These Tools Make Washing Dishes by Hand More Efficient and More Enjoyable

From soap squirting dish brushes to flour sack dish towels, these essentials make the everyday task easier.

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Five Two Compostable Sponge Cloths
Photo: Courtesy of Food52

It's been said that mindfully washing dishes can be an effective way to lower stress levels. That's only if you have the right tools, though. When equipped with trusty, durable dishwashing brushes, sponges, and an effective dish soap, you can focus on the task at hand, and washing dishes can double as both a necessary chore and a surprisingly meditative activity.

Even if you have a dishwasher, there are still times when items need washing by hand. That might be everyday pots and pans—many makers recommend hand washing—or your trusty knives, wine glasses, or wooden spoons. Then there's the family heirlooms: Trust us when we tell you that Grandma's dish set is decidedly not dishwasher safe. With that in mind, we've rounded up our favorite tools that make washing dishes by hand easier, more efficient, and a little more relaxing.

Top Picks

Sink Caddy

Simple Human Sink Caddy
Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

Having somewhere to place a dripping sponge and scrub brush is paramount when trying to keep a clean and tidy sink. This caddy from Simple Human keeps your countertops dry and tidy by suctioning right to the wall of your sink, allowing dripping soap suds to fall back down the drain. Plastic dividers ensure that sponges dry faster and the pop out brush holder extends to hold even the longest brushes.

Shop Now: Simple Human Sink Caddy, $16.99,

Dishwashing Gloves

DABOGOSA Mamison Reusable Waterproof Dishwashing Gloves
Courtesy of Amazon

Washing dishes by hand wouldn't be the same without a pair of durable rubber gloves. These long-lasting waterproof gloves keep your hands and nails protected and have grips to make sure nothing slips through your fingers.

Shop Now: DABOGOSA Mamison Reusable Waterproof Dishwashing Gloves, Two pairs, $6.52,

Dish Soap

Cleancult Liquid Dish Soap
Courtesy of Amazon

If you're looking to make more sustainable shopping choices, why not start with your dish soap? Cleancult utilizes natural, biodegradable ingredients sold in 100 percent recyclable packaging to make a plant-based dish soap that's tough on grime and gentle on your skin. It even comes in irresistible scents like grapefruit basil, lemongrass, and sweet honeysuckle.

Shop Now: Cleancult Liquid Dish Soap, $13,

Soap Squirting Brush

OXO Steel Soap Squirting Brush
Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

A dishwashing brush pre-filled with dish soap, available at the push of a button? Yes, please! This scrubbing brush boasts durable, nylon bristles that help to easily break away crusted-on food particles. The handle creates a nonslip grip and the pre-filled soap makes for fast, easy, and efficient clean up.

Shop Now: OXO Steel Soap Squirting Brush, $13.99,

Pan Scrapers

Lodge Pan Scrapers
Courtesy of Amazon

These polycarbonate scrapers are designed with four differently shaped angles to help you get into hard-to-reach corners. Made for scraping away caked-on food residue these scrapers can tackle even the toughest tasks. They best part? They're super durable and dishwasher safe.

Shop Now: Lodge Pan Scrapers, $5.28 for two,

Drying Rack

Simple Human Steel Frame Drying Rack
Courtesy of Amazon

For a sleek and chic dish drainer you won't mind leaving on your countertop all day long, try this sturdy steel-framed rack. It's made from rust-proof material with a silicone tipped rack so there's no need to worry about scratching. The swivel spout guides dripping water directly back into the sink, and the integrated wine glass rack hangs up to four red wine glasses.

Shop Now: Simple Human Steel Frame Drying Rack, $79.99,

Sponge Cloths

Five Two Compostable Sponge Cloths
Courtesy of Food52

Do you blow through paper towels and sponges in the kitchen? It might be time to look to a more sustainable option. These compostable sponge clothes act as an all-natural substitute for both a sponge and a paper towel and can be reused time and time again. The best part? They're made from eco-friendly plant fibers that can be fully decomposed within six weeks in a home compost bin. Great for everything from mopping up spills to scrubbing a caked-on lasagna pan, these biodegradable sponge cloths work overtime in the kitchen.

Shop Now: Five Two Compostable Sponge Cloths, $49 for 10,

Dish Towels

Aunt Martha's Flour Sack Dish Towels
Courtesy of Amazon

For delicate dishes and glassware or anything you need in a hurry, use a soft dish towel to dry them carefully. We love this option from Aunt Martha (nope, not that Martha) because they're made from 100 percent cotton, are lint free, and can be thrown straight into the washing machine.

Shop Now: Aunt Martha's Flour Sack Dish Towels, $19.99 for seven,

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