5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Procrastinate Washing Dishes {Why Wednesday}

washing dishesSome days it very tempting to avoid washing dishes until absolutely necessary.

Don’t you agree?

With our often hectic schedules, taking the time to stop and wash the ever-growing pile of platters sounds very unappealing.

However, I have found that procrastinating on this chore is not worth it.

Why You Should Wash Dirty Dishes Right Away

1. The task is easier. If you wait until later to deal with the mess, you will have a pile of dirty dishes with food hardened on them. Who wants to deal with that? If you con’t have time to wash them all immediately, at least rinse them off well to avoid a difficult job later.

2. It will save you money. With a sticky, hardened mess, washing dishes will require more soap and hot water, which uses more energy. Not only will waiting cost you more money, it will cost you more time as you spend precious minutes scrubbing away at something that could have easily been rinsed off or washed earlier.

3. It promotes health. The longer dirty dishes sit around the more time bacteria has time to multiply. Not to mention the unpleasant odor that does along with it and the risk of attracting flies, roaches and other unwanted visitors. Yuck!

4. Your kitchen will look better. I have found that a clean sink and empty counter space can improve my mood and helps me feel more accomplished. Also, I don’t have to worry about visitors stopping by and finding a dirty kitchen.

5. Your family will thank you. (Or at least not complain as much!) Procrastinating this chore can lead to empty cabinets with no clean dishes. Avoid the irritation of having to quickly wash a pot in order to make dinner or search for a cup for your thirsty toddler.

Because of these very valid and important reasons, I am attempting to quickly hand wash the dishes after each meal, or at least rinse them off and get them into the dishwasher. I encourage you to try and do the same thing. I think you will find it to be well worth the effort.

How often do you wash dishes in your home?


{View the link-ups and photo source for this post}


  1. says

    We load the dishes in the dishwasher right away, and wash run it when it is full. I used to just leave all the dishes on the counter and load it when it looked like there was a load, but I have decided that the kitchen looks much better free from dirty dishes in the counter. Why not out them in the dishwasher?

  2. says

    I completely agree. Unfortunately, doing the dishes is also my least favorite household task :) I try to have the dishwasher loaded and all hand-washing done before we eat supper (for the daytime dishes), so that afterwards the cleanup is quick and easy. I don’t manage it every day, though :)

  3. says

    Oh goodness, you’ve convicted me big-time! I am guilty of leaving dishes for way too long…and I KNOW all the good reasons why I shouldn’t! OK. As soon as I’m done here, I’m going to go get the kitchen CLEAN! Thanks for this reminder!! :)

    • says

      Jaimie, I convicted myself! I had dishes in the sink as I wrote this post and felt like such a hypocrite. lol They got washed soon after though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. says

    Yes, you are so right! I was doing so well for a few weeks, and then this week I let the kitchen get messy again. But I will get it caught up again today!

    One more reason, at least for me: I’m more likely to make a nice meal. I dislike working in a messy kitchen, and when it’s icky, I’ll either throw something together in a hurry, or dinner will be late because I have to clean up first.

  5. says

    I try hard to go to bed with a shiny sink each day! For some reason, I was really surprised that I need to run the dishwasher more than just once a day now that the hubs is home for the summer. It makes perfect sense to me, but it was a shocker for some reason! :)

    • says

      It’s amazing how one extra person at home can make much of a difference in that, eh? And Yay for the shiny sink before bed. I’m striving for that as well.

  6. says

    I agree very much with your #4 and #5, as well as #3 if you don’t rinse the dishes. But #1 and #2 depend very much on your dishwashing technique.

    Ease of scrubbing is indeed affected very much by how much food you allowed to dry onto the dish, but there are some foods like melted cheese that don’t rinse off. If you SOAK the dishes in soapy water (instead of leaving them dry until you scrub each one) the stuck-on food becomes much easier to remove. A little sprinkle of baking soda makes it even easier, without any extra water.

    I have seen a few people whose non-soaking dishwashing technique is very efficient with water and soap, but most people I have seen do this use enormous amounts of both. The soaking method is more efficient the more dishes you wash at one time–up to the point where the wash water is too dirty and has to be replaced.

    When I was washing all our dishes by hand, I found it took less total time if I did it less often–up to the point where it became too many dishes to do in one session (which is about the point where too many are dirty so we have none to use). Here is more detail on what I learned about hand dishwashing. I washed every other day for years.

    Now we have a dishwasher, which actually uses less water and energy than hand dishwashing, according to many studies. We load as we go, except for things like water glasses that we are using repeatedly–I use those to fill the gaps when the dishwasher is getting full. Our family of 3 runs the dishwasher about twice a week. I’m kind of shocked at Audra (who I believe has a family of 5?) running it twice a DAY, but maybe that’s a smaller dishwasher? Ours is “full size” and we pack it as full as possible.

