Common Dish Cleaning Mistakes You Could Be Making
Who would have thought there was a right and a wrong way to wash dishes? Well, believe it or not, there are several mistakes we often make that can mean our dishes aren’t being properly cleaned or even worse, are spreading bacteria and germs.
Whether you use a dishwasher or clean your dishes by hand, here are some of the most common dish washing mistakes that can not only spread germs, but also damage your dishes, taint your food and create unnecessary pollution and waste.
Common dish washing mistakes and how to fix them
1. Using too much dishwashing liquid
It’s easy to just turn the bottle upside down and squirt a healthy measure of dishwashing liquid into the sink, but if that creates a bubble bath, you are probably using too much. A small amount of liquid is all that is needed to get dishes clean and in the case of a dishwasher, the manual should even tell you how much to use.
Too much soap can mean a residue is left behind on your dishes and glassware that not only looks and tastes bad, but, if not made from natural ingredients, can be harmful if ingested. Using an excessive amount of liquid will also be costing you money as well. So when it comes to dishwashing liquid, less is definitely more.
2. Using a sponge
Many of us use a sponge to wash our dishes, but while it may seem clean, it is actually a home for thousands of germs and bacteria, which collect in the grooves and pores. If you prefer to use a sponge, be sure to disinfect it regularly (at least once a week) and rinse it out thoroughly between uses.
While still home to germs, a better alternative to a sponge is a dish rag, which can be regularly laundered or a dishwashing brush, which can be rinsed and air dried between uses.
3. Not cleaning your sink or dishwasher
The kitchen sink can also harbour germs and bacteria and should be thoroughly cleaned along with the bench tops when you’ve finished washing the dishes and not with the sponge or else you’re just spreading the germs even further afield. Use a clean rag with a bit of bio-home Kitchen Cleaner to clean your dishwashing areas. Did you know our Kitchen Cleaner is made from only non-toxic, biodegradable, 100% plant-based active ingredients, and can remove tough grease and grime without the need to rinse. Cleaning your kitchen has never been easier!
Your dishwasher also needs to be cleaned regularly as mould can develop due to the heat and moisture it creates. Occasionally run it empty with some baking soda or vinegar added to freshen it up and remember to clean out the food trap, which can prevent the dishwasher from running smoothly if it clogs up. See here for instructions and tips.
4. Putting the wrong items in the dishwasher
There are a number of cooking items that should never go in a dishwasher. In particular, wooden spoons or cutting boards should never be put in the dishwasher as the heat can make them swell and crack. Hand wash them instead and allow to air dry after use.
You should also never put cast iron, non-stick or copper pots and pans in the dishwasher, as the dishwashing detergent can remove their finishes. Hand wash and air dry instead.
5. Incorrectly loading the dishwasher
If the dishwasher is overloaded or not loaded correctly, the water will not be able to properly wash every item. So, what’s the best way to stack your dishwasher? Stack dishes facing the sprayer arm and separate utensils so they all get a thorough soaking.
Your dishwasher manual tells you how to correctly load the dishes for the most efficient wash, so follow the directions a few times when you first buy your dishwasher until you know how to load it by heart.
6. Drying your dishes with dirty towels
We’ve all done it … grabbed the dish drying towel to clean our hands or mop up a spill on the benchtop, but this covers the towel in germs, which we then spread to our newly washed dishes when we dry them.
A better alternative is to use a drying rack to air dry your dishes and if you must use a towel change it regularly for a freshly laundered one.
7. Wasting water
Water is becoming a precious resource worldwide and it’s easy to waste water in our kitchens. An energy-efficient dishwasher uses a fraction of the water needed to hand wash dishes, but if you don’t own one, you can still save water when hand washing.
Consider installing a low-flow tap or faucet aerator to reduce the amount of water you use, turn off the tap while you are washing and rinse your dishes in a bowl, rather than running each individual item under the tap.
Clean dishes without harming the environment
Not all dishwashing liquids are the same and the kind we use in our kitchen determines what happens in the waterways after we empty our sinks. Some dishwashing liquids contain potentially toxic ingredients and a common dishwashing mistake many of us make is choosing brands, which can harm the environment.
By using a natural dishwashing liquid like bio-home, you can help reduce the toxic chemicals going into your local water treatment system. bio-home Dishwashing Liquid is not only biodegradable, making it safer for the environment, but is also dermatologically and PH-tested to be gentle on your hands, while remaining tough on grease and grime. Try it today to see for yourself!