4 Little Things That Actually Make Doing the Dishes Way More Tolerable

updated Apr 30, 2019
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It’s so unfortunate that cooking can be this soothing escape from the rest of your day, and then it’s followed by the worst, ickiest, biggest bummer of a chore: washing the dishes. The fact that you have to touch wet, gummy food is bad enough — let alone that you have to do it every day.

While I could moan and groan about the agony of washing dishes by hand for quite a while, I think it’s also worth pointing out that you can make all chores feel less like chores if you’ve got some fun music, a good attitude, and, of course, the right supplies.

These four (very cheap) items make doing the dishes a lot less unpleasant.

(Image credit: Emily Shwake)

The water in my apartment is either ice-cold or piping-hot, so I used to burn myself every time I washed the dishes! I finally bought these rubber gloves and they have made such a difference. When I’m wearing them, the sink can be steaming — which is a lot better for disinfecting my dishes and cookware — and I can’t feel a thing. They fit rather nicely and have grips on the fingers, so I have a lot of control over what I’m doing. I don’t ruin my nails or touch the gross food, and the gloves run all the way up my forearm, so I never have to worry about getting my sleeves wet. When I’ve finished, my hands are as dry and clean (and as burn-free) as they were when I started!

(Image credit: Emily Shwake)

2. Scrub Daddy, $10 for three

Traditional sponges are horrific germ-carriers that get filthy and worn out within days of the first use. Plus, they’re wasteful because you have to get a new one every week! The Scrub Daddy solves both of those problems. The cute little smiley face peers out at me as if to say It’s gonna be ok — we’ve got this. The big disk softens under the hot water, but firms up under cold water when I need a bit of an edge for tougher jobs. It doesn’t hold onto any of the grime or smells that the average sponge does, but I still disinfect it in the dishwasher every week or so. I’ve been using the same one for about five months now and it only just started falling apart!

(Image credit: Emily Shwake)

Most sponge holders rely on suction cups to stick to the side of the sink. If you’ve ever had one, you know the magic rarely lasts and it almost always ends up falling into the pot you’ve left soaking overnight. Gross. This sink caddy is so great that I brought it with me during a recent move. The sling slides over the faucet neck and molds to the shape of the sink. The basket is also flexible so I can mold it to the shape of my Scrub Daddy sponge, which is too large to fit inside suction-cup baskets. It has large holes for drainage and is an adorable mint color that matches my cookware.

(Image credit: Emily Shwake)

4. Bon Ami Powder Cleanser, $15 for four 14-ounce containers

I’ve tried the baking soda hacks for cleaning the grime off of cookware, but have always found them to be more more of a hassle than it was worth. Cleaning queen Jolie Kerr loves and swears by Bon Ami, so I decided to give it a try. And, as always, she was right. Just a light sprinkle of the nonabrasive cleaner and that sticky grease residue that sticks to my pots, pans, and oven range sloughs right off. What’s more, the slightly gritty dust working under the wet sponge creates an ASMR-like sound to it that’s oddly soothing.