The number of people in the throughout the world who regularly hand wash their dishes instead of using a dishwasher has been rapidly increasing. Reasons for this change include financial issues, environmental concerns, and lifestyle changes. People believe that washing dishes by hand clean them more effectively than when they are put into a dishwasher.
This belief often leads to frustration and damage to dishes due to improper technique. Proper technique when washing dishes by hand is not only helpful in maintaining your kitchen equipment but also reduces injury to your hands and fingers from prolonged exposure to hot water and harsh detergents.
I have high-functioning Autism and to me this is the best process to wash dishes by hand. The following guidelines outline several methods you can use when washing dishes by hand in order to protect both your skin and utensils.
When picking up a dirty dish, grip the bottom of the dish with your wrist and fingers instead of grabbing it with an open palm, which can lead to injury if you accidentally slip.
When placing dishes into the sudsy sink or rinse water, grasp them on their top surface, not by their rims or handles (which could cause warping), and gently place them where they won’t bump into anything else.
When stacking dishes to be dried, hold each one by its rim or handle (unless it’s chipped) and place them upside-down on the dry towel. If they don’t all fit on one dish towel (because of size disparity), drape extras over whatever is supporting them; just sure that no part rests directly on the wet surface of another dish.
Be sure to thoroughly dry any dishes that are pre-rinsed or only slightly soiled before stacking them. This keeps your towel clean for subsequent uses, reduces spots when you turn out the lights, and shortens the drying time.
When adding liquid soap to the wash water, always use a large enough amount that it won’t be diluted by contact with cold water from the tap while you’re washing; this will prolong its effectiveness against grease and soil. If liquid detergents are used in your area, they may also require adequate dilution in order to work effectively.
If you don’t feel comfortable using powdered automatic dishwashing detergents (they can irritate some people’s skin), you can use liquid soap or detergent. But be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for proper dilution ratios.
Make sure the water temperature is hot enough without being so high that it causes chipping of fine china or silverware with nicked edges, warping of plastic utensils, or wrinkling of nylon dishcloths. If you’re unsure about appropriate temperatures, ask your local dealer for further information on how to select a water heater thermostat setting.
Most dishes are cleanest when they are washed in hot, sudsy water; however, more heavily soiled items may require hotter (140°F) rinse water to remove all traces of detergent residue and soil (which can cause spotting), particularly if they aren’t rinsed immediately.
Do not overload your sink with too many dishes at once, as this will make it difficult to wash them all effectively. Nor should you leave the water in the sink when you’re not using it; chlorine bleach or other chemicals added to municipal water supplies react chemically with hot water, converting it to a form (hypochlorous acid) that is very corrosive and can cause pitting of metal surfaces if left sitting in the open air for any length of time.
Be sure to dry thoroughly all utensils that are washed by hand; otherwise, moisture encourages spotting and rusting, particularly when combined with alkaline residues from detergents (which would normally be neutralized by dishwasher rinse agents).
At the end of your dishwashing session, always dispose of all water in the sink by rinsing with fresh water. Never let dishwater sit in the drain; adequate drainage is important to prevent foul odours, clogging of household plumbing, and possible contaminant buildup.
Finally, if you leave your kitchen for any length of time (to eat or sleep), be sure to shut off or decant sudsy water outside the house before leaving; to do otherwise invites accidents due to inadvertent contact with hot water around small children.
Although it may seem like an annoyance when you first begin washing dishes by hand (especially after having grown accustomed to automatic dishwashers at home), doing so will prove beneficial both for your health and the state of your dishes.
For more information on this subject, consult your local dealer for further details.
Do not use glassware that’s been chipped, cracked, or severely scratched when washing it by hand; such damage can cause breakage during normal usage. Besides being dangerous, such items will be harder to dry and may even invite rusting due to trapped water. If you’ve had glassware in such condition for a long time without knowing about it, discard all pieces with suspicious wear before using them at any time in the future.
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