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Can You Wash Dishes With Cold Water?

Can You Wash Dishes With Cold Water?

If you forgot to pay the gas bill, or your sink is broken, then you may not have hot water to wash dishes. Even though the hot water doesn’t work, cold water still flows. Can you wash dishes with cold water?

You can wash dishes with cold water, but it’s best to soak the dishes in cold soapy water before washing them with the sponge. It will take longer for the soap to kill the germs on the dishes, but washing dishes with cold water is as effective as washing dishes with hot water.

Read on to learn more about how you can effectively wash dishes with cold water.

Is It Okay to Wash Dishes in Cold Water?

We may not be used to washing our dishes in cold water, but as long as the dishes soak in the cold soapy water, they will be as clean as they would be if they were washed in hot water.

But hot water is better at loosening dried-on food bits and melting sticky substances off plates and utensils. If you have to go three or four days without hot water, use a paper towel to wipe away any food bits or grease on any cookware or dishware you use.

Also, it would be better to wash your dishware and cookware when you are finished cooking or eating.

Does It Matter If You Wash Dishes with Cold or Hot Water?

The fundamental difference between washing dishes in hot water versus washing dishes in cold water is the time it takes to kill the germs and dissolve grease.

If you use hot water and soap, you can wash the dishes quickly and you never have to wait and soak dishes. You can simply place dish soap on a sponge, place the dish under hot water, and wash each dish by hand.

But if you’re using cold water to wash dishes, then you should allow these dishes to soak in cold soapy water. Also, the greasier or dirtier the dishwasher or cookware, the more difficult it will be to clean it in cold water.

Do You Need Hot Water to Wash Dishes?

You need hot water to wash certain types of dishes, especially greasy dishes. Dishes, pots, and pans that are covered in grease and oil are far easier to clean if you use hot water.

If there is only cold water to wash greasy dishes, wipe the grease away as best you can before washing it. Then, let the dishes soak in soapy cold water.

Do You Need Hot Water to Wash Dishes

You may have to rinse the greasy dish several times and scrub it longer than you would if you were using hot water.

We use hot water because we know it’s more effective at killing bacteria and germs than cold water. The perfect combination is hot water and soap. But if you only have cold water, you can still kill those germs and yet your dishes squeaky clean.

Can I Get Hot Water From Somewhere Else?

If there’s no hot water coming out of your sink faucet and you have a sink full of dishes to wash, there are ways to acquire hot water so you can properly clean the dishes.

Get Hot Water From the Bathroom Sink or Bathtub

If the hot water is coming out of every other faucet except your kitchen sink faucet, transfer hot water from somewhere else to the kitchen sink. Fill a bucket or pot of hot water from the bathtub or from the bathroom sink and pour it into the kitchen sink.

Do not wash your dishes in the bathroom sink or the bathtub, as the drains are not designed to handle food pieces and grease.

Heat Water in a Pot

The number one way to get hot water to wash the dishes is to boil a potful of hot water on the stove. Even if the pot is dirty, it is perfectly fine to boil water in the dirty pot, since you are not using the pot to make food.

Fill the largest pot you have with water. Place it on the stove burner and set the flame to the highest setting. While the water is boiling, plug up the sink so that the water cannot escape. You should have a drain stopper somewhere around the sink or underneath in the sink cabinet.

If you don’t have a drain stopper, place a plastic bag or saran wrap or foil into the drain so to plug the drain and prevent the water from leaking. It won’t be perfectly plugged, so the water will slowly drain out. However, this will give you some time where the dishes can soak in the hot water.

Another way to plug the drain so that the water does not escape is to place a plate on top of the drain and then place something heavy on top of the plate.

For example, fill a pitcher with water and then place the pitcher on the plate that is covering the drain.

The reason you need the pitcher of water on top of the plate is that when the water level reaches a certain height in the sink, the plate will float and it will no longer prevent the water from escaping down the drain.

Conclusion to Washing Dishes With Cold Water

If you do not have hot water to wash your dishes, then gently place soap and brush each dish, cup, and piece of cutlery with soap. Let the soap sit on the dishes for a few minutes. Another way to get hot water to wash the dishes is to heat water on the stove in a pot.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.