These Are the Best Products for Washing Every Single Dish

I've hand-washed all my dishes for years, and these are the six products I absolutely swear by.

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October 24, 2019
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Photo by: Image Source/Getty Images

Image Source/Getty Images

One of my very few complaints about my apartment over the past few years has been the lack of a dishwasher. Sure, washing your dishes might seem like no big deal, but when you have to scrub down every paring knife, measuring spoon and reusable water bottle 24/7, it’s by no means an easy chore. In fact, it can be a complete pain.

While I'm not sure I'd ever live in a dishwasher-less apartment ever again, I have found a few products that have made all those hours scrubbing and rinsing easy and — dare I say it — somewhat enjoyable.

Whether you’re looking to scrub your fancy China or wash all your knives by hand, here are six finds that have been small miracle-workers in the sink.


A sponge may seem like an afterthought in the whole dish-washing routine, but trust me: It can revolutionize this chore. Scrub Daddy’s sponge features a temperature-controlled scrub — it’s pliable when exposed to warm water and firm when cold — which makes switching between fresh sauce spills and tough charred residue as easy as turning a knob. The sponge is also odor-free and, in my experience, holds up after weeks of consistent washes. Plus, a smiley-shaped sponge makes something as tedious as washing dishes something a little less miserable.

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Looking for another sponge to add to your sink arsenal? Opt for DishFish’s scrubber sponge. Shaped like an adorable fish — which is the perfect counterpart to a smiley face (see below) — this option is made of a coarse material that will cut through tough stains and grit without scraping your dishes.

I know what you’re thinking: Aren’t reusable sponges totally unsanitary? Fortunately, DishFish’s sponge can stand upright, allowing it to dry quickly and slow down the growth of mold and mildew.

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Once you find your sponges, you need a proper place to store them. Instead of stacking them at the edge of my sink, I picked up one of Simplehuman’s shower caddies. While there are plenty of sponge holders on the market, this option features ventilation holes that maximize airflow and ultimately help dry your sponge quicker. This is designed to be suctioned to the side of your sink; however, I hung the stainless steel hanger around my sink’s faucet, and it got the job done.

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For the past five years, cleaning my reusable water bottles was the biggest pain point. While I know how important it is to limit plastic use, I was always nervous my bottles wouldn’t be rinsed to perfection and I would be sipping on sudsy water. Fortunately, Bottle Bright’s biodegradable cleaning tablets were there to save the day. Simply add hot water to your bottle, pop in a tablet, and these all-natural finds will dissolve, getting rid of tough grime in the process.

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Does the dish soap you use really matter? Perhaps not, but you should enjoy the soap you use if you’re spending a considerable amount of time scrubbing down dishes. I recently tested — and loved — a handful of eco-friendly cleaning products, and Love Home & Planet’s dish soap is a clear favorite. Not only does it remove everything from sauce stains to charred bits with ease, but it’s also vegan, gluten-free, paraben-free and cruelty-free.

Plus, with scents like Coconut Water Mimosa Flower and Lavender and Argan Oil, this soap smells amazing without overpowering all the other wonderful scents in your kitchen.

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Think washing your dishes is a pain in the neck? Try finding enough counter space for drying ‘em. Instead of haphazardly stacking your pots and pans on any empty surface — which isn’t particularly attractive if you have guests over — pick up a drying board. Not only does it have designated compartments for stowing your utensils and glassware, but it also has small holes that will drain excess water. Best of all, it acts as a visual cue to put the sponge down and relax — you deserve it!

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