What Is The Correct Order Of Washing Your Dishes And Kitchen Tools?

You should start with these.

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How do you wash your kitchen tools and dinnerware? Many people are probably not thinking about how they wash their dirty dishes and kitchen tools and utensils. 

Take a moment though and think about it. Is there a proper dishwashing procedure you use when you do the dishes? Do you start with the dirty pots, pans, and other cooking utensils, or do you wait until after you're done with the plates and glasses? We give you answers that might make you change your mind about what the dishwashing steps are and how it should be done.  

First, you need to be equipped to handling all that dishwashing! Including the dishwashing soap and the sponge, here are other dishwashing equipment essentials that you might to always have on hand: 

  1. 1 dishwashing liquid  
  2. 2 dishwashing sponge 
  3. 3 steel wool or steel wool pads 
  4. 4 dishwashing gloves 
  5. 5 dish rack   
  6. 6 dish drying towels 
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While the quality of some of these equipment doesn't matter, the dishwashing liquid characteristics do matter. Some of us may dilute the dishwashing soap even before it's applied to your sponge. While this is fine to do when using it on lightly dirtied plates, this just won't work as well as it should if using it on heavily dirtied ones or on pots and pans you used to braise beef in. There's a reason why dishwashing liquid is thick and viscous which will more easily cut through the sebo and grease if used at full strength. 


It should also be noted that steel wool and pads should only be used on surfaces that can take the abuse of a tough scrubbing material. These include stainless-steel pots, pans, some baking pans, and any equipment that does not have a delicate coating on it such as nonstick coatings on frying pans. You can use this on cast iron cookware but not too aggressive. Cast iron pots and pans are best scrubbed with less abrasive materials that won't harm the seasoning you worked hard to place. 

Now that you have your tools to do this right, here are the dishwashing steps or the dishwashing procedure that we recommend you do every time: 

Photo by Unsplash/ Eiliv-Sonas Aceron

1 Scrape off any leftover food first. 

To make your job easier, any chunks, grains, or any food that won't dissolve in water is best scraped off and discarded in the trash bin.  

2 Separate the heavily dirty pots and pans from the lightly dirtied dinnerware. 

This is another step that will make your job easier. If you have time while cooking or preparing your dish, you might want to wash kitchen tools but it's common to leave the pots and pans until after you've eaten and can reheat and then transfer any leftovers into another container for storing. 

By separating these heavily dirtied pots and pans from the dinnerware, you can prevent the lightly dirtied ones from becoming as dirty as these.  

3 Start with the least dirty before washing pots and pans.    

Put on your dishwashing gloves if using and let's start dishwashing! First, this is the order of washing kitchen and dining tools we think you should follow:

  1. 1 Glasses and utensils
  2. 2 Dishes and bowls
  3. 3 Serving platters (if any) 
  4. 4 Pots and pans

You can start with the glasses and/or the utensils first. These are probably the least dirty among the dinnerware. These are easily rinsed free of any beverage and food that it might have contained. Plus, it's easier and less likely to cause an accident if the glasses and their round shapes are out of the way first. Utensils, too, since these also have odd shapes that might topple a stack of plates and bowls if you accidentally place these breakables on a wobbly utensil. 

Dishes and bowls go next so these are less unwieldy when soapy and slippery compared to the bigger serving platters you served your dishes on. Last should be your dirtiest: pots and pans.   

4 Rinse, soap, and then rinse clean. 

Once you have determined your order of washing, time to actually wash! Here's how to properly do the dishwashing: 

  1. 1 Lightly wet your sponge and add dishwashing liquid. 
  2. 2 Scrub and wipe the sponge all over the surface that needs to be washed. Let the sponge become foamy with the soap suds to activate the foam's ability to lift food away from what you're washing clean. Use the steel wool or the pad sparingly and as needed for stubborn stuck-on food that hasn't softened in the initial rinse.   
  3. 3 Once soapy, rinse under running water to thoroughly clean. 
  4. 4 Place these cleaned dishes on a dish rack. 
  5. 5 Air dry or use dish drying towels to dry as needed.  

5 Clean and wipe the sink and sponge. 

Once you have done all the dishwashing, many people forget to clean and wipe down the sink. Remember that the basin should also be clean before using so you're not adding to the dirty mess that will eventually accumulate in the basin if it's not cleaned, too. Just give it a wipe or two using the soapy sponge and rinse with running water. 


The sponge should also be squeezed free of soap and if needed, microwaved or replaced when it develops any odors. 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.

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