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What is your handwash routine?

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This is something that has always been a mystery to me, and it was just stirred up by the dish rack thread. I didn't want to hijack that one, but wasn't sure if this really fit here.... I don't know. Shut it down or move it as necessary I guess. But I really feel like I need to ask.

When I was a kid, every family I knew had a double bowl stainless steel sink, and the bowls were equally sized. I was taught to fill the left bowl with hot soapy water, right bowl with even hotter clean water. Wash in the left, rinse in the right, put in the drainer.

As I got older I started seeing single bowl sinks, or double bowls where one was much narrower and/or shallower than the other. I'm just so confused by them! Maybe it comes from my dad being such a hardass about my dishwashing skills, but I just can't fathom how people wash dishes in "non-standard" sinks.

Are you using one of those wands with soap in the handle to scrub and then turning on the faucet briefly to rinse? Running the water constantly? Washing them all and then rinsing afterward? I know I sound like a total idiot, and I promise I'm not, but.... I don't know. It's just been bugging me for years, and I don't have any fancy friends (okay, no friends) with sinks that I can experiment in.

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  1. I have a double sink. I have hot, soapy water in the left one. I wash a sink full and put them in the right sink. Then I rinse with hot water. No (hell, no!) I don't run the water constantly (I live in CA and we've been conserving water forever). As I rinse one thing the water spills over onto the others so it doesn't take as much water to rinse those items. Then into the dish drainer...and adjacent towel on the counter as I have so much to hand wash.

    13 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      Is your drainer one of the in-sink kind? That's another thing I never quite got. If the drainer is there, where you do rinse? But I guess if you're rinsing with the faucet instead of a full bowl of water, you can just do it over the rack.

      EDIT: I almost put an (ACK!) after the running the water constantly thing, but I didn't want to offend anyone who does that. I grew up in Arizona, so that would hurt my soul.

      1. re: Kontxesi

        No, the dish drainer sits to the right of the sink. Thanks for the "ACK!" comment :)

        1. re: c oliver

          Most people I know (or at least, the few people I've seen wash dishes) DO leave the faucet running. I've been known to reach over and turn it off while they're soaping the next dish. It never goes over well.

          1. re: PinkLynx

            They probably leave it running when they brush their teeth also :)

            1. re: c oliver

              F'ing water hogs. ;-p

              1. re: DuffyH

                You're talking to the person who used to have a sign in her bathroom:

                "If it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down."

                And I was serious about it.

                1. re: c oliver

                  We did that through Sandy Eggo's routine droughts, but I didn't advertise it.

                  1. re: DuffyH

                    Well, you can imagine how SFers get really out there with issues :)

                    1. re: c oliver

                      And other things.;-)

                      1. re: DuffyH

                        You betcha! My favesie thing about that wonderful place :)

                2. re: DuffyH

                  Hi, Duffy:

                  I'm against profligate waste (I have one of the new clothes washers that seems to not even immerse the clothes) , but here where water is cheap and plentiful, I have no guilt over running the tap a little bit longer, running an extra rinse cycle, etc. It's not like I'm taking away anything from anyone.

                  Aloha,
                  Pua'a Wai (Water Hog) Kaleo

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    Hi Kaleo,

                    <... here where water is cheap and plentiful...>

                    Reminds me of the time I'm standing in line at Sea-First bank (back when we did that) and 2 dudes are talking about electric bills. One of them opines that our bills would be much lower if Puget Power wasn't selling our excess electricity to California. He felt it should be stored for fall/winter when the Columbia flows at a lower rate. He buddy agreed.

                    I went into the ladies room to laugh my ass off.

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      So much for the younger generation being tech savvy! Just having an app on your phone that will tell you stuff doesn't make you smart.

      2. I first thought you meant washing hands! Anyway, if I had a single bowl sink (presumably large), I'd use a plastic tup or tough stainless dutch oven as a place to contain soapy water. I already do this even though I have a double sink. Say, I have a pasta pot to clean. It's not really that dirty. So I'll fill that with soapy water rather than the half sink and wash items in there.

        I'd leave the rest of the single sink (or second sink) empty and holding things until it was full of stuff to be spray-rinsed.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Bada Bing

          I frequently do what you describe. Washing things in a large'ish container. When I grind meat, I wash all the attachments in the bowl I grind the meat into.

