Sanitizing Dishes

Sanitizing Dishes

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Publication on: preparing dishes to wash, how to wash, rinse, and finish plus cleanup jobs after washing the dishes.
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  • Clean dishes help keep your family
  • Dirty dishes carry germs and spread
  • The kitchen looks better when it is not cluttered with dirty dishes.


After Cooking, Start Cleanup. Soak pots and pans when you empty them. This makes them easier to wash. Use hot water in greasy or sugary pans. Use cold water for soaking pans that have had milk, eggs, or flour in them.

Wipe up water or grease spilled on the floor or range.

After Eating, Follow a Cleanup Routine. Clear the table. Cover and put leftovers in the refrigerator. Put bread in a bread wrapper. Scrape dishes. Place scraps into a garbage container or down the garbage disposal.

Fill dishpan or sink with hot water. Put in some soap or detergent. The water should be as hot as your hands can take. Rubber gloves will protect your hands from the hot water and the detergent. Hot water helps get rid of grease on your dishes and gets dishes cleaner.

Prepare a sink or rinsing pan filled with hot water. (Fig. 1)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Prepare a sanitizing rinse pan containing 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach for each gallon of cool water. (Fig. 1)


  • Rinse dishes in hot water in a pan or in one side of the double sink.
  • Use rubber gloves to lift dishes out of the hot water. (Fig. 2)
  • Then, rinse dishes in sanitizing rinse solution.

The chlorine solution kills microorganisms which can cause foodborne illness. This step is essential whenever food is served to the public.


Let dishes air-dry, or dry them with a clean towel. Air drying is safest and easiest if the dishes are protected from dust, flies, and pets. While dishes dry, cover them with a clean, dry towel. (Fig. 3)

Put dishes into storage shelves and drawers.


Copyright 2004 Washington State University

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Issued by Washington State University Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in furtherance of the Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Extension programs and policies are consistent with federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, and national or ethnic origin; physical, mental, or sensory disability; marital status or sexual orientation; and status as a Vietnam-era or disabled veteran. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local WSU Extension office. Trade names have been used to simplify information; no endorsement is intended.