Last night, there were several dishes left over after starting the dishwasher. This happens with some frequency, we use a heck of a lot of dishes in our house. Normally, I would just rinse them and set them in the sink to run the dishwasher this morning, but it occurred to me that my 7 year old daughter doesn’t know how to hand wash dishes, and it’s time to rectify that. She actually enjoyed it so much, she wants to hand wash dishes with me from now on.
I think being the dryer/putter awayer is the best place to start with learning to hand wash dishes, so that was her position, while I washed, giving a running commentary on how I hand wash dishes. I always wash my dishes from cleanest to dirtiest with the exception of silverware and knives, which I do first.
I put all the silverware in the water except sharp knives, then I wash each sharp knife and rinse. I showed her how to carefully dry the knives. Then I wash all the silverware and rinse them all collectively. Then I wash the glasses, then the plasticware. Then plates, then pots and pans.
She was shocked that there needed to be some order to how you wash dishes, but anyone who has ever tried to get plastic clean in greasy water can relate- there HAS to be an order to how you do it. It’s funny to me that technology has gotten us so far from the basics, that my daughter has reached the advanced age of seven and hasn’t learned how to hand wash dishes. We don’t own much stuff that has to be hand washed, so the act of filling up a sink and actually doing dishes is a very rare occurrence in our house.
Ever since then, I’ve been thinking about the act of hand washing dishes. On one hand, it uses less electricity and presumably less water. And there’s something satisfying about “I’ll wash, you dry” and then using that time to talk with each other. Yet, I do think dishes are more sanitary when you wash them in the dishwasher, and it’s way, way more speedy.
When it all comes down to it, I think we’ll wash dishes by hand more often.