You enjoy food.
But cleaning up the dishes afterwards is a chore you’d rather avoid.
Washing dishes is a necessary byproduct of eating food and while I haven’t figured out a way to eliminate the need to wash dishes I can share with you two things I use to make the task a little easier.
I don’t mind doing dishes, especially after a delicious meal made by my beautiful bride who loves to cook, but there are two things that really irritate me about the whole process.
Things I hate about washing dishes:
- When a dish covers the drain and the entire sink fills up with food laden grey water.
- When food goes down the drain.
I’ve found two solutions to these problems that make dishwashing a more pleasant experience.
First, get a sink grate.
When we renovated our kitchen two military moves ago we put in a new sink. It was a single basin, as large as the cabinet would allow, and plenty deep. It also came with a grate that set on the bottom of the sink that raised any dishes up by 1/2 inch or so, allowing water to drain UNDER the dishes.
My initial reaction while installing the sink was that the grate was gimmicky and unnecessary, but decided to try it out.
I know it is super obvious and very simple, but it changed my relationship with washing dishes. There was no longer any shuffling of items around in the sink to uncover the drain or a pooling of greywater as I tried to wash or rinse a pot.
When we sold that house I left the grate with the sink, but as soon as we got into our new house and knew the dimensions of the sink I ordered another set.
We’ve now used them in two different houses and I know that I will always have a grate at the bottom of my kitchen sink wherever our journeys take us. Yes, they perform that well.
In addition to allowing the water under the dishes a grate also helps to protect your dishes. Ever have a pot or plate slip from your hand and crash into the sink with a thunderous clank? The wire grate has a little give to it and helps to dampen the impact and drastically reduces the noise created by a dropped dish. Win-win!
Second, get a sink strainer.
The problem I’ve had with many sink strainers in the past is that they’re one of two things – either the holes are too big or too small.
The wire mesh ones (like these) tend to grab every little thing – rinsing condiments off your plate tends to clog them up. Also, the mesh is not very durable and tend to get bent out of shape to the point that they start to break very quickly.
The traditional strainer stoppers (like these) have holes that I find too large, with water rushing by they often let through items as large as a spaghetti noodle. Additionally, how absolutely irritating is it to turn the strainer to the “strain” setting only to have it rotate in the drain and slip down to “stop” and plug up the sink?!!
These stainless steel strainers have holes that are just the right size! They’re durable and have fit perfectly into three different kitchen sinks I’ve used them on. This current set is going on four years of use and I still love them.
The Magic Equation:
Combine a stainless steel sink grate with a stainless steel sink strainer and the way you wash dishes will forever be improved.
What about Cleaning?
Toss all of it in the dishwasher once a week and cleaning becomes a snap!
For those of you, like me, who enjoy visual coordination – I highly recommend this stainless steel bottle brush. We first used this brand when the boys were little and I was hand washing oodles of bottles everyday* (see note) and eventually we started using it on the everyday dishes.
The stainless steel version is more expensive than the colored plastic ones, BUT – the heads are replaceable, and it comes with a replacement! Honestly though, we’ve been using the same head for over a year and it’s nowhere near needing to be replaced.
We all have to eat and eating creates dirty dishes. Improve your dishwashing experience by adding a sink grate and a “just right” sized strainer and I know your chore will become noticeably more tolerable, bordering on pleasant.
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*.Note: As much as we loved the Dr. Brown’s bottles, all those pieces multiplied by two babies and containers for expressed breast milk were overwhelming. I’m not the least bit ashamed to admit that I started wearing rubber gloves to wash them and slathered on the bag balm nightly.