Consumer Reports has always advised against running a half-empty dishwasher because it wastes energy and wears down the machine more. They also say washing dishes by hand can waste tons of water.
But what if you can’t wait for your favorite cup? Consumer Reports says there is a method for washing dishes by hand that can use less water than a dishwasher.
Washing dishes by hand can use a lot of water compared to newer, energy-efficient dishwashers. Consumer Reports’ test models use about 4 to 6 gallons of water to clean a full load. If you wash the dishes by hand with running water, you can use about 22 gallons!
If you still prefer to wash dishes by hand or don’t have a dishwasher, the two-bin method is optimal.
First, scrape off any leftover food. Then fill one side of the sink with hot water and a few squirts of dish soap and the other sink with clean, cool water. Hot water is unnecessary. If you have only one sink, use a plastic basin for clean water instead.
Now let’s get to work! Start with the least soiled dishes and work up to heavily soiled pots and pans. If necessary, let them soak, then rub with a sponge.
Never put sharp knives in soapy water where you cannot see them.
Soak the rubbed items in clean water to remove the suds. If the rinse water gets too soapy, pour in some and add clean water.
Put your clean dishes on a dish rack with a dish rack. They need space for air to circulate and dry them. To avoid stains, dry glassware and metal objects with a lint-free towel.
Other useful tools for washing hands? A bottle brush to make your bottles really clean. Small brushes are ideal for reusable straws. Simple sponges are all you need for regular dishes, while a scrub brush will take care of stuck-on foods. And dishwasher soap can give you “pan hands,” so always wear a pair of rubber gloves.
Wet sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria. Consumer Reports says to disinfect them, wet them and put them in the microwave for 2 minutes. Sponges should be replaced every two weeks.