I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

dirty dishes

I know what you're thinking. “Duh, Chelsea, I KNOW how to wash dishes.” It's something we're all faced with day in and day out. But if dishes are piling up as you avoid the grime and stuck-on food, you may be doing it wrong. This above used to be a rather typical scene in our house, with Nate and I battling it out to see who would cave to this tedious chore first.

dud dish

I thought I knew how to wash dishes well, until we moved into our new house. Suddenly, the whole routine changed. We inherited a halfway-functional dishwasher from the previous owners and I was totally baffled about how to merge my usual hand-washing routine with this semi-helpful machine (without just doubling my efforts!). “Dish duds,” like the ones above, were a common sight. Those of you with similarly old and outdated kitchen equipment can probably relate. So here's how I dealt with it by re-learning how to wash dishes…like a boss.

How to Wash Dishes

How to wash dishes like a BOSS

Divide and conquer: Put all the little stuff on one side (silverware and cups) and the larger stuff (plates and bowls) on the other side. Plug the drain. Pots and pans get to stay on the counter for soaking.

Soak it up: Add a couple squirts of dish soap to both sides of the sink and the insides of the pots and fill with the hottest water your faucet will produce.

Wait it out: Once your dishes are soaking, go do something else for half an hour. I suggest you get on that giant laundry pile that's probably accumulating in your bedroom.

Cascade Platinum

Rinse: If you don't have a dishwasher, this is where you get to rinse everything thoroughly by hand and set it in a rack to dry. If you DO have a dishwasher – even if it's just semi-functional like mine – this is where you enlist the help of the most awesome little power scrubber to do your dirty work. The key to maximizing your dishwasher's efficiency is using the right products. I used to use the standard dishwasher packets (the blue ones you see in the background) or regular dish detergent, and I'd find myself re-washing everything. That's when I realized that the key to how to wash dishes with minimal effort laid in the products used at this stage.

Cascade Platinum

I searched high and low for the best solution, and my favorite product for dishwashing is these Cascade Platinum Pacs. They have the power of Dawn to help fight grease, plus increased enzymes for better food cleaning and a surfactant to shine dishes AND clean the dishwasher itself. We discovered recently that our previous owners actually had the dishwasher set up improperly. The food waste attachment wasn't properly hooked in, so that all of the grime would flush right back into the dishwasher after cleaning – meaning that they were eating dishes coated in a thick film of grime water. Ewww! It also meant that our dishwasher was quite dirty on the inside and needed a really powerful cleaner like this to get it back into shape. With a newer dishwasher that hasn't had any of these dishes, the Cascade Platinum Pacs actually work efficiently enough to clean dishes without any pre-soak required! I've seen it in action over at Oma's house with her newer Whirlpool dishwasher and I am totally green with envy.

clean dishes!

Voila! Say goodbye to dish duds with your newfound knowledge on how to wash dishes the right way. I'm saving time now that I don't have to scrub all of my dishes to death BEFORE washing them in the dishwasher. With that extra time in my schedule, I can work a little more and save up for a new dishwasher! Thank God for simple product solutions.

Share your knowledge about how to wash dishes

Cascade has partnered with Top Chef judge Gail Simmons to talk about Platinum Presentation. Share your own sparkly dishes on Instagram for a chance to win a brand new Whirlpool dishwasher or an entire platinum kitchen makeover. And don't forget to visit the Cascade Facebook page for more inspiration!