9 Tips to Make Washing Dishes Easier

Washing dishes is a chore that most people don’t look forward to. However, with some simple tips and tricks, you can make washing dishes easier and faster. Here are 9 tips to help make the task of washing dishes less dreadful.

1. Use Hot Water

Washing dishes with hot water helps cut through grease and food residue more effectively than cold water. Run the hot water until it reaches its hottest temperature before starting to wash. The heated water will help loosen stuck-on foods on plates, pots, pans and utensils. This makes scrubbing easier and improves cleaning results.

2. Add Dish Soap

Squirt a generous amount of dish soap into the sink or basin before adding any dishes. Antibacterial dish soaps contain surfactants that lift dirt and break down oils. Allowing the soap to get sudsy and activate for a few minutes first maximizes its cleaning power. The bubbles help remove baked and burnt-on foods without hard scrubbing.

3. Let Dirty Dishes Soak

For dishes caked with food debris like pans used for cooking fish, lasagna or roast, let them soak in hot, soapy water for 10-15 minutes before washing. The combination of hot water and soap breaks down food particles over time. After soaking, use a sponge or dishcloth to gently wipe away grime which should now scrub off much more easily.

4. Use the Right Tools

Having the right tools makes washing dishes more efficient. Use a dish wand with an abrasive sponge on one side and soft scrubber on the other to tackle all types of dishware. The abrasive side works well on pans and tough, stuck-on foods. The soft side gently cleans delicate items like glasses and serving pieces. Switch between the 2 sides as needed for each dish.

5. Wash in Stages

Washing in stages streamlines the process. First, remove all food scraps by giving dishes a quick rinse under running water. Then apply soap and scrub dishes one by one before rinsing. As you wash, place dishes in a drying rack instead of piling up in the sink. Finally, go back and dry all dishes at the end for putaway. Assembly line washing prevents a pileup of dirty dishes awaiting wash and speeds up cleaning.

6. Wash Glasses First

Always wash glasses first before other dishes. This prevents other food particles like grease from getting on them and leaving residue or cloudiness. Wash them early in the cycle to get rid of debris before it has a chance to settle into the glassware. Use the soft side of a dish wand and gently swirl around the insides for spotless results.

7. Clean Sinks and Drainers

A clean sink and drainer make washing easier. Before starting, wipe down the sink, basin or tub you plan to use. Rinse drainers to remove any standing water and residue. Avoid placing extremely dirty dishes in a clean sink or rack, as it just introduces more mess you’ll have to deal with later. Keeping your wash station tidy means focusing just on the dishes at hand.

8. Use Dishwasher for Big Jobs

For large loads like after big gatherings, holiday meals or dinner parties, use your dishwasher rather than hand washing. Machine washing handles high volumes efficiently. Presoak very dirty dishes before loading and run the machine. Let dishes air dry instead of using heated drying cycles to save energy. While the dishwasher runs, do a quick hand wash of items not suitable for the machine like cast iron or handwash-only pieces.

9. Wash as You Go

Wash dishes as you use them when cooking or entertaining rather than letting them pile up. As you wait between steps, wash utensils, prep dishes and serving ware used so far. Place them in the drying rack or dishwasher as you clean. Washing as you go along means fewer overwhelming messes and leftovers sticking on dishes making cleanup harder. The small time investment pays off in easier post-meal washing.

Washing dishes may feel like a boring chore, but using these tips can help you get the job done faster and with better results. What are some of your best tricks for making dish duty more bearable? Share your top tips and favorite shortcuts in the comments!

Common Questions about Making Washing Dishes Easier

Washing dishes is a universally dreaded chore. Check out these common questions and answers for some helpful tips and tricks to make washing dishes faster and easier.

How can I get rid of grease on dishes easily?

Hot water and dish soap are key for cutting through grease. Let plates or pans coated in grease soak for 10-15 minutes in hot, sudsy water before scrubbing. The heat and detergent work together to loosen the grease so it wipes away without hard scrubbing.

What kitchen tools make washing dishes easier?

Invest in quality dish wands, scrub brushes and sponges. Look for dual-sided dish wands with abrasive and soft scrubber sides to tackle all types of dishware. Scrub brushes with angled handles provide power for stubborn stuck-on foods. Sponges with abrasive layers help scour cookware while their soft sides gently clean glasses.

Should you wash or rinse dishes first?

It’s best to do a quick rinse of dishes first before washing. Rinsing under running water removes loose food pieces and prevents them from clinging during soaping. Wipe or shake dishes over a garbage can to get rid of excess scraps before filling the sink to wash.

How do you wash dishes thoroughly?

Hot water, adequate dish soap, soaking very dirty dishes first and washing in stages all lead to thorough washing. Scrub dishes individually with a dish wand, alternating scrubber sides as needed per dish. Take your time so no food debris or grease remains. Rinse each dish as you go until the water runs clear.

Should you wash fragile dishes by hand or dishwasher?

Hand washing is gentler for fragile items like stemware, decorative glasses and grandma’s heirloom china. The harsh spraying action in a dishwasher can chip delicate dishes over time. Wash by hand using the soft scrubber side of a dish wand and gently swirl water inside glasses and mugs.

What is the best way to dry dishes?

Letting dishes air dry in a rack is the overall best method. It prevents water spots and uses no electricity like heated dishwasher drying. Place dishes and utensils upside down in a dish rack so water can drip off. To aid drying for plastic items, give a quick wipe with a towel before racking.

How do you wash greasy pans?

Greasy pans need special treatment. Fill with hot water and dish soap and let soak for 15 minutes before washing. Use the abrasive side of your dish wand to scrub away caked-on grease. Rinse under very hot water, rub a bit of dish soap directly on tough spots and let soak another 5 minutes if needed before the final rinse.

Should you wash dishes before or after eating?

Ideally, wash dishes as you cook and as soon as possible after eating. Leaving food debris on dishes allows it to harden and stick. Get in the habit of doing quick wash ups after use to prevent crusted-on messes. After meals, at minimum rinse dishes well before leaving them in the sink or loading into the dishwasher.

What is the correct order to wash dishes?

Wash glasses, mugs and delicate items first, then silverware, plates, bowls, most pans and other dishware. Finish up with pots, baking sheets and dishes that had cooked-on foods like oatmeal. Washing glasses first prevents food and grease transfer from other dishes. Pots and pans get washed last since they’re often the dirtiest.

Washing dishes faster means less time spent on this mundane task. Follow these tips and tricks to streamline your dishwashing routine for sparkling clean dishes with less hassle. What other questions do you have about making washing dishes easier? Let me know in the comments!


While washing dishes will likely never top anyone’s list of favorite chores, it is a task that has to be done. Following these 9 tips can help make washing dishes less of a headache so you can check it off your to-do list faster. Using hot water and plenty of soap, soaking tough baked-on dishes, having the right tools and washing in stages all make dish duty more efficient. What tricks have you discovered that make tackling towers of dirty dishes after dinner parties or holiday meals more bearable? Share your best shortcuts and suggestions in the comments to help others make washing dishes easier!