How to Hand Wash Dishes

How to Hand Wash Dishes

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Have you tried this in a so-called “European Style” washer?


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Make hand washing dishes fun

Hand Wash Dishes

Hand washing dishes is a pretty simple task. Some tips and tricks on how to hand wash dishes, will make this dull household chore something to look forward to. 

choose to make hand washing dishes fun, by picking out a fun apron and listening to my favorite podcasts. This way I actually look forward to hand washing my dishes. Pick your favorite music, audiobook, podcast or whatever, and get your hands wet.

I had a dishwasher for 12 years. When we built our cottage house that we live in now, there was no room for a dishwasher. So, it was back to a task I always did my best to avoid. It took me a while to get into a good routine for hand washing the dishes.

The reality is, my dishes are cleaner than the dishwasher ever cleaned them, and I save on electricity and on water usage. It's a win win all around.

Instant Liquid Soap

Use the best liquid soap for water conservation efforts

Follow simple steps

You will need a sponge, a drying rack, a sink full of dirty dishes, a dish towel and zero waste Instant Liquid Soap Refill.

Hand washing dishes instructions

  1. Soak your dirty dishes in plain water. I put water in every dish I put in the sink, so some soak for a few hours, while some soak for a few minutes. Stack the dirty dishes in size order, with the largest on the bottom of the stack. Soak the utensils in a cup, pot or bowl filled with water.
  2. After your liquid soap refill is diluted, wet your sponge and squeeze out about 1/2 of excess water. Squirt a generous amount (about 1/2 baking measured teaspoon) of liquid soap onto your sponge. Gently squeeze the sponge to activate the soap and water, but not too rough to squeeze out the soapy water. 
  3. Wash each dish with the soapy sponge, and set aside until your whole load of dishes is washed. If you need a little more soap and water, turn on your faucet, wet the sponge and turn off the water, squirt some more soap onto the wet sponge, squeeze to activate the soap and water and finish soaping up the dishes.
  4. To save time, wash the dishes in size order, starting with the largest dishes which will be on the bottom of the stack. This way as you rinse, you place the the smallest in the dish rack first. This size order method saves time and saves water, which also saves energy usage.
  5. Rinse the dishes and place them in the dish rack, in size order to maximize the drying rack space and the dry time. 
  6. Air dry the dishes in the rack, by letting them sit there. Go do something else and come back a few hours later to put them away.
5 pleasant liquid soap scents

Castile soap is all natural soap

How to wash greasy pans with Castile soap

After a dinner of meat with lots of fat and grease, you now have to wash the pots and pans. Never wash meat fat and grease down your drain. It will quickly cause unwanted problems and costly cleanups.

Whether you are saving the fat and meat grease or disposing it, the fat and grease should be removed from the pan before you put in the sink. Use a rubber spatula and thoroughly wipe the fat and grease into the compost, garbage or save it for later in a jar.

Once the pan is free of the bulk of the grease, you can wash the pan with soap and hot water.

Just add water at home

Dilute dilute instructions

1 bag makes 1 quart (32 oz.) of full strength Instant Liquid Soap.

  1. Open bag at notch.
  2.  Fill with water to top of label and gently stir. Soap dissolves in 5-15 minutes
  3.  Pour into your soap dispenser.

Once you do this, it will remain a stable, beautiful liquid Castile soap. It's shelf life is unlimited. 

Instant Liquid Soap will not separate, coagulate or go back to being a solid.

To dilute further, pour 1/2 of the quart of liquid hand soap (16 oz.) into a one gallon container and fill it SLOWLY with water. This makes 1 gallon of Go Soap, aka waterless hand soap, that you use as hand sanitizer replacement and general cleaner.

Refill an empty spray bottle to use on everything. Click here for more uses  

Castile soap is vegetable oil soap

What is Castile Soap

Using Instant Liquid Soap could be a learning curve for many hand dish washers, who are looking to switch from dish washing liquids and detergents to natural dish soap. 

Instant Liquid Soap, is a refill, as well as a Castile style soap. "Castile soap" means a few specific things about soap. 

  • Castile soap originated in the Castilian region of Spain
  • Castile soap is traditionally made from olive oil.
  • Castile soap is made from any vegetable oil.
  • Castile soap is a thin, naturally saponified, lye soap that is not thickened.
  • Castile soap is transparent.
  • Real plant oil Castile soap is free from synthetic oils, such as: Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate (ethoxylated) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Olefin Sulfonate (a pure petrochemical), Sodium Myreth Sulfate.  

When I say the Liquid Soap Refill is a Castile style soap, I mean it is made using the same soap making process, except we use coconut oil. It is a thin, transparent soap. It is not thickened, easy to dilute, and very sudsy.

What is Castile Soap

Castile soap cleans everything

Good dish soap is versatile

Good dish soap is versatile and can be used for a bunch of household cleaning jobs. Liquid Soap Refill is great as a vegetable wash, window cleaner and surface cleaner like making sure your kitchen counters are wiped down before kneading bread or rolling out a pie crust.

Good dish soap makes and excellent fruit and vegetable wash

Good dish soap works well to clean small appliances.

Clean canning jars are a must. Good dish soap will insure that jam or jelly tastes just like the fruit you canned minus that dish washing detergent toxic flavor.

Fruit and Vegetable Wash

If your soap doesn't lather, it doesn't clean

Soap must lather to work

Lather has a function. It picks up dirt, grime, grease, punctures and kills unwanted germs, unlike many dishwashing liquids. Good Castile soap will also keep hand soft so hand washing dishes can be a zen time instead of a chore.

no suds?

New sponge, no suds?

Have you ever opened a new sponge package and used it right away, only to get no suds?

New sponges, even the natural ones, are coated with an oily substance that keeps the sponge soft and squishy in the package. This oily substance makes the sponge appealing, but prevents your dish soap from sudsing up.

Before you use it, squirt some Instant Liquid Soap into the sponge and squeeze it to activate the suds. Then roll the sponge around in your hands to wash this oily substance out of the sponge. 

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