          1. re: Bada Bing

            This is what I do when I have a giant pot too big to put in the dishwasher. I have a giant single sink (I wanted a really big one so I could lay completely flat a roasting pan that needed soaking (which happens a few times a month in our house).
            Other than a giant roasting pan, the only thing I really wash by hand all the time is the parts to my juicer. I spray rinse, soap up, scrub, rinse some more, etc. in the one sink and the whole process takes about 4 minutes, which is much less time than it would take to fill the sink with water.

            1. re: Bada Bing

              If you go way back, big single sinks were the norm. My grandmothers house, built in the 1930's, had a big single sink (no garbage disposal), she had a plastic tub she put in the sink and filled with soapy water to wash.

            2. I grew up with the double stainless sink on a septic system. Every drop of water better serve a purpose before it goes down the drain. Still have the double bowl stainless, and it's so comfortingly familiar.

              Now with a dishwasher, the only hand wash items are the good stemware and Chicago Sports (Bears/Blackhawks) beer mugs, and pots/pans. So the stemware gets washed over the pot/pan, then the pan can soak a bit while I load the dishwasher, then I finish up. Sometimes its an overnight soak if toddler is sassy or things were more "caramelized" than anticipated. If I do leave the water running, its a very thin trickle.

              1. all dishes beside sink, drip soap so a little bit gets on every piece. Leave the water running in a small trickle and wash and rinse.

                I don't know why but I can't even watch my s.o do dishes leaves soapy bubbles.. Im so worried about soap ruining a dish. I think I must have had it happen once long ago. I smell spatchulas and frying pans almost unconsciously. Definitely one of my weirder habits.

                1. I mostly use the dishwasher, but if I hand wash dishes, I wash in hot soapy water, as you would. But I rinse under warm running water. Really, when you think about it, the faucet rinsing gets rid of the soap film. When you rinse in a tub or bowl of water, the soap film from the previous dishes just gets redistributed onto the last dishes that are rinsed.

                  1. I think there are 2 camps... The soapy sink types and the running water types. I like the soapy water in a sink, but I now have one of those sinks which is huge on one side and small on on the other. For the few hand dishes I normally do, I usually just run the water and put the soap on a scrubber sponge as it is less water than filling the big sink with even a couple of inches of water. If there are more, I'll plug the sink and wash with running water until there is enough water in the sink to wash other things.

                    My husband is a running water type. He thinks a sinkful of soapy water just redistributes the food, and doesn't really clean. Fortunately we are smart enough to not critique each other's dish washing methods.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: firecooked

                      I've gotta say, firecooked, I'm with your hubby on this one. I don't want to wash pots, stemware or dishes in a sink full of water that has debris floating around from previously washed items. I wash and rinse under (continuously) running water; then I set the item in the smaller sink to drain.

                      Come to think of it, that's also why I prefer showers to baths. :-)

                    2. I have 2 sinks. The right one is what you would think of as normal size, but with way more usable space because they're the "zero radius" kind that lack rounded corners. The left sink is larger. I place the largest container I'll be washing (tonight it was a 3 qt sauté pan) in the left sink. I fill that pan with soapy water. We lived in Ca for years and I never, ever fill a sink with water.

                      As I wash items I place them in the left sink. Then I rinse with my sprayer and put them on my drainboard, similar to how c oliver does it.

                      I have a grid in the left sink, which is kind of cool because I can dry pans, lids, racks, sheet pans, etc... upright, leaning against the sink wall. The stainless grid wires keep them from sliding down flat. Way cool bonus feature.

                      Note that sometimes my biggest container will be only a soup bowl or similar item, maybe a 2-cup measuring cup. Doesn't matter. It gets the soap and water. How much soapy water do I need to wash a lid and some utensils? I have 3 things for cleaning stuff; sponge, palm brush and stainless chain mail scrubber for pans, heavy glass, LC stoneware and the like. It gets the hard crusty stuff off.

                      1. I have a double stainless steel sink. Both are deep. Since the dishwasher is to the left, and I use it as an air drying rack also, I rinse in left sink and wash in right sink.

                        I'll start by filling right sink with hot soapy water, using the spray function on faucet to get it all nice and sudsy and mixed well. When it's about 1/4 full, in go plates and bowls. Flatware stays at the bottom and soaks until washed last. I use the yellow/green heavy duty Scotch scrubby sponges for most, a nylon cylindrical brush for drinking glasses. Wash in right sink, then put them in left sink. Then in go the glasses/etc in right sink to soak while rinsing the plates/bowls with faucet in left sink, stacking on counter top on a towel, then to the dishwasher racks to air dry.

