Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A boring job but it has to be done.

The way I tackle my washing up is this. Save the mucky pots, pans, and utensils for three or four days and stack them on the worktop next to the sink. My pots have very little food stuck to them I make sure every morsel is eaten. I rarely have sauce, when I do I finish off the meal with a spoon to scoop it all up. If I put a splash of oil on my steamed veg I mash in the potatoes to soak it up. Beans on toast and I wipe the plate round with a piece of bread. My dirty pots are not terribly dirty, so I can wash the lot in one bowlful of hot water. I hate washing up water that ends up like a bowl of soup, with all kinds of gunge floating in it, yuk.      
To heat the water I use the saucepan that I used to steam the veg in. It has a baskety thing in the bottom. I heat it on the top of the cooker because gas is cheaper than electricity. I only turn the water heater on in the tank when I have a bath, so most of the time what comes out of the tap is cold. I fill the bath up, turn the water off, and the tank refills with cold water. I only heat the water I use.

My washing up liquid is the cheapest from the discount stores. It's called Easy, with a lemon fragrance, and costs 39p. People say it's false economy to buy cheap liquid because you end up using more of it. I don't, I use it very sparingly because I don't want lots of bubbles. It doesn't have to cut through a lot of grease because I don't eat greasy food. I do use a little oil, but that is all absorbed into the food. I have a few bubbles here, that's because I have a spray attachment on the tap so that froths it up. It will soon disappear when I start washing.

The dinner plates go in first with the cutlery. I often use rubber gloves because I like the water fairly hot. The cutlery is scrubbed with a brush, I hate to see food stuck between the prongs of a fork, yuk, horrible.

All pots are done and stacked up on the drainer. The cat bowls are done last with any food containers to go for recycling. I dry the cutlery with a tea towel and put it away in the drawer, all the rest will stay there for an hour until I put it away. It will dry very quickly because the water was hot.

And so the cycle starts again. My aim is to use the least amount of water, less water means less cost to heat it. A tiny squirt of washing up liquid, a bottle lasts me almost a year. Good for the environment, less chemicals down the drain. Tea towels don't need washing so often because I hardly use them. I wipe the worktops with a dishcloth made from an old sheet, and scrub round the sink as the water goes down the plughole. All done in one bowl of water. No dishwasher tablets, and no gallons of water. Squeaky clean pots and pans at a very low cost.
Toodle pip.
PS Thanks for your support yesterday.


  1. Its impressive you get through about one bottle of washing up liquid a year but then you don't need tons of foam to get stuff clean. Growing up back in the 70's my mum would use just boiling water - the only detergent she used came from the old Fairy green household soap. I also wash the pet food cans out last, keeps the recycling bin clean.
    from Elaine

  2. Ilona: just seen your blog from yesterday about your troll - what a sad person he or she must be, no confidence in themselves if they get pleasure by putting other people down : they need serious counselling. You give so much pleasure to so many people, more you could say about that sorry excuse for a human being!!! Keep blogging - we love it!! Shirley

  3. I have a small dishwasher and I use the cheapest dishwasher tablets which I cut in half and store in an airtight container. We are lucky in Scotland that our water is a fixed rate as part of our council tax. I also cut up old sheets, clothes or very worn out tea towels to use as dishcloths.
    Please ignore the trolls, we all value your blog so much and love reading it. A few other bloggers are having problems with trolls just now.

  4. Hello, went back and read about your troll. Can't for the life of me understand why certain people feel the urge to try to put eachother down. We are all different and live our lives differently. If we don't like what we read we can just hop to another blog. My life is probably very different from yours, but l enjoy your blog very much and will keep popping in, even if l may not always leave a comment. Pam

  5. I HATE washing up..I tend to get water slopped everywhere. Our sink is stone so the water goes cold very quickly.It's actually cheaper for us to use the dishwasher overnight....so we do.
    I often wonder, what do Trolls do when they are not trolling?
    Jane x

  6. The Easy washing powder is very good , my skin dislikes most of the over scented big brands.

  7. Hello Ilona from Housefairy
    Well! my mouth dropped open! you only do the washing up every 4 days! I must wash the dishes 4 times a day! They soon pile up here. I wash with Fairy and a microfibre cloth. Dry the cutlery with a microfibre tea towel. The dishes are left to dry, unless there are too many. Them someone has to help and dry a few.

    Off to the dentist soon. BO HO. Last night wile brushing my teath half a tooth fell out. The dentist keeps telling me about how the teath are old.

  8. Hi Ilona, I missed something. Do you rinse with cold water from the tap or another tub of hot water?
    Dishes in my house are a sore spot. 2 grown men and myself. We all cook our own meals at different times of the day.
    The dishes pile up quickly and no one wants to take responsibility. I guess it's my fault for not training them right!

    1. Hi Lily, no I don't rinse them, there is no need. I only use a teaspoonful of wash up liquid so it's well diluted. Sounds like your kitchen might be a bit chaotic, maybe an automatic dish washer might be of benefit. Surely your men would be able to load one of those if they are reluctant to wash their own pots up. You could think about reducing the amount of pots and pans you have, then they will have to wash them before they can make another meal.

  9. Very frugal. But I wash drinking glasses and mugs first.

  10. I buy the cheapest and pour some into the old bottle that I have just finished; I then fill the old bottle up with water and use that - give everything a good scrub. I do use hot water though and use a plastic cup to rinse once.


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