No Dishwasher - No Problem

Reviewed by Eleese Cunningham, RDN
hand washing plates

Andrew J Shearer/iStock/Thinkstock

For some students, college offers new experiences like living in a dorm and preparing their own food. However, these new experiences may come with unique challenges, such as having to hand-wash your dishes.

Tips for College Students: The Dishwasher

You may not have a dishwasher when you make the move from home to college living. If you have to clean your dishes by hand, follow proper food safety practices to ensure your dishes are clean and safe to use.

  • Wash dishes/utensils in hot, soapy water (at least 140°F) and rinse well.
  • Dry well with a clean dish towel.
  • Make sure dishes aren't chipped because chipped dishes can collect bacteria.
  • Using a cutting board helps protect surfaces and prevents cross-contamination. To disinfect your cutting board, use a fresh solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Flood the surface with the bleach solution and allow it to stand for several minutes. Rinse with water and air dry or pat dry with clean paper towels.
  • It's also important to properly clean surfaces and food preparation areas to prevent cross-contamination, such as kitchen surfaces and the refrigerator.
  • Reusable cloth grocery totes are durable and eco-friendly, and great for grocery shopping. They are also great for carrying books to class and other items. However, be sure to clean totes properly as cross-contamination may occur. 

Find an Expert

Need serious help making a plan? The nutrition experts in our professional membership are ready to help you create the change to improve your life.

Search Now