In Case Your Maytag Breaks…

In high school I washed dishes at a tiny restaurant.  I wasn’t very fast, but I never broke a plate.  I was always the last person to leave the restaurant, save the owner.  The dish washer cannot leave until the dishes are washed… the dishes cannot be washed until the kitchen is done serving… the kitchen isn’t done serving until the customers leave.  If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you know we loooooove people who come in right before closing time. 🙂

In my own home, I am most often the dish washer.  (My husband does dishes sometimes too, but he’s most often on bath duty.)  If you have a “dishwasher,” like the appliance, lucky you.  Count your blessings, and you can stop reading now.  This post is all about how I wash my dishes.

Yep, I’ve got a way to wash my dishes.  Not just “with soap” and “in the sink,” but with a logical order.

IMG_8890First, the dirty dishes are put in the sink.  All dishes are put in the right side, except cups and glasses, they are put in the left side to be washed first.  (I’m not left-handed, it’s just the way my counter works, the drain only fits on the left.)  I fill the sink with the hottest water and soap and begin washing the glasses immediately as the sink fills.  (Glasses get washed first because they are the most fragile and the most clean.)

Here’s my new favorite trick… craft pipe cleaner to wash sippy cup straws.  It’s the only thing that works!IMG_8892IMG_8893

IMG_8894After the cups I put in all of the silverware (no sharp knives) to soak and plates to wash.  I think of this load as “flats.”  If I have a cutting board, I wash it first, then each plate, and load the drain from back to front, largest to smallest.  Then I do the silverware, or I wait until after the bowls.

IMG_8895After the “flats” I do the bowls.  The all go in the soapy water and I wash one at a time smallest to largest and load the drain from front to back.


After bowls it’s a bit of a grab bag.  (Mostly going from least scrubbing necessary to most)  If I have plastic containers I’ll typically wash them next, then kitchen utensils.


My next step is knives.  No “everybody in the tub” here.  These I wash one at a time, never releasing the handle.  I’ve never cut myself while washing dishes by being very strict here.

Then I do my pots and pans.   (There’s no picture here.  I washed dishes after a meal of leftovers.)

IMG_8898Last I do my coffee pot.  If the water is fairly clean I don’t bother changing it, but if it’s greasy I’ll change the water first.  I do the coffee pot last because I want it out first in the morning from the drain, and I don’t want to dig for all the pieces.   (Mine is a grind-and-brew, so all 7 pieces must be washed every time!)  I also do it last because my pot is very fragile.  I’m on my fourth carafe in eight years because it likes to crack on the bottom of the sink.  Somebody want to get me a thermal one that won’t crack please?  My birthday’s in June!

My drain is typically much more filled than that.  I do dishes usually after lunch and after dinner.  This one was at lunch with leftovers, so it doesn’t do justice to my usual efforts.  I’ll go snap another real quick…

IMG_8907This is tonight’s dish load.  My goal is to have all of my dishes fit in the drain, but the coffee pot didn’t make the cut tonight.  Ha!  Is it weird that I set up “challenges” for myself with household chores?  It’s like Jenga with breakables!

Were you taught an order to washing dishes?  I’d love to hear how people do this differently.  I’m discovering through this blog that I’m very sociologically curious. Sociocurious? Curiosocial?  Weird?


7 thoughts on “In Case Your Maytag Breaks…

  1. I love this. Silverware all goes in at once first and glasses. I wash glasses first. Then silverware. Then plates and bowls then pots and pans. However, I have a dishwasher so this does not happen very often. My goal too is for everything to fit in the drying rack simply because unless there are two of you doing this job dishes do not get dried unless they don’t fit. Lol. I am enjoying your blog, Maria!! I will pass on the pipe cleaner idea to my sister. I am long and done with sippy cups 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thankfully I’m in the land of the appliance now–but for about 8 yrs of marriage I was without. I do wish I would have discovered dishwashing gloves sooner–don’t know how you do it there in Wisconsin with the cold–but my hands crack and peel and look like a person who lives on the streets when I dishwash with regularity. Also I never had a great system, which was maybe why I disliked it so much. I don’t think I’m a person with a lot of systems in general, which works really well mostly, but my word for this year (instead of making resolutions) is “discipline.” I’m studying Proverbs, so it’s a big buzz word there, as well as “righteousness” and “prudent/prudence.” So maybe this blog is helping me embrace those words:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have several friends doing their word for the year. I love that.

      My hands look awful. They get worse every year. I should go to gloves. I’ll add them to my grocery list. I’m trying out the Dawn with Olay for hands now and it’s a little better.


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