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Dish Pan Hands

When I was a struggling artist, I lived in a tiny house in Burbank, California.  The kitchen was miniscule. Storage was nearly nonexistent, so I used my tiny oven to store pots and pans.

I had no regular washing machine or dryer.  But rather, I did have one of those apartment sized machines that you roll over to the sink so you can attach a hose and then have room to wash 3 pair of underwear. Four, if they were bikinis.  But then I had to climb over it to get to the next room.  I’m sure it was similar to what Ma Ingalls had to endure.  Except without the creek.  And the rocks to beat the Pa’s overalls with.  And well, no Pa.

There wasn’t a dishwasher, so I became well versed in hand washing all of my dishes.  I remember that I went through a good deal of dish soap because a squirt was always TOO MUCH SOAP. And since I was dirt poor, that always irked me.  Since a bottle of dish soap could have paid for a box of Pop Tarts.  Just saying’.

Saints be praised, today I have all manner of modern appliances.  Even a dishwasher.  (Which btw, is still trying to cripple me.) But I’m still in possession of my thrifty nature established so long ago.  That’s why I love this tip that my step-mother gave me for saving on dish soap.  I’ve been using it for years.

Even though I have a dishwasher, I have to wash my Calphalon pans and my Vita-Mix by hand.  I buy an empty plastic spray bottle at the store.  The one I show below is my favorite so far.  I found it at Wal*Mart in the nursery department for about $1.25.  Then I take my dishwashing liquid of choice, and squirt a smidge into the empty spray bottle.  I never measure.  A smidge is about 5 seconds worth of squeezing.  Depending on the size of your spray bottle.  And how slow you count.  Then I fill the remainder of the spray bottle with tap water.  Give it a little shake.  This way, when I’m washing dishes by hand, I just spray the soap into the dirty pan.  Using far less dish soap.

And for the Vita-Mix, I shoot a few squirts from the sprayer into the blender part, fill it with more water, and turn on high for self cleaning.  Hardly ever forgetting to put the top back on.

Now a bottle of dish soap lasts me a sweet forevermore.

Word of warning. Because of my cheap thrifty nature, I’ve been known to utilize empty plastic spray bottles of whathaveyou.  Without changing labels or alerting myself to exactly what I was now using it for.

It only took one episode of spraying my hair with a mixture of 1/2 bleach & 1/2 water, thinking it was just plain water, to cure me of that mistake.  Forever.

I’ve also been known to spray Biofreeze (similar to Ben Gay, but in spray form) onto my hair, thinking it was my hairspray.  It’s a wonder I’m not bald.

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.  Shannon (who originally created WFMW, and was in fact the very first blog I ever read) is pinch hitting while Kristen is away on a life changing trip with Compassion International.

4 Responses to Dish Pan Hands

  • Ha!

    I love this tip, and I’m going directly to the kitchen to dilute our dish soap in the pump container. If it works diluted in a spray bottle (brilliant!) it should work fine diluted in a pump container, right?

  • You are a girl after my own heart with your Ajax. I love that stuff. It works like a dream and it’s dirt cheap! : )

  • LOL I’m laughing my head off. Where’s the picture of the hair???????????????????????

    I hardly ever think fast on my feet. My hair has suffered greatly due to my own negligence. Like the time I blew up the grill, and singed my bangs. Photographic moments lost. Sadly. 🙂


  • I never thought of this… I do use this same method for my hand soap. I bought the foamy kind from Bath & Body Works, and then when it’s gone I just refill it with 1/4 Dr. Bronners lavender and 3/4 water. Now I’m off to change out my dish soap. Thanks!!!!

    PS HAHAHAHAHAHA! Have I told you how much you make me laugh? Thanks for that, too!