Good Monday morning, Moppers. We hope this past weekend treated you well, and you’re sufficiently rested to tackle another week. Pretty soon the kids will be back in school and everything will return to its regular routine, but for now there’s still a couple of fun weekends to look forward to.
The question is: what are you going to do with them?
You could go to the drive-in, spend some time at the beach, or lounge around by the pool. Those are all great options.
As for us? We’re planning on going camping!
It’s certainly not for everyone, but camping is a great way to reconnect with nature, spend some time with your loved ones, and get a chance to unwind for a few days away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Of course just because you’re away from all the amenities you’re used to doesn’t mean you should skimp when it comes to cleaning. We never do, especially when it comes to dishes, because not only is it good for your health, but it also helps keep wildlife from infringing on your good time.
So how do we wash our dishes when we’re out in the woods? We’re glad you asked…
What You’ll Need:
- 1 large pot
- 3 wash buckets
- 1 brush or sponge
- Biodegradable soap
- Metal strainer
- Clean cloth/towel
Step 1: Warm Up Your Water
Nobody likes washing their dishes in cold water, right? While you’re having your meal, put a big pot of water over the fire to heat up while you’re eating. This will give the water ample time to heat up, and get to the desired temperature.
Step 2: Prep Your Dishes
After you’ve finishing eating, it’s important to scrape as much food residue as you can into the trash. The more food you remove, the easier those dishes will be to clean.
Step 3: Prep Your Buckets
Set up your three wash buckets one after the other. Pour the biodegradable soap in the first bucket, and a cap-full of bleach in the third bucket. Take the pot of water that’s been heating over the campfire (make sure to grab those handles with a towel, because the pot will be hot), and distribute the water evenly in all three buckets.
Step 4: Wash
Start by washing the plates that have the least amount of food residue on them in the first bucket. This will cut back on the amount of scraps in your water as you go. Simply wash your dishes one by one, using the brush to clean them.
Step 5: Rinse
When you’re done washing, put the dishes in the middle rinse bucket, and get rid of any remaining suds that are lingering behind. They should be completely free of soap after that.
Step 6: Sanitize
Once your dishes have been thoroughly rinsed, dunk them in the third sanitizing bucket that has the cap-full of bleach in it to make sure any gems that might be hanging around are properly disposed of.
Step 7: Dry
Use your clean cloth or towel to dry those dishes. You’ll probably be tempted to air dry them at this point, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it just prolongs everything because you’ll still have to put them away later. You may as well take care of all that now since you’re already there.
Step 8: Consolidate/Strain
Once you’ve dried and put everything away, consolidate your murky water into one bucket, and place the metal strainer over top of an empty once. Strain the water through it, being careful to catch any food bits that are in there. Dispose of those in the garbage, and if your campsite doesn’t have any drain water basins, spread that murky water over the ground at least 200 feet away from any water source, such as a stream or river. Cover as wide an area as you can to allow it to seep into the soil quicker.
That’s all there is to it. It might seem like a lot of work, but really it’s not. Considering you don’t normally go camping with a large group of people, taking the time to properly wash a few dishes, cups, and utensils really won’t take much time at all.
This is a much better alternative to paper plates, too, because while it might look like a good idea to just toss everything in the trash when you’re done with it, it’s wasteful, and does more harm than good to the environment. Plus, the whole reason you’re out there is to get back to nature. Do you really want to have a hand in destroying something you’re trying to appreciate? Of course you don’t!
That’s it for now, Moppers. Have a marvelous Monday, and we’ll chat with you again soon.