How to Wash Up by Hand

How to Wash Up by Hand

No, I don’t mean washing the dishes in the dishwasher. You do that by adding detergent and pressing a button. I mean, can you wash the dishes by hand or do you know how to wash up by hand?

Can you wash the dishes or know how to wash up by hand?

How to Wash Up by Hand

I could wash up after a five course dinner party for twelve people with my eyes shut these days, I’ve had a lot of practice. Far too much practice!

No matter how bored I get with the monotonous and incredibly dreary chore, it has to be done. Everybody knows that. After all, we eat off our dishes, we put the cutlery in our mouth and we drink from the glasses. Who wants to be struck down with a stomach bug because we didn’t wash a plate properly?

clean dishes by hand


  • It may seem obvious, but scrape as much as you can off the plates first.
  • Use a paper towel to get some particularly sticky bits off. As long as there’s no meat on the paper towel, it can go into the compost too.
  • Water is precious where I live, you won’t find running taps in my sink! I have only a single sink as well, so I use a plastic bowl full of warm water to soak the plates in before they go in the sink.


Tip a half cup of vinegar and a few cups of water into your pots and pans. Let them soak in that mixture while you prepare the rest of the washing-up.


  • Fill the sink to two thirds full with hot water. Not too hot, enough to put your hands in, but hot. After you’ve squished the glasses, one at a time, in the hot water, take them out and place them somewhere safe where you won’t knock them over..
  • Let your glasses air dry, turned upside down on a clean towel.


  • Now you can add a little detergent to the hot water in the sink. You can even add a bit hotter water, on a high speed, from the tap. Sure to get the detergent mixed up in the sink.
  • Get all those knives and forks in the sink. Let them sit in there for 5 minutes – or 10. Time isn’t important at the moment, it’s your relaxed state of mind that’s important.
  • This is a good time to get those plates out of the bowl of warm water where they have been soaking. Stack them up on the side of the sink ready to go in after the cutlery.
  • It’s at this spot that I pour myself a chilled glass of wine to sip while I stare at the knives and forks at the bottom of the sink.


  • The plates have been scraped and soaked and are now ready to wash.
  • Generally, dip plates in the water one at a time and wash with a brush.
  • Take them out and have a good look. If any grunge remains give them another scrub. Set them aside in a rack.


  • Time to change the water.
  • Fill the sink just over halfway again and rinse the plates in it.
  • Now – clean those pots and pans.
  • If there are stubborn stains on the pots and pans, you could need some special washing techniques. The secret ingredients I use are bicarb soda. vinegar and potatoes.

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