(BPT) - With summer in full swing, backyards are the ultimate oasis for warm-weather traditions like grilling or enjoying frozen treats and ice-cold drinks on the patio. And after months distanced from friends, family and colleagues at home, the need to physically distance from chores and get outside is at an all-time high. Try these five tips to conquer kitchen cleanup, spend less time indoors and more time enjoying the summer sun:
1. Plan ahead, with simplicity in mind
Making a delicious meal doesn’t mean having to use every utensil and dish in your kitchen. Plan and prep ahead to avoid a last-minute scramble or unnecessary use of dishes. Experiment with sheet-pan and one-pot meals, line baking sheets with parchment paper, or grill meals in foil packets for quicker cleanup.
2. Clean as you go
In true summer fashion, many meals include easy-to-make staples like hot dogs and watermelon. For days when the menu is more complex, take a tip from the pro chefs and keep workstations clean. Clearing counters as you cook saves time later and provides more space for prepping, plating, and presenting. Keep a trash can and wet washcloth nearby to quickly wipe surfaces and move on to the next step.
Before serving the meal, load dirty prep items into the dishwasher, leveraging its features to maximize space for fewer loads. Bosch dishwashers have a loading solution for nearly every gadget — from plastic ice pop trays and wine glasses to silicone straws — thanks to a third rack that accommodates tough-to-place items like grilling tools, and an adjustable middle rack that makes room for large serving platters and sheet pans below.
3. Skip pre-rinsing, washing and sanitizing dishes by hand
Feeling wishy-washy about doing the dishes by hand? Despite popular belief, hand washing actually uses about 27 gallons of water per load on average, while an energy-efficient dishwasher uses three to six. And, after scraping excess food off your plate, skip the pre-rinse before loading — food particles give dishwasher detergent something to stick to!
Proper sanitization is also tough to achieve when washing by hand since the water needs to exceed at least 140 degrees to kill bacteria. The great news? Normal cycles on most dishwashers meet this requirement and sanitize functions often reach far beyond this temperature.
4. Save towels for hands, not dishes
Ninety percent of Americans unnecessarily use a manual drying step after their dishwasher cycle is complete. It’s time to say goodbye to hand-drying dishes! Bosch dishwashers with CrystalDry ensure dishes emerge as perfectly dry as they are clean, using a naturally occurring mineral that transforms moisture into heat up to 176 degrees. This added layer of heat delivers drier dishes, even plastics, so items are ready to be put away once the cycle is complete.
5. Get smart and stay connected
Smart appliances help automate the mundane, making it easier to tackle chores. Master doing the dishes using a dishwasher equipped with the Home Connect, which enables users to start a cycle remotely, monitor its progress and receive updates, all from the convenience of a smart device. In addition, avoid trips to the store for dishwasher detergent, thanks to partners that can automatically reorder detergent tabs when running low.