Hate Washing Dishes? Try the “One Soapy Sponge” Trick.

updated Jun 4, 2019
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Doing the dishes is my least favorite kitchen task, hands-down. My reluctance to face them results in towering piles of plates and bowls more often that I’d like to admit. This is why I’ve instituted a “one soapy sponge” policy to help keep the chaos under control.

The deal is that I wash as many dishes as I can with one soapy sponge, and then I give myself permission to do something else. That’s it! One sponge worth of dishes and then I’m free to go about my business.

For me, breaking a big sink of dishes (and often the counter, as well) into smaller one-sponge increments makes the task seem less daunting. I can fit in a few dishes while I wait for my tea to brew and another few when I need a break from staring at the computer. Knowing that my time standing at the sink is limited lessens some of the psychological hurdle of getting there in the first place.

I’ve also found that I can wash a surprising number of dishes with just one sponge! Bonus!

This trick is slightly similar to our idea that you should set a timer when you clean. Give yourself 10 minutes to clean as much as you possibly can and then let yourself off the hook — for now. You know the end is in sight, and you may actually end up working a little harder to race against the clock.

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What tricks do you have for getting yourself to do the dishes?