Washing Dishes Made Easy

Washing dishes is probably my least favorite chore. It’s never-ending. If I wear gloves, they don’t fit well or get holes. If I don’t wear, them my hands get chapped! Seeing my counter covered in dirty dishes is one of those things guaranteed to overwhelm me. In this post we’ll talk about ways to make washing dishes easier so you don’t get the post-mealtime blues.

There are really three options when it comes to washing dishes:

  1. Avoid the need to wash by using disposable dishes
  2. Hire someone to wash them for you
  3. Learn ways make dish-washing bearable

I bet you can guess which one I went with! I believe there is a place for disposable dishware on occasion but my sense of frugality makes that unreasonable on a daily basis. Nor do I have the income to hire a maid!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. That means if you take an action like making a purchase using my link, I may receive some compensation from the company at no extra charge to you. See more in my disclosures.


Washing Dishes

Washing Dishes in Comfort

I didn’t grow up using gloves while washing dishes but that has become a necessity for me. It’s not so much that I mind touching the dirty dishes – I just don’t like it when my hands are all dried out and chapped-feeling afterward. I can also use hotter water without burning my hands.

It’s been a struggle for me to resign myself to the cost of buying new pairs of gloves. You wouldn’t believe how quickly I put holes in them! Do you have the same problem? I’ve gone through many brands, trying to find one that lasts longer. I eventually decided to look for a cheap option since I put holes in them so quickly anyway and have had good luck with Clean Ones brand. The pair of Clean Ones I’m using now might be the longest a pair has ever lasted for me! Full disclosure: The first pair I bought had a hole from manufacturing before I even put them on. Since they were very cheap I decided to give them another chance and the following pairs have lasted a few months each. Do you have a favorite pair of cleaning gloves?

I get very distracted when I feel dried out, so in addition to the gloves I keep hand lotion and lip gloss right by the sink. If I’m comfortable, doing dishes isn’t so bad!

Make It Easy on Yourself

Pre-soaking does half (sometimes more!) of the work for you. I don’t pre-soak everything but I often put some water in dirty pots and pans while I’m cleaning up after a meal. That way when I get around to washing them it takes a lot less elbow grease.

The right tools can make a world of difference, too. I used to wash mostly with scrub sponges but I’m trying to shift to more reusable products. Now I’m using some crocheted washcloths my Mummu (Finnish for ‘grandma’) gave me and only bring out the sponges for the tough stuff.

What do you need in your house to wash dishes efficiently? Here are a few more dishwashing necessities from my household.

  • A long-handled brush for those hard-to-reach water bottle innards
  • A cast-iron scrubber (though I haven’t been using our cast iron lately)
  • Bar Keeper’s Friend to shine my stainless steel cookware (this was recommended in the booklet that came with our cookware and work wonders!)

A Mountain Out of a Molehill

As I mentioned before, one of the things I have to do to keep myself from getting overwhelmed is to wash small batches of dishes regularly. Right now it is just my husband and I, so I can get away with doing one load a day while using the dishwasher as well. This goes on my daily tasks list so I don’t forget about it.

Once in a while there may be too few dishes in one day to feel like enough to wash, but I’ve learned from experience that I need to wash them anyway. Other times I have more than one load’s worth on the counter but I just wash one load no matter what and it all evens out. Typically this depends on how much I’ve been cooking from scratch on any particular day.

This works for my family situation right now but everyone is different. What kind of schedule would keep your dishes under control?

Enjoy Yourself

Part of making myself accept washing dishes is to occupy my mind. I used to just wash dishes and not do anything else in the meantime. However, that left my mind free to think about how much I don’t like doing dishes. Last summer I discovered podcasts and they made a ton of difference!  Adding something I enjoy into the mix makes the time go by a lot faster.

If you have kids or your spouse is willing, you can make dishwashing a social event. I have four siblings and, now that we are all adults, my mom talks about how fun it was to do chores in the past. She misses having so many people to do things with!

Creating a Habit - Washing Dishes

Break It Up

One big task is scarier than several small tasks, so it can help to create several steps. Maybe you can’t face all of dishwashing right now but there is something you can do to get yourself partway there. Look how many parts this chore can be broken into!

  • Empty dishwasher
  • Put away dishes in drying rack
  • Load dishwasher (now your counter isn’t as full as it was a minute ago)
  • Stack similar dishes (less visual clutter looks less intimidating)
  • Start dishes soaking (you’re halfway there now)
  • Wash dishes

You’re done! I use this method all the time. Once the counter is tidier it’s easier for me to continue on to the actual washing portion.

Final Thoughts

I have to say that I still do not like to do dishes, but I’ve found ways to manage it so they don’t bother me too much. I realize that one load of dishes won’t take too long to wash, and I will feel a lot better after it’s done. Do you have anything to add? Comment below, and download my printable of things to do while washing dishes.

Download Printable Here

Washing Dishes Printable


Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

Haha, I actually love washing and putting away the dishes! I stopped letting my family even use the dishwasher because I’d rather wash! Super relaxing and satisfying!


I used to have a roommate who loved to wash dishes, too! I’m glad to hear that it’s not as hard for everyone as it is for me.

I don’t like doing the dishes, and my hands are always dry too! Every year for Christmas, my parents buy me several boxes of gloves to help me get through the year of washing dishes. It has really helped my hands!

Some of my family don’t like to wear gloves because they feel like they can’t feel what they’re doing as well. I’m glad you have a system sorted out that works for you!

Leave a Reply