Hate washing dishes? You’re not alone! While we can’t promise to make standing at the sink the highlight of your day, we can recommend some simple strategies to make dishwashing seem like less of a chore.
Following are 15 tips and tricks to help make dish duty totally doable. And if you’re still in a lather about washing your wares after reading this, you might want to consider these eco-friendly disposable dishes instead!
1. Go for the gloves
If chipped nails and dry, irritated hands are your chief complaints about washing dishes, invest in a decent pair of dishwashing gloves. In addition to protecting your skin, wearing gloves can help you get a better grip on those soapy, slippery plates and glasses!
2. Choose fragrant suds
Think of washing the dishes as a form of aromatherapy. Select a favorite fragrance, like cucumber or lavender, and let your mind wander as you submerge your hands in the warm, soapy water and inhale the enticing aroma.
3. Lighten your load
Just because you “used” a dish or utensil, doesn’t mean that it’s dirty. If an item doesn’t come in contact with eggs, oil, raw meat or someone’s mouth, it may not require soap. For example, you can probably get away with simply rinsing that cup you used to measure your cereal this morning. Just use your best judgement.
4. Clean as you go
This likely isn’t new advice, but it’s worth considering. If you clean cups, dishes and utensils immediately after use, you won’t have to contend with an overwhelming heap of dirty dishes. And washing fewer dishes at a time totally makes the task more manageable.
5. Wash in spurts
Not a fan of the “clean as you go” method? Not a problem. Instead, set aside a few time slots each day to scrub some dirty dishes. Grab a soapy sponge and wash as many items as you can until the lather runs out, leaving the rest for later. Breaking up household chores, like dishwashing, can make them seem less daunting!
6. Divide and conquer
Believe it or not, doing the dishes can double as bonding time with your significant other, children or roommates. You wash while they dry (or vice versa) and take advantage of your togetherness by catching up on the day’s events while crossing this necessary task off your to-do list.
7. Stick to a system
To alleviate some of the stress—and set yourself up for success—devise a dishwashing system. For instance, invest in a dish rack instead of stacking clean dishes precariously on your countertop, and make it a point to always put away clean dishes before you start cooking so you’ll have sufficient space to tend to the newly soiled ones.
8. Create a playlist
Make a compilation of your all-time favorite tunes and only allow yourself to listen to them while you’re washing dishes. Pretty soon you’ll actually find yourself looking forward to scraping caked-on residue off your dinner plates!
9. Listen to a podcast
Taking in a podcast while tackling your dirty dishes can take your mind off the chore at hand. Choose a topic that interests you, and before you know it, you’ll be eyeballing a collection of clean plates, cups and silverware.
10. …Or a riveting audiobook
Audiobooks are another great dishwashing distraction. And nowadays, they’re more widely available than ever! Pick a novel from your favorite author and pause the recording at an especially critical moment. Then resume it the next time you’re ready to rid your pots and pans of residue.
11. Turn on the TV
If you can see your television from your kitchen, watch it while washing the dishes. Or, turn on a program you particularly enjoy and tend to your dirty dinnerware during commercial breaks!
12. Race to the finish
Set a timer for five to 10 minutes and see how many dishes you can wish in your chosen timeframe. Next time, try to break your record. Or, split your dirty dishes in half and challenge a significant other, child or roommate to see who finishes first. Who knew that cleaning could be so much fun?!
13. Challenge yourself
And speaking of fun, create other enjoyable challenges like using only your non-dominant hand to scrub pots and pans or having a partner instruct you as you wash the dishes while blindfolded. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
14. Unwind while washing
Try to clear your mind while you’re washing the dishes. Because this chore is simple and requires very little brainpower, it will allow you an opportunity to meditate, relax and escape from everyday concerns.
15. Reward yourself
Silly as it may seem, set a dishwashing goal and determine an appropriate reward for achieving it. For example, if you wash dishes for two weeks without hesitation or complaint, buy yourself a bouquet of flowers. At the two-month mark, reward yourself with a massage. Associating the task (and its achievement) with a prize can automatically increase its fun factor!