How To Hand Wash Dishes To Conserve Water

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

It seems like most everyone we know has a dishwasher, supposedly the optimal way to get your dishes their cleanest and save water. We don’t have one, so we wanted to find out what tweaks we could make to our dishwashing routine to conserve water…

  1. Start with two basins: if you don’t have a two basin sink, fill a large pot with soapy water.
  2. Use an eco-friendly dishwashing detergent: you probably only need a capful or two.
  3. Scrape your dishes well: empty the scrapings into the trash or, even better, a Bokashi composter (which allows you to toss in everything willy-nilly, including meat scraps and salad dressings and dairy).
  4. Let the well-scraped dishes soak in the soapy water.
  5. Plug your sink: ideally, place a second basin in your sink.
  6. Rinse the soapy dishes under a thin stream of cold running water no wider than your thumb.
  7. Use the greywater to water your plants or toss it in the toilet bowl right after you’ve flushed. It’ll bring the water levels in the toilet up so that it doesn’t have to fill with clean water.

And, to make doing this chore more fun, check out this post.

[image: from Corey Leopold’s Flickr with a Creative Commons License]