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5 Essential Items for Washing Dishes in College Without a Dishwasher

by Waverly Wilde

The Proper Dish Soap

Odds are you don’t have a dishwasher in your dorm room, but there are other ways to properly clean your dishes--no the bathroom sink doesn't count. First things first, pick up the right kind of dish soap. There's a big difference between dish soap and dishwasher soap--you do plenty of reading in college, we take it you can read the label. 

It might seem like a good idea to stock up on the giant Costco soap to last the semester, but if you have limited kitchen or cleaning space, the industrial size might not be the way to go. Opt for a normal size bottle of brand name soap to get the job done. If you find yourself doing dishes more often or have roommates who like to borrow your soap, you can always go with the next size up.

A Dish Wand

If you don’t have a dishwasher, then a dish wand really can be magic. If you get the kind where soap is built into the handle, you’ve got a two-in-one cleaning power. They’re great for cleaning pots and pans with those tough to reach areas, and scrubbing stuck on food burnt to the pan. They air out better than a traditional sponge, so you don’t have to worry about the unwanted moisture and mildew build-up in your wand. If you’re running low on soap, this dish wand helps streamline the cleaning process and can be easily diluted so you aren't wasting soap with each wash.

Multiple Dish Towels

You may be asking yourself, why would I need a stack of dish towels? For one, your dorm room is not likely to come with your own drying rack. Once you’ve rinsed and cleaned all your dishes, you’ll need a place to lay them out to dry. If you leave your plates in a wet, dirty sink, they’ll never properly dry or stay clean. Lie your towels out before you start cleaning so you can organize your dishes without dirtying up the countertop. If you have a microfiber towel, place you wet dishes on top after they are cleaned and use it as a drying rack. Laundry probably isn’t a strong suit either, but try to keep your towels clean.

A Dish Caddy

If you have a shower caddy for your shampoo and body wash, you’ll want a similar product to hold all your cleaning supplies. Soap, towels, gloves, and scrub brushes all need a place to be stored. Luckily you won’t have to carry this caddy down the hall to the showers, but if you keep your supplies underneath the sink or in a cabinet by the kitchen, you’ll have everything you need within an arm's reach without cluttering up your dorm space.

Disinfectant Wipes/Spray

Whether you’re doing dishes or not, you should always have a healthy supply of disinfectant wipes or spray to clean the surface areas of your dorm. Just because you don’t have a dishwasher doesn't mean you can't keep a clean living space. Cleaning wipes can even help as you prepare to do the dishes--as you can wipe out the sink before and after each cleaning to ensure your dishes aren’t being left in a dirty sink, and aren’t filling up with leftover food when you’re done.

You’re learning something already--5 essential cleaning items for doing dishes in the dorm! Having a dishwasher certainly makes life easier, but in case you don’t have one, pay us a visit and we’ll be sure to help you find the right products to keep your dishes clean.