    • says

      I used a dishwasher as well, but have several things that we don’t put in there (i.e. pots/pans, our good knives, etc). When I have time I try to just hand wash everything, but often just rinse then off and put the in the dishwasher. We probably run ours every few days. Thank for you comment!

  7. says

    Oh my goodness, first of all, I adore your blog! It’s lovely :)
    Second, I needed a little inspiration to keep up with dishes! thanks for that :)

    would LOVE for you to come link up at http://www.mercyinkblog.com! we have a weekly link party, Hearts&Homes, that starts every Tuesday am and goes through Sun evening. Hope to see you there ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • says

      So true… The cleanliness of the kitchen in the morning often sets the mood for my entire day. Dirty dishes stress me out and make me feel like I’m already behind on my chores!

  8. says

    Wow – this is a great post. I am SOOOOO guilty of procrastinating on the dishes (umm…I have a sink full right now). You are so right – the longer they sit the ickier they are and the more water you waste cleaning them. Hopping over from Consider the Lilies. Blessings from Zagreb: A Little R & R: http://www.littlerandr.org

  9. says

    With littles around, its impossible to keep up with the dishes…because I chose to do other things (like play and enjoy the littles!)

    However, aside from the dishwasher which we use, for the items that aren’t dishwasher safe what I do is I leave a larger plastic tupperware with soapy water and just ask that things get put in there until I have time to wash them.

    This way, I dont have to worry about hard, sticky things and some of the mess is contained.

    Have a wonderful weekend!!

  10. says

    Generally, I wash dishes every day – the dishwasher is humming right now. But recently I’ve allowed myself the flexibility to let them go if our day is crazy. Yesterday was such a day. I did not have time to do them before we left; “do them” = unload the dishwasher and put the dirty breakfast dishes in the dishwasher. So, I put all the dirty dishes in the sink, rinsed them and left. Shockingly, my world did not stop spinning. When we got home later in the afternoon, I unloaded the dishwasher and put all the dirty stuff away. It was a good way to cheat, for just one day. Still, I much prefer to not leave dirty dishes out for any period of time, for all the reasons you explained.

    • says

      Courtney, I definitely believe in giving yourself grace on difficult days! Some things are more important than getting all the chores done. :)

    • says

      Courtney, I know just what you mean about discovering the world does not stop spinning if you are not perfect with your chores! Although I said above that I do not wash dishes every day, it has always been crucial to me to have all the dishes clean before we leave for a trip. Years ago, we were going to leave for Thanksgiving on an overnight bus after working a full day…and I was delayed getting home from work, and it was my turn to make dinner…and then it was almost time to leave, but there were the dishes that would take 30 minutes at minimum! I rinsed them and stacked neatly. When we got back, they were no worse than when we left. Our house had NOT been invaded by vermin or health inspectors like I pictured. The only bad thing about it was that I lost that nice after-vacation time of not having to do chores until things get dirty again.

  11. says

    Great inspirational post!

    Although I have always loved the task of washing dishes, I agree that it isnโ€™t always easy to keep up with them, especially when you have babies and/or home-school. When we moved to our present home, my husband decided to install a dishwasher. I did not want to lose any cabinet space, so I was not too happy with the idea. Anyway โ€“ I LIKED washing dishes. Well, as always, he is usually right. It made my life much easier. Now, I certainly do not have any excuse for dirty dishes on the counters. All the same, I am not perfect, and I still have to kick myself to get the job done. Ha! What a bum I am!


    • says

      I definitely use my dishwasher quite a bit even though I prefer to hand wash as well. Some days there just isn’t time or I don’t have the energy. Some days you just have to give yourself grace and move on. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. says

    You totally touched on why I hate to leave dishes in the sink. The cheese or whatever is GLUED on and it’s harder to get off and it’s gross and I’m tired and the kitchen is a mess and so on and so on……

    I usually wash the dinner dishes right after the meal and my family pretty much loads their breakfast and lunch dishes directly into the dishwasher. However, I have been known to procrastinate and when I do I regret it. Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

  13. says

    I’ve never had a dishwasher, and every time I watch someone load theirs, I’m further convinced that it takes as much time to rinse, sort, load and unload plus wash all the non-dishwasher stuff than it does simply to wash them. I have a big sink, so I place all the dishes in the sink as we use them, and at the end of the day I fill the sink with water, let them soak for 5 minutes or so, and swish them all clean. I rinse them in the other side of the sink (no running water, just a sink full of clear water), stack them in a dish drainer, let them air dry. This way I can wash a day’s worth of dishes with two sinks-full of hot water. When my girls were home, they did the dishes, and yes, they spilled over onto the counter, but I still feel like we saved time and money by handwashing.
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