Dish Soap

MNTCamper

Super Active Member
Jun 14, 2014
1,332
MN
We prewipe all of the food stuff off of all the dishes with a paper towel and throw that in the fire. If the dog is along, we just let him pre-rinse all of the dishes. Dawn in the first tub and dilute bleach water in the second and air or towel dry. Works great. We use paper when we are in a big hurry, but it is too much waste for us on the longer trips of 14+ days.
 

Milktrk

Active Member
Apr 17, 2014
329
We use paper plates for the food so no washing them, we don't burn them in the fire at night. The pots/pans we scrape clean into the trash and wash them inside the pup with Dawn. It helps keep the grey tank fresh and not so stinky by avoiding as much grease as possible getting into the grey tank and the Dawn helps keep the gunk out of the grey tank. I avoid dumping at the site most state CG don't allow you to dump grey water on your site. We then dump the grey tank at the dumpstation at the end of the trip and make sure the trash is off our site before we go to bed- no unwanted visitors!
 

Haybale

I'd rather be camping!!
Aug 22, 2013
2,561
San Diego via MN
I usually just use paper plates and toss them in the fire pit during the day and they are the fire starter!!

I also try to clean up most of the cookware right away before it dries!

As for the soap I use dawn/gain or whatever I got a deal on.... For hands I use a little borax powder with the soap and it cleans anything off your hands, even after working on the car!!
 
Apr 27, 2015
31
NJ
I guess it boils down to what you are comfortable with. Lots of good suggestions and for the most part are all environmentally friendly. Most people have a fire so burning plates isn't an issue to me. As long as we are all responsible with our trash and don't leave anything behind, there is really no "wrong" way to handle this.
 

tenttrailer

Art & Joyce - Columbus, O
Jul 18, 2013
3,758
Thornville, OH
Dawn, figure if the green folks on the side of the bay or gulf clean the oil off ducks. It must be friendly.

We use about 1.5 - 2.0 gallons of water to do our dishes when dry camping. No disposal dishes here.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,650
Albuquerque, NM
The ducks may do well with Dawn, but my skin hates it. I use it for some cleaning around the house, but with gloves.
The Kroger dish soap hasn't worked very well at home or while camping. It takes a lot to clean anything with tomato, oil, egg, etc. Plus the pop top is hard to open and close well, and spilled soap is not something I want to deal with in the TT. I keep the bottle in a Ziploc bag but still don't want to chance it.
I guess I'll be back to the Trader Joe's dish soap for next season, unless I find something better over the winter.
 

Orchid

Sharp Shootin' Grandma
May 8, 2011
5,832
Florida by way of WV and MD
Not sure what anyone is cooking up, while camping, that requires soaking to clean. Not judging, just wondering.

We use lots of foil and paper plates. We also cook in cast iron pie irons (thanks to this site for reminding me they exist) and all they require is a wipe with a paper towel and some spray oil.

In the crock pot, we use disposable liners, that can just be thrown away. On the grill, foil. I never really have any major dish washing to do while camping. Like many others, I use original Dawn. I use only a tiny bit.

The only thing we really ever wash is a frying pan and silverware. I can't eat with plastic silverware. It's useless.
 

ezakoske

Active Member
Nov 30, 2014
614
Escondido, CA
Like others above (3 years ago :) ), we use Dr. Bronner's. It's concentrated and goes a long way. They are also a San Diego company, so I'm glad to support them!
 

xxxapache

Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2008
4,388
I buy the giant size of Ajax dish soap. It is also labeled as hand soap. I do it all with it. When camping, I wash dishes and take showers with it. At home, I use it for laundry when I am running low on my homemade laundry detergent. I use it as liquid hand soap at all the sinks.
 

ScoobyDoo

Active Member
Aug 23, 2016
367
Well, I'm not real sure this world is worth saving, but that is not the discussion... [V] That said, paper plates? Camping green? Then burn the trash in a CG fire ring? Camping green?
For years in the truck, where I needed to carry all the water, and many times twice, I did dishes with spray bottles. Wipe the heavy food off with paper towel. Spray with soapy water, wipe, spray with clean, wipe, and but away. A few minutes before next use, wipe with rubbing alcohol. Most times I'm doing this I'm setting on my bed, so can't let much water drip...
 

Kb2yht

Active Member
Nov 28, 2015
124
Have also tried camp soap, AND eventually gave up.
Have found the Ajax seems to work best for me, Dawn is always hard to get a clean rinse for some reason.

When I had to clean for larger groups, I used a four bucket wash.
Soak with soap to get the real nasty off , wash with soap, clear rinse, weak bleach solution or sanitizer.
 

