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10 Clever Hacks for Effortless Dishwashing in Your RV: Making Camping Cleanup a Breeze

It’s not always fun to keep up with cleaning and chores around the RV, but it’s an important thing to do! Dishwashing in your RV is one example of a perpetual chore that isn’t going away anytime soon. Luckily, there are several tips and tricks you can use to keep up with your RVing dishes and make the whole ordeal easier. 

Check out our tips for your RVing dishes. We’ve separated them into helpful tools/utensils, convenient dishwashing methods, drying techniques, and good cleaning habits. 

Helpful Tools/Utensils

Scrub Daddy

A good sponge can make all the difference in the world when you’re dishwashing in your RV. Although a standard sponge will get the job done just fine, there are plenty of specialized products out there that can make the job easier. 

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A popular one is the Scrub Daddy. This friendly yellow sponge resembles a smiley face and has several unique properties.

First of all, it’s designed to be soft under hot water and firm under cold water. This helps you adapt to cleaning different textures. The openings in the sponge also have unique purposes. The smile is designed to easily clean silverware because you can easily slide them in and out of the opening. The two eyes help you hold onto the sponge and push it into cups and other narrow spaces. 

Corner Sink Caddy

Utilize a corner sink caddy to organize dishwashing supplies such as scrub brushes, sponges, and dish soap, maximizing counter space in the RV kitchen. You won’t believe what a super small caddy can hold!

Dishwashing Methods

Spray Method

Sometimes, more conservative dishwashing techniques are needed compared to the usual sink and soap hand washing method. This is particularly crucial during boondocking when you’d rather not use much water unnecessarily filling up your black or gray water tanks. An easy one for folks is the spray method. This just involves two spray bottles, some water, dish soap, and lemon juice. You also need a water-tight container or bucket for the dishes to sit for a while. 

Scrape away as much food residue as possible before beginning. Fill one spray bottle with a mix of 20% dish soap and 80% warm water. Shake it well and spray down your dishes with the soapy water mixture. Let them sit in the watertight container for 5 minutes, then spray them with the cleaning mixture one last time.

Fill the second bottle with 10% lemon juice and 90% water. Wipe off the dishes with a clean cloth, then spray them with this combination to rinse. Now, let them air-dry on a dish rack, and you’re done!

Employ Paper Towels

If you want a super easy dish-cleaning method, you can also use paper towels to wipe the dishes before washing them with soap and water. This cuts back on water usage, which is also great for boondocking. 

That said, this will, of course, require you to purchase lots more paper towels than you normally might. Since this is pretty wasteful, it’s best to save this method for when water conservation is really important.

Drying Techniques

Air Dry in Mesh Bags

Next up, we have an old standby method for drying dishes after dishwashing in your RV. If you invest in a few mesh bags, you’ll have a super easy time air-drying your dishes in the open. Once everything is clean and rinsed, just place the dishes in the bags and hang them up outside.

If it’s a sunny day, they’ll dry quickly. However, if you’re worried about dirt, pollen, and other debris, you can also hang these bags inside your RV (preferably over the sink or a drying mat). 

Portable Dish Drying Mat

Invest in a portable dish drying mat that can be rolled up for compact storage when not in use, providing a convenient surface for air drying dishes. We love that these are absorbent and dry relatively quickly!

More Quick Tips for Dishwashing in Your RV

Cleanest to Dirtiest

If you wash dishes by hand in the sink, you should always wash the cleanest things first and work your way up to the dirtiest things. This usually means you should wash cups and cutlery first, then plates and pans later on. 

If you follow this structure, you won’t have to dump your dishwater as frequently. Plus, it helps things move along faster if you can breeze through the cleanest things first. 

Have a Dirty Dish Bin

I don’t know about you, but I can be kind of intimidated by a sink full of dishes. It also makes dishwashing in your RV harder because you have to work around the buildup. To solve this issue, you can place all the dirty dishes in a dedicated bin rather than the sink. 

This is perfect for RVing dishes because you can eat inside or outside and then bring the dishes to the sink for cleaning later. It also frees up valuable space for food prep and for anyone who needs to wash their hands in the meantime. 

Try Assigned Cups

Let’s turn to the issue of too many dirty cups! An easy way to reduce the clutter is to assign a specific glass to everyone. If people reuse glasses for a day or two, this will vastly reduce the number of dishes you need to clean.

Try labeling the cups with tape nametags, assigning each individual a different-colored cup, or having everyone put their assigned cup in a specific place. This way, everyone will know which cup is theirs and where to find it. It’s a simple fix, but it makes things so much easier around the RV. 

Use Biodegradable Dish Soap

Lastly, we have to talk about the soap you use. If you wash dishes outdoors, it is important that you opt for biodegradable dish soap to minimize environmental impact while cleaning dishes. Fortunately, there are plenty of biodegradable soap options on the market these days!

There you have it, a number of great tips for dishwashing in your RV. You can find even more clever hacks here. Which one will you use first?

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