So one of us grew up in a strictly frugal home with Environmentalist Leanings.
Every drop of water was precious. Every electron to be saved from use.
We didn’t have a dishwasher. (Or a dryer, or a microwave… and so on.)
We did have a double sink.
If you have a double sink, there’s a frugal way to wash dishes and an inefficient non-frugal way to wash dishes. My mother did the latter, my father trained us in the former. Interestingly, my father’s method appeared in Cheaper by the Dozen , by the children of the Galbraith efficiency experts. I assume my father discovered it independently.
Empty out the left sink. Make sure it is clean. Stack all the plates in the right sink. Run a little water. Turn it off.
With a soapy scrubber thingy, scrub a dish, move it to the left sink once scrubbed. Use water as needed to remove junk (over the right sink), but turn off when not using. When removing water from the top plate, make sure it lands on the plate underneath (unless the water is super disgusting, then try to get it in the side of the right sink). Continue until all of the dishes are scrubbed and stacked in the left sink. Rinse out your scrubber thingy.
Rinse all of the dishes in the left sink. Again, be careful to conserve the clean soapy water by dumping on the plate underneath rather than in the sink. Rinse a dish, then place said dish in the drying rack to drain. (No need for hand drying– drip dry!)
Cups and silverware. Place all cups in the right sink (but not fancy breakable glasses! Only sturdy stuff.). Put silverware in the cups in the right sink. Fill the cups with water (or just fill some of the cups with water, and pour the leftover water in the unfilled cups as you go along. Your choice, unless my father is micromanaging, in which case you do it the save water method.)
Scrub one cup. Stick it in the left sink. Scrub silverware one at a time and place in the cup in the left sink. Fill cup with water. Continue with remaining cups and silverware as dirty cups are emptied of their dirty silverware and scrubbed cups fill up with scrubbed silverware. Continue until all cups and silverware are scrubbed. Rinse out scrubby thing.
Rinse all the silverware and glasses, pouring out clean water into scrubbed cups as you go along. Put in drying rack as you go along.
Pots and pans. Hopefully these have been soaking a bit in a soapy water solution as you’ve been doing step 1-4.
I hated pots and pans. But basically the idea is the same as for plates, only with pots, pans, and a lot more grease and scrubbing. You may need to rinse out your scrubby thing and resoap multiple times.
Fine glassware. Put a little water in the bottom of each to soak any dried beverages out. Do these separately after all the other dishes have dried and been put away. These you do one at a time and inefficiently. Wash then rinse then dry. Wash then rinse then dry. This is because clumsy little hands tend to break them when they’re put in the sink together.
So there you have it. The efficient way of washing dishes without a dishwasher. And why I will hopefully always have a dishwasher now that I’m a grown-up. (Especially now that supposedly dishwashers conserve water better than sink washing!)
How do you wash dishes when you’re sans dishwasher?