Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Doing the dishes

I'm guessing I'm like most moms when I say I spend a lot of time doing dishes. Since I am home during the day I do breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack dishes Every. Single. Day. I remember early on in my journey through motherhood thinking, "How many years of my life am I going to spend doing dishes?" Before I had my daughter I didn't really cook so when I started making family meals it was a huge change for me.

I have made peace with the fact that I must do dishes every day. I have lightened my load a bit by handing over the task of emptying the dishwasher to my children (most of the time.) Still, I spend so much time with my hands underwater I have this patch of eczema on my thumb I can't quite get rid of. Luckily, I have a dishwasher. I can't imagine not having one. I think I would really despise doing the dishes if I had to wash every dish by hand.

I have refined my technique a bit over the years. I have my special way of loading the dishwasher (don't you?) and while I would like to reload it my way when my husband puts the dishes in, I don't. (Really, if he could learn to do it my way, that'd be great. I'll keep dreaming.) I no longer put our expensive knives and wooden spoons in the dishwasher and will not put any new pots or pans in.

There is one easy tip that I learned from a friend that I am so happy to have found. (My friend doesn't even know. I just saw her do it one day and was like, duh!) For years I have used those dishwashing wands you fill with dishwashing liquid. I have not found one I am crazy about. Some don't let enough soap out, others always have a big spot where the soap is coming through.

My friend had her bottle of dishwashing liquid out and poured it directly on her sponge. Lightbulb. I didn't want my ugly bottle of dishwashing liquid out all the time but I knew I could work with that. Here is what I do:

I initially used Dawn foaming dishwashing liquid. In my effort to be more green I looked for an alternative. The Dawn may not have had harmful ingredients but when I found a Method dishwashing liquid with a pump I knew that was what I wanted to use. Plus, with the pump (both the Dawn and Method have pumps) I didn't have to keep picking up and putting down the bottle. Love it.

None of that addressed the issue of leaving the ugly bottle out. If you look closely in the picture you will notice that you can't see the bottle. What you see is an apron made for dishwasher bottles for this reason. Normally, I am not this cutsie. I would not have looked for something to go on the front of the bottle. I had this because (I am embarrassed to admit) I bought this off ebay thinking it was a full sized apron. Looking at it now, I am even questioning my judgement on that. Floral is not my style, I am much more a solid color girl. I can't remember exactly how it happened but my guess is that it was super cheap. (Shocking, I bought something super cheap and was disappointed by it. Will I never learn?)

That's it. Super simple but not something I came up with on my own. Though, I feel like I should have.

I am linking up to Works for Me Wednesday.


  1. haha That bit about buying the apron on ebay made me chuckle.

    I'm always amazed when I find someone doing something that to them is the same ole, same ole, and to me it's like "lightbulb!"

    Thanks for sharing your tip.

  2. I hate having the bottle out, too! So cute :-)

  3. Is that foamer refillable? I haven't tried a dish soap foamer, but the hand soap ones usually can be refilled, and it is MUCH MUCH MUCH less expensive to fill one with a tablespoon of soap and some tap water than to buy a new bottle of foaming soap!

    I find I use much less dish detergent and water, and also spend less time scrubbing each dish, if I soak the dishes in hot soapy water in the sink and then dip the cloth in it and rub each dish.

  4. I have been doing dishes by hand since March 26th. It was a sad day. There are 6 of us. ARGH! :) I was just reading your "Why I blog" page. it sounds like we both started blogging for the same reasons.