                        Then the larger items and stainless steel (or my girlfriend's nonstick) pots/pans for last in the soapy water after the flatware is cleaned. And saving the cast iron cleaning (no soap) for very last with their own nylon brushes and plain hot water. Most larger stuff is set to dry on stovetop, making sure the stovetop is cleared off by the time I get to the cast iron maintenance, since I use the burners for that.

                        I've had a single "farmer's sink" before and, since I like to soak dishes for a few minutes prior to washing, I would have to use a separate plastic tub inside the sink (about half the width of the large farmer's sink).

                        I should add, that all dishes are scraped into garbage and rinsed good before washing. And I clean the left (rinsing side) sink with soap and water and sponge, before putting dishes in it.

                        If I skip a couple or few days of washing, everything but large items get cleaned in dishwasher. It adds up quick with two teens and the girlfriend and I.

                        When all is said and done, off to wipe down the counters.

                        1. I dont think I can sleep at night knowing I washed my plates all in the same soapy water. As soon as I wash one plate in that, I'll feel obligated to empty it and fill it again. You just washed off all of the dirty stuff into that water. Im not washing another plate in that. I'll take running the water over that any day. It just sounds unhygienic. Sort of like bathing with a bunch of people a Turkish bath house. You save more water and clean more efficiently by using a dish washer though. Unfortunately, not everything is dishwasher safe and its usually the nicer stuff that cant go in there.

                          18 Replies
                          1. re: GOJIRA

                            And the DW is tossing all that "dirty stuff" around on all the dishes.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              Using the same sponge from plate to plate transfers more dirty stuff.

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                Ooh, icky :) Hadn't thought of that!

                                1. re: DuffyH

                                  I realize that the sponge carries germs but at least you can rinse off the sponge every time. The dishwater will only get consistently dirtier.

                                  1. re: GOJIRA

                                    I know people who MW their sponges daily to kill cooties. I live in a magic house.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      LOL! That comment was almost snort-worthy. :-D

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        "I live in a magic house." Thanks for the memory... :-)

                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/572415

                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                          We lost him over four years ago but he lives on in things like this, doesn't he? :)

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            He sure does! He left an indelible impression on many of us.

                                  2. re: c oliver

                                    Theres an advantage to dishwashers though. Unlike with handwashing, the water reaches the higher temperatures necessary to kill all that yucky stuff. That being said, I actually rinse off the dishes before placing them into the dishwasher.

                                    1. re: GOJIRA

                                      We always rinse throughly before it goes in the dishwasher. We don't run it every meal, so who wants eggs to set on a plate for a day or two before the dishwasher gets run again? It's not coming off then. I know it wastes water, but so does running a dishwasher that's only got two or three plates in it. I never feel hand washing is sufficient to get all the germs and I'm not all that germ-a-phobic.

                                      Our new sink is a 70/30 split and it's great as I can get a 6qt sautè in there with the handle, so it's easy to clean. The GD is on the 30 side where the small scraps get scraped into, the larger scraps go into the trash.

                                  3. re: GOJIRA

                                    The dirty soapy water is a tool. The clean warm-hot rinsing water from faucet makes it all go away, lol.

                                    1. re: Muddirtt

                                      It still makes me uncomfortable.

                                      1. re: GOJIRA

                                        Thank God most people don't waste that much water. The human race got along just fine prior to dishwashers and even prior to soap. The hygiene hypothesis, which by now is mostly considered proven, no longer hypothetical, considers finicky extremes like yours to be self-defeating. Your immune system needs something to fight in order to remain functioning properly, minimizing the chance of developing allergies or autoimmume disorders.

                                        I prefer washing dishes in the sink so I had the dishwasher disconnected. Dishpan with hot soapy water, next to it a cold trickle to rinse. Airdry in the dishrack.

                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          One nice thing is that dishwashers are becoming more thrifty when it comes to water use. I use less water running a load in my Bosch then I could ever hope to do by hand.

                                          I routinely clean 6-8 dinner plates, 8 salad plates, 6-8 soup plates and 2 saucepans/lids in the lower rack alone. Add in the middle rack filled with cups and glasses and the top rack with flatware. The Bosch cleans it with about 2.5 gallons of water. Every other day.

