Date: 27 August 2018. Washing Dishes
and Saving Water.
Decades ago I was the Galley Slave
because Mother said it made her seasick to wash dishes. As the stove
was down below I rather doubt her words. Basically she hated washing
dishes so it was my job. The important part was that I not waste
water. The method used way back then works well today aboard
Seaweed. Here's how I do it.
This is the galley
↓ of the 40'er I grew up aboard.
I washed a lot of dishes in that sink.
The drain of our galley sink went straight
down. I dropped a knife down and it disappeared. Because I could not
believe it to be truly straight I dropped a second one. Guess who
had to go swimming to retrieve the pair of knives?
One way to use less water is to utilize a bowl. Add your soap to the
bottom of the bowl.
The bowl I use is clean. I have nuked spaghetti sauce
in it. The container is permanently stained.
Add water to accommodate the quantity of dishes that need washing.
Because I didn't have a lot of dishes to wash I added
a half inch of water to my bowl.
Advice for the fellows: Add less water than you think
you'll need. If you're wrong you can always add a bit more soap and
water to your wash bowl.
Many fill a larger container with soapy water and
soak the dishes first. That works fine for folks with unlimited
water. Out here though, less is more. The less water you waste the
longer you can remain in that wonderful remote anchorage far from
Still water makes for a perfect
reflection of my Seaweed.
I use a scrub sponge made by
Scotch-Brite. Be particular. You want the name brand this time.
I cut the sponges into thirds using
scissors. DO NOT DO AS I DID!
For most folks cutting the sponge in half would be a better choice.
My hands are small and I am used to the smaller sponge size.
The sponge absorbs soap and water. The larger the sponge, the more
water is soaked up by that sponge. Use a smaller sponge and you'll
use less water.
Also, with these sponges, you need
to set them on the green side when you're done. Water will drain
through better. Ladies know that when our sponges get icky there are
solutions. To sanitize a sponge, get it damp then nuke it for one
minute in the microwave. Wait before handling the sponge as it will
be Very Hot.
I soap up everything, setting the clean items in the
bottom of the sink as I wash them.
When I have food stuck on
something I wash that item first. Then I put it at the bottom of my
to-be-washed stack. By the time I've finished cleaning the rest of
the dishes the stuck-on bit generally has loosened enough to be
removed. I might scrape of the icky bits with a knife if the green
side of the sponge doesn't get it off.
Rinsing is done with my pressure water system. I turn on the water
tap, but not at full blast.
in the Galley
Aboard Seaweed I do have a fresh water Whale
hand-pump by my galley sink. The problem is the dang thing
leaks like a sieve. The rebuild kit for my Whale brand
hand-pump is outrageously expensive.
Thus I went to Amazon and
found a Valterra Hand Pump for $30. I want one. Actually I
want three. Two for salt water and one for fresh.
Valterra RP800 Chrome Rocket
a hand pump seems like an ideal way to save water. I did not
find that to be true. My hand pump puts out so much more water
than the spigot that it ended up costing me water.
The goal is to eventually have both fresh and salt water hand pumps at the galley sink and a
fresh water one down below in my head. The salt water in the
galley would be to rinse off food before washing the dishes.
need to know: When you install a hand
pump into your pressure water system you MUST also use a
one-way check valve inline. Otherwise nothing will work.
You may wonder why I have a hand pump that leaks in
my galley. It only leaks when I am pumping the handle.
Most of the time I use the hand
pump rather than have the pressure system powered. I only turn on
the water pump breaker when I'm taking a shower or washing dishes.
Should my pressure
pump ever fail I still can get water out of my tank by using the
hand pump. Also, if I have a power crisis I will be able to access
my fresh water. This is a matter of safety for me.
After washing dishes I fill several containers
with water. The water is ready for tea time.
A beautiful Vera Bradley towel that had been a seat
cover at the dinette has a third life in my sink as a drainer.
I do not have room for a real dish drain. Instead I cut up an
old towel. One piece sits in the bottom of the sink. It cushions the
dishes and allows them to drain/dry in the sink. For me this is
For me using a small bowl with soapy water makes dish washing a
quick and easy chore. I can wash a whole sink full of dishes with AT
MOST one cup of soapy water. Rinsing does take more water. Those
that have sprayers as part of their faucet set-up could probably use
even less water than I.
As an aside I did try putting water into a spray bottle and using it
to spritz off the soap. That was labor intensive. Pumping the bottle
handle multiple times for a sink full of dishes was a hassle.
I have too many fun things to do
to waste my time spritzing soap off of dishes I've washed. For
instance, there are sunsets to enjoy.
That is life aboard Seaweed. It's a
Thank you for reading.
Do you have any other recommendations for a hand pump
And, have you found any other ways of saving water in the galley?
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