Washing up is something that we all do on a highly regular basis and that is certainly considered one of the more mundane tasks that we perform around the house. However that said it is still an important one and it's crucial that we avoid the propensity to become complacent when washing.
When we wash our crockery and our cutlery, what we are in fact doing is removing bacteria from other people's mouths (and our own) and from old food. If you miss a piece of chicken on your plate and eat off of it at a later date that then means that you have piece of chicken on the plate that has been there likely for months or even years and as a result will be very out of date and possible gone off. If someone has a cold or another illness and you use the same cutlery as them then you are likely to catch that cold yourself. At the same it's not just you who will suffer from a failure to do the washing up properly, but also any family members and any guests who come round. Even if they don't catch an illness it is plain unpleasant to be served up a plate covered in bits of old food.
Despite this, many people don't give much thought to washing up, not only because they are unaware of the implications of not washing up well, but also because they don't think there can be much 'to' it. You just get the plates and scrub them right? Well yes and no, and while that will certainly improve your plates, there are a few tips you can use to prevent yourself running into trouble (yes 'running into trouble' is a fair description of what can happen when washing up) and to make you more efficient. Here are some handy hints:
Rinse after you wash
When you wash up you will be left with your crockery free of food and mess, but covered in soap suds etc. It's important that you rinse the plate under cold or hot water afterwards. There are several reasons for this, one being that the soap suds are not themselves terribly good for you in large quantities (also don't drink the washing up liquid) and another being that these can hide patches of food etc that you've missed.
Wash out the sink before and after
If the sink is dirty, then this will make it quite hard to wash up of course because there will be more mess already inside the water that will spread as you wash. Apart from anything else it also just makes your kitchen look better.
Do the messiest items last
This is just common sense but you'd be surprised at how many people don't remember to do it. This way you keep the water as clean as possible for as long as possible to prevent the problem of washing with dirty water.
So many people forget to wash the underside of their plates and dishes and instead just wipe the top and assume that it's then clean. It's a big mistake however, and particularly when you've stacked the plates previously which will mean that the bottoms have picked up half the mess from the plates underneath.
Have a long tool
For getting inside things like glasses you will struggle if you only have a sponge as you won't be able to reach your hand in far enough without it getting stuck. This is just one reason to have a brush that you can use to reach into the bottom of your glass. Failing that you can put a sponge in and then use the end of a spoon to push it to the bottom and wipe it around.
Soak your bowls
If you have eaten something that's difficult to get out of your bowls (lasagna is a tricky one, as is Wheetabix) then you will likely find that it's beneficial to first soak it in boiling water. Pour a kettle of boiling water in as soon as you finish eating, and then when you come to wash it out it should all just flake off.