12 Essential Products to Perfect Your Dishwashing Routine

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Today we’re hanging out in the kitchen, the kitchen sink to be exact, talking about my favorite products for washing dishes. This will be the first of many blogs where I blab at you about my all-time favorite Amazon products, and other brands that I use all the time. 

Today I’m going to be telling you all about my dishwashing tips. I’ll share my pick for the best dish soap and let you in on how to wash dishes fast with my products and techniques. Plus, is your dishwasher not getting dishes clean? I’ve got a dishwasher cleaning hack for you. 

I’ve made cleaning my business for over a decade, and I have some essential core values. The first one is I want to clean quickly and efficiently. That’s because I don’t actually like cleaning! That’s right, you heard it here, this professional cleaner doesn’t like cleaning. 

I like having my home and office and all my spaces clean with as little work and time put into cleaning as possible. And to do that, I rely on exceptional cleaning products that work for me. I like to use the term “work smarter, not harder.” And that’s what I look for from my cleaning products and the cleaning techniques that I use. 

A second significant value for me is eco-friendly cleaning. I want to use products that are committed to doing good for the environment and that are long-lasting. And that brings me to my last core value I’m going to discuss today, and that’s buy-for-life, quality forward products. I look for great quality products that I’m going to use for as long as possible.

And with that said, let’s get on with the show!

Dish Soap

Product: ATTITUDE Natural Dish Soap, Bulk Refill Format, 67.62 Fl Oz
Cost: $15.65 / Container
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Attitude Dish Soap

If you’ve been following Clean My Space for a while, you know how much I love dish soap. Yes, I’m aware of how weird that sounds, but it’s true. ATTITUDE Natural Dish Soap is packaged in bulk containers that use 68% less plastic than normal-sized dish soap, and it’s vegan and cruelty free! A great pick for the environment.

Plus, ATITUDE Natural Dish Soap is made from a plant and mineral-based formula free of parabens, formaldehyde, and other harmful chemicals. I have a three-and-a-half-year-old and a cat at home, so non-toxic, bare-bones cleaning products are really important to me. So, needless to say, ATTITUDE is my absolute go-to.

Soap Dispenser

Brand: simplehuman
Product: simplehuman Square Push Pump Soap Dispenser in Chrome, 22 Oz
Cost: $21.70 / Dispenser
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Dish soap dispenser with sponge

A soap dispenser is an important part of my kitchen because I buy dish soap in bulk. But even if you buy bottles of dish soap, a soap dispenser looks neater and more organized than plopping a bottle of dish soap by the sink.

I love simplehuman Square Push Pump Soap Dispenser because you can control the amount of soap that comes out! A gentle push dispenses a small amount of soap, or press the dispenser down further if you want more. Plus, this dispenser has a sponge caddy attached, making your dish-washing station neat and compact.


Brand: Scotch-Brite
Product: Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Advanced Soap Control Dishwand
Cost: $6.49 / Wand
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Scotch-Brite scrub wand

OK, now you know all about my favorite dish soap, let’s talk about how I use it. I am absolutely in love with these Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Advanced Soap Control Dishwands. They are guaranteed leakproof and it’s incredibly easy to change their heads. I have the non-scratch scrub head, which is blue. That’s Scotch-Brite’s love language, by the way, blue means non-scratch, and green means heavy duty for all their products. 

Cleaning the sink with the scotch-brite dish wand

I love these for scrubbing pots, pans, and dishes and for the sink, shower and tub. I have one in my bathroom as well as my kitchen. It’s cool because you can use the body of this dishwand with any of its heads so you can switch it up. This is really a buy once buy well product. You can pick it up and trust it will last for a long time, and you can use it for different capacities. 

Dish Gloves

Brand: Casabella
Product: Casabella Premium Waterblock Cleaning Gloves, 6 pairs
Cost: $6.67 / Pair
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I don’t know about you, but I like to wear dish gloves if I’m hand washing dishes so I can use hot water and protect my skin. Casabella Waterblock Cleaning Gloves are my favorite dish gloves because they’re comfortable and fit really well, which makes washing dishes easier. Plus they’re reusable so they’re better for the environment, and they don’t leak like cheap drugstore dish gloves.

