Single Bowl Sinks and Hand Washables

laughablemomentsFebruary 5, 2013

I've read through so many threads of people who adore there single bowl sinks. And it sounds great. But....

What about all those hand washable items that I'd normally drain off to the side in my second bowl? Knives, more delicate dishes, oversized items, baking goodies, airbake cookie sheets, cast iron pans (actually, I usually dry these right away, but thought I'd throw them into my handwashing list anyway.)

We're planning to go to 2 DW's and I'm trying to figure out which is best for our family, a double sink, or a single.

FWIW, I'm planning a 24"ish prep sink in the island that can also be used for washing oversized items. We already own a super single (never installed) as well as a double that could be used again (excellent ss patina), so it's not a cost factor playing into this decision. The cleanup sink is in a 7' run of counter.

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I've been really curious about that, too, and was wondering if it's just that many families put everything in the dishwasher?

I handwash all of the same things that you do, plus a lot of plastic items for my kids that I don't want to run through the dishwasher. Both sides of my sink are used several times a day!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 11:11PM
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We handwash a huge amount, but just do it in the single bowl. We have a sink rack, which helps. But we basically just wash the item, rinse, and move to the dish rack or the bottle rack for kid items...I much prefer the big single sink for things like cookie sheets and cutting boards, since I can lay them flat for scrubbing. We don't do the fill-sink-full-of-water-and-wash style of dishwashing, though, so I can see how you might want two bowls if you prefer that. We got our first dishwasher with this remodel so I'm still getting the hang of what you can realistically put in there and what has to be handwashed, and we err on the side of handwashing right now, but hoping to start putting more things in!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 11:39PM
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Right now I'm hand washing everthing (DW broken) in a single basin. Fill part way with soapy water. It fills up as you rinse. Then I put things on a towel on the side of the sink. Items are only there for a minute or two and then are dried and put away.

With a good DW you can put anything in there that is DW safe which is most items.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:18AM
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I handwash the exact items that you do and I love my Silgranite 1 3/4 low divide for that very reason. The small bowl is the "clean" bowl and if you get caught putting something dirty in there you need to drop and give me 10 pushups and then of course clean whatever you dirtied!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:29AM
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I also hand wash a lot of items just like you do. I use a drying rack on the counter. I actually like that all those oversized items that don't fit properly in the DW do fit down in my sink to soak if need be, or just because in my old 2 bowl I found myself splashing water everywhere with those big things. My sink isn't huge by GW standards at 27" interior. But, if I wanted to I could easily use a plastic basin and have held on to an old in-sink draining rack that I could use if I preferred that. It would make things tight, but the sink would still be usable.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:07AM
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I've never used a DW; I wash everything "by hand". I have also always used a single bowl sink, so this question puzzles me.

If I am washing a lot of dishes I sometimes use two plastic dishpans, but mostly I use one of the larger vessels (bowl, pasta pot, etc.) to contain soapy water then rinse each item under light stream of pure hot water into the vessel. Some things are just soaked for a bit(frying pan) before washing. Sterling flatware is briefly immersed in very hot water, then brushed with a soapy brush, then thoroughly rinsed in 140 F water and then stuck in basket to air dry while I finish rest of dishes. Knives are washed by and rinsed and stuck into slots of knife rack, not dried.

For dishes, glasses mixing bowls, utensils, pyrex measurers, and pots and pans they are stacked into a drainer on the counter beside the sink. My final rinse water is very hot so stuff (except in really humid weeks of the summer) air dries very fast. I use dishwashing gloves so my hands can take the heat.

I don't towel-dry many things: the flatware is rubbed as it is stowed; lead crystal glassware is polished before being put away, but ordinary drinking glasses are not. I use bone china for every day meals and I never hand dry it. I do hand dry my "best" dishes, mostly because I like to get it safely stowed away as soon as I've finished washing it.

Single bowls are the best for hand washing, especially big ones where you can lay things down without crowding.



    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:28AM
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Where do you get the dishwashing gloves that protect your hands from the heat?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:59AM
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Cool. My double-sink method is using one side of my double sink for holding hot soapy water (and soaking, if needed), and other side for rinsing with cold water. Any kitchen equipment that doesn't fit into one of the sink sides would be items that I only use a few times a year, so I don't really worry about that.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:02AM
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Re gloves:

Bed, Bath and Beyond - the thicker blue (occcasionally other colors) ones that they sell are great. Our DHW is set for 140F and I am completely comfortable with pure hot water straight from the tap, if I have the gloves on. The thinner pink or yellow latex Rubermaid ones from the grocery store don't do the trick. The blues are pricey, though, maybe 6 or 7 bucks a pair??? Be sure to try them on as the fit is a little different and they aren't as stretchy as Rubbermaid. They are tough as nails, too.



