Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Washing The Dishes

 Many web-logs logs and online journals feature step-by-step aspects of housekeeping. Occasionally others have expressed surprise that simple things like boiling water, making a sandwich, and washing a dish have to be taught, but no one is born knowing these things. The search areas of homemaking blogs often show questions like "How to clean house" or "How boil eggs," and if a person has never done it or were not taught at home by their parents, they can find the information in books or the internet. Old home-economics textbooks which explain these things in detail along with illustrations are available  and there are videos you can watch which show homemaking up close and in detail.

Today I am going to share how to wash dishes when you only have a small amount.  It can be done expediently in one pan.  Above, the used dishes must first be removed from the table.  In some families, each person removes their own things,  rinses them and puts them in the dishwasher. However, there are times when one person may have to do it all, so today I have taken some time to get pictures of the process. This is a tutorial for washing a small amount of dishes.  There are a couple of ways to do this, so I will try to show another method in a future post.

For a small amount of dishes, gather up the plates and put the cutlery and glassware on top and transfer the pile to the area by the sink where you will be washing dishes.

Above you see what the collection might look like before the dishes are rinsed and stacked in order.

In a paper napkin, gather up crumbs and food and other napkins and deposit in the trash can, which can be placed within easy access in the kitchen. There is a plastic covering on the tablecloth which is easy to clean with a wet rag.

Using a wet dish rag, wipe the table in a gathering motion, scooping up any foods (rather than just pushing the rag around the table).  This is a technique you might learn better by watching someone else do it. Shake the rag out into the trash and then rinse the cloth again before you give the table a final wipe.

Then wipe the surface dry with a good cotton dish towel.

If you feel the need to give the table a finished look, add a centerpiece of some kind.  Since most homemakers have people eating at home frequently, the table will not stay clean very long, but a little effort to clean and decorate will give you a sense of completion, and satisfaction with your work.  If you do this after you clean the table and before you wash the dishes, you make your working area pleasant to look at.

Now to rinse the food off the dishes:

Fill the tub with dishes by putting the larger plates in the bottom, adding the bowls on them, and then the glassware and cups on top. Put the utinsils In the sides, in groups of forks, knives and spoons. Washing and rinsing them in the groups makes it a lot easier to dry them and put them away.  With a dish-rag, carefully wipe each item, rinse it again and stack beside the sink. Empty the pan of water, and rinse it.

For the small stack of dishes, fill up one pan of soapy water, using about a half teaspoon of dishwashing liquid soap. This will vary depending on the quality of the soap. Use the hottest water available from the tap.  Fill another pan with the same hot water for rinsing.  I realize some people do not rinse their dishes in clear water after washing them in soap, but rinsing removes the soap and bacteria from the wash water and also oils and grease.

Then, stack the rinsed dishes in the soapy hot water as you did when you rinsed them, by putting the larger plates in the tub first and then layering the next largest, and smallest items. Place the drinkware on top. Use rubber gloves so you can use the hottest water possible. Hot water dissolves grease and oils and is essential for getting dishes clean, but if your small stack of dishes has been rinsed well, they will not be difficult to get clean.

For stains on your dishes, keep a jar of soda bicarbonate near the sink.

Put some in the dish and use a dish rag to rub it around and remove the stain. The used soda can be put in the soapy dishwater.

Place the  utensils in the water in the sides of the pan and the glassware and cups on top.

Wash whatever is on top of the sudsy water first. The glasses and cups should come out first and be placed in the hot rinse water.  Carefully swirl each item in the steamy hot rinse water, making sure the soap is rinsed off, then turn them upside down to drain on a padded drain mat.

Use a fresh clean dish towel for drying if needed. With the water being so hot, the dishes may dry quickly and can be put away without drying them with a towel.

Next wash the bowls and stack them on the mat, and prop the plates on them to drain. Wash the utinsels and drain, and wash the pots and pans last.  

To make this job as pleasant as possible, find a detergent you enjoy using. The dish towel, padded kitchen mat, rubber gloves and detergent were all purchased at the Dollar Tree.

There are some vessels I enjoy taking my time washing and rinsing, because I like to think about how they came to be in my kitchen, what they are used for, and and why I like them. There are other thoughts to dwell on when washing dishes, and I like to hear music from my playlist or favorite cd's.
Some favorite things that are often in the wash.

When the dishes are dried and put away, remove the mat and hang it somewhere to dry, and then clean up the work area and make it attractive. 

A some ladies have different preferences for their work in the kitchen to make it enjoyable and easier to get the job done, and I hope you will leave your comment and share things about washing dishes. 

As I said, there are several ways of doing dishes, and this is only one convenient way. I will try to show other ways that may be suitable in different situations.  If you use an automatic dishwasher,  there is a different set-up that may require collecting a tub of dishes in rinse-water until there are enough to load the dishwasher and make it worth turning on.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia, you are absolutely right, we are not born with the knowledge on how to run a household. I was not taught when I was growing into a woman, so I learned by watching others and finally finding my own way of doing things.

I wash dishes by hand, but rinse them as I wash them and then stack them to dry. I don't have counter space in my cottage kitchen, so I had to eliminate the rinse tub.

Thank you again for sharing your wisdom with all of us.

Happy New Year dear Lady!


J♥Yce Burrows said...

