Don’t Wash This Bowl! A Soapy Bowl By the Sink Is the First Step in Washing Up

updated Sep 20, 2022
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

When it comes to cleaning, we talk a lot about cleaning as you go, but what does that actually mean? Other than washing every pot as you get it dirty (which isn’t always practical or time-effective), what does clean as you go actually look like?

For me, the first step in cleaning up is this super basic thing that many of you probably do: keep a soapy bowl of hot water by the sink.

I don’t use any particular bowl; usually I just grab any large container that’s already dirty, squirt in some dish soap, and run some hot water into it. (If there’s nothing big in the sink, I’ll pull a bowl out of a drawer expressly for this.) Then as I cook, I slip utensils and flatware into the bowl as I finish with them.

Sometimes I’ll even leave a soapy bowl out for a couple of days, dropping silverware into it from multiple meals, then washing everything up at once.

I love how this keeps dirty flatware from cluttering up the bottom of the sink, and how it rinses the tools and makes later wash-up much easier and faster.

Like I said — this is a super basic element of washing up, and maybe one you do so frequently and habitually you don’t even think about it! But it’s not something that everyone does — my husband, for instance, doesn’t think to rinse plates, stack things by size, or put silverware in a soapy bowl. (But I’m certainly not complaining, as he does most of the dishes in our household!) These are all things I do by habit because making the side of the sink look more organized helps me feel like I’m making progress in cleaning as I go.

Do you do this? Or do you just throw everything into the sink (or dishwasher) right away? I love hearing how other people organize their washing up; it’s a daily chore for most of us, and it can take up a lot of time!

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