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After eating a delicious dinner, the last thing most of us want to do is head back to the kitchen to get elbow deep in suds. And when everyone is at home for every meal, it can really mount up. But there are ways to take the strain out of washing up. Here's how...
1. Keep water warm
It's essential to use warm water when washing up. Not only will it cut through grease more effectively, but hotter water will kill off germs and bacteria that thrive in cooler water. Once clean, warmer water will evaporate faster too, allowing items to air-dry more quickly.
2. Wear rubber gloves
Hot water might be exactly what your dirty dishes need, but it can take its toll on your hands. Wearing rubber gloves will protect them from getting chapped, and enable you to tolerate warmer water than you could without them. Bonus benefit: slather on some hand cream before you put the gloves on, and your hands will feel super soft afterwards.
3. Start out clean
It seems obvious, but you'll save yourself a lot of time and energy if your raw materials are in good nick before you start. That means making sure brushes and cloths are clean, and giving the sink and washing-up bowl a quick wipe to make sure they're spotless too.
4. Scrape and soak
A mountain of dirty dishes is never a welcome sight, but sometimes it just piles up. If you don't have time to wash up as you go, at least get into the habit of scraping off food and rinsing items before putting them in the sink. Soak things like cereal bowls and bakeware to prevent food hardening on so they're quicker to clean.
5. Go in order
Don't just chuck everything in the sink and hope for the best. You'll just end up spreading bacteria and dirt. Start with glassware, then mugs and side plates followed by dinner plates and cutlery. Leave the pans and bakeware until last, so the dirt and grease from these doesn't transfer to the more lightly used items, such as glasses.
6. Always think ahead
Once you're done, give yourself a head start over the next load of washing up. Give the sink and bowl a quick wash. Replace any brushes or scourers that have seen better days, and put grubby cloths in the washing machine. To clean non-metal sponges, dampen and microwave for 40 seconds.
7. Blast your tunes
Pop on some sing-along tunes to turn washing-up into a moment of fun as you wiggle, hum and sing your way through washing those dishes. Better yet, get the whole family involved and ask the kids to do the drying up!
What music or radio do you listen to while washing up?
Let us know in the comments below.