    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:43AM
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Similarly to Liriodendron, I often wash in a large bowl or pot in my single sink. I then rinse and set items on my Oxo silicone drying mat.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oxo drying mat

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:47AM
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Ditto liriodendron and mabeldingeldine. I usually have a large pot each meal, and put small things like knives or really sticky measuring cups in that. They soak in hot soapy water while I put the rest of the dishes in the DW, then I rinse the soaked/soapy dishes under hot water and put them aside on the drying mat next to the sink. When I am done with that washing, I dry everything so I can put it all away fairly quickly. I would do the crystal after that, I guess. With DH helping, it goes pretty fast. It sounds involved but isn't!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:17AM
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We use an over the sink strainer to put knives, pans, etc. after handwashing. If there's too much to fit in the strainer, the overflow goes on a dishtowel placed on the counter. That doesn't happen often.

Here is a link that might be useful: oversink strainer

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 4:52PM
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My typical set up: With a double sink, one side would be a washing side with soap and rinse (and a disposal in that drain!), and the second would have a dish drainer so things can drip-dry and I still have counter space for other things. I like this the best, and never really had a conflict with it and washing produce 'cause I'm a clean sink freak.

Single sink or with no separate space for a dish drainer means moving the drainer to the counter. I finally found a drainer from Kitchenaid with an appropriate slope down to the sink-- other mats or protectors just led to puddles.

I really dislike hand-drying things, so much that I'm willing to give up 2 sq feet of counter space to not to!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 5:35PM
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Thank you for your feedback everyone. The Oxo silicone mat is very interesting. I actually like the idea of putting next to my stove, in case we don't put in heat-proof counters there.

We drip dry a lot of items. Currently, along with our single DW filled and humming along merrily, we will have 2 drying racks full of items drip drying after dinner. 1 sits in 1/2 of the double bowl sink, the other is on a microfiber mat up on the counter. In addition, a few of the larger pans are drip drying at a separate sink location which happens to be an old enamel sink with runnels.

So. I think my dilemma is to figure out where/how much drip dry space we will really need once we have 2 DWs servicing our family of 9. With only 7' of cleanup counter, 33" of it taken up by the sink, there isn't a whole lot of room for drying racks. Hmph. I really can't figure out which sink is the better option. ??

Pros of the super single:
-Holds a ton of dirty dishes before they go in DW.
-Fits extra large items that need to be washed (but so will the island prep sink...)

Cons of the Super single:
-Must have drain rack up on counter for handwashables, or stick a small rack in a bin, which might float around as we attempt to wash in the single sink (or get one of those wire thingies that stuff will invariably go under.)

Pros of double:
-Small drain rack can live right in 1/2 of sink.
-Drip-dry dishes sit down "in the hole" rather than up on the counter.
-More counter space for dirty dishes to be stacked on since drainer is "in the hole". (or is this a -?)

Cons of double:
-splash of water/guck from 1/2 of sink onto drip-drying dishes.
-smaller space to handwash in.
-oversized items don't fit.

Love the "drop and give me 10" idea! : ) OT, but similarly, we've started collecting stray items that aren't picked up at cleanup time. We call it a "Lyin' Hunt". Whatever toys, etc. laying around get picked up by mom or dad and bagged for a few weeks. Then the DC that left things around get a chance to buy back what was left out. This week they were 25 cents per item. The children have been forewarned that there will be a price increase next time. All monies collected will be donated to a charity of the family's choosing. Our house has been staying much neater. Whoo-hoo. (I can't lay claim to this idea, my d-mil did this with her children. That's why DH is so much neater than I am!)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:04PM
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Wow with a family of 9 of course you will be hand washing more things than the average family and definitely will benefit from a 2nd DW. I also hate the stacks of hand-washed items on our countertop- we currently have a large single bowl sink. I am switching to the Blanco silgranite cascade 1 3/4 bowl in my new kitchen for this very reason. I wash as I go when preparing dinner and will be able to leave these items in small bowl to dry . It also can be used as a colander for washing fruits and veggies. My d-mil always reminds me that it is more sanitary to air dry your hand washed items then to take a dishtowel to them and dry them, not sure if this is accurate. However, I do love to dry and put away if possible as I go. Check out the sink I mentioned, it is large enough for large pans but has the extra small bowl. Goodbye drying rack :) Now drop and give me 10!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 8:23AM
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I'll check it out Laura, thanks for mentioning it.

I tried to show my ds how to do pushups this morning. Ugh. It's been a long time. The only way I could do 10 is if I did sissy knee pushups, LOL.

This post was edited by laughable on Thu, Feb 7, 13 at 8:28

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 8:27AM
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