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I wanted to write a post concerning doing dishes in an RV. Obviously most folks know that there aren’t typically dishwashers in RV’s, especially the older models. That’s not to say you can’t install one if you so desire. I have seen them mostly in Class A’s, and more pricey ones at that. Only recently did I see a 5th wheel model that had one in the kitchen island. I was pretty impressed with that. Anyway I wanted to discuss some do’s and don’ts when it comes to doing dishes in your RV.
1. No grease – You don’t want to pour any grease down your drains. Either of them. And for those of you thinking, like my husband did, that you can just pour them in your black tank you need to have your head checked out. I’m sure your probably thinking “he poured cooking grease down your black tank!” But I am dead serious! I thought some things were common knowledge. Guess not. Now please don’t get me wrong. I love my husband dearly and when I talk about these stories its all in good humor and a little for educational purposes lol
So about a year after having the RV my husband made something to eat in the kitchen. He left the cookware on the stove. I remember it being something greasy. I thought to myself I’ll let it cool down then I will wipe it out with a paper towel and toss it. So I asked my husband later if he had cleaned up his mess. Jokingly of course. He said “um yes” then proceeded to head toward the kitchen from our bedroom. After a few minutes I decided to get a drink and came out. What did I see? My husband standing over the back bathroom toilet pouring the grease from the pan into the toilet! I swear it’s so freaking true! I immediately began to scream “NOOOOO”. He looked at me like I was crazy. I started freaking out of course and he couldn’t figure out why. I’m running around fussing at him while trying to figure out the best way to immediately clean up his mistake. I was yelling at him “do you pour grease down your toilet in a house!” Mumbling curse words under my breath the whole time. We have built-in tank spray cleaners in our rig both in the back and the front black tanks. I got all the hoses set up and started them running. I also dumped the black tank. I ran the spray for I dunno how long, then I cleaned out the sewer hose with soap. Hoping I had gotten everything cleaned up in the tank, since it didn’t get to sit very long, I came back inside. I forgot to mention it was raining at this time too! I didn’t speak to my husband all the rest of the day! And I even recall him sleeping in the bunk house that night!
So lesson one! Don’t put anything down the grey or black tanks except water and your personal bathroom business. Yes tp is OK too!
You can always get one of THESE from Amazon if you want somewhere to pour your grease into. I have used old cans from like my canned beans or something like that. I keep the top too! Then I just put it all in a plastic zip lock baggie when its full and toss it in the garbage. But like I said before I also wait until the grease it cool and then I wipe out the pan with paper towels. Yes I do hate the waste the paper towels create but there aren’t many options when you live in an RV. So any way you want to do it as long as it’s not down the drains or into the tanks!
2. Drain strainer – Get a proper drain strainer. We got one from OXO. You can find them on Amazon. I really love this brand and especially this product because it can flip inside out so you can dump what accumulates into the trash without digging it out. Makes it really easy to clean out unlike those metal sink strainers. I had that once and it was a pain to keep clean.
3. Brushes & Sponges – Get a good hand scrub brush and sponge. I LOVE these hand sponges. They are reusable so they don’t create waste, and although they say it only cleans with water I still use my natural dish soap with them. I also love them because I can clean them once a week (or however often you prefer) by just tossing in the laundry. I have two of them on hand so when one is being cleaned I have an extra. I tried to find the hand brush I use but I couldn’t find anything anywhere that even resembled it. We got it years ago when we were shopping for supplies for the rig. I got it at the Camping World store in Nashville and although I checked online they don’t seem to carry it anymore. And nothing like it apparently is made. But here is a photo. So good luck if you can find a similar one. The reason I wanted to try to find this one is because I love it for several reasons. One, I have very small hands so this doesn’t have a long handle that makes it hard to hold. Two it has this little scraper end I use to scrap stuff off plates and pans. I love that it’s built-in and I can just flip it over to use it. I did find THIS one however which is similar in size. I prefer to not have to fill up a little soap dispenser in the handle part but I guess for some that would be a benefit. And it’s the OXO brand which I love. So although I don’t have this particular one I recommend it just cause I have other products of theirs.
Update: I recently decided this brush is probably full of nasty stuff from all the years of use. So I went to the store and picked up this one. It has changeable heads on it so I plan on every few months changing it out. It’s made by the Dawn dish soap company. I got mine at my local grocery store.
4. Organizer basket – The next thing I have in my kitchen is THIS little basket I attached to the sink. It is a plastic sink and I used screws to install it (I put them through the suction cups) but I also put sealant on the screws when I put them in the holes to prevent leaks. You don’t have to do that obviously. But the suction cups just weren’t working very well. It’s small and is perfect to hold my brush and sponge. (not my sink pictured, just example of the sink org basket)
5. Dish rack – As I have shown in my Ikea post I have several items from there that help with doing dishes. The first one is my folding wall mounted dish rack. I love this thing! It works so great as you can see above. I have it attached to the Grundal rail. Then I have THIS I actually got from Camping World although they do have THIS one at Ikea which would work just the same. The one I got from Camping World I spray painted to match the kitchen accessories and then drilled two holes in it, then screwed it into the wall. The brown over the sink drainer is something I found at Goodwill. I picked it up thinking I would keep it on the counter. I had previously used a counter top dish mat but it would get all nasty and smelly underneath when it sat on the counter for long periods of time. I did have the sink cover over the right side using that mat for a while but when it didn’t work out I picked this up. It fit perfectly over my right side of the sink. I spray painted it oil rubbed bronze and sprayed a water proof coating on top. It’s held up fantastically.
6. Dish mat – So now what I do with the mat is if I have a lot of spare dishes that cover the wall rack and the one over the sink, or I have big items like my large pot, I put the mini dish mat over the stove top. That way it has air coming underneath it instead of it sitting against the counter top. HERE is a similar one you can buy on Walmart online. We just happened upon the smaller sized one when shopping one day.
What does your setup look like when it comes to dish washing time? I’ll leave you with a little joke. Ever heard someone ask “you don’t have a dishwasher in your RV? and they answer, yes I do, his/her name is…..” lol