I recommend that you scrape, rinse, and wash your dishes immediately after eating, whether preparing for the dishwasher or to hand wash. This will take you 10 minutes tops once you have the routine down pat, especially if you have rinsed as you cooked.
For every half hour you let the food sit on the plates and dry and grow crusty, add more time to the clean up. By the time the dishes have sat overnight, plan on a minimum of 30 minutes. If you are really remiss due to inertia for any and all reasons (illness, absence, indolence, and what have you) you can count on an hour to get the crusties off the stove top, out of the pots, etc. It is so nice to just have the kitchen clean right away after dinner, it is really worth it. Then your family can do all kinds of things in the space.
In my sister in law's house, the one who cooks is off the hook for dishes and the first adult up from the table who didn't cook starts the process. The second eligible adult continues and in minutes the kitchen is clean. Kids know to scrape plates and put them in sink or on the drainboard. My house is a mixed bag of helpers and laggers. Helping is definitely the way to go.
By pikka from Westminster, CO
and on the other half write "Unload Me Please." On mine, I attempted to draw an overfull dishwasher on the unload me side and a hungry skinny dishwasher on the load me side.
Now all you have to do is remember to turn the CD each time you load or unload the dishwasher.
By StellaBella from Manchester, WA
I am a big believer in cleaning a little bit at a time. While my coffee is dripping in the morning, I either wipe out my microwave, wipe around the sink, or check the refrigerator. I also do spot cleaning while something is in the microwave, or cooking on the stove. It is easier to manage getting rid of outdated food and wiping up spills if you check often. I use the time to also check what leftovers I need to use right away. In two minutes, I've accomplished a lot!
By Louella N. from Billings, MT
Also, having the kitchen under control when the rest of the house needs attention, allows us to focus on other parts of the house that need some TLC. Unfortunately, there are times when I wake up to a sink with dishes from the "dish fairy" in the middle of the night. I used to rant and rave about how unfair it was and my family would take on a glazed look and get disgruntled.
However, now I just do them anyway, and forget about complaining as it really gets me nowhere. Besides, I think there's more to worry about than a few dishes in the sink. As a result of this attitude I've now found that my children and husband now think twice about just dumping things into the sink. I expect what I have been done has started to rub off on them.
We had a dishwasher in the house we sold a few years back and the house we bought was an ex-rental and devoid of "extras". In the last house I found it hard to get anyone to stack the dishwasher. No-one seemed to want to do it and things went into the sink instead. Now that we are living with no dishwasher I think the children appreciate how much extra work is involved and realize the work that goes into keeping the sink free of clutter.
I love waking up to my gleaming sink knowing that I can prepare breakfast without having to clean up first.
By the Oracle
The same procedure can work with ovens except use a shallow pan with a couple of cups of white vinegar and no sponge. Cook for 5-10 minutes and leave in the oven to cool for about 30 minutes. Food will slide right off.
Any left over vinegar or lemon juice can be squeezed onto the sponge to keep it fresh. To control germs you should bleach it or run it through the dishwasher or clothes washer on a regular basis.
Source: life and the web
By Randa from San Marcos TX