Sustainable Tips For Washing Your Dishes

Hands up if you love washing the dishes! There’s just something soothing about the repetitive motions, the feeling of water pouring over your hands, or the rhythmic hum of the dishwasher. And it’s oh-so-satisfying to see dirty plates turn squeaky, shiny clean. We’re not weird right?
Sustainable Tips For Washing Your Dishes

But like everything, it’s important to be conscious about our everyday actions and their impact on our planet. Studies show that we spend 230 hours washing dishes in a year! SO, becoming a conscious cleaner when it comes to washing your dishes is a simple way to tick off your sustainable efforts every day.

Zero-waste dish washing might sound daunting, but we’re here to make it easy. So we’ve rustled together our top tips. It’s small and simple changes like these that can amount to a greater impact long term on our planet. Clean dishes, happy fishes.

Dishwasher Delight

Nowadays, if you can afford one and have the space, a dishwasher can be more efficient and eco friendly than hand washing a load of dishes. A faucet will run you about 0.3 litres a second – and washing dishes isn’t a fast chore. On the other hand, a dishwasher will use 5x less water per load. Just make sure you’re using an energy-rated model for maximum resource savings.

You don’t even need to pre-wash with a dishwasher! At most, scrape off any food debris and maybe give a plate a quick rinse to dislodge crumbs. But you’ll save more water by letting your dishwasher do its job, without any help.

Eco-friendly soap? We’ve got you sorted. Our dishwashing tablets are biodegradable, with plant and mineral based formulas that’ll clean your plates and cutlery easy-peasy. They’re better for the environment than other commercial soaps or tablets and have been independently tested, proving they work just as well, if not better than the big name brands!

(TIP: If you regularly hire a professional house cleaning service, get them to use your eco-friendly products rather than theirs!) 

Water Saver

If you don’t have a dishwasher, hand washing dishes isn’t a crime. It can even be more efficient if you live alone or with a single housemate, since you don’t use many dishes.

The number one rule to remember when hand washing dishes is not to leave the faucet running. Get a dishpan to help when you’re scrubbing, or ideally, get a two-sink setup. Then you can fill one sink with soapy water for scrubbing and use the other one for rinsing.

Pre-soaking your dishes also saves you water in the long run. You’ll scrub less and rinse less since food particles have loosened. Minimising the water you use while dishwashing can go a long way towards lessening your water bill - a win for your pocket and the planet!

If you’re hand washing, don’t forget to use a detergent that won’t pollute the water either. Using our eco-friendly dishwashing liquid will go a long way towards your zero-waste dish washing. With plant-based formulas smelling of finger lime & davidson plum, this dirty dudette is septic tank and grey water safe. Plus, refilling and reusing your Zero Co Forever Bottles over and over means you're eliminating all single-use plastics and on your way to a zero waste wash.
Zero Co laundry liquid and scrubber

Brush, Brush Brush

Switch out from disposable single-use plastic sponges that you’ll throw away when they get grubby. You can use non-plastic or non-disposable alternatives, such as:

  • Loofahs
  • Wooden dish brush
  • Wooden scrubber
  • Dish rags

They’ll do just as good a job and last longer than an ordinary sponge, which will save you money in the long run. You can even recycle old jeans and other rough fabrics into a dish rag – double points! 

Dry Smart

Don’t use paper towels when you can just air dry your dishes! You won’t need them for a few hours, anyway, so you can just leave them in the dish rack and wait for moisture to drip off and evaporate.

If you absolutely have to dry your dishes, use an absorbent Swedish dish cloth or tea towel made from natural fibres instead of paper towels. This way, it’s reusable and washable, and will serve you a lot longer. 

Zero-Waste Dish Washing

We know one person might not turn the tide of environmental change, but your small changes can be part of a big, collective impact towards solving the single-use plastic problem. We’re about uniting and conquering - it’s a people powered solution to the problem and every small action helps, even as simple as going zero-waste when washing the dishes. By green-ifying your everyday chores, you reduce your waste and carbon footprint. Wash dishes responsibly alongside your other eco-friendly efforts and you’ll feel the planet thank you. It feels like a warm fuzzy hug from your nan at Christmas.

Published on Monday 30 May, 2022