The One Thing I Always Do After I Do the Dishes

updated Dec 17, 2019
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Let me begin with a caveat: I do not always do the dishes straight away. I do try to because I think it’s always easier to just deal with the mess instead of letting it pile up. Why not put that coffee mug in the dishwasher or give that chef’s knife a quick rinse and dry and put it safely back on my magnetic strip?

The alternative is that I don’t do those things and I just leave it all out on the counter. Or I’ll stack the pots and plates and assorted cutlery up in the sink, which makes me feel virtuous and like I did something, even though I inevitably take it all out of the sink in order to do the actual cleaning.

The point is, the first option is definitely preferable and I feel a tiny bit smug when I glimpse at my cleared-away counters and empty sink. But I am definitely not perfect and there are plenty of times when I let everything go and have to deal with a whole heap of dirty dishes.

Regardless of which scenario plays out, though, I always do this one thing after I’ve done the dishes.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Once the dishes are loaded in the dishwasher and I’ve scrubbed my cast iron with salt and oil, dried it off, and hung it back on its hook; once I’ve swept any lingering crumbs off the counters and wiped away wine spills or grease spots, I always (or, you know almost always) clean my sink.

This cleaning of the sink can take many different forms.

Sometimes it is just a quick wipe-down with a sponge or micro-fiber cloth. (As an aside, I recently bought a pack of these and, even though they’re ugly and yellow and feel weird on my fingers, I do love them for cleaning up).

Other times, I will give it a spritz of Windex or dish soap and give it a more thorough scrub. If the sink is particularly gross, I will fill it up with water and a capful of bleach and let it de-germ for a little while before draining it and then wiping it down.

And, if I’m really channeling my German mother, who is largely responsible for my cleaning education, I will even dry my sink, using a dish towel to polish it until it shines. Because, is there anything better than a sink that sparkles?

Kitchn’s method: How To Clean Your Kitchen Sink

Is this something that you do, too? (Or is it just me?)