Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Getting dishpan hands

Prepping to survive.com has a post on the three dishpan method of washing dishes. I got familiar with something similar when the dishwasher died about 18 months ago; two dishpans did it for me. What I've found is that the most important step is before you wash the dishes: scrape them. This is advice people pass out about using a dishwasher, but it also works for hand washing. Scraping allows you to control the waste from the dishes; if you just tossed it out with the wash water, you could increase the potential for insect or rodent attraction, not really something to go after when life has turned upside down.

I don't use three pans, and I don't use bleach. I use one for wash water, and one for rinsing, and add about 1/4 c. vinegar (straight white stuff from the grocery store) to the rinse water. Wash water temperature isn't as important as the rinse water; you can wash dishes in tepid water as well as really hot water with equal efficacy bu the rinse water should be as hot as you can stand. Any dishes with baked-on crud should be at the bottom of the wash dishpan to soak; almost everything will come off if you let it sit and sog awhile.

Vinegar isn't registered with the FDA as an anti-bacterial agent, but it is very effective as a means of sterilizing surfaces and dishes. It also keeps the soap residue down to a dull roar.
Making bleach isn't something I'd want to try at home even on a good day, but making vinegar is definitely worth the effort, and vinegar has so many uses around the house that vinegar-making should be a skill to add to the prepping mix.