In my post about bread, I mentioned the Home Economics classes we had in Norway growing up ("school kitchen", we call it.) In the comments section, Sandra wrote that her Home Ec classes were not that great, at which point I raved about mine. Girasoli was intrigued by my mention of "proper dish washing rules", so this post is for her. (And no, I am not a housewife from 1950, although in this post I sound like one!)
First of all, I am talking about the kind of dishwashing where you fill the sink with soap and water and submerse the dishes in the water while washing. It is less applicable if you wash the items with a sponge under running water. Ok, here we go!
This works best if you have two sink basins side by side. First you rinse the dishes and stack them next to the sink. Fill the first sink with hot water and soap, and the second one with extremely hot water for rinsing. It has to be very hot for two reasons: to kill any remaining bacteria, and to allow for quick drying. (If you only have one, you can rinse in that one - slightly more wasteful for the 1950s housewife but it works too!)
Secondly, separation of the items is of the utmost importance - it is pretty much the basis for proper dish washing rules. The main reason for this is that you should be able to use the same water for the whole batch, or at least only change it once or twice. The idea is that the things that go in your mouth should be washed first. You start with glasses, since these have to be spotless. Wash them thoroughly with the dishwasher brush in the first sink. Then you rinse them in the second sink. Next it is time for silverware, before plates. (As you can see, the dishes get progressively dirtier as you go along - although the rinsing will have taken care of some of that.)
The last portion is the pots and pans and cooking utensils. Wash them thoroughly and rinse as normal. However, don't use the dishtowel to dry these, as they might be dirty underneat from the oven. Instead, dry them off with a wet dishrag.
OK, I think my old teachers would have been proud! And Girasoli probably got more than she bargained for!