A Clean, Safe, Healthy Kitchen & Home: Cleaning Dishes, Pots & Pans

A clean kitchen includes clean dishes, pots, and pans. Clean dishes help keep your family healthy. Dirty dishes carry germs. Food is more appealing when it is served in clean dishes.

Clean dishes help keep your family healthy! Image courtesy of Pixabay

Clean dishes help keep your family healthy!
Image courtesy of Pixabay

To Have Clean Dishes, You Will Need These Supplies

  • Hot water
  • A pan to wash dishes
  • A Dish Drainer
  • Soap or detergent
  • Scouring powder
  • Scouring pad
  • Two clean cloths: one for washing and one for drying

Follow These Steps before Washing Dishes Either By Hand or By Dishwashing Machine

  • Cover leftover food and put it in the refrigerator.
  • Scrape dishes. Throw scraps into the garbage so they won’t get in the dishwater.
  • Wipe greasy pans with a paper towel before you soak or wash them.
  • Soak greasy and sugary pans with hot water. Do this as soon as they are empty.

When the pans are soaked, rinse them with warm water and put them in the dishwashing machine for the final wash. Make sure your dishwashing machine is set on hot washing, rinsing, and drying cycle to complete the cleaning.

Wash Dishes By Hand

  • Fill a dishpan or sink with very warm, soapy water.
  • Use clean dishcloths for washing.
  • Wash glasses inside and out.
  • Wash forks and spoons.
  • Wash and rinse sharp knives one at a time. Hold a knife by the handle to wash and rinse.
  • Wash all other dishes, pots, and pans.
  • For tough stains, use scouring powder or a scouring pad.
  • Rinse all items with hot water. Hot water will kill germs.
  • Let dishes air-dry or dry them with a clean cloth.
  • Put dishes away.


  • Wash countertop, faucets, range, and tabletop.
  • Empty sink or dishpan. Do not throw dishwater into the yard. It draws flies and other insects.
  • Clean the sink with scouring powder. Remove stains with All-Purpose Cleaner (Recipe for Healthy Home)
  • Wash and rinse the dishcloth and hang it to dry.
  • Sweep kitchen floor and around eating table.
  • Empty garbage can at least once a day.

Recipe for a Healthy Home

All-purpose Cleaner I for Surfaces 4-tablespoon baking soda

1-quart warm water

Dissolve baking soda in warm water. Apply with sponge. Rinse with clear water
All-purpose Cleaner II for surfaces 1-tablespoon ammonia

1-tablespoon liquid detergent 1-pint (2 cups) water

Mix ingredients and put in spray bottle. Spray on area to be cleaned. Wipe. Rinse with clear water.
All -purpose Cleanser for Stain Apply baking soda to damp cloth or sponge. Scrub soil or stain. Rinse with clear water.
Chrome and Stainless-Steel Cleaner Dip soft cloth in undiluted white vinegar. Wipe surface.
Oven Cleaner I Soak a cloth or sponge with ammonia. * Lay over soiled areas. Let soak for 30 minutes or overnight, depending on the amount of soil. Wipe with cloth dampened with clean water. Rinse cloth and repeat wiping until all soil is removed. If soil remains, sprinkle baking soda on the soil and rub with very fine steel wool or a steel wool pad. Wipe off soil and rinse with clean water. Dry with clean cloth.
Oven Cleaner II While oven is still warm, sprinkle water on the soiled area, then sprinkle with salt. When oven cools down, scrape away the soil and wash the area with clean water. Dry with clean cloth.
*Ammonia and chlorine bleach are toxic ingredients. Do not mix chlorine bleach with vinegar, toilet bowl cleaners, or ammonia. Handle all household chemicals with care and store safely.


  1. Information for the ‘Clean, Safe, Healthy Kitchen and Home’ factsheets were adopted from:
  2. ‘A Clean, Safe, Healthy Home’ curriculum developed by Clemson University Faculty and Staff, 1994.
  3. Additional information was adopted from:
  4. South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control, office of External Affairs.

Originally published 03/21

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at or 1-888-656-9988.

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