                                          Of course I still do plenty of hand washing, but I feel pretty good knowing that the bulk of my stuff gets really clean using much less water than it would take to do it by hand.

                                    2. re: GOJIRA

                                      I hesitate to get you rolling even further in this direction, which seems paranoid, but how is it okay to wash half a plate in soapy water and then just contaminate the other half of the plate in the resulting, toxic dreck?

                                      1. re: Bada Bing

                                        p.s., The attitude divergences here remind of a response attributed (by my mother) to Mae West, who, when asked "Do you think sex is dirty?" is said to have responded, "Well, only if you're doing it right."

                                        Maybe dating websites should incorporate views on dishwashing hygiene into their matchmaking programs!

                                      2. re: GOJIRA

                                        Do you understand that most 'cooties' die when air-dried?

                                      3. Double bowl, old-school sink. Dish drainer in the right side. What doesn't go in the dishwasher (not much) gets rinsed, then washed with a soapy sponge (water turned off), then rinsed in hot running water and into the drainer to dry.

                                        1. Our sink has 2 compartments, but the left side is a small compartment with the garbage disposal, and the right side is the larger side. What I do is use my soapy sponge to wipe a few items, and place them in the smaller compartment as I go. Then I rinse the soapy items in warm running water (running at a reasonable amount, not gushing water) and place them in the dishrack. If I have more things to wash, I repeat the process -- soap up a few things, and rinse under running water. I turn the water off while I am soaping so it's not running unless I'm actively rinsing the dishes.

                                          I've never quite understood the system of soaping in one compartment and then dipping the soapy dishes in another compartment of water to rinse them off. The first couple dishes would be OK, but then the other dishes are being dipped in soap and food residue from the earlier dishes. My friend had a roommate who did the dishes like this, and my friend would always go back and rerinse the dishes after her roommate washed them.

                                          1. I haven't read any replies yet, but this is how it works for me.

                                            At my home I have a single SS sink and I have a DW. Dishes are rinsed, scraped and placed in the DW. (Don't start a 'how to load a freakin' DW thread w/ this). The items that need to be hand washed (good knives, certain pots, etc.) get scrubbed in a sink full of soapy water and set aside while I finish all of the hand washing. Then I drain the sink, rinse it w/ cool water to get rid of the soap bubbles and then rinse everything in hot water and either dry it by hand (knives) or lay them upside down typically over the stove to air dry.
                                            SO does not have a DW but there's a two bowl porcelain sink. One sink is filled w/ hot sudsy water and I 'stage' what goes in - all utensils (except knives w/ wooden handles) and glass ware 1st. Those get scrubbed by me wearing rubber gloves cuz' god knows the water is as hot as Hades, then placed in the other sink, until the 'rinse sink' is full. After that, I place the next 'stage' in the hot sudsy water and rinse the clean dishes in Hot-as-Hades water and place in dish drainer. Repeat.

                                            SO simply wipes out whatever dishes are dirty with either a slimy sponge or a napkin and calls it a day. There is no animosity on my part but I do a lot of dishes when I'm at SO.
                                            Jeez - Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

                                            How to wash dishes properly! FM!

                                            1. I can relate to your method of dish washing as this is exactly how we were taught and how we did it in home ec class in high school. I'm thinking this is an old school method of washing the dishes (I'm 29). This isn't how we washed them at home growing up, and my OCD side of my brain could never allow myself to wash them this way at my own house. I have a seamless double bowl stainless steal sink with equal sized bowls in my kitchen, but I would never trust the cleanliness of my own sink to rinse them in sitting water in it. After I heard one time that a sink is more dirty than a toilet, that's it for me. I wash my hand wash dishes with a soapy sponge and then rinse with running water. The other dishes get put in the dishwasher.

                                              18 Replies
                                              1. re: SaraAshley

                                                There is NO WAY my kitchen sink can be dirtier than my commode, and by that I mean NO WAY.

                                                1. re: foiegras

                                                  You might be the exception, however:

                                                  http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/f...

                                                  Sensational? Sure. But interesting.

                                                  1. re: PinkLynx

                                                    I have to say that what this article discusses is some seriously bad practices. Who in the world would 'just rinse' a cutting board used for meat?

                                                    Personally I think the key is to be quite careful with meat handling--and also what you do with your sponge.