Dear Lydia ~ are you familiar with the Aldi grocery chain? The Parmesan Cheese they carry in a plastic container has a green flip lid(one side for shaking and one side to shake/pour/spoon larger volume) that fits perfectly for me on a pint canning jar. One can keep baking soda in the glass jar(or simply clean the original cheese shaker and use) with repurposed lid near the sink for removing stains, baked-on, dried-on foods in pots/pans, etc. Keeping a little bleach(even the gel version) in a small, cleaned, dish liquid squeeze bottle(clearly marked) handy at the kitchen sink can be helpful(but PLEASE remember to not combine dish liquid and bleach as harmful fumes form(ammonia type). If tea stains are in a cup or glass, a few drops of bleach plus baking soda rubbed with a paper towel ease removal. I'd rinse outside a pan of water with dish liquid to avoid harmful fumes.

Hydrogen peroxide could be used instead of bleach with baking soda. I replace the top of a plastic dollar store bottle of peroxide with a dish liquid top to dispense small amounts. Some of the newer peroxide bottles come with a pop open/close top. Can also keep white vinegar in a clearly marked empty dish liquid bottle. Just be mindful of chemical reactions.

Hope this is helpful to someone ~ am so grateful for the encouraging posts!

Blessings for 2015 ~ 2014 so quickly moved behind us. *|:-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,
Happy New Year 2015!
I love to alternate my dish detergents. I have used lavender scent, coconut, green apple, pomegranate, lemon, pink grapefruit, etc. After a while I cannot "smell" the dish soap so I put that one under the sink and bring up another one for a while!
I always use gloves and hot water, as well as baking soda. Every so often I bleach my stainless steel sinks to keep them shiny. I think dish washing and folding laundry are my two favorite tasks because one can see the results so readily and it is also a nice time to pray, listen to music, or just think one's own thoughts. I find when I am doing these tasks everyone pretty much leaves me alone...and that is okay too!

Katrinka said...

Lydia, I had to smile when reading this post because it reminds me of my best friend from grade school.

Her mother was a wonderful homemaker but evidently my friend didn't pay much attention to some of the details her mother tried to teach her. When my friend got married and made her own home, she and her husband were frequently experiencing bouts of diarrhea.

I don't remember how it was discovered, but it turned out to be her dish washing technique. She liked to use lots of soap and make lots of suds in hot water, but thought it was a waste of time and water to rinse. So the dishes were straight into the drainer from the soapy water. Either the bacteria or the soap caused the diarrhea, and when she began rinsing the dishes everyone was healthy again.

I was very surprised to hear she took this shortcut. So, we all need some training and a refresher course from time to time.

Anonymous said...

1. I just love your new heading...with the pink lace background!

2. although I am 70 years old, I've never had such great teaching on how to wash dishes! I used the two-pan method, seeing your kitchen photo some time ago, but not successfully for some reason....with your instructions and photos, 'now I've got it'!!! Great tutorial , Lydia....really fun too....
And Stanley's tea set he got you is just soooooo charmingly pretty! I know you must 'love' it!
Lynn...from Pa

Lydia said...

Lynn, I like gifts more if they were a bargain and I know it was not expensive. That teapot cost less than $4.00. check out Ross stores and see their selection. There may be slight flaws in the products but they are suitable for what I need, and sometimes having something pretty is a great lift, especially when I get to use it in the next ladies class. They enjoy these luxurious and feminine touches.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lady Lydia for this post!

I enjoy learning life skills of the Home maker and your knowledge and expertise on Christian Home Making.

Jennifer Lamont Leo said...

My mother had a little glass teapot figurine just like that one. She kept it next to the sink as a ring-holder, to keep her jewelry safe while she washed dishes. She'd slide her rings over the spout. Seeing that photo brought back fond memories! Thank you.

Lydia said...

I wondered what that little teapot was. I thought it might be a paper weight. Wearing rubber gloves means we do not always have remove a ring.

Lynn M. said...

Mercy! I was glad to learn that the young lady who was not rinsing her dishes, etc. finally decided to do so!

I have, from that story, decided to cut back on my soap use....not so many billows of bubbles from now on! I noticed I have been having their old 'problem'...maybe it's all that soap!
from Pa

Linda said...

I enjoyed this "refresher course" also. I buy different scents of dish liquid, like Karen. I enjoy the change. I watch $Tree and sales to get bottles for about $1.00.
Thank-you so much for this tutorial.
Happy New Year to you and your family.

Lynn M. said...

Hi Lydia....I have a question: do you rinse and place the dish pans back into the sinks or do you store them away til needed? I suppose leaving them in the two sinks is more I do see one in your picture...of the cleaned up sink area.


Homemaker's Heart said...

Hello Lydia! Thank you for the post and pictures. I had always heard to wash the glasses first (since they are usually the cleanest item), then the silverware, then the dishes and lastly the pans.

Funny, I had heard this, yet when I had first moved out of the house I didn't know how to hard boil an egg. I called a friend and she laughed and laughed, then taught me over the phone.

I enjoy learning various unusual things from you, like the clean up and candle give a sense of accomplishment. I cook a hot meal 3 times a day (no microwave) so I feel like I live in the kitchen. The candle or small tea pot set up would be a nice touch for me to feel an end to one meal before starting another.

Thank you again. Blessings! ~Dee

Lydia said...

Yes that is the way they should be washed. However I was sowing how you might do a small stack.