The most effective way to hand-wash dishes

Bypass the dishwasher. Instead, hand-wash dishes, valuable silverware, and delicate porcelain. It's not time-consuming, and you'll save electricity.

The most effective way to hand-wash dishes

Are you treating your dishes with care?

Tackle stubborn stains and baked-on residue with some old-fashioned elbow grease — and maybe a little old-fashioned ingenuity as well. Only dishes designated dishwasher-safe by the manufacturer should be machine-washed. Wooden cutting boards and plates have no place in your dishwasher; they can't stand the heat and will lose their lustre or even crack and split. You're also better off washing dirty pots and pans by hand. They take up too much space in the dishwasher and require a special, less energy-efficient wash cycle to get them clean. Here are some other helpful tips:

  • Keep a tea towel and a dishwashing sponge (which you change frequently) nearby when washing dishes by hand. Use water that's at least 60°C (140°F) to prevent germs from entrenching themselves.
  • As a general rule of thumb, wash non-greasy items before greasy ones. The proper sequence: first glasses, then plates, bowls, and other dishes, followed by cutlery and, finally, pots, pans and baking sheets. Fill a second sink or basin with hot, clear water for rinsing.
  • Wash glazed and unglazed earthenware pottery by hand, without detergent if possible. And keep in mind that the glaze on earthenware pottery is heat-sensitive.
  • Scrape food remnants from valuable porcelain immediately, then wash each piece separately in warm water.
  • Never wash gold-rimmed porcelain with baking soda or other harsh products that can take the finish off.
  • Clean wood, bone, and ivory silverware handles with special care. Rinse the metal parts with a damp sponge, but don't dip the handles into water. Place the cutlery into the drainer basket with the handles up.
  • Eliminate hairline cracks in your fine china by soaking it overnight in a large bowl of warm milk (no warmer than you would feed a baby). Then gently handwash as usual. Those tiny lines will disappear.

Cleaning teapots and coffeepots

  • Never wash teapots with dish soap or in the dishwasher; simply use hot water. A layer of tannin residue actually enhances the aroma of the tea.
  • Can't stand the look of the tannin? Remove it gently by adding vinegar to the teapot, letting it steep, and rinsing it out thoroughly. Another option: dip a damp cloth in baking soda and use it to wipe out the pot before rinsing, or scrub it with fine steel wool and water.
  • Clean your glass coffeepot by adding a handful of uncooked rice and filling it with dishwater. Put the lid on and shake until stains are gone.
  • Dissolve denture cleansing tablets in warm water to deal with stubborn lime deposits.
  • Use a flexible bottle brush to clean the neck of your teapot.
  • Eliminate thermos bottle odours by mixing hot water and baking soda. Let sit in the thermos.

Recipe for degreasing dish detergent

You will need:

  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) liquid dish soap
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) distilled water
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

    Thoroughly stir together the ingredients and put into a jar with a screw top. Put five millilitres (one teaspoon) of the soap mixture into a sink filled with water. Grease dissolves particularly well at a temperature of 50°C (120°F).

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