Casabella Waterblock Gloves are made of latex, so they’re tough against hot water. Sometimes I pop them on for other household cleaning jobs, like if I’m cleaning with any chemicals. The long sleeves are a great addition because they protect my whole arm, not just my hands.

Non-Scratch Sponge

Brand: Scotch-Brite
Product: Scotch-Brite Scrub Dots Non-Scratch Sponge, 6 pack
Cost: $1 / Sponge
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Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Sponge

I’m going to talk about Scotch-Brite a lot today, but I am super excited about this sponge. Say you have a really dirty pan, maybe you just made a casserole or a lasagna. Even if you use a new sponge on it, you’ll probably have to chuck that sponge away because we all know it’s impossible to get dirty pan gunk off a regular sponge.

Scotch-Brite knows this too, and that’s why they created Scotch-Brite Scrub Dots Sponges. These are sponges with textured dots on one side. These dots are really scrubby but also non-abrasive, so they won’t scratch. You can use them on your dirtiest pots and pans, but when you go to rinse them, they will actually rinse clean. This is because the dots provide enough texture for all that guck to slide off when you rinse. 

Non-Scratching, Reusable Scrub

Brand: Skoy
Product: Skoy Scrub, Non-Scratching, Reusable Scrub, 4 pack
Cost: $1 / Sponge
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Skoy reusable scrub

If you’re looking for a product that lasts, this is it! Skoy Non-Scratching Reusable Scrubs are made from cotton and food grade non-toxic hardener so they last longer than traditional scrubs and they’re 100% safe to use on your dishes. And the materials are all sustainable. Skoy actually uses remnant fibers from the toweling industry that would have ended up in a landfill!

These scrubs are amazing on tough grease and food, and they’re safe for most surfaces including ceramic, glass, and even non-stick pans. And I have to say I love how colorful and cute they are.

Sponge Holder

Brand: OXO
Product: OXO Strong Hold Suction Sponge
Cost: $10.95 / Sponge
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Sponge holder

Every good sponge needs a sponge holder. Actually, even bad sponges need a sponge holder. Sponges are magnets for mold and bacteria if they sit wet in your sink. And no one wants to spread bacteria on their dishes!

A lot of sponge holders adhere to your sink with a sticky tab, leaving marks behind when you take them off. My favorite sponge holder is this Strong Hold Suction Sponge from OXO because it sticks to your sink with strong suction cups.

Sink Strainer & Stopper

Brand: OXO
Product: OXO Good Grips 2-in-1 Sink Strainer Stopper
Cost: $10.99 / Stopper
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Sink stopper and strainer

As someone who has had a clogged sink before, I can tell you a good sink strainer is really important. The Oxo 2-in-1 Sink Strainer is made with durable silicone and stainless steel, so it will fit into your sink and last a long time. Plus it’s BPA and PVC free, which is something I look for in all products that have contact with my dishes.

And what’s great about the OXO 2-in-1 Sink Strainer is that you can also use it as a plug to fill your sink with water. This is a great way to conserve water when you’re hand washing dishes. To turn the strainer into a stopper, you simply twist the middle tab and voila.

Waffle Weave Towel

Brand: Maker’s Clean
Product: Waffle Weave Cloth, 2 pack
Cost: $14.50 / Cloth
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When I’m finished hand washing dishes I always use a Maker’s Clean Waffle Weave Towel to dry them. Yes it is my product and yes I love it. And the Clean My Space community loves it too, it’s our most popular product. These towels are great for drying any surface (including glass) because the waffle weave doesn’t leave streaks behind.

The pockets in the weave texture make this towel super absorbent, but also help it to dry faster than a regular cotton towel. This means there’s no odor build-up, like in most regular dish towels. And Maker’s Clean Waffle Weave Towels are two feet by three feet, which might sound big, but we chose that size on purpose. If you’re drying a lot of dishes you don’t have to switch towels. You can use one absorbent Maker’s Clean Waffle Weave Towel to dry many dishes at once, and your towel will still dry quickly when you’re done.

