Correct Order for Dish Washing

A woman washing dishes at a sink

Dishwashing is made a lot easier by following the right order with the right dishwashing supplies. Find out what you need for easy, reliable dishwashing. Try this easy how-to to help with your dishwashing needs.

What You Need

  • Dish soap
  • Hot water
  • Double sink or dishpan
  • Dishcloths, scrubbers, sponges, steel wool.
  • Dishrack for drying.
  • Lint-free cloth for silverware
  • Paper towels to dry pots and pans.

Steps for Washing Dishes in the Best Order

  1. Prepare the dishes. To avoid polluting your sink of water, begin by scraping the dishes of excess food. Stack the dishes in preparation for washing. Tough stuck on foods may need to be soaked first before washing.
  2. Prepare the water. Make sure you use the correct water temperature. Add dish soap, and the water will be ready to begin dishwashing.
  3. Wash the lightest soiled items first. This usually includes glasses, cups, and flatware. Washing these items first keeps your water fresher and ready to tackle bigger jobs.
  4. Wash plates, bowls, and serving dishes. Remember to scrape these items before washing. Wash gently. Keep an eye out for when you should change the dishwashing water.
  5. Wash cooking dishes. Any tough food should have been soaking already, making this dishwashing go more smoothly. Wash the pans thoroughly, and you're done the washing. Don't forget to clean the bottoms of pans. Any oily residue left will burn onto the bottom of the pan at the next cooking session.
  6. Rinse the dishwashing suds and residue from the dishes. If you have a double sink, dishwashing is a snap. Use the second sink to rinse off the dishwashing suds from the dishes. If you don't have a double sink, you can use a dishpan filled with hot water to rinse/dip your dishes clean.
  1. Dry dishes. If you've used the right water temperature, the dishes will dry quickly on their own. In some instances, you may have to use a dish towel. Make sure the towel is clean. Change the towel when it becomes damp.
  2. Put away dishes. Put all of the dishes away. Leaving them sitting out will expose your dishes to bacteria and germs that were just scrubbed off of them.
  3. Wipe down the sink and your tools. Wipe down the sink, dish drainer, and dishpan. Any rags, dishcloths, or sponges need to be left out to air dry or thrown into the washing machine. Remember to replace sponges and rags frequently. Put away your supplies, and you're done.


  1. Dishes wash easily if you keep them under the water while scrubbing them. Particles lift away. Bring the dish out of the water to check for missed spots.
  2. Stacking a few dishes in the sink at a time allows dishes a few minutes of soaking time while you work on washing another dish.
  3. Try drying pots and pans with a paper towel to reduce residue from the pan staining the dishcloth.
  4. Don't allow aluminum to soak while dishwashing. Doing so can darken the finish.
  5. Dishwashing silverware can be tricky. Use a lint-free cloth for drying silverware.