TASTE
01/10/2013 09:05 am ET Updated Jan 10, 2013

How To Hand Wash Dishes: Tips To Make It Easier

Flickr: Rachel Zack

There are very few people who actually enjoy washing dishes -- and if you know someone, you should quickly befriend them. Washing the dishes, especially when you don't have a dishwasher, is cooking's biggest downfall. The dishes just pile up way too quickly.

But rather than have people slowly start to swear off cooking -- which we would hate to see -- we gathered 11 tips on how to make washing your dishes just a little bit easier.

1.) Wipe Food Off Plates ASAP. The sooner you wipe excess food off your plate, the easier the whole cleaning-up process will be. You don't have to wash the dishes in their entirety right away, but you should at least wipe off food scraps.

2.) Get The Right Sponge. While the type of dishes or pots you have determines the type of sponges you need, we think a spong with one rough side is essential. If you don't have something to scrub dishes with, washing your dirty dishes could take hours.

3.) Use Good-Smelling Soap. Why not make the dish washing process as pleasant as possible? Nice smelling dish soap is definitely a step in that direction.

4.) No More Water Spots. It's incredibly frustrating to have gone through the process of washing dishes only to have them look dirty afterwards because of water spots. A splash of vinegar in your rinse water can remedy that problem.

5.) Group Like Dishes Together. After a big dinner party, or just a couple of days of build up, the load of dishes you need to tackle can be daunting to say the least. If you group dishes by category it will eliminate some of the chaos and the task will feel much more manageable.

6.) Invest In A Good Dish Rack. A bad dish rack can mean a lot of things. Dishes fall off; it holds only four items; it makes you want to scream. Doing dishes is already a nuisance. Make it easier on yourself and get a good dish rack -- one that costs a little more than $9.99.

7.) Sometimes, Dishes Just Need To Soak. Even if you're in a hurry to get through the dishes, some items just need to soak. There's no point in rushing it, you'll just tire your arms and waste your time.

8.) Use Hot Water. The hotter the water, the faster the grease comes off. We recommend letting the water get as hot as you can stand, and rubber gloves can be used here to help protect your skin. But, of course, it's not worth burning yourself just to get the dishes done. Only set the temperature at a comfortable degree.

9.) Listen To Music. We can't make you like washing dishes, but we can at least try to make the process a little more pleasant -- and music is really good at doing that.

10.) Don't Put It Off. Many of us fall into the same old habit of making dinner when we get home and then relaxing for a few hours before we do the dishes. It makes sense; we've had long days. But when the end of the night comes, and you realize you have a pile of dishes to get through, it can be a real bummer. Don't make dishes part of your getting-ready-for-bed routine, get them out of the way sometime before bedtime.

11.) Burned Pots And Pans. None of us mean to do it, but sometimes we burn our food. And while that means bad things for our dinner, it also means dish washing is going to be that much harder. Allow burned pots and pans to soak overnight with either baking soda or salt and water. In the morning, attack the pot with a sponge or bring the water in it to a slow boil. The burned marks should easily fade away.

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If you are one of the lucky ones with a dishwasher, check out what not to put in your dishwasher.

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Don't Put These Things In The Dishwasher

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