Pirate Queen

New Member
Jan 4, 2017
8
ScoobyDoo said:
Well, I'm not real sure this world is worth saving, but that is not the discussion... [V] That said, paper plates? Camping green? Then burn the trash in a CG fire ring? Camping green?
For years in the truck, where I needed to carry all the water, and many times twice, I did dishes with spray bottles. Wipe the heavy food off with paper towel. Spray with soapy water, wipe, spray with clean, wipe, and but away. A few minutes before next use, wipe with rubbing alcohol. Most times I'm doing this I'm setting on my bed, so can't let much water drip...

I love the idea of using spray bottles for washing dishes - that seems as though it would use a lot less water. Quick question though - why spray with rubbing alcohol?
 

Beecoach

Active Member
Jun 13, 2014
299
Pirate Queen said:
I love the idea of using spray bottles for washing dishes - that seems as though it would use a lot less water. Quick question though - why spray with rubbing alcohol?
Kills germs, like hand sanitizer


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

GrueMaster

Active Member
May 22, 2013
196
Saint Helens, Oregon
As I am the camp cook, and usually camp with a crowd of 6-20 people, I scoured ebay a while back for some of the Tupperware plates (the trays like they use in schools with 2 side areas for veggies and an area for flatware). I have ~40 that I keep stowed in the trailer. I also went to a restaurant supply store and bought 2 boxes each of forks, knives, and spoons (20 count - cheap cafeteria grade). Most of my cooking is either on a large (18 inch x 3ft) griddle, and/or in Dutch Ovens (cast iron only - none of that aluminum crap), with some sides cooked in stainless steel pots.

For dish cleaning, I have a large stainless steel turkey deep fryer pot that I fill from the local water source (usually a creek, river, or lake - we're always close to water) so that I am not wasting drinking water. Once it is boiling, I use ~2-3 tablespoons of Dawn unscented liquid detergent (the same used during oil spills to clean oil soaked wildlife). Food is scraped into a bag lined garbage can then put into the pot. I keep the deep fryer basket in there so that I am not digging for silverware off the bottom. This also helps filter solid waste to the bottom of the pot, so the pot can be topped off as needed and reboiled next time. Rinse with boiled water from my large 44 ounce coffee pot and dry in a foldable dish rack.

When I dump the dirty water, it is usually into a 6 inch or deeper pit that I dig away from any water source, so that the solids can be properly buried. Then I cover the area with the remaining coffee grounds from that day (keeps wildlife from digging it up). Unless of course I am in either an established camp ground with gray water dump or in a no trace area like Oregon Country Fair. Then it all goes into a 5 gallon sealed container in the back of my truck to be dumped later at an RV dump station or back home.
 

Terra

New Member
May 15, 2017
9
I use dawn or ajax dish soap. I also water my plants (ALL of them) with a soapy water mixture to keep bugs at bay! It's biodegradable, and my plants thrive all year!
Plus, no film on my pots and dishes!
 

SpecialGreen

Member
Jul 5, 2018
57
We wipe food traces from plates and silverware into the garbage with wet paper towels; usually takes about 3 half-sheets. Then wash dishes in Sal's Suds, rinse, and drip-dry on a rack. Finish dry with towel when necessary.

This adds some paper waste (usually about 3 half-sheets of paper towel), but low water use.
 
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dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,279
League City, Texas USA.
I use Dawn, which is biodegradable, as are most, if not all commercially sold products. Just don't dump with 100 ft of a water source.

I need to clarify something about this. NOT ALL DAWN IS BIODEGRADEABLE OR EVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY. The Dawn Pure Essentials products listed on their site https://dawn-dish.com/en-us/products/by-line/dawn-pure-essentials are certified as biodegradeable. I have seen and bought the Lemon Essence scented one from Walmart before. It is more expensive than the old blue kind, but it works great, and I have no concerns with disposal / environmental contamination of my campsite...

I use a set of the enameled steel dishes. Depends on the meal on how dirty the dishes get, but the enameled steel wash easily. My bigger problem is the cookware. My so called stainless cookware stains readily... Need a different set...
 

dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,279
League City, Texas USA.
My method varies.

Is the dog with us?

If so, he gets a treat, and we get dishes liked free of food particles, then HOT water and Dawn has been out go to... The 2 tub method. HOT wash, HOT rinse. Contain the gray water, and properly dump it...

Typically not a lot of dishes to do though. Cook pot / utensils, plate, and / or bowl for 2, drinking vessels for 2, and cutlery for 2... Done.
 




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