                                                    I open the butcher paper on the counter. If I need to cut the meat, I do it over the pan with kitchen shears, of which I have a number of pairs. They then go straight into the dishwasher, and the butcher paper and associated mess goes immediately outside into the trash cart.

                                                    I also do not use my sponge to wipe down the kitchen, I use rags, which immediately go into the laundry (but, there should be no salmonella, etc. on my counters due to the way I handle meat).

                                                    My sponge is used exclusively for washing dishes, and those dishes have not come into contact with raw meat.

                                                    I also buy mostly organic produce, which theoretically should not be carrying E. coli.

                                                    I will say that at least 99.9% of the food poisoning I've had appeared to me to be from restaurant food.

                                                    To me a little common sense goes a long way--and I will not be taking up the suggestion of preparing food on the toilet seat. Good Lord.

                                                    1. re: foiegras

                                                      Actually organic produce appears to have higher levels of E.coli:

                                                      http://www.organicconsumers.org/Organ...

                                                      I wash my cutting boards (all wood) with hot soapy water and air dry. That's it. 'Course I also eat raw beef and eggs and live in a 'magic house' :)

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Looks like that's a single study from 2004, and the deadly strain wasn't present.

                                                        My understanding is that using sewage as fertilizer is disallowed by organic standards.

                                                        1. re: foiegras

                                                          But there are frequently animal manures that are used.

                                                      2. re: foiegras

                                                        How many times have you HAD "food poisoning"? I'm over 60, have had it 4 times that I can recall, by which I mean vomiting/diarrhea/weakness. This may have been flu, for all I know. And I subscribe to the "hygiene hypothesis". I do not use a dishwasher, nor disinfectants on utensils/cooking surfaces - just soapy water.

                                                        If you're being that fastidious, yet have had numerous bouts of what you think is food poisoning, I suggest that your disinfecting zeal has harmed your immune system.

                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                          I've "had it" twice in 40 years. Once was likely from some bad crab in a restaurant and short-lived, a few hours. The other in Rio was Salmonella-tainted peanut butter (US-made) that hadn't gotten pulled from their shelves. I think you make a good suggestion re too much sanitation. Or as my father used to say "You gotta eat some dirt in your life."

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            <"You gotta eat some dirt in your life.">

                                                            Mud pies don't taste as good as I remember them tasting. And it's not my tastebuds, either. I had some library paste about 10 years ago, It was as minty delicious as ever.

                                                          2. re: greygarious

                                                            Where did you get the idea that I possess 'disinfecting zeal'?

                                                            1. re: foiegras

                                                              I'm not "gg" but I'd probably describe it that way :)

                                                              1. re: foiegras

                                                                Dishwashing rather than hand-washing of utensils that contact raw meat, immediate taking of trash outside and putting of rags into laundry all qualify as overly germaphobic to me. Just wondering if it has made you more, or less, healthy....

                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                  Since there is no bleach or other chemical disinfectant in my house, I consider myself not very far along the germaphobe spectrum compared to most of the other people I know, who seem to think I should be dead by now, given my complete lack of what they consider proper disinfecting. If the dishwasher were gentle enough, it would wash everything for me.

                                                                  I am quite healthy, thank you ...

                                                                  1. re: foiegras

                                                                    When camping, I wash my enameled steel dishes in the river and air dry. I use sand if they're really cruddy. Then I might get some moldy rotting deadfall ready for the fire, then maybe eat a burrito or hot dog with my unwashed hands from those same dishes, then maybe bite a fingernail later after I make a fisherman's knot with my teeth, near a hook that has a maggot on it for some trout fishing. Oh the horrible filth, eh? -- The human species survived prior to today's cleaning habits so I think I'm good to go.

                                                                    1. re: Muddirtt

                                                                      Maggots are just disgusting, man. Where's your hygiene?

                                                                      :-p

                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                        But... They're pretty little dyed red ones that are farmed :D

                                                                        1. re: Muddirtt

                                                                          Oh. Well. That's different, then. Never mind. ;-)

                                                                      2. re: Muddirtt

                                                                        You're alive and posting here, right? ;) It's all good. I'm also pretty sure there's a whole separate set of rules for camping.

                                                                        The least germaphobic friend I've had would flick her fingers delicately under the water in the ladies' room--no soap. I'd eat her food, but when she came to my house, I did ask her to use the provided soap ;) She was willing to comply with my eccentric fondness for (non anti-bacterial) soap.

