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Low water consumption technique for washing dishes by hand.  RSS feed

 
Skip LaCroix
Posts: 60
Location: Reeds Spring, MO z 6-7 prev South Florida, z 10a-10b 1989-2015 prev 1981-1989 North Vermont
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I have spent the last several months refusing to use the dishwasher in my apartment. Over this time I have tried several different ways in an attempt to use less water. I have hesitantly spent the time and water to plug my sink and pour measured amounts of water into it and make marks on the sink for easy measuring during further experiments. Out of several such experiments I come to the conclusion that one technique in particular has worked very well for me. I will attempt to illustrate this technique with words as taking photos while washing dishes is a challenging task to say the least.

Note, I normally do not fill or plug any part of the sink with water, except during the testing phases for measurement purposes only. I am also using biodegradable dish soap.

The first thing I do is stack the dishes in one side of the sink after scraping off what food I can into the compost. I then give the dirty dishes a very quick sprinkle of water to begin softening the food particulate and wet my sponge at the same time. I then apply soap to my sponge and lather it up whilst scrubbing the first dish. I then place the soapy scrubbed dish into the empty sink and grab the next one. I keep doing this as quickly as I can until the previously empty sink is almost full of soapy scrubbed dishes. Once I have run out of room for soapy dishes I then turn on the water at a rather slow drizzle and use the fresh water to rinse individual scrubbed dishes above the other soapy ones. This ensures that the dish in my hand is completely rinsed and drips the rinsing water over the other soapy dishes making them easier to rinse next.

We do some rather extravagant meal preparation here being an odd sort of foody/bizarre foods family. I am able to do all the dishes, prep bowls, cutting boards, cooking pots and pans for a 3 course meal for 3 people in about 30-45 minutes this way using only 2-3 gallons of water. And they all come out squeaky clean.

I realize that there may be another way (How Paul Wheaton does it) to further reduce water use but I felt this way to get the dishes as clean as me and my mother feel necessary. We're not ok with any grease still being on the dishes and I will have to rewash them if this occurs. My previous technique nearly completely eliminates any need to repeat wash dishes.

It has been quite the struggle to get mom to even allow me to hand wash dishes. First she couldn't believe that I could get then clean enough. Then she was certain that the dishwasher used far less water and energy than anyone could washing by hand. Always needing absolute proof to be convinced of anything. I love you Mom.

Any other ideas, additions, techniques are appreciated as I am very new to this whole thing.
 
Dan Huisjen
Posts: 51
Location: Acadia Region, Maine.
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Thank you. This will help me this winter when I have to hand haul water to my dwelling.
 
Skip LaCroix
Posts: 60
Location: Reeds Spring, MO z 6-7 prev South Florida, z 10a-10b 1989-2015 prev 1981-1989 North Vermont
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Dan Huisjen wrote:Thank you. This will help me this winter when I have to hand haul water to my dwelling.


You're welcome. May the grip on your boots be steadfast and sturdy this winter.
 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6698
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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That's pretty much how I do it when I wash big pots in the sink. I'm not trying to save water. No need in my climate. hot water use is limited, but lots is used for the cold water rinse.

My friends have a dishwasher that cooks the dishes for a long time after they are clean. The idea is that they are being sterilized. Most of us aren't going to run a surgery from the kitchen. Therefore, I believe that half an hour of sterilization is unnecessary.
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