How to Clean Dishes While Camping

How to Clean Dishes While Camping Dishes are one of those camp tasks that can go horribly wrong. Consider dirty dishwater splashing on ones clothes, pests feeding on bits of food, or bears being drawn to your campsite. Here are step-by-step instructions for doing dishes while car camping or group camping, so you can be a pro during your next trip.

How and where to Wash Dishes While Car Camping or with Your Family

If you’re car camping with a group of people or eating more complex meals, you’ll need to use this technique for washing dishes.

1. Ensure that the meals are just as clean as possible.

It is acceptable to lick ones dishes while camping. It greatly simplifies cleanup. Otherwise, throw away all food scraps.

2. Establish the sink station

Elevate the sinks to avoid hunching over. A picnic table is ideal for this purpose. Perhaps you’d prefer a foldable camp kitchen with such a built-in sink.

If there is a dishwashing station at the campground, use it. You don’t want to carry water basins all over camp if you don’t have to!

Set up your dishwashing station with the following items:

  • Put hot water and soap in the washing sink. You only have a small amount of soap.
  • Rinse the sink with hot water (no soap).
  • Basin or drying rack
  • Soap that is biodegradable

3. Scrub in the first sink

  • Dump the dirty dish into the first sink, which is filled with hot, soapy water.
  • To clean the dish, use a sponge.
  • Body slam in sink once more to remove food scraps.

4. Rinse in a separate sink

Dishes were rinsed in the second sink to remove any residual food particles and detergent.

5. Dishwashing

Place the clean dishes someplace where they can flow down dry, or ask someone to dry them with a cloth. Telescoping dish drying racks (such as this one) are also ideal for camping.

How to Wash The dishes in Large Groups When Camping

When camping with a large group, a more organised dishwashing setup is required. A good desktop machine and at least 3 drains are required. That’s how to set something that up and clean up.

1. Establish a dishwashing station

Set up your dishwashing station with the following items:

  • Fill the washing machine with hot, soapy water.
  • Fill the sink with hot water for rinsing (no soap)
  • Fill the second rinse sink with cold water and (optionally) bleach to disinfect.

*You aren’t using hot water, but will make removing oily residue from dishes much easier.

2. Seek assistance

Cleaning dishes for a large campers group will be easier if several people pitch in. Determine clearly what each person’s role will be (washing, rinsing or drying).

3. Create a strategy for draining the water.

When full, tent sinks are very heavy. It’s nearly impossible to transport them without getting soaked.

You’ll also most likely get splashed when depositing the heavy sink.

The best option is use camp sinks with drains. This enables you to drain the liquid into a bowl for easier transport or directly onto ground.

4. Scoop off food

 Make sure to scrape off more food as possible from the dishes. Dispose of food properly in the trash according to camp ground rules. Food scraps just on ground can attract critters to your campsite.

5. Do your dishes in the first sink.

  • #1 Dunk dish in the sink
  • Remove the dish from the water and scrub it with a sponge.
  • Dunk once more to remove any remaining food.

6. Rinse in a separate sink

To remove food and soap particles from the dish, rinse it in the rinse sink.

7. Rinse and disinfect again.

Now, place the food in the third sink, which is filled with cold water. To disinfect the dishes, add bleach to the water.

Dishwashing ratio of bleach to water: 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 gallon water (Source)

8. Dishes that are dry

Because liquid can deplete from the sides, a polycarbonate clothes hamper works well as a drying rack. Get creative to keep your campsite organised!

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