                                                                        She grew up in a family where it was assumed every sickness would be shared. My family was a bit different ... but aren't they all.

                                                      3. I've got a single bowl stainless steel sink and it's huge. Most everything goes into the dishwasher but for the stuff that gets washed by hand (better quality knives, non-stick pan, the occasional piece of glassware) I use one of these dishcloths from Tupperware: http://order.tupperware.com/pls/htpro...

                                                        They're safe to put in the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle and they can go in the regular laundry, too. I get it soapy and wash and rinse as I go with water as hot as I can stand it (which is pretty hot).

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: ccbweb

                                                          I wear rubber gloves so I can get the water super hot.

                                                        2. Hi, Kontxesi:

                                                          Hmm, I tried to post this yesterday, but it didn't take, so I'll try again.

                                                          One of my houses has a DWer, the other two don't, and I can't say I mind handwashing. Most of my cookware and all of my crystal benefits from handwashing, and I'm not convinced that the DWer actually saves me any time. Here's how I do it...

                                                          I have 3 plastic Rubbermaid tubs, each of which fits loosely into my double-well porcelain sinks (I keep the third tub for heavily-soiled/dried-on dishes that may need a longer soak). When I say "loosely", I mean that there is enough room *between* the tubs, so that the detritus from the plates, etc. can be pre-rinsed/prescrubbed without fouling/dissipating either the soapy wash water or the clean rinse water in their respective tubs.

                                                          So my method is to (1) dump/scrape into the food waste bin; (2) coarsely rinse/scrub the dreck down *between* the tubs; and then (3) into the soapy water in one tub it all goes. I mostly use one of those handy OXO dispenser-type brushes to (4) fine scrub the stuff; then (5) dip in the rinsewater tub; and thence (6) into my folding wooden-slat drying rack or the small flatware draining bin. I hardly ever dry unless the dishes surpass the rack's capacity.

                                                          Other reason I like this system are: (a) I can lift out the tubs (full, if need be) if either/both sink basins are needed for other things, e.g., for an icebath; (b) after a big party, the tubs serve as bus bins; and (c) the tubs, rack, bin and the tray they sit on all stow away efficiently under the sink, so my counters stay relatively clutter-free. I like the suggestion another Hound made of using their DW rack as their draining rack. Really, other than for sterilizing wine bottle prior to bottling, I don't use my one DWer much.

                                                          The one thing I want to add is a foot-actuated valve so that I can keep both hands working. At some point I WILL have this setup!

                                                          Aloha,
                                                          Kaleo

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                            k, here's some data:

                                                            http://www.nrdc.org/living/stuff/grea...

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              Hi, c oliver:

                                                              My one DWer is not Energy Star, so I guess I'm still ahead of the game even by this standard. "Washing by hand is almost as good as using a new machine, provided that the hand-washer uses efficient techniques."

                                                              I lived in California during one of the dought periods, so I wouldn't necessarily use my approach if we were under use restrictions in western Washington.

                                                              Aloha,
                                                              Kaleo

                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                So you don't think one should conserve simply because it's the right thing to do? Where we are - Lake Tahoe - we don't have actual restrictions.

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  Hi, c oliver:

                                                                  As I wrote above, I am against profligate waste, and I would shrink from taking resources away from another, but that is not the situation I face here, with either water or hydro-generated electricity.

                                                                  Conservation is an odd concept. I don't have AC in any of my small houses, and I'm not soaking up kilowatt hours running an electric stove. I rarely take airline flights. I use clotheslines. I don't water any lawns. I mostly work from home, so I don't drive much. I plant a lot more trees than I burn. I mostly use and keep (and fix) old stuff, so I don't have to recycle it or feed the environmental waste of making new stuff just to have new stuff.

                                                                  So I'm not going to feel bad--in my locale and its circumstances--taking a 30 second longer shower or flushing my (low-volume, 2-stage) toilet with each use.

                                                                  The thing about conservation is judging what is enough and what is too much. Think how much water we'd save if we all bathed monthly and only with moist towelettes or dust, like our elephant friends. Shouldn't we do that simply because it's the right thing to do?

