiently. First off, there’s no reason to completely fill the sink with hot soapy water. Depending on the size of the sink, half full should be enough. For pots and pans, pour a few drops of dish soap and fill with hot water to cover food residue to pre soak. Don’t fill the sink with all your dishes. Divide your dishes by type. The first three types can be done in any order but wash them separately. I tend to start with silverware (not including sharp knives) followed by drinking containers and dinnerware (plates and bowls). I rinse the soapy residue with cold water turning off the water after each use. Once these are done I dry and put away the cleaned dishes and move onto the cooking utensils and sharp knives. DO NOT PUT SHARP KNIVES IN SINK! Place each sharp knife in sink to wash one at a time. This is a safety issue. Putting a bunch of sharp knives in the sink increases the chance of accidental cuts. Once cooking utensils are done then do the pots and pans.

By filling the sink to roughly half way and running cold water as needed to rinse off soap you are reducing the amount of water used as well as reducing the electricity or gas used for hot water.

Or rinse at all?

The thing is, when it comes to handwashing, whatever works for us. Me, for the way I do it, I have found, for some reason, that I have never really needed to rinse. Just shake whatever I am doing in an area of no suds and that works.
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Old 08-19-2023, 06:22 PM
51,649 posts, read 25,796,708 times
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Originally Posted by heavymind View Post
I lived off-grid at one point and had to haul water. Was obviously very conscious of water usage! When it was time to wash dishes I would heat some water on the stove, then fill up two wash tubs - one hot & soapy, one cold for rinsing. Probably used 2-3 gallons for that process.

A quick Google search reveals that modern dishwashers use 3-4 gallons per load, which isn't bad if the racks are filled up. But then you have to figure in the energy used to heat the water and power the motor. The few times in life when I've used a dishwasher they seem to take sooo looong.
I've lived in a cabin from time to time. Washing dishes when it was just myself was no problem. I'd just swish them through a pan of rinse water, set them in the drainer, then use them again. If the wood stove was going, I'd keep the pan of rinse water there.

When we were a family of five, it was a different story. I can load a dishwasher with a day's worth of dishes. 3-4 gallons. However, I also wash and rinse knives and pans separately with one of those soap dispensing dish sponges, so maybe another gallon. 2 days = 8-10 gallons.

However, washing by hand, I needed to do dishes every couple meals, at least. I would put the silverware to soak in metal containers and the dishes in a dishpan, for the first meal. Then, I'd heat up a couple gallons or so of wash water, and pump a couple more gallons of rinse water. I easily used 4 - 5 gallons each time. 2 days = 12 - 15 gallons
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Old 08-19-2023, 06:43 PM
2,050 posts, read 993,379 times
Reputation: 6199
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Re: foot pedal operated kitchen faucets - yes, they still make them.

I never saw them before so here is my question: are there two pedals for cold and hot water, how water get mixed for a right temperature?
I'm wondering the same thing. The communal sinks we used at school in the 80s had a bar around the base that you'd step on to get a spray of cold water (no temp control). In that link, maybe if you step on both pedals at the same time you get warm water.
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Old 08-20-2023, 05:27 AM
85 posts, read 70,330 times
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I'm in the "small stream of water and soapy sponge" group. I hand wash after use, so there isn't a big pile of dishes to handle.
I live alone, and my water usage is around 2000 gallons a month, which equates to about $25 a month.
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Old 08-20-2023, 05:44 AM
Location: Vermont
9,439 posts, read 5,201,523 times
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Originally Posted by 1200RT View Post
FWIW, hand washing dishes uses substantially more water than dishwashers.
This has always confused me since the dishwasher takes like an HOUR to run through a cycle and I can do a kitchen full of dishes in less that 20 mins. ?? BTW my dishwasher doesn't work.

I do my dishes the NY way. I run the water the entire time, albeit slowly. Utensils, glasses, dishes, then pots. That's how my father taught me.
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Old 08-20-2023, 08:38 AM
Location: Twin Cities
2,385 posts, read 2,339,007 times
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I have a dishwasher at my temporary place but I don't use it. I don't trust it and dishwashing tablets/liquid are toxic to you. Hate cleaning but I just do my stuff by hand.
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Old 08-20-2023, 08:41 AM
15,638 posts, read 26,245,163 times
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Originally Posted by 1200RT View Post
FWIW, hand washing dishes uses substantially more water than dishwashers.
For normal families yes. Absolutely. For one person, no. I do not leave my water running the whole time. I don’t fill my sink. I do soak for about five minutes. And I probably use about 2 gallons of water.
Solly says — Be nice!
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Old 08-20-2023, 08:43 AM
Location: State of Denial
2,495 posts, read 1,869,605 times
Reputation: 13542
My dishwasher is a GREAT place to store seldom-used articles....LOL. With only the two of us, it would take a week to fill up the dishwasher and that's disgusting.

I've had (and used) dishwashers before and they often didn't get things clean. If I have to wash a pan or scrape baked-on (after the dry cycle) bits of food off a plate, I might as well hand-wash the dishes and get it over with in 10 minutes instead of running the dishwasher for an hour.

We've been living in our current house for four years now and I've only ran the dishwasher once (to see if it worked).
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Old 08-20-2023, 10:13 AM
6,693 posts, read 5,925,015 times
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I use the soapy sponge, water-on-and-off method. Everything gets crystal clean.

The wife prefers the dishwasher, run it totally full, then hand-wash the items that inevitably come out dirty. I hate that.

I think dishwashers are a scam. Maybe 50 years ago, they actually worked because they blasted a hundred gallons of scalding water at the problem. Now it's a waste of time and I'd rather hand wash.
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Old 08-20-2023, 10:28 AM
Location: northern New England
5,451 posts, read 4,045,402 times
Reputation: 21324
Originally Posted by 1200RT View Post
FWIW, hand washing dishes uses substantially more water than dishwashers.
True if you do dishes the "city" way, under a constantly running stream of water, with a soapy sponge. I start with some hot soapy water in the dishpan, as I rinse the washed dishes, the water goes into the dishpan to fill it more. I don't believe my way uses more water than a dishwasher. I have one but never use it, except for storage (rental apt.)

ETA, I am the only person I know who does NOT use a dishwasher, even single people like me. In other news, my sister and her husband who use a DW, their dishes look like crap, all etched and dull. I use a set that is 70 years old and still in perfect condition. Only been through a DW once, when I took them out of storage.
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