This could have gone into energy conservation, but I figure that cooks are the ones most likely to do the dishes.
It often happens, that we run out of forks, long before we run out of spoons and knives. Most of my dishes are done in a nearly new dishwasher, that I am perfectly happy with. For some reason, my friend and landlord, has 14 forks and probably 40 spoons. The forks always run out before the other cutlery. Enough preamble.
Because of the small quantity, I always wash them in a cup. When water for coffee is boiled, in the morning, I boil 1 cup extra. The forks are put in with about 2 drops of dishwashing liquid. This is the only time that I use boiling water for dishes. The house needs heat at this hour and it's electrically heated. So, there's no real energy cost to this. The water doesn't go down the drain until it has given up it's heat to the room. It is poured into other dishes that are waiting in the sink.
I use the very tall cup, pictured, because it covers 3/4 of the length of the cutlery, so that all of it gets cleaned. They are placed working end down, then hot water is added, until the cup is almost full. After 5 minutes, they are turned over. There's no scrubbing or oscillation. Just time in the hot water seems to do it. Then the cup and the forks are given a cold water rinse. They are stood handle down in the cup, and left to dry. That's it. It happens much faster than it took to write this. :-)
The cup has a really nice picture, which was painted by the Canadian artist Lawren S Harris.
Not as exceedingly frugal, but I regularly put cutlery business end down in a cup in the sink when prepping for washing dishes. They presoak and are very easy to find and wash in one operation (sequentially, they often need individual wiping no matter what).
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
posted 2 years ago
Since they are in the sink, where other dishes will go, you could put a good squirt of dish soap and boiling water from the kettle in that cup, and you wouldn't see any real loss in energy or soap. After a couple minutes, add the other water. I'll bet that just a few minutes in boiling water, would eliminate the need for any scrubbing.
For me, it's all about getting by with forks, until the dishwasher is filled with enough of everything else. I generally do big pots by hand, because they are very easy and they fill the dishwasher too quickly.