                                                                  Aloha,
                                                                  Kaleo

                                                            2. re: kaleokahu

                                                              What a dishwasher DOES do is use a LOT less water than handwashing, and it pretty much ends passing germs around in the family dead in its tracks! But some homes and apartments don't have them. I got my first dishwasher in 1967 when my son was born and I asked my pediatrician about the best way to sterilize baby bottles, His immediate reply was, "Dishwasher! And the family will rack up the benefit of eating from sterile dishes too!" It's true!

                                                            3. A Firehose, with 250 gpm.

                                                              Cleans the hard stuff off fast, including everything in the kitchen, right out the door.

                                                              I do give my wife and the guests a 5 second warning.
                                                              Sometimes.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                I know you hang your pots to dry. Do you have extra hooks for guests?

                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                  No, I just hose them out too.

                                                                  It's quicker and more efficient then saying good night showing them to the door.

                                                                2. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                  I do like your style! Beats the heck out of yawning and winding an alarm clock!

                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                    When guest comments turn to my cooking technique or " You might try this " tips, the fire hose line gets fully charged, and out they go !

                                                                3. < I just can't fathom how people wash dishes in "non-standard" sinks>

                                                                  It is possible.

                                                                  Currently, I have had been using single sink (in multiple location) for a long long time.

                                                                  <Are you using one of those wands with soap in the handle to scrub and then turning on the faucet briefly to rinse? Running the water constantly? Washing them all and then rinsing afterward? >

                                                                  I have tried all of these. It depends how many dishes I have to wash.

                                                                  1. I have a single stainless steel sink and a dishwasher. I use my dishwasher for most dishes but for the very few I have to hand wash I leave the water running. It's usually only on for a few minutes.

                                                                    1. I thought from the title you were asking how I wash my hands ... soap, water, Twinkle, twinkle, little star ...

                                                                      Dishes, now I get it.

                                                                      Double porcelain sink. Mat in left sink. Hot soapy water. Sponge. Action. Washed dishes in right sink. Rinse under running water (NOT left running), drain in empty dishwasher. Hand dry crystal.

                                                                      1. I seem to do most of the dishwashing. I do most of the cooking and usually wash as I go.I am mostly only washing cooking vessels, knives, and some utensils that are just easier to wash by hand.

                                                                        I do not fill the sink with hot, soapy water. I get the wayer hot and then turn it on and off. I use a 3M Scotchbrite pad and a brush with a long handle (Ikea, it has a suction cup on the end). There is a colander like plastic thing that hangs on the spine of the sink in the right side. Knives and small things go there, pots, pans, lids, etc. are stacked to the right.

                                                                        My father has a winter home in Arizona. I'm amazed at how easy it is to hand wash dishes because after about ten minutes in the rack on the right side of the sink, the dishes can be put away.

                                                                        To those of you who not only scrape but rinse your dishes before putting them into your dishwasher, you're not doing a favor to your dishes. Dishwasher detergent is harsh., it attacks food. If there is no food to attack, it attacks your dishes. Our dishwasher has a built in food disposer.

                                                                        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/21/gar...

                                                                        1. I use a dishwasher for almost everything that is safe and efficient to put in there. But let's say I have an 8qt stock pot for pasta. I soak it, then put in a thin layer of hot water and soap, then wash it all around with a scrub brush. I assume this loosens everything I want to clean. Then I rinse w/ hot water and drip dry. Point is, I don't feel one needs continuous water at this stage. One just needs to loosen and rinse. Now with hard crusted pans, I'll soak. Attack with brush/scraper. Soak more, attack, and at the end do the stock pot technique. But at no point is continuous water needed. HOWEVER, when I do dishes in the sink - fancy stuff let's say - then I do use continuous water. And scrub each one til ready for the drying rack.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: danlind3

                                                                            Just read a bill gates interview where he likes to wash dishes. He prefers the way he does them but didn't give details.

                                                                            How British hand wash dishes.
                                                                            http://www.straightdope.com/columns/r...

                                                                          2. Just watched some Julia Child "Way to Cook" video. Crazily, the handles raw chicken, then grabs the pepper mill and all sorts of other things. Things we would never do. Are we over-reacting? Did she develop bio-defenses? I always wash hands after raw meat, and I can turn on the water with my elbow...

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: danlind3

                                                                              Obviously I'm related to Julia Child...at least when it comes to hygiene :)

                                                                              1. re: danlind3

                                                                                Perhaps I'm wrong, but my impression is that we've factory-farmed our way to pervasive and extra-virulent nastiness that may not have existed when Julia got started in the 60s ...