Why are sponges used to wash dishes

Quick, easy & clean: tips for washing dishes by hand


So that the dishes are not only visually clean, but also hygienically clean, you should consider some general hygiene tips:

Change rags, sponges, brushes and tea towels regularly

Cloths and sponges that are used for rinsing should be replaced every two to three weeks. They may still look clean, but after prolonged use they are a real focus of bacteria and germs due to the warm, humid environment. After rinsing, you should always wash them out and let them dry well. Dish brushes can be cleaned regularly in the dishwasher. Tea towels are also changed after 2 weeks at the latest (depending on how often you use them) or as required. They will be hygienically clean again in your washing machine's hot wash program.

Pay attention to the formation of foam

The cleaning power of the rinsing water can be seen from the foam on the water. If there is hardly any foam left, the cleaning power is poor and you should renew the rinse water and / or add detergent.

Do not use too much detergent

A lot helps a lot, is not right when washing dishes by hand. Because too much detergent only creates increased foam and the foam does not clean. In addition, the dishes will also dry less well. Better: add detergent again while washing the dishes.

It is best to air dry dishes

Simply letting the dishes air dry is more hygienic than drying them with a tea towel. Just like in the dishcloths and sponges, germs often collect in the cloths, which are transferred back to the clean dishes when they are dried.


What to do if leftover food has dried or burned on in pots and pans? Stainless steel cookware can be removed with a scouring sponge or a stainless steel pan cleaner. These tools can also be used to remove limescale stains. However, this must never be used in coated pots and pans. The scouring pad can damage the coating, which can result in detached parts getting into the food. This is not necessarily healthy. Coated cookware with dried-on and burnt-on food residues is therefore best soaked first with a lye of warm water and a little washing-up liquid. If the residues have loosened, they can be removed with a soft dish brush.

The best thing against dried-up food, however, is not to let it get that far in the first place. Either you do the washing up immediately after the food has been prepared or you soak pots and pans immediately by filling them up with water. If you then put the cookware filled with water on a hot plate that is still warm, even burnt-on items usually come off without detergent.


Modern dishwashers are now much more water-saving and significantly undercut the water consumption when washing dishes by hand. If there is a dishwasher in the household, this is the means of choice for washing the dishes. However, this does not apply to all dishes. It is better to wash some items by hand. These include:

  • Cutlery and boards made of wood
  • Tableware with gold decors

Almost all of these items should not be put in the dishwasher due to their material. Silver cutlery starts to run in the machine, wooden parts swell on prolonged contact with water and acquire an unsightly gray veil. For this reason, wooden parts should never be soaked in water. Gold decorations come off over time when the dishes are cleaned in the machine.

Basically, glasses can be machine washed without any problems. However, they can corrode over time because the water can dissolve the alkali ions in the glass from the surface. Clouds then form in the glass that can no longer be removed. Softer water and a high temperature in the dishwasher will speed up this process. The pH value and the salt content should therefore not be too low when washing glass with a machine. It is best to match the hardness range of your dishwasher to the hardness of the tap water. You can find out this at the local waterworks, or you can determine it yourself with a pH value test strip.


  • Pre-wash and sorting make washing up easier.
  • Wash dishes in the order according to the degree of soiling and also take into account the material of the dishes.
  • Don't use too much detergent and change the water more often.
  • For hygiene: change tea towels and dishcloths more often and let the dishes air dry.
  • Remove dried-on and burnt-on items from uncoated cookware with a scouring or steel sponge. Coated cookware is best soaked to remove stubborn dirt.
  • Not all items that are used in the kitchen can be put in the dishwasher. You should always wash delicate items by hand.