Works for Me Wednesday – Clean vs. Dirty Dishes

My Works for Me Wednesday tip is another one that originally comes from my Momma.

Growing up in a family of six, there were always plenty of dishes that needed to be rinsed and loaded into the dishwasher or, after being cleansed, unloaded from the dishwasher. As we got older, us kids were tasked with helping out with the dishes. We were always asking my mom, “Are the dishes in the dishwasher clean or dirty?”

It should be noted that I was taught that dishes should be rinsed off well before loading into the dishwasher, which makes it difficult to tell if they are clean or dirty since no leftover food particles are present.

To alleviate any confusion, my mom created two simple magnets. One said “Clean” and one said “Dirty.” You can just buy a small package of flexible magnetic tape and leave the white paper on it (that covers the adhesive) and write “Clean” or “Dirty” right on the paper since the adhesive is not needed. You can get a small package of this magnetic tape for around a $1. Or, you can get fancier if desired and have special magnets made.

When the dishes had not yet been run through the cleansing cycle, the Dirty magnet was stuck to the front of the dishwasher door. This way, there was no question as to the cleanliness of the dishes in the dishwasher, and we could continue to load our dishes after meals until it was full later in the day and ready to be started up.

As soon as the cleansing cycle was started, the Dirty magnet was replaced with the Clean magnet. The Clean magnet would remain in place until the now cleansed dishes were unloaded and put away. As soon as the dishwasher is emptied , put the Dirty magnet back on in preparation for dirty dishes to be loaded back in.

Whatever magnet is NOT in use on the dishwasher can just be stuck on the side of the refrigerator or some other nearby and handy metal surface.

I know this seems like a simple process and some dishwashers now have a light indicating if they are clean or not. But if you do not have one of those new-fangled contraptions with the light (which must have been invented by a woman, in my opinion) and you have children helping you with the chores, this is a simple way to keep track of what needs to be done with the dishes.

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4 Responses

  1. Overwhelmed! says:

    What a fantastic idea! We don’t have one of those new-fangled dishwashers with the light that tells you clean or dirty. We do have some magnetic tape! I’m going to do this!

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  2. momma says:

    remember the not so favorite thing to hear when it was your turn for dishes? “unload and load, unload and load!”

  3. Nettie says:

    That is a great idea. My early bird son, who generally has the breakfast table set before I wake up, would love not having to guess anymore!

  4. Peaches says:

    We had tried a couple of times to do this…. but always had a dishwasher that didn’t have any “metal” surfaces to stick it to. I suppose an easy solution however, would be one of those suction cups with a little sign hanging from it maybe?

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