Welcome to our “Considerate Camper” series. These are posts with tips and reminders on how to keep our provincial parks clean and healthy. Do you already know how it is done? Share these posts with less experienced campers 🙂
When it comes to keeping your campsite clean and tidy, washing dishes properly is key.
However, many campers have difficulty washing dishes effectively.
We get a lot of questions about this topic, so we’ve compiled all the tips and tricks on the best way to clean dishes while camping.
Cleaning up after a delicious camping meal is easy if you have the right equipment.
Here are some items you should pack for dishwashing:
- a pot to boil water
- camp stove
- foldable camp sink or plastic bathtub/basin
- biodegradable soap
- wash cloth
Where to clean your dishes
Newbie campers sometimes think it’s okay to wash dishes under the tap or at comfort stations; Both are things that should not be done.
Comfort stations are not designed for washing dishes. Water often ends up all over the counter and floors. This is a safety hazard for other campers, as well as a lot of work for park staff. Washing dishes at comfort stations can also lead to lines and frustrations for visitors simply trying to use the facilities.
Washing at water faucets creates many of the same problems, including alignments and safety risks. Dishwashing water also attracts wildlife. Dirt from dishes splashes onto the floor and can cause animals from raccoons to bears to sniff around. Splashes of dishwater can also contaminate the water taps themselves, which fellow campers use to drink water.
How to clean your dishes
Always clean dishes at your campsite using a container and dispose of water responsibly.
Start by scraping all food residue off your plates and placing it in your trash bin/bag (don’t forget to dispose of your trash properly too!).
Boil water and then mix it with cold drinking water to create the hottest water you can safely tolerate for washing dishes.
Pour the water into a collapsible basin or sink and add the soap.
Biodegradable camping soap is usually concentrated, so
a few drops will suffice.
Place the clean (but soapy) dishes on a clean surface while you wash all the dirty dishes.
When finished, rinse all dishes with clean, cold water, allowing any soap residue to drip into the sink or sink.
What to do with dirty dishwasher water?
When you’re done, it’s time to throw away the “gray” water or soapy water.
(Remember: this water should not contain any food residue because you did a great job scraping the dishes before washing them!)
You can safely dispose of it at the trailer sanitation station or by pouring it into vault toilets (latrines).
You’re done, great job!
By washing your dishes in an eco-ethical and responsible way, you are helping to protect the parks we all love.