Dishwasher Pods

Brand: Cascade
Product: Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods, 62 pods
Cost: $0.30 / Pod
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Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods

There’s nothing worse than taking dishes out of the dishwasher that still have food residue on them. It creates so much more work! Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods tackle super tough food residue. I’ve used Cascade Pods on dishes with tomato sauce and cheese hardened on the plate from the previous day, and they still do the job.

I’m always looking for the easiest and most eco-friendly way to get the dishes done, and this product is it. Cascade Pods work even without pre-rinsing and even in a quick-wash cycle. You can use less water and less heat and still get sparkling clean dishes. This is a product I call work smarter, not harder. 

Dishwasher Cleaner 

Brand: Affresh
Product: Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner, 6 tablets
Cost: $1 / Tablet
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Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner

Are you cleaning your dishwasher? Dishwashers should be cleaned every three months. I set a reminder for myself and when it’s that time I go for Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner. This is a Climate Pledge Friendly, which means Amazon has identified it as a product that supports sustainability and helps preserve our climate. Plus it’s super inexpensive. For $5.98, you get a six-pack, which gets you through a year and a half. 

All you need to do is chuck one tablet in your empty dishwasher once every three months and run it on a high heat cycle. Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner rinses all the build-up food residue out of your dishwasher which keeps your dishes rinsing clean. And bonus points because it requires no work, it’s climate-friendly, and it’s really cheap. What more could you ask for?

Water Bottle Scrubbing Brush

Brand: Hydro Flask
Product: Hydro Flask Water Bottle Scrubbing Brush
Cost: $22.81 / Brush
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Hydro Flask Water Bottle Scrubbing Brush

This is my last dishwashing tip for you today, but if you aren’t cleaning your water bottles regularly, you really should be. When you drink from your water bottle, all the dead skin cells, oil, food residue, and bacteria from your mouth get around the rim of your water bottle and into your water.

The Hydro Flask Water Bottle Scrubbing Brush can get all the way down to the bottom and clean the whole inside of the bottle. Just take a tiny bit of dish soap and apply it to the brush. Get the brush all the way down to the bottom and around the sides, and don’t forget the rim and lid.

How To Wash Dishes Fast

So we’re done with the kitchen sink and dishwasher. Now you know all my secrets and favorite products to get my dishes and dishwasher clean quickly and efficiently. Relying on great products means you can work smarter, not harder, you can buy for life, and you can support great companies that are contributing to the sustainability of our planet. 

If you’ve ever used these products before or decide to give them a try now, I would love to hear about them. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on amazon.com.

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. Hello Melissa,

    Currently, I am remodeling my kitchen in a 1600 sq ft 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath, walk through living room home and the 1/2 bath is on the main floor, front of the house (yes the window is on the porch.. lovly!). We extended the kitchen into the front room and giving the first floor a total makeover that has been long overdue. Because we are a military family, we have not had the convenience of doing one major project per year as we would like. Since my husband recently retired, we are doing everything at once. It’s both exciting and bananas. We never seem to be done even when I think we are because everything flowing into each other, it makes sence to do what has to be done while the contractor is here and not save money on labor and materials. Last night I decided to replace the toilet bowls in all my bathrooms to a smooth base and removeable seats for easy cleaning. I love your blogs and always looking for ways to make my life easier having 2 dogs, a teenageage and arthidus in my hands, back and knees and I cant forget my loving hubby who keeping telling me (stop cleaning when is good just enough.. lol). I look forward to reading and learning so much more.

    I would love your thoughts on how to organize the kitchen and huge 1/2 downstairs bathroom.. and more!

  2. Hello Melissa,
    You are just like me, I love scotch brite products. I’ve been using them since 1979, when I came to the USA. Love your blogs. Got your book. Which I also love. Thanks for all your tips. Wishing you and your family all the best.


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