Wash Dishes Using A Spray Bottle

Don't have enough dishes for a full sink but don't want to leave them sitting around? One Lifehacker reader solved the problem by redeploying a spray bottle.

Picture by wainwright

Ali L wrote in with this handy water-saving tip:

When I moved to Australia from the US, I realised I quickly had to give up the way I'd grown up washing dishes, which was to leave the faucet running the whole time. However, I often don't have enough dishes dirty to do the classic Aussie method of filling the whole sink with water and soap. So now I have an empty spray bottle ($2 at a discount store) that I fill with water and a long squirt of dishwashing soap. I use it to spray soapy water onto a dirty dish, then use the sink brush to clean it, and only then do I turn on the faucet, just for a few seconds, to rinse everything off. Doing that for each dish or handful of silverware means I use much less water. Another benefit is that one bottle of dishwashing soap lasts us for ages.

It's a neat idea, though if (like us) you're happy to let most dishes drain without rinsing them, even less liquid is involved. Thanks Ali!


    I just fill a smaller bowl in the sink with hot water and a tiny squirt of dishwashing liquid and use that to wash dishes. That way you can use hot water and it cleans the dishes better

    Japanese usual method (from personal observation whilst there)... A small squirt of soap onto your wet dish rag. Scrub all your dishes clean.
    Rinse and leave to dry.

    And for (about) $5 in Bunnings you can get a 5litre/minute limiter for your sink tap that makes a nice useful directable spray.

    I personally wash everything straight away. No soap required then and nothing is really stuck.
    Using my Bunnings spray adapter thingy.

    I just let my dishes build up for a week, then do one big load..

    I nag my wife until she does it. That way I don't get my hands wet at all.

    I've been doing this for years. It is ideal for a sharehouse where people are constantly doing their own thing and leaving dishes behind them. Get the rule down early that you have to wash your dishes as soon as you've finished eating. A 6 bedroom house can get by with a single kitchen sink.

    Of course you still need housemates willing to follow rules!

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