When you’re heading camping, to the beach, or on vacation, you want convenience. You also want to eat off clean dishes. Packing a bottle of dish soap when you travel anywhere is a hazard because it could spill, leaving you with a mess and a lack of necessary suds. (You could try the plastic wrap hack here, but even that is tedious and doesn’t eliminate the need for a bulky bottle in your scant storage space.) Instead, your best option is pre-making some soapy washers.
Pick up the following items on your pre-trip errands:
- Dish soap
- Sandwich bags
- Paper towels or cloths
You have two options to create dish-washing pads to-go. The first involves the humble paper towel or, more sustainably, a rag. Grab one and cut it into squares, then drizzle dish soap over them and let them dry. Stuff them into a sandwich bag; when you need it, take one out, wet it, and you’ll have a soapy little wipe with which to clean your plates or other surfaces.
For a more heavy-duty option, do the same thing with a sponge. Cut it into squares and soak them in dish soap for a while. When they dry, transfer them to a plastic baggie and you’ll have on-demand suds and scrubbing power when you need it, which is great for any greasy or hearty food messes you create while enjoying the great outdoors.
Be sure to also pack a few regular paper towels or a microfiber cloth for drying afterward, lest you have to stash wet dishes on the go. If you’re heading somewhere remote or don’t have a camper, make sure you pack enough water, too. In addition to the water you’ll need for drinking, add a few containers for dishwashing. Finally, consider bringing a tarp or water-resistant plastic bag so you can lay your dishes out to dry somewhere safe. Keep the plastic or tarp for this purpose only, so your newly clean dishes don’t have to touch anything dirty.
These pre-made washers and scrubbers can come in handy for more than your dishes, as well. Wipe down picnic tables, kids’ toys, tools, or whatever else you’ll need on your trip without using harsh chemicals.