Washing up is one of those never-ending little jobs with a despairingly short-lived reward. We all want to get out of doing the washing-up.
You can bet your life that as soon as you’ve washed the last cup, emptied the sink, and wiped the surfaces, another dirty utensil will appear from nowhere, keenly awaiting its turn in the soap studs.
Of course, there are obvious ways to win the washing-up war. After all, we are always looking to save time. For instance, you may have a dishwasher, but there’s still a certain amount of hand-washing. Perhaps you enlist the help of your children if they’re old enough. Plus, you can make washing up easier and faster by organising and following the basic rules like soaking pots and pans.
But below is a list of ideas you may have yet to consider. They are handy little tips because they prevent the need for washing up in the first place! So if you’re starting to feel as if you’re surgically attached to your kitchen sink, please read on.
How to get out of doing the washing up
1. ONE CUP LIMIT
Children are always thirsty. Many like to take small sips of drink throughout the day. Don’t allow them to keep using new cups that need washing-up EVERY BLOODY TIME. Give them a cup or a water bottle to be used and refilled all day. If your children have friends over, ask them to do the same. Named ones are even better to avoid confusion and fights.
Stockist: Bright Star Kids
2. SNAP LOCK IT
Use snap-lock bags instead of plastic containers for inside packed lunch boxes. If you are trying to keep lunches healthy and avoid packaged cakes and potato chips, just pop your home-baked goodies or healthy snack in a snap-lock bag. Depending on what goes in it, some bags can be re-used a few times to save money and lessen your environmental footprint. Avoid washing-up all those pesky plastic containers.
3. LINE THEM UP
Line oven trays with grease proof paper or foil before putting on the ingredients. It will stop them sticking, and when you’ve finished simply throw-away the paper and put the dish back in the cupboard. Best way ever to get out of doing the washing up.
4. FRIENDS FOR DINNER AND NO-ONE’S DOING THE WASHING UP
If your children’s friends come for dinner use throw away plates and bowls. They are cheap to purchase. The children won’t mind (it’s like a party). Just chuck them out when they’ve finished.
5. SOAPY SMOOTHIE
Clean your blender easily by popping in some warm water and a very small drop of washing-up liquid, put on the lid and turn on for 30 seconds. Then just rinse under a running tap.
6. FOIL TRAY TRICK
Use foil trays for baking dishes like cottage pie and lasagne. Grab a pack of cheap ones from any dollar shop. Simply cook, eat and then throw out the tray. These are particularly good if you’re planning on freezing the dish too.
7. WEIGH TOO EASY
Use digital scales when you’re measuring ingredients. Simply put your bowl on the scales and measure out the first ingredient. Then return the display to zero and add the next ingredient. There’s no need to keep using clean bowls each time to measure something. Avoid washing-up a zillion measuring bowls.
Stockist: Amazon Australia
Final tips to get out of doing the washing up
8. REDUCE PAN USE
Limit the amount of pans you use when cooking by boiling ingredients together when possible. For example, pasta and vegetables or rice and vegetables.
9. READ THE RECIPE
If you’re trying a new dish, make sure you read the recipe before you start. This way you can be prepared and make sure that you use the right bowls/dishes, and as few as possible.
10. A DISHMATIC WILL GET YOU OUT OF DOING THE WASHING UP
Consider one of these handy Dishmatic brushes. You simply fill the handle with washing-up liquid, which is sparingly dispensed onto the sponge. It will help keep the washing-up under control by cleaning single items as you go.
Stockist: Woolworths Online
Note: Some of these handy tips do have a cost involved and some are not particularly environmentally friendly if done on a daily basis. However, as a single mum, it doesn’t hurt to give yourself a break every now and then. Use your common sense and find a balance that works for you.