How to Organize and Clean Kids’ Dishware (to Avoid Illness and Injury)
Is it your dream to have a magazine-ready kitchen with everything exactly where it needs to be for convenience and function?
If you’re a parent, we completely understand your need to stay organized. Just think about how often your children use sippy cups, small bowls, plates, and utensils. If you let it all pile up in the sink, you’d be completely overwhelmed, and that’s the last thing you want with everything else going on in your life at the moment.
No need to worry! Our team at Merry Maids® is here to help you organize and thoroughly sanitize your children’s dishes to keep them safe.
How to Organize Children’s Dishware
Clean Out the Clutter
First things first, it’s time to look at your collection of old cups and glasses that may be better suited in a different area or with a new home. After all, it’ll be impossible to organize your children’s dishes if you’re still holding on to things you and your partner barely use. Get the entire family involved and divide and conquer your kitchen cabinets to finish the task faster. Make sure to group cups and dishes in a pile to keep track of items to throw away or give away.
Create a System and Stick with It
Whether you prefer your kid’s dishes to be organized by color, size, or both, it’s important to have a system in place to reduce clutter and keep everything organized. When creating your organizational strategy, you’ll want to consider your children’s ages and how frequently they use certain items. For instance, if you have an infant still using a bottle, having all bottles easily accessible in the cabinet will make life simpler for everyone.
A system that may keep things in your cabinet tidy and help your children learn to keep dishware organized is to give each child their own shelf in the cupboard. You may even want to physically label the shelves with your children’s names so that everyone knows specifically where their dishes go.
Avoid Storage Containers
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to organize your children’s sippy cups, bottles, tiny cutlery, and dishware. If you don’t have a lot of room in your cabinets, storage containers can be an option to help declutter your kitchen shelves; however, you’ll want to avoid doing this with frequently used dishware. No one wants (or has time) to sift through a bin of bottles or sippy cups to find what they need.
How to Properly Disinfect Children’s Dishware
Use Hot Water
The truth is nasty microbes are everywhere and can live on hard surfaces, including your children’s dishes. We have several resources to combat these harmful germs; one of them is hot water. But does hot water kill bacteria? The short answer is yes and no. Hot water alone can’t kill all of the harmful bacteria that can thrive on your children’s dishes. However, it is the perfect disinfecting companion (when matched with dish soap) to get kids’ cutlery and dishware properly cleaned.
Avoid Excessive Dishwasher Use
Don’t get us wrong. We think dishwashers are amazing inventions that help you save time when completing housework. However, heavy reliance on automatic cleaning appliances can damage your children’s dishware and bottles and even create places for germs to hide. While some dishwashers do have a “sanitize” setting on them, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and handwash with a clean sponge to get all the nooks and cranks your dishwasher may miss.
Create a DIY Disinfectant/Dish Soap
You don’t always have to depend on harsh chemicals to ensure your kid’s dishes are sanitary. You can easily make a DIY disinfectant that’s both safe and effective in removing bacteria on dishes.
Some items you’ll need for your homemade dish soap include:
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup Castile soap
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 3-5 drops essential oil (lavender, eucalyptus, or lemon work great)
- Old dish detergent bottle
Once you’ve collected all your ingredients, follow these instructions:
- You’ll first want to cut your bar of soap into chunks so you can grate it with a box grater or your blender.
- Add the water and grated soap into a saucepan to melt on low heat. You don’t want this mixture to come to a boil or to burn it.
- After the mixture is melted, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes, and then mix in your white vinegar.
- Add a few drops of essential oil and let the mixture completely cool for about 30-45 minutes before pouring it into an old dish soap bottle for use later.
Now you have a gentle yet powerful dish soap to clean your kids’ dishware and sippy cups.
Our team members love helping you declutter and organize your home to make it more cohesive and functional for your entire family. If you’re ready to let us support your organizational efforts, find a Merry Maids location today!