Washing Dishes Without Hot Water

Our hot water heater died 4 years ago with the lovely dockside electric in Marina Paraiso, Isla Mujeres.  We woke one morning to steam pouring out of the hot water heater — and the breaker wasn’t even on!  YIKES!

Galley with the trusty bottle of Joy sitting beside the sink.  In the San Blas we bought a gigantic bottle of Joy with gallons at Costco so we wouldn't run out in paradise - and refilled the smaller bottle.

Galley with the trusty bottle of Joy sitting beside the sink. In the San Blas we bought a gigantic bottle of Joy with gallons at Costco so we wouldn’t run out in paradise – and refilled the smaller bottle.

But even before that, we didn’t often turn on the hot water heater while spending months anchored out – takes too many amps and hot water isn’t exactly optimal when I’m already drenched in sweat in the tropics.   We’ve used cold water to wash dishes for years … and we’re both still alive, and to my knowledge so are all of our guests.

Consider Washing Dishes in Sea Water if You Need to Save Fresh Water

We use fresh water directly out of the foot pump for doing dishes, not using pressure water saves water.

The secret?  A good dishwashing detergent.  We prefer Joy but I understand Dawn is supposedly even better – no personal experience.  The key is grease – most other things clean off easily with any temperature water and Joy.

Grease can be a bit more challenging.  So we add a little more Joy to the process and voila, clean dishes and no grease.

These days the only times I really miss that hot water heater is when we have to take cold showers because there’s not been any sun to heat up our solar shower.   But it’s simple to heat a teakettle of water on the stove and add to the solar shower to make the chilly water a bit tepid and more tolerable.  In a pinch, I could even add that teakettle warm water to the dishwater, but I’ve never needed it to get things clean.

Besides, we’re living in paradise, who cares!

Anyone do anything differently (besides fixing your hot water heater before years go by)?   Please leave a comment and share!  Cheers!  Jan

Comments

  1. Here’s a cowboy trick I learned camping, if you have a frying pan with lots of burn on gunk, we used to put about a table spoon of salt in the pan, fill it about half way with water, and put it back on the burner. After a few minutes, it’ll try to boil, that’s when you can dump the pan out and pretty much wipe it with a paper towel. Worked on bacon n eggs with cheese frying pans. Oh, its best to use the better pans of course, either cast iron or thick stainless steel. But, it’s Joy disk washing liquid since I first started sailing in 1980’s, and Prell for your hair, nothing else would foam up, but I’m sure there’s others now.
    Renasci

  2. Theresa Rose Hodge says:

    Thank you for the information you provided. Hope you continue to enjoy life on the water.

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