It’s been a while since I’ve done a 3 Things post. We’ve been deep in the slower summer pace around here and I’ve let a few routines languish. But let’s get back to it (or at least pretend to) and talk about some things that are working in the kitchen.
Specifically, let’s talk about washing dishes. Our dishwasher had a terrible leak. Actually, we think it had two different leaks based on the damage that was done. You may remember that I thought I’d fixed it. I was wrong. So, so wrong.
Several weeks ago we noticed that the cabinet next to the dishwasher had some water damage. It had been soaking up all the water that had been leaking, keeping us from realizing just how bad the leak was. Let’s just say that water logged particle board will really smell after a while. Yuck!
Once I realized how bad it was, I wanted that cabinet and dishwasher out fast! Isaac was home that day, so he helped me get them both out. Here’s what I mean by help – I told him which screws to unscrew to loosen the cabinet from the wall and he contorted his 17 year old body under the cabinet to do it. We worked together to figure out how to unhook the dishwasher from the plumbing by sending text pictures back and forth to my dad.
The floor underneath the cabinet and dishwasher was nasty! I cleaned it and then Jim bleached it that evening. Here’s what we were left with:
We still need to cut and patch the side of the sink cabinet. It was also water damaged. As I write this post, the kitchen still looks like this. Three weeks and counting. The weird thing is, it hasn’t really bothered me.
I unloaded the cabinet and put all of those dishes/serving trays in the dining room. The silverware is in the tray on top of the counter, covered with a dish towel to keep it clean. I’m sure that one of these days I’ll reach the point where I can’t take it anymore. Hopefully, the new cabinet will be in before that happens.
For now, we’re hand washing the dishes. I’m not sure when we’ll decide to replace the dishwasher. Surprisingly, I don’t really miss the dishwasher. The kitchen stays cleaner than it did when we had the dishwasher. Everyone pitches in to help clean. Overall, hand washing is working for us. Here are three reasons why:
1. A decent sized dish drainer
We’d been using a drying mat for the few hand washed things we did while using the dishwasher. A drying mat doesn’t cut it when you’re hand washing everything though. I bought the largest sized dish drainer I could find. The store I shopped didn’t have a great selection though, but this one works. I think dish drainers used to be designed better years ago.
I also prefer the kind with the drain board on the long side. Those fit the space better I think.
2. Dishwashing wand
Everyone has been helping out with the dishes, largely because of this tool. It’s easy for the kids to wash a plate and glass after a snack. They’ll even wash their own plates after dinner. That helps keep the dish duty to a reasonable level.
There are a number of brands that make a dishwashing tool like this. I chose this because I liked the sponge on the end. Some have scrubbies, but I didn’t want anything that rough. I’m also a huge fan of Dawn dishwashing detergent. The stuff just works better than anything else I’ve tried. This isn’t sponsored at all, I just really like Dawn.
3. Plenty of dishtowels and dish rags
I’ve always been in the habit of getting a clean towel and dish rag (or dishcloth for those who grew up more refined 😉 ) every morning, so I had a lot of them. But hand washing sometimes requires more than one a day.
I haven’t found the perfect dish rag yet. I do like microfiber, because it dries out quickly. That keeps them from smelling bad. As for towels, anything that’s 100% cotton is absorbent and works well.