How to Clean Even the Most Stubborn Dishes

This article shows you how to clean even the most stubborn dishes in your sink using some simple methods with ingredients right from your kitchen, like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, boiling water, elbow grease, soaking in water and sunlight. Dishes can be quick and easy with these simple tips.

Doing the dishes is my least favorite household chore and it always has been. I am willing to do just about anything else if someone else will do them. And then my husband loves to cook these dishes that somehow stain, burn and stick to our dishes like nothing else.

I’m always stuck trying to figure out how to clean this new stubborn mess from our dishes. Using all of the green cleaning techniques I have for all other areas of my home, I have compiled a nice list of different ways I clean even the worst dishes in our house. Because I hate doing dishes so much, many of these cleaning techniques are hands off for the most part. Doesn’t that sound great?!

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Below you’ll find 8 great, green cleaning ways that  show you how to clean even the most stubborn dishes. I start with the easiest for messes that aren’t so bad, and slowly work up to those last ditch measures for the very worst kitchen messes. I know you’ll find something here that works for you.

This article shows you how to clean even the most stubborn dishes in your sink using some simple methods with ingredients right from your kitchen, like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, boiling water, elbow grease, soaking in water and sunlight. Dishes can be quick and easy with these simple tips.

Use a Scrub Brush

Most dirty dishes can be cleaned with some warm water and a good scrub brush. If you can just let the water run over the dish in the sink while giving it a good scrub, most stubborn food and stains will come right off.

This article shows you how to clean even the most stubborn dishes in your sink using some simple methods with ingredients right from your kitchen, like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, boiling water, elbow grease, soaking in water and sunlight. Dishes can be quick and easy with these simple tips.
Photo by Izzie R on Unsplash

Soak the Stains

If for some reason the scrub brush wasn’t enough to get the food off of the plate or bowl, I usually fill it with water and set it aside on the counter while I am cleaning the rest of the dishes. By the time I get back to the soaking dish, the food will just rinse right off.

If this isn’t enough for the food to come off, I will leave it soaking in hot water overnight. This is especially the case when we’ve cooked something messy for dinner that I know will be hard to clean. I fill it with water and leave it to soak while we are sleeping to tackle it in the morning.

This article shows you how to clean even the most stubborn dishes in your sink using some simple methods with ingredients right from your kitchen, like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, boiling water, elbow grease, soaking in water and sunlight. Dishes can be quick and easy with these simple tips.

Boil Some Water

For scorched, blackened pans, or burnt on food, I like to fill the pan with water, just enough to cover the burned part, and set it back on the stove in the lowest heat setting. After 5 to 10 minutes, I’ll go back and try to use a hard plastic spatula to scrape the food or burn off while still on the stove. If it’s all coming off easily, I’ll dump it the water and scrape the rest off, followed by a good scrub with a scrub brush.

If it still needs work, I’ll refill it with water and let it continue heating up. You might just need to turn the heat up a little too battle this stain. And then a scrub brush should easily get the mess out.

This article shows you how to clean even the most stubborn dishes in your sink using some simple methods with ingredients right from your kitchen, like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, boiling water, elbow grease, soaking in water and sunlight. Dishes can be quick and easy with these simple tips.

Baking Soda Paste

Sometimes, there are food stains that still won’t come out and you need to move on to the next step. To remove deep stains from your dishes, you’ll need to introduce a solvent to dissolve the stain so that it can be washed away. Baking soda is perfect for this job. I would start by applying some dry baking soda and trying to scrub with it.

If this isn’t enough, add more baking soda with a little bit of water to make a paste. Apply it directly to the stain and let it soak, first for an hour or so and try to loosen the stain. You may need to let it soak for even longer to really get into the stain.

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Lemon Juice Soak

If you are still struggling with a stain, lemon juice is another common household product which can function as a mild solvent. Try switching some lemon juice on the stain and letting it soak. Lemon juice is great for eating away at stubborn foods stains. This should loosen things right up for you. But there’s always the possibility that you need something more.

This article shows you how to clean even the most stubborn dishes in your sink using some simple methods with ingredients right from your kitchen, like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, boiling water, elbow grease, soaking in water and sunlight. Dishes can be quick and easy with these simple tips.
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

A Chemical Reaction

For deeper stains that don’t respond to baking soda or lemon juice, you’re going to hit them with a strong chemical reaction. Start by pouring some white vinegar into your pot or pan, just enough to cover the stained or burned portion of your pot. Then add in some baking soda, a little at a time.

Everything will start to fizz and bubble. This is good because that means that the mixture is working to clean your pot. When the fizzing stops, use a scrub brush to scrub the whole thing down. If for some reason, this doesn’t work, cover the pot in water in the sink and add in 1 tablespoon each of baking soda and vinegar for every cup of water and soak for a couple hours.

This article shows you how to clean even the most stubborn dishes in your sink using some simple methods with ingredients right from your kitchen, like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, boiling water, elbow grease, soaking in water and sunlight. Dishes can be quick and easy with these simple tips.
Photo by Jason Tuinstra on Unsplash

Sugar or Salt

This is another great solution for stubborn food stains. Pour a little bit of granulated sugar or salt into the stained dish. Now scrub the sugar or salt into the stain. The coarse nature and abrasive action of the sugar or salt is sure remove set-in stains.

The trick is to use very little water while doing this because both the sugar and salt, whichever you choose to use, will dissolve in water. You’ll want to scrub the coarse item into the food stain while it’s still rough and able to scrub the stain off.

This article shows you how to clean even the most stubborn dishes in your sink using some simple methods with ingredients right from your kitchen, like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, boiling water, elbow grease, soaking in water and sunlight. Dishes can be quick and easy with these simple tips.
Photo by Jordan Stewart on Unsplash

Use the Sun 

Finally, if nothing else has worked and you are at the very edge of just throwing the dish away, try using the sun. Stick your dishes out in direct sunlight for four to five hours. Sunlight works as a natural bleaching agent and will remove stains from white and colored dishes, pots and pans.The sun’s rays will also eliminate any lingering odors.

This one really is awesome. The sun works to remove all sorts of stains and odors in a variety of items.

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The truth is, no food stain should fight you long enough to get all the way through all of the options for cleaning it. Most food will come off when boiling water in it or soaking in overnight in water, and maybe a little bit of soap. At the very most, I’ve had to use baking soda to scrub off some of the most stubborn food items I’ve come across.

I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the efficiency of many of these options in helping you to clean your dishes. Isn’t it awesome that you can clean some of the most stubborn dishes with items straight from your pantry?

It turns out that these same items can help you to clean everything in your house. Check out my article on 12 Ways to Green Up Your Cleaning Routine for more great tips on using some of these cleaners in your home.

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This article shows you how to clean even the most stubborn dishes in your sink using some simple methods with ingredients right from your kitchen, like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, boiling water, elbow grease, soaking in water and sunlight. Dishes can be quick and easy with these simple tips.
 


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